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What’s The Ideal Length For Your Business’ Digital Content?

What’s the ideal length for my business’ digital content?” It’s a question I’ve been asked many times by startups in Asia.

Here’s the advice I give

Before you dive into how long your content should be, ask yourself three simple questions:

1. Who is my audience?

2. What are their pain points?

3. How does my business help?

Once you’ve answered those questions, start by defining your audiences in terms of personas. (Not sure where to start? HubSpot offers a free buyer personas template.)

Now put yourself in your personas’ shoes. What kind of content would solve their pain points or interest them? Let’s say your target audience are busy CEOs. They’re likely interested in topline insights and best practices rather than long-form whitepapers. (At least, that’s been the case in my experience.) Alternatively, if you’re targeting digital marketing managers, they often crave in-depth articles with practical tips on a particular topic. See the difference?

For a more data-driven approach, I recommend checking out BuzzSumo’s Content Analysis tool.

Once again, let’s assume you’re promoting digital marketing courses. If you enter “digital marketing” into the tool, it will show you the length of related articles that get the most shares online.

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According to the chart above, “digital marketing” articles over 2,000 words tend to get more shares online. It’s interesting to note that articles less than 1,000 words received around the same amount of shares as articles over 2,000 words, at least on LinkedIn.

So, it’s worth noting not only the total shares across social media platforms but also the total shares on the social media network that your personas use.

By using this data along with your personas’ insights, you’re more likely to develop the right content for your audience.

What about SEO?

Your content’s position on Google can often make or break your content, in terms of views and conversions.

So which does Google prefer: shorter or longer content?

According to search engine results page (SERP) data from SEMRush, they found that longer content tends to rank higher on Google. In fact, the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.

Now content length is not the only factor that Google considers when ranking content on the first page, but it does have an impact according to the studies above.

Remember this…

While longer content tends to perform better on search engines and get more shares, the most important variable when considering your content length should be your audience. Keep them satisfied and your rankings and shares will follow.

Source: Forbes, article by Joe Escobedo (http://www.forbes.com/sites/joeescobedo/2016/10/24/whats-the-ideal-length-for-your-business-digital-content/#5472e0362e7e)

 

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How to Develop a Social Media-Crisis Strategy

It may be difficult to imagine that a comment on social media, or ad campaign, graphic, misquote or argument could cost your organization immeasurably in terms of sales and brand favor.

But these events do occur, increasingly. With communications now moving nationally and internationally at the speed of IOT, compromises can occur, and it is essential to have a solid social media-crisis strategy in place, and ready to implement.

What contributes to a social media crisis?

Digital marketing teams and community managers deal with small problems and minor incidents on a daily basis. One of the most important aspects of social media management is handling negative or inappropriate comments and images and ensuring channel security and customer-service responses that enhance consumer’s experience and with its brand and your image.

Of course, a social media crisis is something far larger than a negative comment or two. It is an incident where something that your business has said or done has caught negative national or even global attention. Sometimes the brand is not at fault in any way, but is still in a position where it has to defend against a substantial social media public backlash, one that can cost millions in lost sales and customer retention, if your representatives do not handle things in an appropriate way.

Looking for some examples of social media brand crises in 2016? Who could forget the staff member at Kitchenaid who tweeted insensitively about President Obama’s deceased grandmother? The tweet was sent, mistakenly, on the Kitchenaid official account by an internal staffer who thought that he or she was using a personal account.

Kitchenaid respectfully deleted the tweet, apologized to the Obama family and indicated how the error had happened. The company also confirmed that the individual who had made the comment would no longer be managing its social media activities.

That quick and appropriate response probably saved the brand.

In some instances, however, it is not an internal staff member who is responsible for tweeting something offensive, but rather a deliberate hack of the social media account. That happened to Burger King in February 2013, when hackers replaced the burger chain’s official branding with a McDonald’s logo, and began to tweet offensively.

Fans quickly caught on, however, that the account had been hacked, and in subsequent weeks (after Burger King changed its password), the chain’s Twitter account gained more than 30,000 new followers.

Creating your social media crisis plan in four steps

Like any other emergency strategy, a social media crisis plan is designed to offer a quick and appropriate response and funnel correct information to anyone looking to access it, including customers, employees and the media. Here are four steps.

1. Assign a team.

While the best-practices guidelines for your social media crisis plan should commence with your marketing department, the implementation of these procedures will touch a variety of departments, including customer service staff, sales, human resources and senior leadership officials within youre organization. Create a team with at least one representative from each impact department who will be trained to respond, and one back-up person from every essential communication group.

2. Delegate and designate.

Define the core message that your brand needs expressed in the event of a negative online backlash or public relations fallout. The most successful businesses in the world, in a state of emergency publicity, fall back to their core values to assure the public, customers, shareholders and employees of their commitment and integrity.

Delegate core spokespeople for your brand. Controlling who comments on behalf of your business is essential to resolving the problem. Letting multiple employees comment, perhaps inappropriately, can fan a small flame into a forest fire, from a public relations perspective.

