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4 Reasons Why Frequently Updating Your Website with New Content is Important

Content marketing is important, not just because it works for building trust, generating leads, and cultivating customer loyalty, but because it has become the new normal from the consumer side. It is, in itself, helping to evolve what customers expect from the brands they interact with.

Neglecting it is way more risky than investing in it. What travel, food, or fashion brand can exist today without a vibrant Instagram page, videos, and a few influencer campaigns? Software companies have become tech teachers with how-to videos and eBooks.

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Even the financial industry has come up with apps, online knowledge centers, and other tools to help both individuals and business customers better meet their financial goals and to do it with a level of transparency and convenience that was unheard of 15 years ago. Great content, especially the dynamic, well thought out strategies, are showing consumers they deserve more.

One of the most critical areas that you need to be constantly updating is your website. Your website is key to attracting more customers to your business. If you are not, then you could be losing potential customers.

Many people think that once the website is developed and launched, it will automatically begin to generate traffic and attract the audience. The truth is no matter how good the design of your website is, it won’t generate traffic unless you regularly update it with new content. Frequently updating the content of your website is important for several reasons and we’ll enunciate the four most important ones.

Frequent Indexing

Search engines frequently visit the sites that are updated constantly with articles, web pages, and download links. When search engines look at a particular site more frequently, its chances of achieving higher ranking on the basis of the posted content increases.

Web crawlers like Google bots are used by search engines that scan the website on the internet. The site is indexed by web crawlers based upon certain algorithms. For example, websites can be indexed on the basis of inbound links, keywords used and how often they are updated. Every time a site is updated, Google rearranges its ranking.

Google-Crawl-Index

Becoming an Authority Website

If you wish to become an authority website in the eyes of the search engine giant Google, you must regularly provide valuable information about your niche and exhibit your expertise. Google indexes tens of thousands of pages of authority websites, so in order to become competitive, you must frequently post valuable articles or blogs. Be specific. Do your research. Find out where there is a problem that your ideal customer has and how you can solve that problem for them.

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More Content Means More Keywords

When you frequently update your website with new content, it gives you more opportunities to incorporate keywords into your website. Keywords play an important role in search engine ranking. Frequently adding new content such as articles or blogs allows you to improve your website’s ranking by incorporating the right keywords.

However, make sure that you’re not just filling up the content with keywords. The content on your website should be of high quality and must offer valuable information to the readers while the keywords should appear naturally. If you need help looking up keywords try programs like SEMrush.com.

Keeping Up With the Trends

If your site still shows news of the last year or highlights the product that you launched several months ago, you’re obviously going to lose traction. Businesses are now benefitting from the internet by keeping up with the trends and turning themselves into a modern newspaper. People are interested in reading the latest news on the internet and you can attract more people to your site by keeping up with trending topics.

Frequently update your websites with articles about the latest news that people are interested in and you’ll see how your website’s traffic will increase.

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The online realm is highly competitive. If you wish to keep up, you must ensure that your website stays on the first page of Google. That can only be achieved when you frequently update it with new content. If you’re finding it hard to post new content on your site regularly, avail the excellent and highly professional content creation services of Spark Media.

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10 Marketing Tips For Small Business

Are you a small business owner? Looking for creative ways to promote your business without breaking the bank?
Check out these 10 Tips!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJXFpeHDb_Y

 

Blockchain Marketing: How will it affect the industry? Part 1

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What comes to mind when you see the word Blockchain Marketing?

Most people think of the technolgy behind the global technology trend Bitcoin and other similar crytocurrency and digital ledgers. However the potential is much bigger.

Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of a 2016 book called Blockchain Revolution, offer this definition:

The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.

Blockchain has tremendous power to disrupt and solve problems in other sectors, too. One of the most promising areas: marketing and advertising. This post will focus on advertising…

In advertising, blockchain-based protocols could change how online ads are purchased, delivered, measured, and valued. In fact, it could even lead to accurate data on the ad tracking front—leading to better returns overall. The following are what I see as the top four ways blockchain could contribute to the ad and marketing space.

