Digital Marketing

Top Digital Marketing Trends In 2019

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Marketing has evolved fast since the invention of the internet. Digital Marketing is a term that covers a vast arena. Right from search engine optimization to social media advertising. Effective marketing is one which trades emotions before trading services. 

Do you know how Google increased its database? Just by adding one simple feature of predicting the search query. Same goes with Flipkart. It simply made the Cash on Delivery (COD) available on the products which other e-commerce companies were not providing. 

These simple features made a huge difference in delivering significant business results. A random viewer must like you and trust you before converting into a customer. And marketing teams are expected to accomplish such results within a short span of time. 

Digital marketing experts are thus known to be innovating their campaigns, taking into consideration human psychology. These days, people have a lot many options to choose from. Hence, digital marketers are trying to be more personalized and are constantly customizing their strategies. 

By conducting market research and gauging the intelligence of the market, few improvisations are already taking place. Such tweaking of the approach is indeed a necessity for any business to sustain in the market.

Companies which are doing well in the market, are quick to leverage technologies that are absolute game-changers.       

Here are eight proven digital marketing trends that will enhance your business in 2019:

Marketing Automation

The success of any business today is largely determined by how it engages with its customers. When there is only a handful of them, you can manage easily. But certainly, you don’t wish to restrict the number of your clients to only a handful.

Marketing Automation tools reduce the manual effort and also maintain the history of all marketing campaigns in an organized way. 

Few Artificial Intelligence (AI) based digital marketing automation tools make businesses rely on them for extracting relevant data. This data helps marketers understand and analyze metrics about genuine reach. 

Today, digital marketing automation is a big business and it helps marketers not only to scale up the reach but also to optimize their marketing efforts using relevant tools.

AI and ML

Most of the work that is too repetitive for human brains to process is now passed on to Artificial Intelligence. Those who have not yet started leveraging AI and Machine learning (ML) in their digital marketing strategies are already facing a great business threat

Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning are mostly used to gather customer behavior & preferences. Moreover, AI is taking over a lot of tasks from digital marketing experts. Today, AI-based tools are used to schedule social media posts, and also to figure out what content should be posted on which platform and when. 

Other potential applications of AI in digital marketing include identifying trends, retargeting, and performing competitor research.

AI has not only turned out to be a boon for social media platforms, but it is also playing a vital role in tracking and classifying your audience’s preferences. 

Moreover, AI and ML also determine the right prospects for you, depending on user search sequence and history. Thus the right audience gets exposed to you based on the content they are looking for.

Talking about AI-generated content, back in 2016, Gartner had predicted that by 2018 – 20% of the content would be created by machines.

If you are missing out on AI and ML based toolkits while marketing your brand digitally, you are definitely missing on huge business opportunities.

Chatbots

Have you ever been to an unfamiliar mall in a new city?

How will you feel if you are all alone over there?

Well, that’s precisely how a few of your customers may feel while visiting your website.

So, chatbots will certainly make them feel like they have someone to turn to. They will guide the visitors through and will assist them if they are stuck somewhere. Chatbots are instrumental in making the visitors trust your brand and also help them save the efforts they would need to put to reach you via call or email.

Several third-party conversational AI platforms can greet your visitors and lead them further to make a purchase after answering their queries.

A chatbot can answer a visitor’s query instantly and is a low cost option compared to a customer support resource. It is estimated that 85% of consumer interactions will be handled through chatbots by 2020.

Big Data

Big Data analysis such as predictive analytics usually requires larger budgets, so it is used mainly by bigger organizations.

However, the use of market and customer insights extracted from big data by the Martech tools wheel is open to all businesses. 

Almost 50% of businesses claim that big data and analytics have transformed their business practices positively in their sales and marketing functions.

Considering big data reports before implementing digital marketing techniques, will certainly provide concrete direction to any firm’s marketing efforts. 

Video Marketing

Do you know what made Gary Vaynerchuk and his company this big? 

Video Content.

There were other trending digital marketing techniques too. But most of Gary’s content is Video Content. Same goes for Grant Cardone, Dan Lok, and many other successful entrepreneurs. 

They built their visibility on all major social media platforms and forums and grabbed the attention everywhere. Because visual content gets more engagement, all successful entrepreneurs today started their video channels at least three to five years back. They were quick to recognize and leverage the potential of video content early on. 

If you are new in the market, it is advisable to start your video tutorials in the domain in which you operate. Providing immense value, at the initial stage, will help your business grow and sustain longer.

Make your video content informational and educational, and let your visitors engage with you. As a first step, your objective should be to make the audience like you for your content and the value you add.  Only then will they trust you and are more likely to convert into your customers. 

Any other content besides video, or visual content, cannot hold the visitors’ attention for long. Video marketing is proven to bring 66% more qualified leads per year.

Personalization

All the generic statements are overlooked. And same is the case with generic marketing. 

These days, personalization has made a huge difference in lead generation.

One to one approach, personalized messages, and emails, personalized products, and services, are all trending since late 2017.  A survey by Epsilon indicates that 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a brand offering personalized experiences.

Personalization is no new trend in marketing. But as marketing trends are evolving, so are personalization strategies. There are so many products launching with Do It Yourself (DIY) enabled feature in them. They all are an example of personalization in Digital Marketing. 

Have you noticed, even in between your favorite series some ads don’t disturb you? They are simply what you are looking for. And at times, you also go and visit the ad page. This is the power of personalized advertisement. They don’t spam or irritate you. They appear like guiding you to the right product.

This strategy is used by digital marketers in Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, and they are in agreement that web personalization plays a vital role. PPC marketers claim that 64.6% of clicks are organic when keywords using in ad campaigns are of using high intent.

Futuristic SEO

Future of SEO lies in media search and media creation. People are always looking for something innovative. Hence, the search queries are getting modified. 

The scope of Google lens has increased beyond text search. The AI-based tools such as, Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, MI assistant, and Cortana helps in predicting future search queries. People will no longer type their queries. They will search with audio or images. And thus, digital marketing trends are inclined towards ranking the site on audio search as well.

Influencer Marketing

Professionals and businesses are leveraging influencers on Instagram and tik-tok to promote their products and services.

Influencers are people who have a huge number of followers and command their trust. An endorsement of a product or service by such influencers results in their followers converting into paid customers. This strategy is working amazingly well these days.

Final Take Away

Digital Marketing trends will keep on undergoing innovation as new technologies emerge. In digital marketing, the market loses interest and engagement if the same approach is used a long duration.

The trends and tools mentioned in the blog will certainly be of great help to any business if adopted at the earliest. 

Algorithms change, people’s interests change, and so the trend has got to change before them. Being adaptive to new changes and challenges is an evergreen digital marketing trend.

If you are looking for advice and guidance on how to leverage these top digital marketing trends in your marketing strategy, our experts can help you. Do leave us a message on the contact page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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Quora Marketing | Next Big Thing for Lead Generation

Image used for the Blog post on Quora marketing to generate leads for any business published on the official Netilly blog

Every business needs a continuous flow of leads to sustain and grow. Generating quality leads in this competitive world is easier said than done. Other than traditional methods, there are numerous digital ways including SEO, PPC, and Social Media Marketing to generate leads for any business. But either you would need to wait for a long time for SEO to impact your business or pay heavily for the paid ad campaigns.

So, what is the best way out?

Quora is the answer as it is one such marketing platform which presents huge potential when it comes to generating leads for businesses. 

With more than 300 million monthly visitors, Quora offers a vast opportunity to network with people, which is an essential part of the lead generation process for any business.

What is Quora?

Quora is an online social platform which is different from Facebook, Twitter, or others prevailing in the market. Either you can ask a question on Quora to seek answers from an expert, or you can answer questions posted by people on the platform. From a lead generation perspective, you are usually playing the part of the expert answering a question than asking. Quora helps you reach your specific audience, and your audience can also reach out to you.

According to a study by Walker, customer experience (CX) will be the brand key differentiator by 2020. Quora might be the platform where you can enhance the customer experience by providing genuine solutions to their problems.

How is Quora becoming a great way of generating leads?

Quora results often occupy the top position on the Google search engine results page for almost all the queries on the web these days. You may consider all those Quora links as absolutely organic search results that can get you free traffic.

If you discuss a relevant product or a topic on Quora, there are high chances that it generates a considerable number of organic visitors. But this will happen provided the reader finds your answer valuable and click on your click-to-action link to know more. Whereas, other social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter  or even email has a low click-through rate.

