Tag Archive | "Drive"

New Google Chrome Feature May Drive Users to Firefox

The Register is reporting on a new feature in an upcoming version of Google Chrome that has privacy-conscious users worried. A recent API called getInstalledRelatedApps may allow websites to determine what apps are installed on a user’s device.

At first glance, the API seems to have an admirable purpose. If users have both web and native applications installed, they could be bombarded by duplicate sets of notifications. If a website can determine that its native app is installed, it would then prioritize notifications for the native app. Unfortunately, the API doesn’t really seem to be aimed at improving the experience—not for the user at least.

In response to a question from Opera developer Daniel Bratell, expressing concern about how this API would help users, Google engineer Rayan Kanso wrote:

“Although this isn’t an API that would directly benefit users, it indirectly benefits them through improved web experiences,” Kanso wrote. “We received very positive OT [off-topic] feedback from partners using this API, and the alternative is them using hacks to figure whether their native app is installed.”

In other words, this API is more about making it easier for web and app developers’ marketing needs than it is truly making users’ lives easier.

The privacy implications are clear: If websites can determine what apps are installed on a person’s phone or tablet, it can provide a relatively complete picture, otherwise known as a fingerprint, about that person’s habits.

As The Register points out, Peter Snyder, a privacy researcher at browser maker Brave, voiced his own concerns:

“I don’t follow the claim about non-fingerprint-ability. If I’m a company with a large number of apps (e.g. google), with 16-32 apps registered in app stores, the subset of which apps any user has installed is likely to be a very strong semi-identifier, no, and so be extremely risky for the user / valuable for the fingerprinter, no?

“Apologies if I’m misunderstanding, but this seems like a very clear privacy risk.

Put differently, if this isn’t a privacy risk, whats the rational behind disallowing this in private browsing mode?”

With browsers like Firefox and Safari placing an emphasis on privacy and security, it’s a safe bet this is yet another move that will drive users away from Chrome.

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How Answering Questions on Quora Can Drive Massive Traffic to Your Website

Most people think Quora is a simple Question and Answer forum. However, the website is so much more than that. While it’s true that people can ask about anything under the sun, a lot of the answers are enlightening and useful. What’s more, if used correctly, Quora can be a veritable goldmine of website traffic.

Quora: Not Your Average Q&A Site

Quora is not your typical Q&A platform. Aside from asking questions or providing answers, users can also vote which answers are helpful.

Image result for quora upvotes

[Image via SEOClerk]

Quora also boasts an insanely popular and large community. The site receives more than 100 million visitors a month. According to Alexa, it’s the 50th most popular site in the US and ranks in the top 100 globally. But what sets Quora apart is the kind of people who use the site. Most of its users are from India and the United States. While the age range is varied, the most active Quora users are in the 18-34 demographic and have a post-graduate education. 

Why Use Quora

Quora is a great platform for marketers and business owners like you. For one, you can use the site to build your personal brand. However, there are other reasons why you should take advantage of this platform.

It’s a Surprising Source of Long-Term Website Traffic

One of the benefits of using Quora is how you can drive traffic to your website through the answers you post. More importantly, posts that were written months or years ago can still generate traffic. After all, people are always looking for information. Plus, if they like your answer and “upvotes” it, your post will appear in that user’s feed for all their friends and followers to see, resulting in more traffic to your site and sign-ups to your email list.

You Can Show Your Expertise

The more relevant and well-received your posts are on Quora, the more people will see you as an authority on the subject. The site ranks writers based on the number of views their answers receive. You can also be awarded topic badges that members can see. Appearing on the best writers list and earning badges will have people respecting your expertise. Once you’re considered an authority on the topic, more people would be interested in what you have to say, whether it’s on the site or on your blog.

Big Publications Might Notice You

A lot of major publications are turning to Quora for content and are publishing choice answers on their websites. Some of the platform’s top writers have already been quoted or featured in sites like Business Insider, Forbes, and The Huffington Post.

Image result for quora on business insider

[Image via YoutTube]

Tips on Using Quora Effectively

Write a good profile.

You want your profile description to establish credibility and trust since this is the first thing users will see. Make sure they’ll like what they read. Be sincere, friendly and polite. Proofread your profile before posting it. It’s hard to trust someone’s professionalism if they make mistakes with their spelling and grammar.

Look for relevant questions and answer them.

Select questions that are relevant to your niche and will provide you with the right exposure. Once you have picked a question to answer, check how popular or high it is on the feed and how many followers it has. More followers mean a larger audience will read your post.

Image result for answers on quora

[Image via Neil Patel]

Give useful answers.