Esablishing Trust with Ad Buys

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Online advertising can be tricky to understand. There are so many options to choose and when the statistics come in every month they can be hard to read. In addition, how do you know if the stats you do receive are true and accurate? For example views. Lets say in one month you get 3000 views on your website or blog post. How do you figure out if the views were made by actual people or bots. Research shows bots cost companies more than $7 billion in damage in 2016 alone. Due to Blockchain being transparent and encrypted, companies can easily determine if the people viewing their ads are members of their targeted audience—or not—saving millions in ad spend each year. In layman’s terms: companies can make sure they get the advertising they pay for.

Eliminating the Middle Man

One Forrester analyst estimated that publishers removing middlemen could increase their CPM from $1 to $5. Blockchain may do even better. It could eventually shake up the market so much that companies can pay their targeted audience directly to view their ads—skipping the ad buy process altogether. Using “micro-currencies,” companies will vie for actual audience “attention”—not just imprints. And they’ll be able to prove they’ve gotten that attention before the currency is exchanged. The Brave browser, for instance, uses its “Basic Attention Token” (BAT) to allow advertisers to pay based on “mental effort” by the person viewing the ad. That means smarter spending—and connecting—with potential customers.

Targeting Audiences better

In the past, marketers and advertisers use personal information such as age, salary etc to build a customer profile in order to target certain products and services to them. Using blockchain, advertisers will now have the ability to build a customer profile directly from the customer—gaining all the information the customer is willing to share in one swoop. This allows for an even greater ability to market to the customers’ needs—and spend advertising on only those customers who are most likely to buy your product.

Target-Audience

Improving Transparency

When you purchase something, nothing makes you more mad than finding out it is counterfeit. Blockchain’s digital ledger system allows for tamper-proof transparency of every product’s move through the supply chain. What that means is that buyers can easily check where a product has come from—who has handled it—whether it’s legit or faux, whether they are purchasing from an online auction or a brick-and-mortar storefront. This puts tremendous power into the hands of the customer—enhancing their customer experience (CX). Some companies, such as the Babyghost fashion line, have even used blockchain to tell a “story” about their product, including who modeled it on the runway. In that sense, blockchain does more than create trust. It builds brand.

With these recent successes in the digital currency market and the tecnology behind it, blockchain technology will not go away. It is still in the introductory stages but I believe it will improve and change the way we do business.

It will mean fewer unwieldy pop-ups when browsing and closer connections with the companies we want to support. And, it will empower customers themselves to choose which marketers they wish to hear from—all while getting paid for it!

Yes, the concept of blockchain has the power to disrupt our world on many fronts, but marketing is definitely one of the most exciting. And while it might seem overwhelming to those companies still learning how to use mobile apps to schedule their Facebook ads, my view—at least for now—is that it is here to stay.

 

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Like and follow my Facebook page @ Spark Media

Subscribe to my YouTube channel Spark Media

Importance of Messaging

Messaging, one of the key fundamental tools for a business. Outside of a company’s product or service, the number one most important primary call-to-action elements for success are establishing marketing goals and messaging. This strategic step establishes the building blocks that lead to revenue, branding, and competitive edge.

In this digital age, too often the message portrayed and what is understood by readers are two very different things. For example, an advertisment shows that office space is up for sale. One person could interpret that as a real estate opportunity where he purchases it and then rents it out for small fee every month. On the other hand, a entrepreneur looks at it as a way to get out the home office and have a professional location set-up for meetings. Message is important and it should be the same for everyone.

How Your Messaging Guide Drives Your Content Marketing

When we talk about the value of content– whether it’s website copy, blog posts, eBooks, white papers, webinars, videos and a host of other formats – it’s imperative that you clearly and consistently articulate and support your company’s value proposition and key messages.  These key messages should serve as the ultimate bellwether for whether that content advances the company and the business, or is essentially useless filler.  The messaging guide helps to truly serve as the checkpoint for all of your content – is it in line with the business, does it support the way that we work and think, or is it just fluff?

Check out the video below “Why Messaging is important?”

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Like and follow my Facebook page @ Spark Media

Subscribe to my YouTube channel Spark Media

Using Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of 4 of using artificial intelligence for marketing. A small review to start.