3. Document it.

Your crisis strategy for managing communication through social media should be thoroughly documented, and there should be printed copies available in key areas, as well as digital ones. Keep in mind that some social media crises can stem from a corporate hacking incident (like the event with Sony in 2014), in which case intranet and other resources may not be immediately available. Have a back-up location specifically separate from your main network.

4. Practice the plan.

Having a social media crisis strategy buried somewhere in the marketing archives does little to ensure that your response will be prompt when it’s needed. So, practice it twice per year, and ensure that as staff members change in key roles, new staff are trained with the appropriate protocols

The ability that a brand has to pivot in the face of a public relations problem determines its ability to find a fast resolution, and minimize collateral damage to the brand and its reputation. With luck, your business may never need it.

Source: Enterpreneur, article by Pratik Dholakiya(https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282934)

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Effective Ways to Generate Leads Through Digital Marketing

Lead generation is at the heart of all businesses. Entrepreneurs and marketers are constantly on the lookout for new and improved ways to enhance their lead generation strategies.

Building a strong base of customer leads is crucial for every business. Numerous digital marketing tools have surfaced over the years to aid in the process. Each of these tools plays a major role in putting together an effective lead generation strategy.

The number of Internet users worldwide has been found to be 3.5 billion. If your business relies primarily on local customers, chances are, your potential customers are a part of this figure. Here are some effective strategies that can help you generate more leads through your digital marketing efforts.

Request for Reviews

The power of online reviews is immense. Did you know that 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?

Consumers have increasingly been turning to online referrals before making a purchasing decision. One of the best ways to leverage this is by asking for reviews from your existing customers. You can ask your customers to fill up a short form on your website for this purpose.

In addition to that, you can claim your business’s listing in top review sites and ask your customers to post a review there. More the number of positive reviews, better will the prospects for your business.

Conduct Online Contests with Special Offers

A special offer works as a bonus to motivate a person to take action. If you plan on conducting a contest, you can consider offering a discount to the consumer who wins it. Additionally, you can also provide an offer at the end of a survey or a request for review.

The offers can be as simple as a discount on a product or a service that your business provides. For example, if you have a car dealership, a discount on private number plates can be quite effective. A gift certificate can be used as well.

Such campaigns can be highly effective in attracting new leads for your business.

Leverage Social Media

With 2.1 billion active social media users, this platform is a goldmine for lead generation. Most of your potential customers are quite likely to be on social media. Therefore, leveraging social media should be given maximum priority.

For example, you can consider investing in engaging content and posting them on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter etc. Instagram can also be used to post pictures and short demo videos of your products etc.

There are numerous ways to increase social media engagement for your business. Social media sites provide marketers with an opportunity to initiate interactions with customers. Additionally, this also helps in building credibility and trust.

Create a ‘How-to’ Guide

Many consumers may be confused with the services and products that your business offers. This is where a ‘how-to’ guide becomes relevant. It simplifies the information that you wish to convey to your existing as well as potential customers. A complex process can be broken down into simple steps to help your customers understand it easily.

You can consider creating an engaging blog post for this purpose. You can post an infographic, an article or even an e-book. A short video can also be highly effective. It is advisable to include a call-to-action at the end of the blog post or the video leading to the relevant page of your website to enable customers to take action.

Focus on SEO Strategies

Organic search is one of the most vital source of traffic for businesses which primarily relies on the proper utilisation of the right keywords. Therefore, it is important to have strong keywords in your website’s landing pages that rank well in Google search results.

You can also consider focusing on PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign to see immediate results. Google AdWords is highly effective for this purpose. You can choose specific keywords and pay only when someone clicks on them to go to the relevant landing page. Depending on the performance, you can adjust your budget.

These strategies are highly effective in generating valuable leads for your business. That being said, it is important to track the results of your efforts and adjust them accordingly to ensure that favourable results are generated from the strategies that you implement.

Source: Business Zone, article by Kent Charlie (http://www.businesszone.co.uk/community/blogs/kentcharlie/effective-ways-to-generate-leads-through-digital-marketing)

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ServisHero out to simplify digital marketing for local businesses

Kuala Lumpur-based on-demand services startup ServisHero is confident it can empower small and medium enterprises across the region via its own experience in big data analytics and digital marketing.

According to its founder and chief executive officer Karl Loo, effective digital marketing is actually very complicated.

Many local tradesmen in the region can barely speak English, and may have a limited education level – all of which can hinder them from running their own digital campaigns, he argues.

“And these days, millennials look for services on the Internet, so basically if you are not on Google, you’re invisible to many consumers,” he says, speaking to Digital News Asia in Kuala Lumpur recently.

“So what will happen when 90 per cent of Malaysian SMEs do not know how to use Google or Facebook for their business? You get a large pool of businesses that is invisible to consumers,” he adds.

Thus ServisHero’s main task is to “simplify things for SMEs,” according to Loo. The startup is doing this by providing them with an app “that delivers job leads, generated by our marketing expertise.”