Think of your posts as content, so make sure they are useful, relevant, and unique. Don’t get too technical, unless the subject calls for it. Make sure you attribute your quotes correct and try to include images.

Don’t go overboard with blog promotion.

Quora likes writers who provide value. This means that useful posts are the right way to go. You can include a link to your blog post if you want but it has to feel natural. Answering a question with just a link to your blog is a sure-fire way of getting yourself banned from the site.

Engage the Quora community.

Your content becomes more visible the more you ask questions or post an answer. A consistent presence on Quora will make members curious about you, maybe enough that they would check out your blog or site.

Quora is a great place to hang out, learn new things, and even meet new people. More importantly, the platform can be another source of traffic to your site. However, simple answers won’t cut it here. You have to put effort into your replies, build your reputation and engage other users. But the results will definitely be worth it.

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The Nitty Gritty Tips On How To Get YouTube Views and Drive Business

Every business should be using YouTube to engage their potential customers and create a sense of authority for their business. The problem is that most people don’t know where to start and don’t know how the YourTube algorithm works, so they serious make mistakes.

Internet marketing expert Neil Patel along with YouTube branding expert Adam LoDolce, founder of Viewership.com, recently provided the answers that every business needs to expertly use YouTube to communicate with their potential customers.

Below are some highlights:

You want to get more traffic from YouTube, there are a few things you need to do. One, check out vidIQ, it’s an amazing tool, it’ll help you out. However, YouTube marketing is not rocket science, similar to SEO. Yes, there are a lot of little components, but if you do them, you can do well.

Include the Right Keywords

The first one is, include the right keywords. Similar to how you do keyword research for SEO, you want to do keyword research for YouTube. Suggested apps are vidIQ, Adwords keyword planner tool and Ubersuggest which pulls from Adwords and Google Suggest and YouTube. If you just do that you will get more recommendations on keywords that will drive more traffic.

Have a Very Appealing Title

Another thing you want to do is have a really appealing title, one that evokes curiosity. Just having the keywords in there isn’t enough. If your title doesn’t evoke curiosity, people aren’t going to click through, play and then continue watching. That’s really the biggest difference between YouTube and Google Search. With Google Search, people are searching for it, whereas on YouTube, most traffic isn’t search traffic, it’s people who click on your videos from browse features and suggested videos.

It has to be really good, I don’t want to say clickbait, but it has to be click-worthy for you to get a lot of traffic. When you watch a video on YouTube they’ll recommend other videos or autoplay other videos from other channels. If your video is really good and somebody is watching it, in the sidebar, somebody may see your video and click on it. But if your title is not appealing they’re not going to really click on it.

You Have to Upload Transcriptions

In addition to that, you have to upload transcriptions. We suggest Rev.com where you can pay a dollar per minute for a transcription. What that does is when you upload it to YouTube it’ll tell them what your content is about. Yes, YouTube can auto-transcribe your content, but it doesn’t hold the same weight versus if you uploaded an SRT file or a transcription, and that’s what Rev.com provides.

Increase Engagement With Advertising

If your a business and want to get your videos in front of a lot of people on YouTube, then you should use advertisement to push those videos in front of people who have liked or commented on previous videos. The reason why this is so effective is that it is going to get much more engagement on the new videos that you produce, and YouTube loves engagement.

YouTube, like Google, is looking at the authority of your channel and engagement feeds this algorithm. If you have a lot of videos that are doing well it boosts the overall authority of your whole channel, and all of your videos will start doing better. The worst thing you can do is have all these videos out there with no likes, no comments, nothing going on.

Key Tips for Producing a Video

One of the biggest things Adam LoDolce taught me (noted Neil Patel) when I was learning about YouTube marketing, was all about how to produce the video. I’m not talking about the editing, I’m talking about your personality and how you create your own video.

The biggest one is how you want your audience to feel. A lot of people think about keyword topics and that’s nice for your research, but ultimately, it’s about how do you want them to feel. Do you want them to be motivated, or do you want them to laugh?

For your business channel, the worst thing you can do is to be very stiff, professional and to just give tactical advice. Loosen up a little bit, have a little fun, make a joke, that’s how you can get engagement with your videos. If you are not having fun recording, I bet you the person watching is not going to have fun.

Your videos need to be a decent length. YouTube’s looking at how long are you keeping people on YouTube! The more you keep them on YouTube, instead of driving them back to your website, the better. Everyone likes putting those captions in videos, like click this link, head back over to my website. That will hurt your YouTube ratings versus just keeping people on YouTube.