There are 3 main types of Artificial Intelligence:

  1. Machine learning techniques: using algorithms to learn from previous data or successful campaigns and adapt to current trends in the marketplace.
  2. Applied Propensity Models: used to predict events based on the probability to convert into sales.
  3. AI Applications: used to perform tasks that can also be done by humans. ex. answering human questions, writing content.

Each one has different advantages and disadvantages. Some are better for attracting customers; others conversation or re-engaging drifting customers. Today we are focusing on the first four Applied Propensity Models.

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The First Four Propensity Models:

  1. Smart Content Curation
  2. Programmatic Media Bidding
  3. Ad Targeting
  4. Predictive Analytics

Smart Content Curation:

Smart Content Curation allows for better engagement on your site by showing viewers relevant content. ex. Amazons “this customer allow bought this” feature. Smart content also applies to blog content and personalized site messages.

This is a great feature to use for subscription-based businesses like Netflix, CraveTV, Spotify. Just like programmatic marketing, smart content learns the more you use it. The more times the program is used, the better it’s learning capabilities. Learns user’s interests, hobbies, common purchases and recommends similar products or services to the client.

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Smart Content Curation falls under Reach of the RACE framework.

Reach: Attracts visitors with a wide range of inbound techniques.

For more information regarding Smart Content:

Interactive Content Marketing

Programmatic Media Buying:

Programmatic Media Buying is a growing marketing tool that uses search history, caches, hobbies, interests etc to offer products and services to potential clients that are most likely to be purchased.

There are risks involved though. For example, Google’s brand safety scandal. This scandal revolved around ads placed programmatically though Google’s ad network appeared on terrorist’s websites. Ask questions, enquire on safety protocols and ensure that your broker is trustworthy.

Artificial Intelligence helps here by recognizing questionable sites and removing them from the list of sites ads are placed on. Programmatic media buying falls under Reach of the RACE framework.

Reach: Attracts visitors with a wide range of inbound techniques.

For more information regarding programmatic marketing:

Programmatic Marketing; How Can It Help Grow Your Business?

Ad Targeting

Machine-learning programs can run through large amounts of data to establish which ads perform best on which people and at what stage in the buying process. Using this data, they serve the ads with utmost efficiency to the right client at the right time.

Using machine-learning to optimize thousands of variables, you can achieve better results. Better ad placement. Better content. Better conversion rates!

Ad Targeting falls under the ACT portion of the RACE framework.

Act: Draws visitors in and makes them aware of your product

Predictive Analytics:

Predictive Analytics are used to predict the likely-hood of customers to convert or become repeat customers. Uses analytic data (Google Analytics) to predict how customers will behave. For example, if you buy groceries on Wednesdays, ads will be served to you Monday to Wednesday of currents sales at your local grocery store.

Predictive Analytics are only as good as the data supplied to it. If there are errors in your data or a high-level of randomness, the program will not be able to make accurate predictions.

Predictive Analytics falls under ACT of the RACE framework.

ACT: Draws visitors in and makes them aware of your product

 

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Like and follow my Facebook page @ Brand Awareness For Small Business

Allen, R. (2017, June & July). 15 Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing. Retrieved July & aug., 2017, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/15-applications-artificial-intelligence-marketing-robert-allen

Building a Social Media Presence

Having a presence on social media is a necessary part of every business’s marketing budget. However, there are many businesses such as small and medium sized family businesses that are still not online.

It’s understandable that the facing the unknown is frightening.  Many family businesses still rely on outdated and ineffective print media for over 85% of their annual budget. It’s time for a change.

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Many family-owned businesses are run by an older person with limited knowledge on current or updated marketing channels. They are relying on channels that they grew up with that have now become outdated such as newspaper flyers, flyers in mailboxes, billboards etc.

The key to success with social media campaigns is consistency. If your message is not clear and understood by your readers then it’s an ineffective post or ad.  Everything posted affects your brand whether you know it or not. A post filled with spelling mistakes, blocks of text, blurry images can all affect your brand online. Your goal online is to build your followers and interactions through credible content that readers are interested in.