Where the traffic lies, there will undoubtedly be new leads. It paves access to the sales pipeline and allows you to interact with your customers or prospects by answering questions directly. Marketers are always on the lookout for opportunities to interact with their prospective customers. With such options, Quora Marketing is becoming one of the best methods for lead generation.

You can generate massive leads month over month and establish yourself as a thought leader, provided you use an effective Quora strategy. By identifying the right questions in your domain and answering them appropriately; you can build a massive online active community for yourself or your brand.

Quora as a business marketing tool

The very first thing to know about Quora marketing is that answers to the users’ questions are the most essential tool in your hand. QUESTIONS – this is the most critical thing that Quora has been built upon. In the answers to these questions, lies the crux of marketing on Quora.

Here is a step by step approach, and a few tips and tricks about Quora marketing, that you should know before using Quora for marketing. 

  1. Identify ‘who’s your potential customer

When using Quora for marketing, if you can identify the most relevant questions to answer, half of the job is already done. And guess what, identifying the right questions is not that difficult.

All you need to do is type in the keywords related to your business in the Quora search bar, and go through the list of questions that appear. You will find a series of questions, where the questioner is directly or indirectly looking for a product or service related to your business. And bang on, these are your target questions which you need to answer.

Let us understand this exercise of identifying the questions on Quora through a couple of examples. 

Example 1 – Suppose you run coaching center for IIT JEE coaching in Delhi. Then your keywords should be “coaching center Delhi,” “IIT JEE Coaching in Delhi” and you will get plenty of questions to answer on Quora!

Example 2 – Suppose you are a fine dining restaurant in Pune. Then your keywords should be like “restaurants in Pune,” “places to eat in Pune” so on and so forth.

Hope this gives you an idea about how important identifying your relevant topic is, and how exactly you can find them.

  1. Provide real value by addressing the questions & be genuinely helpful

One thing you need to be very particular about while answering questions on Quora is that you should be solving the user’s problem in some way or the other. This is the only way that you will be able to catch the reader’s interest, even if for a second.

There is no point answering for the sake of answering. It’s important to provide authentic, meaningful answers addressing the question to establish yourself as the genuine domain expert.

Needless to say, the questioner is looking for solutions to his or her problems and is least interested in your brand/product/service at this point in time. Therefore, do not try to go off on an advertising and self-branding spree straight off, and disappoint the reader at the onset. Instead, through your answer, convince the readers that it is you, and only you who can solve their problems.

  1. Build trust for your brand on Quora

As important as it is to address the user’s query, it is equally important not to forget the very purpose for which you are doing the whole exercise! You need to introduce your brand to the prospective customer in your answers on Quora, but you need to do it in a subtle way aligning it with the interests of the user.

Instead of giving vivid details of your product or brand, you should include backlinks to your website or landing page tactfully. There are high chances that the reader will click on the link if they find real value in your answers. Then, you can easily take it forward from there and convert them into quality leads for your business.

  1. Create the content on your website around questions on Quora 

Once your target audience is identified as per step1, you can create content on your website for the questions asked by them on Quora. It’s a great idea to repurpose those questions into relevant blog topics on your website.

Considering people are already asking those questions, you can smartly answer them by way of sharing your blog links. This way you can attract a lot of people on your website.

  1. Be consistent 

As it is the case with any social media, consistency is the key to the success of Quora marketing as well.

Just as you gather likes and shares on Facebook, or followers and retweets on Twitter, you need to establish yourself as an authority on Quora as well. This can only be achieved when you write answers to the questions on Quora regularly and also make periodic updates to your answers posted earlier if required.

Quora has an algorithm that rewards you for posting regular answers, and even marks you as a top writer in a particular niche for posting consistent and knowledgeable answers in that niche.

After all, the essence of marketing on Quora lies in being an authority in whatever content you are generating. 

  1. Track analytics to know market intelligence

The other important aspect of marketing on Quora is the effective use of the analytical tools offered by the platform.

Quora has a very well-conceived approach when it comes to analytics. It tells you how many views you have got on your answers, the number of people who have followed you, the number of up-votes as well as down-votes on your responses, so on and so forth.

But these numbers carry zero significance if you do not read them properly and draw meaningful conclusions from them. 

Therefore, keep checking the Quora analytics for your answers regularly and take measures to be more productive and efficient based on these. 

  1. Create a compelling profile

All said and done, now let’s come to the final question. If you are a newbie in the world of digital marketing or are a novice in using Quora for marketing purposes, then from where should you start?

How do you start posting answers on Quora? Should you create a company account on Quora, or post from an individual account?

The answer is you need not create a company account. A company account gives the impression of marketing or advertising to the readers and drives them away. Instead, keep it personal and genuine. 

Try to include some noteworthy accomplishments, if any in your domain and add it in your profile description. Don’t forget to upload a professional profile image, which indicates you are approachable. Keep optimizing your profile as visitors do check it before engaging with you on Quora.

Final Take Away

With marketing on Quora, you can generate quality leads for your business. Alternatively, there are professional Quora Marketing specialists and companies, who are also Quora influencers, having a stronghold and widespread following on the platform. Hiring them to run your Quora Marketing campaign and write answers for you can be an excellent idea. The starting point of such  influencers is where you are likely to reach after hard work of many months or even years.

Quora marketing is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding digital marketing tools. If used correctly, it can work wonders for your product, service, or brand, and help you reach your business goals.

If you’d like to discuss how Quora can help your business or brand, then please drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our Quora Marketing Specialists.

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Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019

Image used in blog Top 10 SEO tools in 2019 published by Netilly's official blog

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is like Game of Thrones; you need to battle with your competitors using the right keywords and techniques to be on the top of Search Engine Results.

However, choosing the right SEO tool is one of the challenges nowadays considering the level of competition out there.

But we are here to help you prepare for the battle with the list of best SEO tools, handpicked by our experts. There are SEO free tools as well in case you are on a specific budget.

The Top 10 Must-Have SEO Tools In 2019

SEMrush

SEMrush is the Marketer’s favourite tool. It’s one of the best on-page SEO tool to analyse your website and that of your competitors. You can look at your trending articles, social shares, word count, and related keywords all at one place. This makes it easier for you to research well before writing your blog post and helps you analyse it after publishing the post.

Screenshot of SEMrush for Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019 published by Netilly

The best thing about this tool is that it also helps you plan the content for your blog with its content marketing kit. Not just that, SEMrush gives about 14M ideas for a single keyword. Just imagine how great that would be for your content chart.

Digital Marketing Specialist, Brenton Marcum, said their keyword strategy for writing copy for blog posts, websites, social media, and their clients, is done using SEMrush.

Type: Tool

Pricing: Paid – $99 per month

Best for: Keyword research, Competitor analysis

Key Features:

  • Analyse competitor’s keywords, Ad budgets, and marketing activities
  • Find less competitive keywords
  • Compare domains side-by-side
  • Get visual data in terms of charts
  • Segmentation of your keywords by topic
  • Perform Site Audit
  • Check your website using On Page SEO Checker
  • Get useful insights about your site’s organic traffic
  • Measure and compare the performance of your content

Moz

Moz is one of the best SEO tools that is used by many experts. Despite the regular algorithm changes that Google does, Moz is one tool that is up to date. Besides, it is also known for its chat support to the customers.

Screenshot of MoZ for blog Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019 publised by Netilly

Moz comes with a free trial period of 30 days, post which you can decide whether to buy it or not. Now, that’s something great because most of the paid SEO tools allow you to have a trial for only seven days.

The ‘page optimization feature’ is said to be the best as it helps you optimize every single page of the website by clearly mentioning where to make changes or what to add.

Type: Software

Pricing: Paid – @99 per month post 30 days free trial period

Best for: Keyword Research, SEO Report, SEO Audit, Backlink Research

Key Features:

  • Allows you to track the keywords for which you’re ranking.
  • Finds out issues on your website and alerts you about the same.
  • Prioritized recommendations enable you to optimize your web pages.
  • Get custom suggestions that help you create content.
  • Link Explorer helps you find quality backlinks for your website.
  • Moz Local helps small businesses and enterprises get maximum outputs with minimum efforts.

Yoast

Yoast is the best SEO plugin for WordPress that lets you optimize your webpage on the go. You can make changes while writing or after writing your blog post. It’s one of the best free SEO tools that not only saves your time but also gives you a live SEO score.

Screenshot of Yoast SEO for blog Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019 publised by Netilly

You can avail a free version or upgrade to a premium version that comes with added benefits. Usually, free tool is good enough to get started if you’re a beginner. Yoast SEO is always updated for Google’s algorithm, which makes it even more useful.