Think of it more as a branding channel, and when you are creating a video that doesn’t mean you need to create an hour video, but typically anything about 5 or 6 minutes is good. Any short videos of 2-3 minutes is just going to hurt you versus creating 5-10 minute videos.

Video is the Future

If you are a business and not doing any video, you are missing out. If you can start doing it and start getting more comfortable with it, push your comfort zone and get in front of the camera, you are going to have a competitive advantage out there.

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Set the Strategic Goals that Drive Your Content Marketing

There are a lot of reasons why I dislike the term content marketing, but the most important one is that it’s vague. Are we talking about a YouTube “let’s play” gaming video? A clever tweet from a big brand? Or maybe a blog post or podcast episode? Because that word content is there, the content
Read More…

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How Facebook Messenger Can Help You Drive Sales

Facebook Messenger is only about three years old and it’s already one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world. With the right marketing strategy, the app can easily convert leads and drive sales.

Since its unveiling at the 2015 F8 conference, more than one billion messages have been sent to Facebook Messenger by businesses and their customers. Analysts expect this trend to continue and have predicted that the app will have 139.2 million users by 2020.

Number of Facebook Messenger users in the United States from 2014 to 2020

 

There are about 1.3 million people using Facebook Messenger now. That’s a number that marketers should not ignore, especially since the app is a great marketing tool.

Advantages to Using Facebook Messenger

Consumers today use messaging apps like Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp more often than social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. This means that brands who can successfully use these apps can enjoy advantages like:

  • Improved Communication With Clients: Reaching your customer is faster with Messenger since you don’t have to wait in queue or be placed on hold. One Facebook study also revealed that people nowadays prefer to send a message than to call customer service. A majority of customers also tend to purchase online from brands that they can easily reach through chat.
  • Raised Awareness of Your Products: You can raise more awareness about your products or services via Messenger. This is because you can swiftly start a dialogue regarding the products or services you offer with your prospective customer.
  • Better Customer Service: A lot of customers prefer to send Private Messages instead of publicly posting their questions in the comments section of the Support Page. With Messenger, you can quickly reply to your customers and provide them with the information or answers they need. Plus, 63 percent of consumers surveyed by Facebook were found to have developed a good impression of brands that they can easily chat with.
  • Faster Transactions: It’s also simpler to conduct transactions with the help of Messenger. You can sell your products and services directly to your customers. The application can also assist you to immediately take orders, book appointments, invite prospective clients, and send product photos, receipts, and shipping information.

 

[Graphic via Facebook IQ]

 

4 Ways to Use Messenger to Boost Sales

1. Use a Welcome Message to Initiate a Conversation

When you enter a store, you are always welcomed in by someone, whether it’s the owner, the manager or a sales personnel. You can do the same thing with your online shop. Consider setting up a welcome conversation so that when a customer sends a message to your page, you can greet them automatically. You can then proceed to inquire about what they need and assist them in finding it. A welcome conversation will make your customer feel appreciated and supported. It also provides a good experience that will entice repeat business.

2. Send a Reminder About Abandoned Carts

Buyers abandoning their carts is a big concern. Facebook Messenger has been found to be more effective than email in converting abandoned carts to sales. Set up a message that will ask the customer if they would like to complete their purchase. You can even put options like “Remind me tomorrow,” “Still thinking,” “Thanks” or even a “like” or “heart” icon. 

3. Drive Traffic With Pop-Ups

 This is one of the most popular strategies to drive traffic and accumulate opt-ins. It’s easier for users to just tap on a button to opt-in instead of typing out their whole name and email address.

4. Set Up an Auto Reply Feature 

Aside from a chatbot, companies can also utilize the Messenger’s Auto Reply feature to send a custom message to customers and prospective clients. People today don’t want to waste time listening to messages that they can just read. With Facebook’s Messenger app, you can program and send messages based on the consumer’s requirements in a quick, interactive and convenient way. This can also boost the chances of opening a conversation with the client over what you’re offering.

Your business has the potential to grow bigger if you use Facebook Messenger, especially since the company continues to develop new ways to interact with consumers. So integrate the app into your marketing campaign and give yourself an edge over your rivals.

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Looking Beyond Keywords: How to Drive Conversion with Visual Search & Search by Camera

Posted by Jes.Scholz

Let’s play a game. I’ll show you an image. You type in the keyword to find the exact product featured in the image online. Ready?

Google her sunglasses…

What did you type? Brown sunglasses? Brown sunglasses with heavy frame? Retro-look brown sunglasses with heavy frame? It doesn’t matter how long-tail you go, it will be difficult to find that exact pair, if not impossible. And you’re not alone.