4 Ways to gain followers on Social Media:

  1. Input your email list into Facebook: This will send everyone on your list an invitation to like and follow your page online.
  2. Engaging posts: Have contests, giveaways that will get your online community involved and excited. You can use these contests to also get people to sign up to your email lists.
  3. Use paid Boost Posts & Likes Generator: Put aside a budget for using this feature on Facebook. It allows you to specify your demographic of who you want to advertise to. There are many things you can do. Pay to get more Likes & Followers to your page, Boost a post with a specific message to a much wider range of people.
  4. Create Content Calendars: Content calendars work well across the board for all stores and leaves a lot of room for individuality. But most importantly it keeps on point with consistency.

For more information regarding Social Media check out my other blogs at:

10 common mistakes that small businesses make on Social Media

Social Media for Small Business

Basic Tips for Small Business for building Brand Awareness 

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Like and follow my Facebook page @ Brand Awareness For Small Business

 

 

MailChimp: Email Marketing Part 2

What is MailChimp?

MailChimp is an email marketing service and a trading name of its operator, Rocket Science Group, an American company founded in 2001. The platform is used by small businesses and bloggers alike to create, manage and send emails or email campaigns to users.

mailchimp

Why Use It?

MailChimp is the number one solution for sending emails, collecting statistics, and improving performance. It is extremely easy to use for anyone, regardless of how tech savvy one is or is not. It’s also an affordable choice whether you have 100 contacts or 20,000 contacts to reach. It includes advanced features in its email creation and tracking tools.

Who Can Use It?

MailChimp is the best email marketing tool for small and medium-sized businesses. Whether you’re a small-time marketing specialist or someone who manages a variety of accounts, MailChimp is the platform to use for all your email marketing needs.

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According to Forbes: “Email remains a critical part of the marketer’s toolkit, with 91% of all consumers still reporting daily email use.”

This means email is a key communication tool for small businesses, especially with their smaller marketing budgets.

A MailChimp Email Marketing Tutorial can be found below:

3 Keys Ways MailChimp helps your Email Marketing Campaign:

  1. Sending Emails: MailChimp was one of the most successful in delivering emails to inboxes with a 91% success rate. You can create two different emails with two different subject lines, or slightly different images or design, and then MailChimp tracks the open rate with one group. It then sends the email that was more successful to the group with the lower open rate, thereby increasing your exposure. The time-warp option is another helpful feature in this email marketing solution. You can schedule your email blast to send at a reasonable hour in the morning, and if you have location information for your contacts, the email delivery time adjusts for time zones. This can prevent unsubscribes from readers who would’ve otherwise received an email too early, possibly prompting a loud notification on their phone that wakes them.
  2. Email Creation:  MailChimp makes it easy for you to take existing code from a newsletter or email and use it again within the application. Say you already have an HTML-coded newsletter on your website – you can simply copy and paste the code and then edit what you need to change and it’s ready to go.It’s simple to create an email with MailChimp’s template editor, in which you can drag and drop text boxes, images, and buttons. As easy as the editor is to use, you can also create your newsletter or email in another program, such as Outlook, and then just send it to a specific address in MailChimp. It’s then added to your account and you can send it as is. MailChimp even gives your newsletter or email a quick second look and flags any potential problems so you can fix them before you send it out. It’s an easy system for new users who aren’t all that skilled in design, but it’s definitely do-it-yourself only. MailChimp doesn’t offer professional design services, which would allow you to pay extra to have it design your newsletter or email blast for you.
  3. List Management:  MailChimp makes it easy for you to import contact lists to your account. You can add contacts individually or in bulk. You can even integrate contact management systems into MailChimp, so you have access to customer activity along with your customers’ contact information. Sign-up forms are important for building your fan or reader base. MailChimp lets you create custom pop-up forms that integrate with Facebook fan and business pages, or you can use a template form. MailChimp also makes it easy for you to create targeted marketing campaigns for your customers. You can segment your contact list by any type of information you have about your readers. For example, if you own a bookstore, you can survey customers on who their favorite authors are and then send out emails that pertain to the fans of science fiction, romance or historical novels.