Type: WordPress Plugin

Pricing: Free / Paid (Premium version available for $89 per year)

Best for: SEO Optimization

Key Features:

  • Helps you place keywords in the right places
  • Tells Google what your page is precisely all about
  • Preview your page or meta tags without actually publishing it on Google
  • Allows you to control your breadcrumbs
  • No duplication of content
  • Takes care of the technical stuff like sitemaps, robots.txt file, cleaning up URLs, etc.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is everyone’s favourite as it is a free tool for SEO. It’s the lighter version of paid tools. Performing keyword research using Ubersuggest is quite easy; you can do it either by entering your competitor’s URL or by entering the seed keyword.

The latest update of this tool also allows one to find out backlinks of your competitor’s site. Not just that, you can easily get long-tail and short tail keywords along with SEO difficulty.

Screenshot of Ubersuggest for blog Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019 published by Netilly

Type: Online tool

Pricing: Free

Best for: Keyword Research, Backlinks

Key Features:

  • Estimated visit counts give you an idea about how much traffic you can get
  • Keyword suggestions based on the entered keyword
  • Get content ideas for your website
  • Provides the backlink data
  • Visit your competitor’s top-ranking pages

Seo SiteCheckup

SEO Site Checkup is a tool that is useful to optimize your website for SEO. Checking your website manually for errors or issues to be fixed is a time taking process, but SEO SiteCheckup automatically does it for you. All you need to do is, enter your website URL and get a real-time report and fixes that are required.

Screen of SEOSiteCheckup for blog Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019 published by Netilly

This tool solves all the SEO issues instantly with just one click. It’s an excellent tool for beginners as well as professionals. You can monitor your website’s SEO performance on a day-to-day basis and change it accordingly.

SEO SiteCheckup is one of the best SEO audit free tool, which is available for a free trial period of 14 days.

Type:  Tool

Pricing: Paid – $24.95 per month post-14-day trial.

Best for: SEO Audit, Monitoring, Competitor Analysis

Key Features:

  • Analyse your SEO issues instantly
  • Day-to-day SEO monitoring
  • Notifies when your SEO score changes
  • Compare your competitor’s SEO side-by-side
  • Generate SEO reports
  • Create automated checkups

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the best tools for SEO, and many bloggers recommended it. This tool crawls the website efficiently and gives almost accurate results. You can perform keyword research by either entering your competitor’s URL or by typing the seed keyword. This gives you a list of keywords, both long-tail, and short-tail.

Screenshot of Ahrefs used in blog Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019 published by Netilly

You can filter your keywords according to search volume, keyword density, paid difficulty, etc. That’s the best part of this tool. Also, it allows you to vomit negative keywords.

Ahrefs is freely available for seven days.

Type: Tool

Pricing: Paid – $99 per month after 7 day trial period

Best for: Keyword Research, Competitor Analysis, Site Audit, Content Ideas

Key features:

  • Site Explorer for getting insights about organic traffic and backlinks
  • Use Keywords explorer for getting the right keywords
  • Content explorer gives you content ideas
  • Site audit feature shows you the issues that need to be fixed
  • Find the content gap of your competitors and generate content for your site
  • Compare multiple links of competitors at once

Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner is a free tool by google ads. You can use it to find low competition keywords. However, it doesn’t display the search volume precisely.

Screenshot of Keyword Planner for blog Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019 published by Netilly

The keyword planner is mainly used for paid ad campaigns. It helps you discover new keywords and also shows the bid estimates for those keywords.

Type: Tool

Pricing: Free

Best for: Ad Campaigns, Keyword Research

Key features:

  • Search the most relevant keywords for your business
  • Find out how often a keyword is searched
  • Gives you suggested bid estimates for each keyword
  • Add the finalized keywords to your advertising plan

SEOquake

Seoquake is a free tool which is mainly used for competitor research. It’s a browser extension that shows the page data like rank, age, SERP report, and the number of ads, from SEMrush, Alexa, Google rank, and Yahoo index.

image of SEOquake for blog Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019 published by Netilly

This tool performs an on-page SEO audit by accessing the internal and external links. You can also do keyword analysis and find out the keyword density. The SEO dashboard is pretty easy to read with a feature to export the data.

Type: Browser extension

Pricing:  Free

Best for: Competitor analysis

Key Features:

  • Gives internal and external link details of the top ranking links in Google search result pages
  • Get quick insights about any webpage on SEObar and SEO dashboard
  • On-page SEO audit in one click
  • Get social media insights like Facebook likes, LinkedIn share count, and Pinterest Pin count

Answer the public

Answer The Public is a keyword research tool that gives a free report of what your consumers are searching. The report is displayed in a visually appealing format with several questions and tags.

screenshot of Answer The Public for blog Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019 published by Netilly

It’s an online tool for content ideas as well. While the free version gives useful insights, you can also go for the Pro version, which is beneficial for agencies.

Type: Online tool

Pricing: Free /  Paid ( Pro version for $99 per month)

Best for: Keyword Research, Content Ideas

Key Features:

  • Get search results in the form of questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabetical, and other related keywords
  • Displays visual data
  • Allows you to save the displayed data in the form of an image
  • Helps you generate content ideas

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension that shows you the search volume, CPC, and competition on the go. It displays all the Google search queries at one place based on the region right under the Google Search Bar. So, you don’t have to keep switching tabs for that purpose.

screenshot of Keywords everywhere tool for blog Top 10 SEO Tools in 2019 published by Netilly

Also, it allows you to download the list of keywords in Excel, CSV, or PDF file formats.

Type: Browser extension available for Chrome and Firefox

Pricing: Free

Best for:  Keyword Research

Key Features:

  • Search high volume keywords based on the region
  • Highlight keywords of a particular volume
  • Know about the competition of the keywords
  • Save the desired keywords to the “My keywords” list

Conclusion

These are the must-have tools for best SEO practices. It’ll make your research easier and will surely help you rank better provided you work hard consistently and keep optimizing your website and content regularly.

You can get started with one tool or use multiple tools for different purposes and share your feedback with us.

If you’d like to discuss how SEO can help your business or brand, then please drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our SEO Specialists.

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Top 10 Digital Marketing Courses in 2019

Image used with the blog post on top 10 Digital Marketing Courses published on the Netilly official blog

In the words of Brian Herbert, “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.”

Be it any field of work, it is the willingness to learn that guides us towards attaining knowledge and practical skills.

The online and offline certification courses are one popular way of learning the underlying concepts of the subject and understanding their practical implications.

Also, as per a study, the clients are willing to pay 20% to 40% more to professionals who have completed certified courses.

Digital marketing certification courses are in demand from freshers as well as professionals from different fields.

Choosing Digital Marketing Field of Work  

Marketing stands for spreading a word about one’s services or products, commercial or otherwise, among the relevant audience. During the last decade, marketing has changed drastically.

Most businesses have gone online to acquire their share of consumers out of 4.4 billion internet users around the world.

This digital movement has led to the rise of the digital marketing industry and the need for experts who can provide result-oriented digital marketing services to businesses.

Businesses have observed a 200% ROI by using digital marketing channels like Google Ads.

Video Marketing alone has contributed an 80% increase in the conversion rates for businesses that have chosen to embed a video on their landing pages.

Many professionals are keen to pursue a career in digital marketing based on the positive and upward industry trends in 2019.

One can choose to become a generic digital marketer (jack of all trades) or specialize in one of the streams like SEO, SMM, PPC, and so on.

Things to Decide

You can find hundreds of online and offline resources to get yourself acquainted with digital marketing concepts.

While reading up from scattered resources can increase your knowledge; however, only professionally designed digital marketing courses can provide you a structured method to pick up the underlying concepts along with guidance for practical implementation.

The biggest dilemma, however, is how and what to choose? When you research online, you will come across a huge list of courses.

Instead of going through each of the titles, it is advisable to start with making two crucial decisions:

  1. Whether to select an online or an offline digital marketing course(s)?
  2. Whether to begin with a consolidated digital marketing course or to opt for one or more specialized digital marketing channels such as content writing, SEO, ORM, SMM, etc.

The first decision depends upon your availability for the course while the other choice depends upon your interest and a little research about the current trends.

After taking the first two decisions, you must look for reliable vendors who can deliver the digital marketing courses, in a manner most suited to your needs.

To make your selection easier, our experts did thorough research on the best digital marketing courses available in the market and came up with a list of the best. 

Here Comes Our List of Top 10 Digital Marketing Courses

We have listed below a few highly ranked online digital marketing courses of 2019.