For 74% of consumers, traditional text-based keyword searches are inefficient at helping find the right products online.

But much of your current search behavior is based on the false premise that you can describe things in words. In many situations, we can’t.

And this shows in the data. Sometimes we forget that Google Images accounts for 22.6% of all searches — searches where traditional methods of searching were not the best fit.

Image credit: Sparktoro

But I know what you’re thinking. Image SEO drives few to no sessions, let alone conversions. Why should I invest my limited resources into visual marketing?

Because humans are visual creatures. And now, so too are mobile phones — with big screens, multiple cameras, and strong depth perception.

Developments in computer vision have led to a visual marketing renaissance. Just look to visual search leader Pinterest, who reported that 55% of their users shop on the platform. How well do those users convert? Heap Analytics data shows that on shopping cart sizes under $ 199, image-based Pinterest Ads have an 8.5% conversion rate. To put that in context, that’s behind Google’s 12.3% but in front of Facebook’s 7.2%.

Not only can visual search drive significant conversions online. Image recognition is also driving the digitalization and monetization in the real world.

The rise of visual search in Google

Traditionally, image search functioned like this: Google took a text-based query and tried to find the best visual match based on metadata, markups, and surrounding copy.

But for many years now, the image itself can also act as the search query. Google can search for images with images. This is called visual search.

Google has been quietly adding advanced image recognition capabilities to mobile Google Images over the last years, with a focus on the fashion industry as a test case for commercial opportunities (although the functionality can be applied to automotive, travel, food, and many other industries). Plotting the updates, you can see clear stepping stone technologies building on the theme of visual search.

  • Related images (April 2013): Click on a result to view visually similar images. The first foray into visual search.
  • Collections (November 2015): Allows users to save images directly from Google’s mobile image search into folders. Google’s answer to a Pinterest board.
  • Product images in web results (October 2016): Product images begin to display next to website links in mobile search.
  • Product details on images (December 2016): Click on an image result to display product price, availability, ratings, and other key information directly in the image search results.
  • Similar items (April 2017): Google can identify products, even within lifestyle images, and showcases similar items you can buy online.
  • Style ideas (April 2017): The flip side to similar items. When browsing fashion product images on mobile, Google shows you outfit montages and inspirational lifestyle photos to highlight how the product can be worn in real life.
  • Image badges (August 2017): Label on the image indicate what other details are available, encouraging more users to click; for example, badges such as “recipe” or a timestamp for pages featuring videos. But the most significant badge is “product,” shown if the item is available for purchase online.
  • Image captions (March 2018): Display the title tag and domain underneath the image.

Combining these together, you can see powerful functionality. Google is making a play to turn Google Images into shoppable product discovery — trying to take a bite out of social discovery platforms and give consumers yet another reason to browse on Google, rather than your e-commerce website.

Image credit: Google

What’s more, Google is subtly leveraging the power of keyword search to enlighten users about these new features. According to 1st May MozCast, 18% of text-based Google searches have image blocks, which drive users into Google Images.

This fundamental change in Google Image search comes with a big SEO opportunity for early adopters. Not only for transactional queries, but higher up the funnel with informational queries as well.

kate-middleton-style.gif

Let’s say you sell designer fashion. You could not only rank #1 with your blog post on a informational query on “kate middleton style,” including an image on your article result to enhance the clickability of your SERP listing. You can rank again on page 1 within the image pack, then have your products featured in Similar Items — all of which drives more high-quality users to your site.

And the good news? This is super simple to implement.

How to drive organic sessions with visual search

The new visual search capabilities are all algorithmically selected based on a combination of schema and image recognition. Google told TechCrunch:

“The images that appear in both the style ideas and similar items grids are also algorithmically ranked, and will prioritize those that focus on a particular product type or that appear as a complete look and are from authoritative sites.”

This means on top of continuing to establish Domain Authority site-wide, you need images that are original, high resolution, and clearly focus on a single theme. But most importantly, you need images with perfectly implemented structured markup to rank in Google Images.

To rank your images, follow these four simple steps:

1. Implement schema markup

To be eligible for similar items, you need product markup on the host page that meets the minimum metadata requirements of:

  • Name
  • Image
  • Price
  • Currency
  • Availability

But the more quality detail, the better, as it will make your results more clickable.

2. Check your implementation

Validate your implementation by running a few URLs through Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. But remember, just being valid is sometimes not enough. Be sure to look into the individual field result to ensure the data is correctly populating and user-friendly.