For more information on Email Marketing: https://cosimocreatesbuzz.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/10-reasons-to-use-email-marketing

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

Martinez, J. (2017, June 21). MailChimp Review and Ratings. Retrieved July 10, 2017, from https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2357226,00.asp

Marketing Automation: Email Software. (2017). Retrieved July 10, 2017, from https://mailchimp.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2bmailchimp&utm_campaign=text&gclid=CMrvwZHP99QCFax_Mgod1cQH6g&gclsrc=ds&dclid=CLjc1pHP99QCFVm9Twodp7AClw

 

Understanding Facebook Insights 2017

How many of you (readers, business owners bloggers etc.) are on Facebook?

How many of you have a Facebook profile for your business?

If you are great! If not, get on it. Facebook is a great medium to connect with your consumers. It is a great place to create a community where questions are asked and answered.

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What is Facebook Insights?

While many aspects of social media campaigns are difficult to measure, Facebook’s analytics tools provide quality information at your fingertips. With 1.5 billion monthly users, it makes sense for your business to take advantage of this huge potential audience. Facebook Insights will provide you with everything you’d want to know about your Facebook Page, your audience, and your customers.

As Facebook explains: “You can use this information to create more of the types of posts that your audience is interested in seeing. You can also learn about when your audience is on Facebook and publish your posts when you’re likely to reach more people.” To explore the key areas Facebook Insights measures, we put together the following guide to help you understand how and why each metric is important to your overall social media strategy.

Use Facebook Insights to maximize your sharing strategy. This data helps you stay in touch with the content that’s best for your brand while avoiding the things that don’t work.

How Does Facebook Insights help my brand?

Facebook Insights help you analyze your brand’s strength and weaknesses online. From your reach to engagement and interaction, it an accurate tool that allows you to make changes to improve your brand for the better. Here are 10 key areas where Facebook Insights helps you analyze and improve your brand:

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Net Likes

One of the most important aspects besides interaction is the number of likes whether paid or organic on your Facebook business page. You should set a time to review your likes and insights at least once a month. Here is how you access them from your page.
When you scroll down the Likes page, you will see a graph titled ‘Net Likes.’ With the color coding, you can see the number of ‘Unlikes’ on any particular day, how many likes come from paid sources such as ads, the organic likes, as well as the net likes (organic likes + paid likes – unlikes). This data offers you a visual representation of your Facebook content’s performance, allowing you to see the trend over time. Notice where the graph dips and peaks, and what content corresponds with these patterns.
If you scroll down the page further, you are also able to see exactly where the Likes occurred. This graph shows you whether your Likes were Ads when a user visited your page, Page suggestions, Mobile, and Uncategorized. While measuring and evaluating Likes is an important basic metric to pay attention to, you definitely need to look at other areas of Facebook Insights to gain a deeper understanding of your content’s performance.

For more information on Facebook Insights check out the links below:

How to Use Facebook Insights to Improve Your Engagement

A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Analytics

A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Analytics

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

5 Ways to Enhance your Brand’s Twitter Strategy

Social Media is constantly evolving. Every day, week and month, there are new strategies put into place to keep readers’ attention and stay ahead of competitors. Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Twitter are always evolving and growing to meet the demands of their members and the marketplace. Out of all the social media platforms out there today, Twitter is one of the most popular and most used on a daily basis.

In order to stay ahead of your competitors, your brand must stay engaging and provide value to your readers.
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Here are 5 Ways to Enhance your Brand’s Twitter Strategy in 2017