“So like Amazon Web Services, where people don’t need a server because they can plug in their businesses into the cloud infrastructure, I would like to say the same for ServisHero, which is a digital marketing infrastructure where SMEs can just come on board,” he adds.

Loo even goes a step further, saying it would be more cost-effective for SMEs to leave their digital marketing to ServisHero, and in return, the company would provide them with the value that they want.

Data-driven

Part of the startup’s confidence stems from its data-driven culture. ServisHero has had a data science team on board since its inception.

Loo says that the data it has gathered has helped the company make better decisions, especially when it comes to introducing new categories of services into the marketplace.

“We aggregate real-time data about search — so if we see that there is a trend for car window-tinting services, we will extract the data where there is a demand volume that needs more supply, and we will move into looking for more service providers in that category,” he says.

ServisHero chief data officer Johan de Beurs. — Digital News Asia picAccording to chief data officer Johan de Beurs, thanks to the data gathered by the ServisHero platform, it can provide job requests with high-quality information to service providers.

“Normal tradesmen won’t be able to compete with us in digital marketing because it is very complex,” he reiterates Loo’s earlier points.

“If I show you my AdWords campaign, it’s impossible for them [SMEs] to do the same. Our team is optimising bids on an hourly basis,” he adds.

But Loo says that the company also holds regular seminars to educate its SMEs about the ServisHero platform.

“We even give them feedback on how they should interact on the platform and how to manage customer service expectations to increase conversion rates,” he adds.

But while touting ServisHero’s data abilities, Loo insists that digital marketing isn’t only about the numbers. Instead, it is all about results.

“When we look at our performance metrics, it’s not just about the number of times that the app has been downloaded but how many times it has resulted in the satisfaction of our service providers when they get jobs,” he says. — Digital News Asia

Source: Malay Mail Online. Article by Lum Ka Kay (http://www.themalaymailonline.com/tech-gadgets/article/servishero-out-to-simplify-digital-marketing-for-local-businesses#sthash.v5UMPU9m.dpuf)

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The B2B marketing trends that will continue to shape 2016

We are now well into 2016, meaning that have already seen a number of prominent B2B marketing trends take hold. As ever, we have seen some new and exciting developments in this field over the course of the last few months, including paid amplification and the rising proliferation of podcasting and live streaming within the B2B space.

3 B2B trends that will become increasingly influential throughout 2016

This year has seen the continuation and evolution of the trends that shaped, defined and inspired B2B marketing in 2015. Businesses look to refine their strategies to achieve greater success and an improved ROI.
The death of digital marketing (but only as we know it)

Internet marketers Inboundly reported that 71 per cent of companies were planning to invest more into their digital marketing budget last year, with these brands also spending 60% of their time solely on such activities.

This underlines the continued growth of digital marketing and its emergence as a mainstream practice, as the boundaries between social, online and offline channels have blurred and customers have continued to prioritise the digitally experiences. As a result of this, B2B firms have followed the B2C template of creating an integrated, over-arching digital strategy the covers multiple online channels.

The trend will continue at pace throughout 2016, as digital techniques continue to play a leading role within a fluid and increasingly adaptable marketing realm.

The renaissance of email marketing

While digital marketing disciplines may have become seminal over the course of the last two years, the opposite can be said of email marketing. Once a leading tactic in any online marketing drive, the use of email has become moribund as real-time communication tools and social media channels have grown prominent.

Despite this, considered research in this field is helping to re-establish email marketing as an extremely effective tactic for creating brand awareness, driving customer retention and optimising conversions. This will come to a head during 2016, as brands finally begin to leverage their email marketing potential in the B2B space.

This should not come as a surprise, as email marketing offers a myriad of benefits to B2B firms. The effectiveness and ROI of an email campaign can be accurately measured, for example, while this platform also allows for a depth of communication that is not possible through social media. Despite this, emails can also be sent in real-time, so this the channel still allows for impactful and well-timed releases.

Just bear in mind that the key to capitalising on this trend relies on design and execution, especially with an increasing volume of emails read through smartphones. You must therefore focus on optimising the mobile experience, ensuring that email templates are responsive, fast-loading and designed to be accessed on phones and tablets.

The customer journey will become a key B2B focus

Historically, the customer experience is something that has only concerned retailers and B2C firms. This has gradually begun to change, however, with the result that the customer’s journey from acquisition to sale is one that is becoming increasingly influential in the world of B2B.

This makes sense on numerous levels, as the growing influence of customer experiences has impacted on B2B buyers and encouraged them to demand something similar in their professional interactions. In this respect, the cultivation of a positive customer journey can drive both profitability and a unique value proposition, benefiting B2B buyers and streamlining the processes used to deliver products and services.

As the year progresses, there is no doubt that this trend will take hold as B2B leaders look to identify individual needs and deliver the type of customised experiences that help them to secure their market share.

 
Source B2B Marketing, Article by Laura Cole (https://www.b2bmarketing.net/resources/blog/b2b-marketing-trends-will-continue-shape-2016#sthash.OA5As977.dpuf)

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