3. Get indexed

Be aware, it can take up to one week for your site’s images to be crawled. This will be helped along by submitting an image XML sitemap in Google Search Console.

4. Look to Google Images on mobile

Check your implementation by doing a site:yourdomain.cctld query on mobile in Google Images.

If you see no image results badges, you likely have an implementation issue. Go back to step 2. If you see badges, click a couple to ensure they show your ideal markup in the details.

Once you confirm all is well, then you can begin to search for your targeted keywords to see how and where you rank.

Like all schema markup, how items display in search results is at Google’s discretion and not guaranteed. However, quality markup will increase the chance of your images showing up.

It’s not always about Google

Visual search is not limited to Google. And no, I’m not talking about just Bing. Visual search is also creating opportunities to be found and drive conversion on social networks, such as Pinterest. Both brands allow you to select objects within images to narrow down your visual search query.

Image credit: MarTech Today

On top of this, we also have shoppable visual content on the rise, bridging the gap between browsing and buying. Although at present, this is more often driven by data feeds and tagging more so than computer vision. For example:

  • Brahmin offers shoppable catalogs
  • Topshop features user-generated shoppable galleries
  • Net-a-Porter’s online magazine features shoppable article
  • Ted Baker’s campaigns with shoppable videos
  • Instagram & Pinterest both monetize with shoppable social media posts

Such formats reduce the number of steps users need to take from content to conversion. And more importantly for SEOs, they exclude the need for keyword search.

I see a pair of sunglasses on Instagram. I don’t need to Google the name, then click on the product page and then convert. I use the image as my search query, and I convert. One click. No keywords.

…But what if I see those sunglasses offline?

Digitize the world with camera-based search

The current paradigm for SEOs is that we wait for a keyword search to occur, and then compete. Not only for organic rankings, but also for attention versus paid ads and other rich features.

With computer vision, you can cut the keyword search out of the customer journey. By entering the funnel before the keyword search occurs, you can effectively exclude your competitors.

Who cares if your competitor has the #1 organic spot on Google, or if they have more budget for Adwords, or a stronger core value proposition messaging, if consumers never see it?

Consumers can skip straight from desire to conversion by taking a photo with their smartphone.

Brands taking search by camera mainstream

Search by camera is well known thanks to Pinterest Lens. Built into the app, simply point your camera phone at a product discovered offline for online recommendations of similar items.

If you point Lens at a pair of red sneakers, it will find you visually similar sneakers as well as idea on how to style it.

Image credit: Pinterest

But camera search is not limited to only e-commerce or fashion applications.

Say you take a photo of strawberries. Pinterest understand you’re not looking for more pictures of strawberries, but for inspiration, so you’ll see recipe ideas.

The problem? For you, or your consumers, Pinterest is unlikely to be a day-to-day app. To be competitive against keyword search, search by camera needs to become part of your daily habit.

Samsung understands this, integrating search by camera into their digital personal assistant Bixby, with functionality backed by powerful partnerships.

  • Pinterest Lens powers its images search
  • Amazon powers its product search
  • Google translates text
  • Foursquare helps to find places nearby

Bixby failed to take the market by storm, and so is unlikely to be your go-to digital personal assistant. Yet with the popularity of search by camera, it’s no surprise that Google has recently launched their own version of Lens in Google Assistant.

Search engines, social networks, and e-commerce giants are all investing in search by camera…

…because of impressive impacts on KPIs. BloomReach reported that e-commerce websites reached by search by camera resulted in:

  • 48% more product views
  • 75% greater likelihood to return
  • 51% higher time on site
  • 9% higher average order value

Camera search has become mainstream. So what’s your next step?

How to leverage computer vision for your brand

As a marketer, your job is to find the right use case for your brand, that perfect point where either visual search or search by camera can reduce friction in conversion flows.

Many case studies are centered around snap-to-shop. See an item you like in a friend’s home, at the office, or walking past you on the street? Computer vision takes you directly from picture to purchase.

But the applications of image recognition are only limited by your vision. Think bigger.

Branded billboards, magazines ads, product packaging, even your brick-and-mortar storefront displays all become directly actionable. Digitalization with snap-to-act via a camera phone offers more opportunities than QR codes on steroids.

If you run a marketplace website, you can use computer vision to classify products: Say a user wants to list a pair of shoes for sale. They simply snap a photo of the item. With that photo, you can automatically populate the fields for brand, color, category, subcategory, materials, etc., reducing the number of form fields to what is unique about this item, such as the price.

A travel company can offer snap-for-info on historical attractions, a museum on artworks, a healthy living app on calories in your lunch.