  1. Humanization Becomes Key to Success on Twitter: Twitter is used for instant news. Due to its 140 character limit, it can sometimes be hard to portray your message. Don’t stress, simplify!   Know your message well as it will help you find the best way to promote it. In addition, cut back on 1) the automation, 2) scheduling a week of tweets on a Monday and then never logging back in until it’s time to schedule more tweets, and 3) the hashtag-stuffed tweets. When you promote on Twitter, take the time to enhance your tweet with an infographic or picture that also helps enhance the message you are trying to get across. Make a schedule of tweets but tweet them yourself and ensure that they portray the message you want it to say before you send it. Hashtags are good things for your post but don’t become obsessed with them. Use one or two that most relate to the message you are sending.
  2. Twitter Marketers Shift Focus From Driving Traffic to Creating Connections: The recent changes Twitter has made, including the addition of an algorithm, mean that Twitter is the social network marketers most need to change their approach to. It’s time to go back to the days when Twitter wasn’t just automated noise. Twitter can still be used to drive traffic but is becoming even more effective as a connection tool.To adjust, marketers will need to tweet less but with more quality, with the goal of tweeting to connect with others and create interaction.
  3. Twitter Becomes a Content Destination: Twitter has grown exponentially in the last few years. Two of the most promising markets are Millenials and Generation Z. More information on marketing to Millennials More information on marketing to Generation Z:  Fueling this growth will be the continued rise in content consumption directly within the Twitter platform, a focus on improving the Twitter feed algorithm, and marketers winning with quality over quantity. We’ve already seen some of this come to life when Twitter reached a live streaming deal for 10 games with the NFL. Twitter also made a great move to allow people and brands to go live directly within the app, without having to download Periscope separately. All of this leads up to Twitter becoming a content destination, rather than a means to an end.
  4. Twitter Focus on Live Video Across the Board: Over the last few months there has been a rise of video marketing and the effect it has on the younger generation. Many companies are finding that traditional marketing no longer works on the millennials and generation Zers.   To enhance your companies brand online and keep the attention of the most influential generations so far, you need to use video marketing. It’s new, interesting, and best of all interactive. Interactive marketing has been proven to create value for your brand and/or product and keep your customers attention.
  5. Keep Tweets Under 110 Characters: 

    Twitter’s legendary character restriction seems short, but if you’re maxing out your character count, your tweets are too long.

    Shorter tweets with around 110 characters get 17% higher engagement, and there’s a reason for that. When you leave room in a tweet, it makes it easier for people to retweet you and add their own commentary.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

Check out my Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/cosimocreatesbuzz

Rohampon, J. (2017, January 3`). 5 Social Media Trends That Will Dominate 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimmyrohampton/2017/01/03/5-social-media-trends-that-will-dominate-2017/#324aa866ffe8

Jenkins, L. (2017, February 15). 12 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2017 From the Pros. Retrieved May 8, 2017, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/12-social-media-marketing-predictions-for-2017-from-pros/

Lanoue, S. (2017, April 5). Social Media Strategy for 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017, from https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-strategy-2017

How to Create a Successful Mobile First Strategy?

E-Marketer predicted that 2016 would be the year that mobile ad spending eclipses desktop ad spending, and account for nearly a quarter of total media spending. They were right. By 2019, the researcher predicts that mobile ad spending will rise to $65.49 billion, or nearly 70% of total digital ad spending and close to 29% of total media spending. Now, mobile-first strategy has emerged at the forefront of new marketing trends that marketers in all industries need to be prepared for.

What is Mobile-First Strategy?

The official definition is: A trend in website development where designing a website for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices takes priority over desktop web design.

In other words, everyday as phones get more advanced and do more, marketers and businesses need to focus on getting all their online marketing to work on mobile as well or better than they do on desktop. One of the fastest way to lose potentially new customers is when they look up your website on their phones and it not load properly or take too long.

The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to ensure your site has a mobile first strategy.

mobile first

The rise of the ‘mobile-first’ mindset – the increasing lifestyle trend in which people turn to their mobile device as their first point of interaction for most of their communication, information and entertainment needs. Our devices have given us amazing power to interact with our favorite people, brands and service providers in personalized ways, and to get what we want, when we want it.

An estimated 28 percent of sales are now conducted on mobile devices, estimates CIO. Unfortunately, in the rush to engage consumers, brands often fail to follow best practices or even develop a clear strategy.

Putting mobile at the forefront of your strategy bears careful consideration over whether it is actually right for your brand. Here are just some of the things to keep in mind when going mobile-first: The screens are limiting and small; your marketing must be less interruptive and get consumers to opt in; if you’re going with apps, they need to have utility; mobile must be regarded as part of a larger marketing whole; and most of all, your brand must be suited to a mobile-first approach.