  1. Inbound Marketing Course by HubSpot 

The course is structured to focus on Customer-first Marketing. It focuses on the techniques to draw potential customers and visitors towards a business inwardly, instead of going outward to sell the products or services. The course help entrepreneurs, business owners, and professional marketers to get into the basics of inbound marketing.

In this course, HubSpot provides 4 hours of video and a free downloadable study guide which covers the following inbound marketing techniques:

  • Content creation
  • Content marketing strategy
  • Social promotions
  • Lead nurturing
  • Conversion optimization
  • Topic clusters 

The study is divided into 11 classes, each containing 2-5 video lessons and a quiz. This course builds up a strong foundation about attracting and retaining the customers for any business.

  1. Online Marketing Foundation Course by LinkedIn 

LinkedIn, as the leading professional social networking platform has taken the initiative in providing high-end learning in the form of certified courses. This helps recruiters to choose from highly skilled professionals.

For those who want to grow as a marketing professional and brush up their basic marketing skills, LinkedIn offers an Online Marketing Foundation Course.

The program develops marketing skill set with 4.5 hours of video lessons, quizzes, practice exercises, written transcripts, and an online notebook.

The subjects it covers include the basics of SEO, web analytics, email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and influencer marketing.

Being the first course in a series of approved courses by the American Marketing Association, which was established to allow people to master digital marketing skills, this course has high professional value.

  1. SEO Fundamentals by SEMRush 

SEMRush is a well-known name in the field of online visibility and marketing analytics software. Their team of experts has designed an SEO fundamentals course for people who wish to understand how search engine optimization works and put it into an executable marketing strategy for potential customers.

Even business owners and marketing executives would benefit from such a certification course. The program can help participants in digitizing their business as well as to attain maximum online visibility.

The program starts with a basic understanding of how search engines work, search page layouts, the concept of crawling, technical SEO, indexing & ranking, ranking signals, international and local SEO.

The competency of an SEO professional is measured through the conversion rate of a business website. The course covers every aspect of SEO in 31 lessons, compiled as 4 hours of video lectures. Additional resources and practice tests help in building up practical skills.

This course has sealed its position among the top three digital marketing courses of 2019. SEMRush is one of the leading authorities on search engine marketing (SEM) makes such an SEO certification offering highly reliable and credible.

  1. Google Analytics for Beginners 

For tracking website traffic and related metrics, Google provides an analytics platform. Google analytics shows stats and figures concerning multiple dimensions of a business website. It can be as easy as reading the number of visitors and as complex as understanding the behaviour of the visitor and the webpage. To aid a better understanding of its widely used web analytics service, Google offers a “Google Analytics” course for beginners.

The course outlines the fundamentals of basic Google Analytics account creation, reading analytics reports, setting up filters and views, setting up the dashboards, creating goals, and setting up campaign tracking.

After completing the course, one can confidently take up tasks like setting up Google analytics for a client’s business and help them with suggestions based on the metrics from the platform. Advanced analytics programs are also available for continuous learning.

The high relevance of the course cannot be denied given the monopoly of Google in the search engine market. 

  1. The Complete Digital Marketing Course at Udemy 

With 1,00,000 courses and 42,000 instructors, Udemy is the leading online learning platform. It has multiple options for digital marketing, among which, the Complete Digital Marketing Course is the most comprehensive one.

A combination of 12 subjects combined in one, the course provides 20 hours of training, quizzes, and practical steps, including projects, checklists, and actionable lectures.

The program covers SEO, YouTube Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Email Marketing, Copywriting, WordPress, and Market Research.

This course offers high value for the invested time and money for participants – be it business owners who have just started their firms or freelancers who are seeking highly paid projects or website managers who are struggling to drive traffic on their websites.

  1. Effective Content Writing for SEO at Udemy

Quality content is gaining the attention of marketers and potential customers alike. Interactive and accurate content is the lifeline of the internet. Hence, there is a rising demand for content creators.

The “Effective Content Writing for SEO” course on Udemy helps in understanding the type of content required to be written for acquiring top 10 rankings on Google, the basic SEO rules that content needs to follow and creating well-optimized content for search engines and users.

Bloggers would find it the most relevant course to pursue.

  1. Digital Marketing Master Course by Digital Vidya 

Digital Vidya is the initiator of digital marketing courses in India, back in the year 2009. Their instructor-led online Digital Marketing Master course provides the most updated curricula. The program is delivered via 44 modules.

The firm is the official training partners for Google India, students are trained with the most recent changes made in the search and marketing techniques by Google.

The course is exhaustive as it covers every single function of Digital Marketing activity, be it SEO, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Web Analytics, Facebook Marketing, and other digital marketing topics.

  1. Content Marketing Courses by LinkedIn Learning-Lynda.com 

Lynda.com was founded by Lynda Weinman in 1995 and was acquired by LinkedIn in 2015, under its subsidiary LinkedIn Learning, which is a platform offering online courses on software, creative, and business skills.

In the field of Content Marketing, LinkedIn Learning offers 59 courses and training programs. The courses are available online along with “view offline”. The program focuses on fundamentals of how to market relevant content over the internet and promote business through newsletters, podcasts, social media, etc. 

  1. The Complete CPA Marketing Course

Cost-Per-Action (CPA) is an optimal pricing model while advertising for businesses online. The advertisers pay the host (like Google) only if the click has resulted in the acquisition of the visitor to a website.

The Complete CPA Marketing course builds up the foundation by teaching how to find hottest CPA networks, understanding the competitive market, optimizing website with relevant keywords, and imparting training on software tools for setting up ad campaigns.

  1. Facebook Ads Certification Course 

Social media users have grown by 202 million between April 2018 and April 2019, with Facebook having 2.375 billion users.

Facebook provides a marketplace, and other advertisement plans to help businesses and individuals in showcasing their offerings to an enormous number of users.

The best part is, it is an interactive platform, where potential customers and businesses can connect in real-time and crack a deal.

Facebook Ads Certification course at Udemy teaches basic as well as advanced concepts of Facebook marketing, optimizing Facebook Ads campaign, and analyzing the reports.

Conclusion 

Digital Marketing is a vast and growing industry. Business owners, marketers, and professionals from across industries today realize its importance.

It is estimated that India alone requires nearly 20, 00,000 digital marketing experts by 2020. Therefore, a huge opportunity exists for beginners and professionals to build a career in Digital Marketing.

Please share with us in the comments below, if you have subscribed to a digital marketing course out of the list we shared. If yes, was it worth the time and money? We would love to hear your thoughts.

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What is Video Marketing? | Benefits, Types and Best Practices for a Successful Video Marketing Strategy

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What is Video Marketing? | Benefits, Types and Best Practices for a Successful Video Marketing Strategy

You must have noticed that off-late ‘video’ is taking over all the written content. The possible reason could be that one minute of engaging video is worth 1.8 million words. Hence, the paradigm shift from “Content is the king” to “Video is the master”!

In recent times, video content has been absolutely ruling over social media. As per a Facebook prediction, in five years, Facebook will be all video replacing written content.

Especially if ‘branding’ is one of the key marketing objectives of any company, then it’s digital marketing strategy is incomplete without ‘video marketing.’

Following stats indicates the importance and relevance of video marketing in 2019:

  • By 2020, 82% of all consumer web traffic will be video, and there will be almost a million minutes of video per second crossing the internet, according to Cisco.
  • Consumption of mobile video grows by 100% every year, according to YouTube.
  • Conversion rates can increase by 80% by including videos in landing pages.
  • Product videos help 90% of customers to make buying decisions, and 64% are more likely to buy the product after watching a product video.
  • Currently, video content is being used by 87% of online marketers in their digital marketing strategies.
  • Of all ad spending online, more than 35% is now accounting to Video Ads.

Key takeaway: These video marketing statistics show the current and future significance of marketing through video for your business. So, it is time to start incorporating video content in your marketing strategy so you can keep up to date.

Video Marketing | Definition

The definition of video marketing is very straightforward – promoting a brand, product or service through ‘video’ content.

Additionally, it can serve to promote live-stream events, customer testimonials, how-to tutorials, explainer & entertaining (viral) videos, and the list goes on. A strong video marketing campaign mainly incorporates a mix of all these.

Scope of video marketing is vast, ranging from incorporating sponsored videos in social media feeds to adding videos in email newsletter as well as to embed engaging videos within landing pages or blog posts. This is all video marketing!

Benefits of Video Marketing

Video marketers achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness and get 66% more qualified leads per year. This clearly indicates that video marketing is worth the investment.