What about local SEO? Not only could computer vision show the rating or menu of your restaurant before the user walks inside, but you could put up a bus stop ad calling for hungry travelers to take a photo. The image triggers Google Maps, showing public transport directions to your restaurant. You can take the customer journey, quite literally. Tell them where to get off the bus.

And to build such functionality is relatively easy, because you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are many open-source image recognition APIs to help you leverage pre-trained image classifiers, or from which you can train your own:

  • Google Cloud Vision
  • Amazon Rekognition
  • IBM Watson
  • Salesforce Einstein
  • Slyce
  • Clarifai

Let’s make this actionable. You now know computer vision can greatly improve your user experience, conversion rate and sessions. To leverage this, you need to:

  1. Make your brand visual interactive through image recognition features
  2. Understand how consumers visually search for your products
  3. Optimize your content so it’s geared towards visual technology

Visual search is permeating online and camera search is becoming commonplace offline. Now is the time to outshine your competitors. Now is the time to understand the foundations of visual marketing. Both of these technologies are stepping stones that will lead the way to an augmented reality future.

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Subfolders, Subdirectories and Subdomains: The URL difference that can drive a major increase in organic traffic

Do you understand the difference between subdomains and subdirectories/subfolders? Using them wrong could cost you organic traffic.
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4 Top Trends in Customer Centricity to Drive Digital Marketing Success in 2018

Consumer Trends Marketers Need to Know

Ask any digital marketer if they’ve been able to set their strategy on autopilot over the past decade, and I bet you’ll get a laugh or two—as well as an emphatic “No.” If we’ve learned anything it’s that the digital landscape is simply too fast-changing to keep the business as usual mindset.

But while the global rise of the internet, the explosion of social media, and the development of mobile technologies and other digital tools and platforms are undoubtedly “to blame” for the constant state of change we operate in—it’s really the everyday use of these innovations that requires our flexibility and attention.

Simply put, thanks to these modern essentials, our behavior, expectations and attitudes as consumers have changed—and they’ll continue to. The mobility and network access enabled by mobile phones and tablets, coupled with the incredible amount of content now available (thanks content marketers), means consumers now have the majority stake in developing their own customer journey.

In fact, last year comScore reported that users spend an average of 69% of their media time on smartphones—and other research shows that the great majority of people use the internet and mobile technologies to research products before they buy.

But what’s the next stage of evolution in consumer behavior? And how can digital marketers adapt their strategies to fit with consumers want and expect?

Below we highlight some of the consumer trends that will have (and are already having) a big impact on digital and content marketing in 2018 and beyond.

#1 – Voice-activated personal assistance will continue to shape consumer behavior.

While voice-command technology began to emerge in the early part of the century, it’s taken on new life over the past couple years thanks to the emergence of mobile personal assistants, and the birth and increasing adoption of tools like Amazon Echo, Cortana and Google Home.

To put it simply, these voice-activated technologies just make life simpler. According to Think with Google’s research, the top reasons people turn to voice-activated speakers are:

  1. It allows them to more easily multitask.
  2. It enables them to do things faster than other devices.
  3. It empowers them to instantly get answers and information.
  4. It makes their daily routine easier.

What does this mean for brands and marketers? Google says their research also shows that people welcome brands to be part of their experience, and they’re open to receiving information that’s helpful and relevant to their lifestyle.

Think With Google Stats on Personal Assistants

Image Credit: Think with Google

As a result, brands and marketers have the opportunity to explore digital advertising opportunities in this arena. But, perhaps more immediately important, optimizing for voice search is critical.

According to Gartner predictions, 30% of all web browsing sessions will be done without a screen by 2020. Some voice search optimization tactics include focusing on featured snippets, using more conversational keywords and content structure, and adding structured data markup to help search engines better understand the context of the content you’re providing.

#2 – Consumers want to experience a brand, product or service before they buy—and video is the conduit.

I think it’s safe to say that video is no longer an emerging or rising marketing trend—it’s part of the now and the future. According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs’ 2018 content marketing benchmark reports, 72% of B2B marketers and 76% of B2C marketers use pre-produced video as part of their strategies.

It’s certainly not difficult to see why video has taken off. Humans are visual creatures by nature, and as the internet, social media and technology have evolved, consumers are spending an increasing amount of time in front of the screen—elevating video as a preferred engagement medium.

But a bit of change is in the air. Consumers don’t just want engagement these days. They’re also looking for an experience—especially when it comes to products they’re interested in.