Four Steps for creating a Mobile-First Strategy:

  1. Get local: It’s critical to understand how mobile search intent is different from desktop search. Most mobile searches are conducted away from the home or office. Mobile searchers are seeking an immediate answer to their most pressing questions, be that a list of afternoon movie times, whether your coffee shop is open late on Saturdays, or which car repair service will respond fastest with a tow truck. Local search optimization is essential for mobile search result visibility.
    Next, consider the other reasons why people search: local information in a new city/state. Once you’ve covered the basics of local mobile search optimization, keep an eye on your content. How can you make your site content more friendly for mobile searchers? Keep an eye on regionally trending topics and use local news stories as “hooks” for creating searchable content.
  2. Optimize for mobile viewing: Remember that smart mobile design is about more than just optimizing your site for mobile viewing with larger text and touch-friendly buttons. You also need to optimize your content structure. A short paragraph on your website can look like an endless novel on a smartphone.
    Get straight to the point with your content and stick to 1-2 sentences per paragraph at the most. Use bullets, subheads and numbered lists to keep your content interesting. Consider consumption context: if your customers can’t scan your content quickly at Starbucks, they may never read it.
  3. Define mobile-friendly conversion points: Think about the most common conversion points in your existing sales funnel. Most of these points, like signing up for a newsletter or downloading a white paper are not realistic conversion points for mobile customers. That’s because these conversion points typically involve longer forms that are not naturally mobile friendly. If you do want to keep these as conversion goals, simplify the forms to require only an email input and use HTML 5 keyboard shortcuts (like an @gmail.com button) for faster input.
    Alternatively, think differently about your conversion goals. For example, maybe you want to engage in-store shoppers by encouraging them to download a mobile coupon. Make the process as easy as possible! Remember, the more steps in the conversion chain, the more likely you are to lose your customer along the way.
  4. Don’t forget about local listings. Don’t neglect the importance of local search sites like Yelp. Don’t fail to claim your local listings with Yelp, Google, and Bing. Since these sites auto-generate listings for local businesses, these listings are prone to inaccuracies. Take the time to claim your listing so you can manually manage listing details like physical location, store hours (including special holiday hours), and even add product photos.

Focus your efforts on continuing to better position your business via mobile search, local rankings and engaging, Geo-targeted content.

City Map With Pins And An Intelligent House

Having a Mobile first strategy is key to engaging your customers in today’s market! Before you get started creating one, prepare with these five steps:

  1. Do your research: Research trends and practices in your industry. Even if no one is doing it right now, doesn’t mean you can’t be a trend setter and be the first!
  2. Cost: Figure out your budget that you want to dedicate to this project. Can you afford it right now? Do you have the necessary knowledge or do you need to hire someone who does? Do you have the software? One you have an idea on all the costs including potential hidden ones then continue.
  3. Create a Plan: Figure out a time-frame for getting the project done. If you already have someone on your staff or yourself has the skills then its easier to start. However, if you need to put aside time to find and hire someone with the skill set or purchase the software then do so.
  4. Implement your plan: Work though your plan, ensure all deadlines are met and nothing delays your progress.
  5. Evaluate: Once your strategy is completed and implemented, take some time and evaluate how it has worked for your business or brand. I would recommend after one year of operation. Statistics show that most digital marketing strategies take a year to implement, grow and show the best results. Make changes as needed.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

Please follow me @cosimocreatesbuzz on Twitter and on Google+ at Cosimocreatesbuzz.

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Hughes, B. (2016, February 24). How to Create a Mobile First Marketing Strategy. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-hughes/how-to-create-a-mobile-fi_b_9299316.html

Clark, M. (2016, August 25). Engaging the ‘mobile-first’ consumer: New opportunities. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from https://www.marketingtechnews.net/news/2016/aug/25/new-opportunities-engaging-mobile-first-consumer/

If Google Has a Mobile First Strategy, So Should You. (2016, July 6). Retrieved April 28, 2017, from https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/07/mobile-first-strategy.html

Morrison, M. (2016, February 22). Is a Mobile-First Approach Really Best? Retrieved April 28, 2017, from http://adage.com/article/digital/a-mobile-approach/302774/

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