Some additional benefits of video marketing are as below:

  • Better connect with your audience – Video helps you to make a good rapport with your audience and build trust, which in turn helps in growing brand awareness and recognition. The idea should be to ensure your brand is associated with positive experiences so that consumers think of your company as a solution to their problem.
  • Better Conversion Rates – 74% of people who watched any product or service explainer video subsequently ended up buying it, according to Wyzowl. Further, according to Google, YouTube ads are generating conversions up to 150% YoY. With such success rates, you should consider running some YouTube ads for your offering. Explainer videos provide value to both existing and potential customers as you can explain a lot about a product or service such as its features, how it can be used, or even how to get in touch with your company for same.
  • Boost Information Retention – If you just hear something, then after three days, you are more likely to retain 10% of that information. However, if you add a visual to what you are hearing, then you may remember almost 65% of that information even after three days as it’s rightly said that vision trumps all other senses.
  • Better ROI – Previously shooting videos and then editing & producing them was an expensive and time-consuming activity, but it’s now much more straightforward and easier than ever before. In fact, 51% of marketing professionals consider video content as the best method worldwide in terms of ROI. Further, the conversion from video content tends to make a beeline on YouTube. However, other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are also great places for video content.
  • Best SEO Tool – Video can serve as a useful SEO tool by increasing your search engine ranking, CTR (click through rate), and conversions. It can further help in boosting likes, building backlinks, and driving traffic to your site. That’s because search engines love videos. One can reach the intended target audience by using properly tagged videos on YouTube, which is owned by the largest search engine – Google. According to a study by Stone Temple, the top 10 results on Google search result page includes YouTube videos.
  • Boost Engagement – The way a product review or customer testimonial can help build trust in your product, brand or company; they can also increase engagement. When posts on Facebook include videos, it results in better organic engagement. Similarly, the word ‘video’ in an email’s subject line can increase the open email rates by 19%. If people respond to your videos by way of liking, sharing or commenting, that’s a sign that you are on the right track.

Types of Video Marketing

  1. Company Profile or Brand Videos – A company profile or brand video should provide a high-level overview of your products/services. Such videos are usually created as part of a more extensive advertising campaign, highlighting the company mission and vision to increase brand awareness and attract your target audience. It should also showcase to your potential customers and existing clients what your company is all about, and how you go above and beyond to do an excellent job. Further, such company profile or brand videos should be on the homepage of your site and shared on social media platforms.
  2. Explainer Videos – This type of video is generally used by businesses to tell their brands’ story prominently through a short-animated video. Such videos help the audience to understand better how a company’s products and services can solve their problem. Explainer videos can increase retention rates by binding both the audio and visual senses together.
  3.  How-To Videos – 93% of people go to YouTube to learn ‘how-to’ do something, according to Google. According to a study, 86% of viewers on YouTube turn to the platform to learn something new. These how-to or instructional videos can be used to make your audience learn something new or educate them on your industry, business and solutions. Through such videos, you can interact with your audience by requesting feedback and suggestions for future topics. Sales and service teams can use these videos to illustrate a real solution to a problem and eventually it may help increase conversions.
  4. Demo or Product Videos – Such videos showcase how your products work and their tangible benefits. As a thumb rule, a product video should encompass elements such as an engaging dialogue, narration, relatability, and keeping the viewer’s attention. You can take your viewers on a tour of your product or service showcasing how it can be used.
  5. Animated Videos – If one needs to convey a complicated or lengthy message quickly, then animated videos is the best option. Such videos are a great visual way to explain the process of how a product works or demonstrate the series of events for service to occur. Additionally, animated videos can lead to an increase in engagement, traffic, and brand recognition. Hence, such videos are easy to share on social media platforms. Combining elements such as images, music, logos, animation, graphics, etc., you can create content which is visual, short, engaging, and delivers the desired message. Animated videos can bring concepts to life and perform well on relevant blog posts, website pages, or social media channels.
  6.  Customer Testimonial Videos – The purpose of testimonials is to tell your prospects that your product can solve their specific problem by sharing a positive experience of an existing client. You can have on-camera interviews with real, current clients sharing their experience with your company. Such videos convey to your potential clients that your company is professional, reliable, and trustworthy.

Studies show that users spend a significant amount of time watching review videos that share people’s personal and unique experiences with a brand or products or services.

Testimonial videos help to build trust with your target audience and boost engagement through shares, likes, and comments on every possible channel including website, social media, review pages, YouTube, email newsletter, etc.

 Steps & Best Practices to create a Successful Video Marketing Strategy in 2019

Nowadays, shooting a quick live session for social media is much more comfortable than ever. With tools like Animoto and WeVideo, the creation of high-quality video content requires only a few minutes.

Before we talk about the best practices for video marketing, let’s dive into the steps one needs to take to create a successful strategy for video marketing.

Step#1 Identify the goal of your video content

The first and foremost step in building a successful video marketing strategy is to identify your target. Is your video content for branding, to promote a product/service, for lead generation or to announce some important news? Once the goal is defined, then you can choose the content that will be most effective to communicate the message across to your target audience.

Step#2 Identify your target audience

The next step towards a strong foundation of video marketing strategy is to figure out the right audience for your message. If you spend time initially to define your ideal customers and learn about their behaviour, then it will save you time & effort later. Look at your competition and find out whether they have a loyal following. If yes, then how can you establish yourself when communicating with the same pool of audience?

Once you have refined your target audience, figure out where they spend most of their time online so that you run your video content there. For example, if your audience is on YouTube, which is a highly visual platform, then you need to analyze which style of videos works best. In case your audience is on Facebook, then you can use helpful features and creative freedom in your video content.

Step#3 Create your Brand language

Now that you know your goals, target audience, and where to find them; it’s time to create your brand language. No two companies are the same, so you need to set a tone and style of your brand communication to create a unique value proposition (UVP). It is essential to outline a marketing plan to set yourself apart from everyone else while still holding on to your brand identity and values.

Step#4 Create an engaging content & caption for social media

You must have thought this would be the first step, but a lot goes into planning & research before you get to this point. At this stage, one must look to create good quality and engaging video content. Depending on the goals identified in the first step, one can make different types of video content, as discussed earlier. No matter how engaging your video is, a caption on it can break or make a post on social media. Choose a descriptive title for your video posting on Facebook to make it easily searchable as the platform recommends.

Some of the best practices for successful marketing with video content are listed below:

  • Keep your storyline exciting and compelling in your video.
  • Get to the point within the first 5-10 seconds by covering the purpose of the video. Else your video is worth nothing.
  • Include a call to action, just like any other content marketing strategy; video is no different.
  • Optimize your video content by including well-crafted video caption and description. As Google doesn’t understand the visuals, so adding description helps it to understand what your video content is all about and eventually helps in ranking better.
  • Last but not least- share your video content everywhere.

Step#5 Create a plan

The next step is to create a calendar by breaking down your month into various categories. For the execution of the plan, you may go for one branding video every week, a teaser video for specific sales or promotions, one funny video a week from an engagement perspective.

You can include specifics in your plan about what your content will achieve:

  • How and where will the content be delivered and repurposed?
  • How does the content appeal to the target audience & what gaps does this content fill?
  • Where does the content fit into the buyer’s journey?

Step#6 Test, Compare & Run Again

At last, keep track of your reach, clicks and sales for each video content. You can isolate what content does best for you by testing two videos against each other. It can indicate what provides the ROI and best engagement to you. As you create and post more and more videos, you will be able to track the trends and what wins your audience.

Conclusion

With 71% of people watching more video content online than a year ago, companies can no longer ignore video marketing for growing its brand awareness.

Using videos is a surefire way to attract the attention of your audience and communicate information in a new and exciting manner. Besides boosting brand awareness, video marketing plays an essential role in increasing views, conversion rates, engagement, recognition, and recall.

Now is the time to consider making video content a significant part of your digital marketing strategy for 2019.

If you’d like to discuss how Video Marketing can help your business or brand, please drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our Video Marketing Specialists.

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What is Email Marketing?

The evolution of the internet and email have changed the entire communication ecosystem.

Email is one of the oldest and most commonly used methods of communication over the internet, with 94% of the total internet users having an email account.

Around 90 trillion emails were sent out worldwide in 2010, which translates to 2.8 million emails having been sent every second.

These numbers have been increasing day by day. As per Statista, the number of global email users is expected to grow from 3.7 billion in 2017 to 4.4 billion in 2022, which is half of the world’s population!

Marketers and advertisers, too, have shifted their efforts online with email emerging as one of the fastest, cheapest and easiest ways for them to connect with customers.

Marketing through emails allows one to reach a vast number of internet users, even if they are not active on social media.

In 1978, the first mass email was sent by Gary Thuerk of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) to approximately 400 clients, which resulted in the sale of products worth $13 million.