According to other research by Think with Google, video is straight up changing how people shop. In fact, in the past year, 40% of YouTube users turned to the platform to learn more about a product before they purchased it. In addition, the watch time of “Shop with me” videos—where viewers actually follow video creators as they shop—has increased a whopping 1,000% over the past two years.

YouTube Research by Consumers Statistic

Image Credit: Think with Google

Essentially, consumers are going beyond third-party review sites and word-of-mouth referrals, and looking to video content to learn the good, the bad and the ugly about the products they’re pondering. This means it’s time for B2B and B2C brands alike to elevate the stories they tell using video. Here’s what Think with Google had to say:

“Since many users aren’t going to be able to physically touch a product before they buy it, brands need to come up with creative ways to help people ‘experience’ it online. Think of ways to bring your product to life online so it stands out—like using virtual reality or augmented reality—such as L’Oréal’s Makeup Genius app that lets users virtually try on makeup.

“There’s a whole community of creators testing and evaluating products, including yours. That means users will be validating any claims you make, so make sure your product can live up to them.”


Consumers are looking for an experience – especially when it comes to products they’re interested in. #digitalmarketing #videomarketing @CaitlinMBurgess
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Read: Report: What Marketers Need to Know About the ‘State of Video Marketing’

#3 – Consumers are growing more curious—as well as more impatient.

To say the least, 2017 was an interesting year socially, environmentally, and—of course—politically. As the year unfolded, it’s no surprise that people turned to the internet and search engines to get a better understanding of what’s happening in their communities, countries, and around the world.

From Google’s perspective, the wide world of search in 2017 also unveiled new consumer behaviors. In yet another recent Think with Google piece, 2017 saw a “new super-empowered consumer” take shape.

“We found that people are more curious, more demanding, and more impatient than ever before,” the article said. “We saw evidence of this throughout 2017, and it will be critical for marketers to understand these new behaviors as they move into 2018.”

Essentially, people are getting more specific than ever in their searches—and they expect and demand useful, relevant information quickly. The takeaway for marketers here is that long-tail search term variations will expand—and perhaps even become a new normal. As a result, there’s no better time to double-down on creating—what TopRank Marketing likes to call—best-answer content.

What does best-answer content look like? In a nutshell, best-answer content is:

  1. Addressed to a specific audience
  2. Addressed to a specific query
  3. Substantial
  4. Comprehensive, addressing complimentary queries and crosslinking
  5. Not blatantly promotional

As our CEO, Lee Odden, so eloquently once said: “Stop creating content. And start making answers.”

This should’ve always been part of a marketers mission, but it will be even more critical in the years to come as search and consumer preferences evolve.

In addition, use the data and insights at your fingertips (and pursue new sources) to get a deeper understanding of audience needs, wants and attitudes, develop more holistic consumer personas, and create content and messaging that is highly-personalized. Personalization will be key for meeting consumer demand and expectations.


Stop creating content. And start making answers. – @leeodden #contentmarketing #BeTheBestAnswer
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#4 – Distrust is at an all-time high—which calls for more transparency and authenticity in marketing.

We’ve know for a while that consumers are becoming increasingly weary of advertising and brand messaging. But over the past couple years, the general state of trust across the globe has “imploded.”

The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Survey—an annual trust and credibility survey—showed the largest-ever drop in trust across the world’s four major institutions: business, government, media and NGOs.

2017 Edelman Trust Barometer

In the Executive Summary, the opening note is actually titled “The Implosion of Trust,” and it cites major social, economic and political upheaval—and rising “fake news” speculation—as the unsurprising culprits. But the good news is that Edelman’s findings also show that business is the “last retaining wall” of trust.

As a result, it’s more important than ever for brands and marketers to commit themselves to transparency and authenticity in all that they do. From embracing both positive and critical consumer feedback on public forums and social media, to losing the jargon and developing a more human voice—transparency and authenticity need to be baked into your strategy, rather than being afterthoughts.

One way to add both value, authenticity and credibility to your marketing efforts will be through the use of influencers. Influencer marketing has exploded over the past couple years, and it’s not going anywhere in 2018. Regardless of the type of content, there’s always an opportunity to include credible voices and opinions that will touch and resonate with your audience.

Read: Our Top 10 Influencer Marketing Posts of 2017 Plus Thoughts on 2018

The Only Constant is Change

As you move forward in 2018, now is not the time to set and forget your digital marketing strategy. On the contrary, you need to be at the ready to make meaningful change.

The fact of the matter is that consumers are playing an increasingly powerful role in their buying journey—and brands and marketers need to embrace this if they’re going to survive and thrive into the future.