This brought to light, for the first time, the immense potential of ‘email marketing’ for promoting businesses.

Over the last 42 years, marketing through mass emails has evolved as one of the most cost-effective ways of direct marketing.

The return on investment (ROI) is massive in comparison to other marketing techniques. You can expect $32 back, on an average, for every $1 you spend on email marketing!

But before we talk more about the benefits of email marketing and other essential details, let’s first understand what exactly Email Marketing is?

What is Email Marketing?

Email Marketing is a kind of internet marketing where a commercial message is sent to a group of people over email. At its most basic level, the purpose is to promote a business.

Sending emails to existing customers and prospects has become an integral part of the digital marketing strategy of most businesses today.

Effective marketing emails can turn one-time buyers into loyal customers. It can also convert prospects into customers.

85% of U.S. retailers consider email marketing as one of the most preferred marketing tactics!

Email can accommodate a variety of messages and is a highly flexible tool.

Marketers can send targeted messages, which is one of the most significant advantages of email marketing.

However, there are other reasons as well which make ‘email marketing’ relevant for marketers today who are required to do more with less.

Why is email marketing relevant for your business?

  • Broader reach – Looking at current social media footprint (Facebook and Twitter have over 1 billion and 255 million users respectively) one would tend to believe that social media is the most effective way to reach the masses.

The total number of email users worldwide (almost half of the world population) is too humongous and hard to ignore.

So, when it comes to connecting with your customers or prospects, email is undoubtedly the best medium with a broader reach as everyone online has an active email address.

  • Preferred Communication Channel – Social networks such as Facebook or Instagram are used by many people as personal channels to keep up to date with family and friends.

Whereas, email is a much more professional medium for communication.

72% of people prefer to receive promotional messages through email compared to 17% on social media as per a study by Marketing Sherpa.

A bar chart image showing the finding from a survey done on email marketing

  • Drives Conversion – The goal of marketers is to turn potential customers into real buyers. There can’t be a more powerful tool than email when it comes to conversions.

 The average click-through rate (CTR) from a tweet is around 0.5%, whereas the average CTR of an email campaign is about 3%.

This means someone reading your mail is six times more likely to click through to your website compared to looking at a post on Twitter.

As compared to 0.59% visitors from social media and 2.49% of visitors from search engines, around 4.24% of visitors from email marketing make a purchase, according to a survey by Monetate. 

  • Higher ROI – Email allows marketers to be highly targeted by delivering personalized and relevant messages.

Email marketing yields a higher ROI ($38 return on an average spend of $1) in comparison to social networks where you send status updates to every follower regardless of their demographics such as interest or location.

  • Delivers your message – On Facebook if you post an update to 5,000 followers, only about 100 of them will have a chance of seeing it in their newsfeed.

This is because Facebook, to drive brands toward their paid ad campaign option, limits the number of times your posts appear in the newsfeed.

So, a marketer always chooses to add a new subscriber to his/her email list over a new Facebook follower.

90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipients in comparison to 2% of Facebook followers viewing posts in the newsfeed for the reason mentioned above.

  • Vast majority seek promotional emails– If anyone provides you with their email address, it is because they want to listen more from you on your brand.

This is different from those who tend to ignore your message if they come across your ad while watching the morning news on TV or on social media and search engines because they did not solicit the information.

38% of consumers would like emails to come more frequently, while 61% enjoy receiving weekly promotional emails.

This aspect of email marketing makes it immensely relevant and successful marketing technique.

Steps and best practices for an Email Marketing Campaign

To set up a successful email campaign, one need to follow simple steps and best practices as mentioned below:

Step#1 Build a solid email list

The first step in starting an email marketing campaign is to gather a comprehensive list of email addresses. 

Email lists can be built in innumerable ways. An excellent way to start is to include an email registration form within your website.

However, before anyone provides their email address, they will consider few things such as will you spam them, will you send some discount vouchers, or will you sell their email address or make it public?

It is essential that you make it clear in some way to your potential subscribers that you will not spam them and instead they will benefit from subscribing to your email list.

You can also gather email addresses on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Best Practice#1: Do not spam

Many countries have strict laws, including CAM-SPAM Act, against sending spam emails. Anyone sending unsolicited emails can face significant fines.

Hence, it is crucial to send emails to only those who are willing to receive them.

Make your subscription process attractive by offering incentives like one-time coupons for customers signing up for email updates. This may enhance your subscription rates.

 Step#2 Plan your email marketing content

After building a solid email list, the next step is planning your email content.

A great way is to analyze the emails of competing businesses.

With endless options to customize and format your email, you can include a vast range of quality content in your emails.

You can send an email with information about your sales or promotions, loyalty rewards, newsletters, links to new articles on your website, announcements about new product or service, and customer testimonials.

The list is not restricted to what is mentioned above.

A study indicates that an email campaign which includes video content results in a rise of 40% in revenues.

However, be cautious about the email size while including infographics and video content in your email campaign.

Best Practice#2: Do not make all your emails about selling products

Ensure your emails should include relevant and valuable information such as FAQs and surveys which your subscriber may be interested in reading.

Step#3 Create a mobile-friendly layout

Crafting your emails to be attractive with a catchy subject line is very important for any email campaign.

The content, including the images, should consider the demographic that is being targeted.

If the email is boring or irrelevant, readers are likely to delete it before reading it too far.

With a deep penetration of smartphones, half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. So making your emails mobile-friendly is very important.

Best Practice#3: Your emails should match your brand

Make sure all your emails should match the style of your overall brand, including your website, social media accounts, and ads.

Step#4 Track & evaluate the campaign

It is essential to track the success of your email campaign.

There are various matrices in place to determine how well your campaign is doing.

Marketers can make changes, if required, in the ad design, the deals being offered, and the products or services being included in the campaign.

 Email is a highly flexible tool that allows making changes easily and quickly.

Best Practice#4: Send out emails at the optimal time

Subscribers are most likely to open their emails at a free time, so it’s better to send out emails at the optimal time.

Most email marketing tools will help you figure out the ideal time to send out emails.

What are the tools for Email Marketing?

Below are some of the top email marketing tools that offer a range of features to engage prospects and increase sales.

  • Mail Chimp
  • Litmus
  • Reach Mail
  • Target Hero
  • Mad Mimi
  • Active Campaign
  • SendinBlue
  • Hubspot
  • GetResponse
  • Mail Jet

Conclusion

As most marketers focus on nurturing leads and driving conversions, email marketing has become one of the preferred digital marketing techniques for them to leverage.

Email Marketing has changed the way businesses reach out to potential customers.

The only potential drawback with Email Marketing is that it can be time-consuming.

Hence, one might want to consider hiring a professional digital marketing company like Netilly to take care of all email marketing needs!

If you’d like to discuss how Email Marketing can help your business or brand, please drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our Email Marketing Specialists.

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What is Affiliate Marketing?

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Would you agree that one thing that most people desire in life is a way to generate passive income? This means being able to make money anytime, from anywhere, and even while one is asleep.

In recent times, one of the most popular ways to generate passive income is Affiliate Marketing!

The idea of affiliate marketing boomed in 1996 when the Amazon Associates program experienced significant success, though the concept was initiated by William J Tobin in 1989.

Let’s understand the concept of affiliate marketing which has turned many ordinary people into millionaires and billionaires.

Image showing a person sleeping on sofa while passive income is being generated for him.

What is Affiliate Marketing & how it works?

Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where one as an ‘affiliate marketer’ (also referred to as ‘Affiliate’) promotes someone else’s products or services.  

In return, the affiliate receives a commission when people buy those products/services through his/her referral.

The sales are tracked via affiliate links posted in website or blogs or products/services landing pages created by the affiliate.

Looking at below recent statistics, one wouldn’t be surprised why affiliate marketing is currently considered as a popular sales strategy to generate significant online revenues:

  • Commissions paid out to Affiliate Marketers is increasing by 10.1% annually in the US alone, and it is projected to hit the $6.8 billion mark by 2020.
  • 15-30% of all sales for advertisers is generated by affiliate programs which are at par with SEP and PPC marketing. (Source: Authority Hacker)
  • 81% of brands and 84% of publishers are already leveraging the power of affiliate marketing.
  • Affiliate Marketing accounts for 15% of the today digital media advertising. (Source: Business Insider)
  • 35% of the affiliates earn over $20000 every year, out of this 12% make over $75000 as an affiliate income. (Source: Ink Well Editorial)
  • Awin, the global affiliate network, distributed around $734 million among more than 100,000 contributors in 2018.