Content is at the core of every digital marketing strategy. What other trends do marketers need to be on the lookout for? Read Content Conversations: Content Marketing Predictions for 2018 featuring insights from Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi, Chris Brogan, Alexandra Rynne, Tim Washer, Dayna Rothman, and Chris Moody.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |
4 Top Trends in Customer Centricity to Drive Digital Marketing Success in 2018 | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 4 Top Trends in Customer Centricity to Drive Digital Marketing Success in 2018 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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How on-site search can drive holiday revenue & help e-commerce sites compete against major retailers

According to SLI Systems, people who use on-site search are more likely to make a purchase than visitors who only browse a website.

The post How on-site search can drive holiday revenue & help e-commerce sites compete against major retailers appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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5 Ways to Use PopUps to Drive eCommerce Conversion

Popups – you either love them or hate them. But no one can deny how essential they are to eCommerce businesses. When used correctly, popups can give companies the conversions they need.

Understanding PopUps

While a lot of people find popups annoying and blame them for disrupting their website visits, successful bloggers, top SaaS companies, global online publications, and premiere eCommerce brands all utilize popups.

The reason is simple – popups work really well. And one reason why they are so effective is due to today’s typical consumer attitude. Most consumers have short attention spans, minimal brand loyalty, and are often looking for products that give the utmost value. Popups can engage people in a compelling manner through visible call-to-action and incentives.

The SkinnyMe Tea company is a prime example of the power of popups. The Australian-based business came up with an email popup that gave shoppers a promo code for a 10% discount, provided said shoppers subscribed to their newsletter. These customers clearly saw the value in the offer and email sign-ups increased by 758%. Aside from the padded email list, the company also saw a 50% rise in conversions for the duration of the campaign.

skinnyme tea Shopify Plus email list growth

5 Ways to Use PopUps to Boost Conversion

Many other eCommerce businesses were also able to use popups successfully by thinking outside the box. Here are five ways to use this type of advertising to boost conversion rates and sales.

  1. Offer Something Extra With Your Welcome Popup

It’s vital for eCommerce businesses to try and convert new visitors to either social followers or email subscribers. Even if the visitor doesn’t end up buying initially, the odds become better if you can get them to return, either with a newsletter or some form of social media interaction.

One way to do this would be to have a well-designed popup that asks them to like the company’s social profile or to submit their email address. Once done, the visitor will be rewarded with a promo code for a substantial discount.

  1. Reduce Cart Abandonment Rates With a Catchy Exit Popup

Cart abandonment slows revenue down and hinders conversion rates. But exit-intent popups can do a lot in deflecting customers from their intention of leaving the page without finishing their order.

Related image

It’s a good bet that most of your customers are interested in buying but are wary of clicking that final button because of the price. This could also cause prospective clients to check out the competition. If you want to prevent lost sales from these customers, try enforcing exit-intent offers that blatantly interrupt their leaving. Maybe you can prevent them from leaving prematurely by offering special discounts or giving away a free product if they continue with their purchase.

  1. Use Specially Triggered Popups to Upsell or Cross-Sell Products

Amazon is a prime example of how beneficial upselling or cross-selling is to online retailers, and this technique could be enhanced further with the use of popups. You can design ones that are triggered when a customer searches for a particular product. For instance, a customer shopping for new Levi’s might encounter a popup suggesting boots that look good with that style of denim.

You can make it even better by offering discounts for the cross-sell or upsell product. This gives the customer an incentive to buy another product that would go well with the item that they’re already purchasing. This is an inspired way to boost sales, as selling to current customers is easier than trying to convince new customers to buy something.

  1. Subtly Push Customers into Action with Time-Sensitive Popups

Another useful strategy is to create time-sensitive popups that will give customers a push into taking immediate action. For instance, a company can implement a popup that offers a $ 10 discount and free shipping if the customer can complete their order at a certain time. Aside from providing a sense of urgency, it also gives the customer an incentive to complete the checkout process.

  1. Use Popups to Inform Customers of Shipping Policies

Shipping is one of the main concerns of online shoppers. Unfortunately, customers are not in the habit of scrolling to the end of the page just to check out the company’s shipping policies. So if you’re shipping to their location, it’s best to use a popup to let the customer know that in advance. Auto geolocation technology can be used to detect and identify the customer’s IP address. Once that data has been ascertained, a popup can be triggered that informs the client of their shipping options.

Image result for geolocation popup example

Don’t drive your customers away with run-of-the-mill popups. Find creative ways to harness the power of these little windows and use them to enhance conversion rates and boost sales.

The post 5 Ways to Use PopUps to Drive eCommerce Conversion appeared first on WebProNews.


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