Image showing a loud speaker speaking dollars to depict the potential to generate income with affiliate marketing

Let’s understand how affiliate marketing works in 5 simple steps:

  1. You pick a ‘niche’ for the product(s) or service(s) to promote (we will talk about it shortly).
  2. You join the best ‘affiliate program’ for the selected niche (you will get a unique affiliate link including unique affiliate ID).
  3. You join the best ‘affiliate networks’ for the selected affiliate program(s).
  4. You share the affiliate link via various channels such as Social media, Blog, Website or Landing Page, YouTube videos, Facebook ads or any other form.
  5. When someone makes a purchase via your affiliate links, you earn a handsome affiliate commission.

Deciding the most profitable ‘Affiliate Niche.’

A product or service that you can promote based on your field of business is precisely an affiliate niche. For example, if your business revolves around the fashion world, then ideally, your affiliate niche would focus on fashion-related products, such as clothing, sunglasses, etc.

But what if you haven’t started a business yet? What if you are still in the process of researching and deciding which affiliate marketing business to begin with?

In the above scenario, your best option would be to either follow your passion or to simply figure out what people want and what kind of products/services they are looking for?

Market research plays a crucial role in identifying the product or service which people demand the most.

Affiliates are most successful when the products or services they promote match the interests of their followers and subscribers.

Also, many successful affiliate marketers advise recommending and promoting only products or services that the affiliate is personally familiar with.

That’s because familiarity with the product, service, or program helps to build trust between the affiliate and end-user.

Also, some affiliate marketers sell both low and high price products to reach the full spectrum of users.

Sometimes we tend to overlook high price products assuming they would be harder to promote.

If you are looking to generate revenues of $2000, then which would be easier to sell out of 3 cases listed below?

  1. Selling 200 products of $10
  2. Selling 20 products of $100
  3. Selling 2 products of $1000

Most of you would probably choose option #3 as only 2 products need to be sold to generate revenues of $2000.

Ultimately if you genuinely believe in the chosen product and know that it is a value for money and quality product then go for the high-value product.

Based on intensive research, we have identified 10 most popular and profitable niches among successful affiliate marketer as below (the list is no particular order):

  • Health & Wellness (30-40% commission)
  • Fashion (15% commission)
  • Beauty (15% commission)
  • Hobbies (10% commission)
  • Online Courses (10-30% commission)
  • Books (10% commission)
  • Medical equipment & medical support (10% commission)
  • Pets (10-30% commission)
  • Fitness (15-30% commission)
  • Dating & Relationship (Up to 75% on initial orders)

Depending on which category you are passionate about or have expertise in – you should go with your own personal choice.

However, when it comes to choosing the most profitable niches for affiliate marketing, then we highly recommend exploring the above listed 10 niches.

Factors to consider while choosing the best ‘Affiliate Programs’ for your niche

Once you have zeroed down the affiliate niche, the next step is to research for the most profitable affiliate program for that niche.

Affiliate Programs, also known as associate programs, are arrangements where an online merchant or advertiser who is selling products pays an affiliate website a commission for any sales generated from their referral traffic.

As per the commission structure of the merchant’s affiliate program, an agreement between an affiliate and a merchant is set whether it will be Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Pay-Per-Sale (PPS), or Pay-Per-Lead (PPL).

There are numerous programs for each niche in the market, so you need to do thorough research for the most profitable & viable affiliate program for your selected niche.

Some of the key factors to consider for the high paying affiliate programs are as below:

  • Commission Rate – The % from the sale proceeds that are paid by an advertiser to an affiliate for referring a new customer to them.
  • Average Order Value (AOV) – It is the average dollar amount spent when a customer completes an order. AOV can be calculated by merely dividing total revenue by the number of purchases.
  • Earnings Per Click (EPC) – It is the revenue an affiliate earns for each click to an advertiser’s website through an affiliate link.
  • Cookie Duration – A cookie is a value stored in the end user’s computer to track affiliate sales. The duration is the time length for which the cookie stays on the user’s system after clicking an affiliate link.

As an example, with a 15-day cookie duration, if a user clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase within 15 days, the affiliate receives credit for the sale. Typically, 30 days is standard cookie duration.

One should focus on high commission rates, high AOV, potential EPC, and long cookie durations.

 Join an ‘Affiliate Network’

An Affiliate Network acts as an intermediary between merchants, affiliate programs and affiliates (publishers). Joining an affiliate network benefits both merchants and affiliates.

Affiliate networks allow publishers the ability to search through various merchant affiliate programs and join them in one place.

Furthermore, they allow merchants to reach a larger audience and promote their business to all the affiliates in the network.

Image showing the names and logos of different affiliate networks

Again, there are vital factors to consider while selecting among the best affiliate networks:

  • Make sure the affiliate network has a lot of merchants in your chosen niche.
  • Try to join the one which is 100% free as almost all affiliate networks are free to join.
  • Go for the one which has high levels of customer support.
  • Make sure you join an affiliate network with high paying merchants to earn high commissions from your sales.

Basis of our research, some of the best Affiliate Networks in 2019 are as below:

Affiliate Marketing Channels

To get traffic for the products or services you are trying to promote, the following marketing channels can be leveraged:

Create great content

Create engaging content and follow best practices of content marketing. Your post should provide a comprehensive review that compellingly promotes the product or service and drives traffic back to the seller’s site.

Use effective SEO techniques

Practice best SEO strategies and drive quality traffic from search engines just like we do for any blog post.

Use Paid Campaigns

Apart from gaining organic (free) traffic via SEO and social media networks, you can also get paid traffic via paid ad campaigns on platforms like Facebook, Google Ads, and other ad networks.

Email List

Having a list of email subscribers within your niche can help you drive more conversions. Ideas like creating a giveaway such as a free e-book or some relevant free tip in exchange for their email works well.

Your audience will be more inclined to buy from your suggestions once you’ve built up trust with them to keep the money rolling in from affiliate sales.

Leverage the Power of Niche Influencers

Influencer marketing is getting popular in recent years. These days many brands choose to work with many social influencers and bloggers in their niches.

Influencers have more honest relationships with their followers. They can effectively get their audience to trust your brand and convince them to use your products or services.

They may not send vast amounts of traffic to advertisers, but the audience they do send is targeted, credible, and has higher conversion rates.

Optimize Your Product Pages for Conversions

Optimized product pages can boost your affiliate marketing strategies and help you retain customers.

You need to ensure simple things like your site loads fast, the display is impressive with high-quality product photos, engaging product description with enough information to help your customers buy the product they want.

Lastly, you should clearly feature customer reviews to build trust.

Final Thoughts

Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution if you don’t want to be in the 9-5 corporate rut and looking to gain control of your own income from the comfort of your home.

And that too without worrying about producing your own product or service.

There are many success stories of affiliates becoming millionaires. Jason Stone, the much talked about successful affiliate marketer also known as Millionaire Mentor, made $7 million in retail sales in 2018. He is also an Instagram influencer having 3.3 million followers.

However, you need to realize that it can’t happen overnight. You need to choose the right niche, best affiliate programs & networks, channels, and affiliate marketing strategies to boost conversions.

You’ll be able to engage your audience, convert passive readers into active consumers, and enhance your paycheck one click at a time following the tips included in this article.

Have you ever used affiliate marketing for your business? Which strategy do you find to be the most effective? Please share with us in the comments below.

If you are keen to get into affiliate marketing and looking for advice and guidance, our experts can help you get started. Do leave us a message on the contact page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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What is Pay Per Click Advertising?

Image used for blog post on pay per click published by Netilly on its official blog

Pay Per Click (PPC) is a form of online marketing where advertisers are required to pay a fee only when their ad is clicked by an online user.

The intent behind PPC is to buy traffic for a site rather than earning those visits for free.

You must have noticed an ‘Ad’ icon pre-fixed to the top search results while searching in Google or Bing. Such links are search engine advertisements which happen to be one of the most successful implementations of PPC.

Pay Per Click allows marketers to bid, on a specific keyword that is related to their business offering, for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links.

So, when someone searches on that keyword, the search engine software will display those paid ads mostly at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).

Let’s take an example of Bajaj Allianz (an insurance company) which has bid on the keyword “Life Insurance,” their ad might rank at the top on the Google search engine result pages.

Image showing a sample of paid Google Ads in search engine results
PPC Ads pre-fixed with Ad button

Whenever a user clicks on their ad and lands on their website, Bajaj Allianz must pay a fee to the search engine.

Usually, this fee is small provided the ad is set up correctly and results in a sale.

For example, if an advertiser pays $2 per click and the click results in a $100 sale, then it’s a good deal for the advertiser.

PPC Statistics

Let us have a quick look at some latest PPC statistics:

  • 65% of all clicks on paid ads are made by users who intend to make a purchase. (Wordstream)
  • According to a survey conducted by Clutch, a research agency, 75% of respondents said that paid ads make it easier to find the information they are looking for on a search engine.
  • 49% of people click on text ads; 16% on video ads, and 31% on shopping ads (Search Engine Land)
  • PPC visitors are 50% more likely to make a purchase than organic search visitors. (Unbounce)
  • More than 40% of clicks go to the top 3 paid ads in search engine results. (Wordstream)
  • Google AdWords, Facebook, and mobile are the most popular PPC platforms, and up to 80% of the marketing budget is likely to be allocated to paid ad (search, social, display, remarketing ads) budget. (Social Media Today)

Why the shift from traditional advertising to the digital one (PPC Advertising) makes sense?

Image showing the comparison of traditional and digital advertising pictorially

With traditional offline advertising, if you have ever published an ad in a newspaper or magazine, you probably realize that it is far too complicated to measure how many people flipped to that specific page and paid attention to your ad.

Further, there is no way to ascertain if that ad was responsible for any sales at all.

But with digital or online marketing, one can expect accurate results in real-time and also measure the ROI of the marketing efforts.

There are many tools available such as Google Analytics which can record the exact number of people who have viewed your website, how many pages they visited and which location are they from, in real time.

With digital advertising techniques like Pay Per Click, the fee that advertisers pay is irrespective of how many times the ad was displayed on the search engine result page.

So, PPC is less expensive than traditional advertising where one must pay for each advertisement placed in a newspaper or telecast on television.

Paid ad clicks at least make the visitors aware of the product or service offered though they may not necessarily result in sale conversions.

In fact, PPC advertising filters irrelevant traffic and ensures that only quality traffic is attracted who are more likely to convert.

Most importantly, PPC provides options to advertisers to target a specific segment based on demographics like location, age, gender, interests, and behaviours.

In a nutshell, Pay Per Click advertising is highly targeted, cost-effective, measurable, and yields good ROI. All one needs to do is to use the right tools, the appropriate resources and have a focused approach.

PPC Advertising Platforms

Google Ads

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is by far the most popular and successful PPC platform.

Whenever a user searches for anything, Google selects a set of bidding advertisers from a pool of users who have bid on keywords.

A combination of various factors such as relevancy and quality of keywords and ad text are considered for selecting the winning advertisers.

Once the winning advertisers are selected, then Google displays their ads on its search results page.

Google is one of the most popular search engines and gets huge traffic. Hence running a PPC Ad campaign through Google Ads is a useful way of diverting traffic on a site via clicks on the displayed ads.

Across various business domains, the average CTR (click-through-rate) is 3.17% for Google Ads search and for display, the number is lower averaging around 0.46%. Both of these averages are higher in comparison to what they were a couple of years ago.

Depending upon which keywords and match types the advertisers select, the frequency to display their ads on the search results page is decided.

Further, it also impacts the cost-effectiveness of the paid ad campaign.

For a successful Pay Per Click advertising campaign, there are several factors involved, but one can achieve a lot by focusing on the below factors:

  • Keyword research: Finding the right and relevant keywords for your specific product or service, forming a tight ad set and creating a compelling ad copy.
  • Quality Score:  Google’s rating for your keywords and landing pages depending upon how relevant they are for a paid ad campaign. One can get more ad clicks at a lesser cost when the quality score is better.
  • Optimized Landing Page: It helps to have a well-designed landing page with relevant and compelling content along with a clear call to action.

 Bing Ads

Like Google Ads, Bing Ads is a Pay Per Click platform displaying ads on the Bing and Yahoo networks. The platform utilizes search partners including Yahoo and Microsoft Sites whose searches are powered by Bing.

Bing Ads too follows a keyword-based advertising model. Bing Ads has over 137 million monthly unique desktop searchers on the Bing Network in the US alone. 

Social Media Paid Campaigns

Social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have also adopted Pay Per Click as one of their advertising models.

To run a Facebook campaign, one need to set up the below three parts:

  • Campaign Objective for each of your ad campaign
  • Creative for the ad account
  • Schedule, audience, placement, budget etc. within the ad set

Having a clear understanding of how each of these parts work together is necessary to get the desired results by reaching the intended target audience.

Image showing a snapshot of the facebook ads manager screen
Example of a Facebook Ad Campaign Creation

PPC Keyword Research

The process of optimizing a site for the specific words, which people generally type in the search box of a search engine, is called keyword research.

The entire PPC campaign is usually setup around the right keywords.

Conducting keyword research for PPC is usually a time-consuming activity, but it is an essential component of a successful ad campaign.

It allows advertisers to connect with the right audience by keeping their keyword list relevant and refined.

In fact, one shouldn’t only rely on the keyword research done at the time of setting up the first campaign.

Instead, the advertisers need to keep revisiting the list to include low cost, relevant and long tail keywords that might drive more traffic to their site.

The keyword list for a PPC Campaign should be:

  • Complete– Your keyword research should be comprehensive and should not be restricted only to the most commonly used terms in your business. Preferably you should also include long tail keywords which are less common and more specific. Such keywords are less expensive as they are less competitive.
  • Relevant– You need to think like a customer and bid on keywords which are more relevant to your business offerings. Targeted keywords mostly lead to a higher CTR (click-through-rate) and cost-effective CPC (cost-per-click).
  • Expansive– To continually refine and expand your campaigns, you must continuously grow and improve your keyword list.

Value proposition of PPC Marketing

Pay Per Click marketing is beneficial for all stakeholders – searchers, advertisers as well as the search engines.

Advertisers

Advertisers can reach out to the target audience using PPC marketing. Marketers can make out a user’s intent based on the searched keyword and can offer the product or service that matches the query.

Also, the quality of the traffic generated via paid ad clicks can be measured which is useful information for advertisers.

Searchers

As per research by search engine land, 75% of people who click on paid ads say, whatever information or product or service they are looking for, they generally find in search ads.

Further, Google has a wonderful process in place which ensures that PPC ads meet the requirement of the searchers.

Search Engines

The search engines fulfil the requirement of both searchers as well as advertisers through PPC Marketing.

They provide relevant information through search results to the searchers looking for specific information.

At the same time, search engines enable advertisers to reach their target audience.

One of the main advantages of Pay Per Click advertising is that Google (and other ad platforms) don’t just prefer the highest bidders for that ad space, they also reward the highest quality ads (ads that are most popular with searchers).

Cost of a paid ad is lower when the ad is better and CTR is higher.

Managing PPC Campaigns – Monitor Regularly & Keep Adjusting

Do not set up your paid ad campaigns and then forget about them – that’s a sure shot way to overpay and underperform.

PPC ad campaigns need to be monitored frequently until you get the desired results. Make the required changes to optimize your campaigns by adding relevant keywords to expand the reach for your business.

Also, add negative keywords to cut down the unrequired cost by not showing your ad for negative keywords.

For example, someone searching for ‘free book on PPC’ is not looking to buy. By adding ‘free’ as a negative keyword, the paid ads will not show when a user types this text in the search.

You can also improve your site CTR and quality score by splitting your ad groups into multiple smaller groups. This helps to create more targeted ad text.

Another important thing that one needs to do is a regular review of the expensive keywords which are not performing well. Just stop using them to cut down the cost.

Further, one can also refine his/her landing page by adding a relevant call to action (CTA) pertaining to the user search query to increase the conversion rates.

However, don’t be in a rush to change your campaign in case your keywords are not frequently searched.

Rather wait for a few weeks before you make any changes to your campaign else you will end up spending more money which is not required.

All campaigns, even a well-designed one, should be reviewed and refined weekly.

If you want to manage within your PPC budget, you must also track ROI in the form of conversions.

 A conversion is not necessarily a sale, but a desired action taken by a visitor to your site.

Example of such activities can be a visitor making a purchase or registering for an event or filling details in a ‘contact us’ form.

There is no point of spending money on PPC advertising if you can’t identify a useful result of a user visit to your site.

 Conclusion

Due to ever-increasing competition in the current internet landscape, it becomes challenging for businesses to generate fast results.

PPC turns out to be one of the methods to get results rapidly provided your campaign serves the users searching for your business offerings.

However, a lot of effort goes into setting up a successful PPC advertising campaign.

From exploring and choosing the right keywords to formulating those keywords into organized ad groups and campaigns, to setting up landing pages that are optimized for conversions.

Search engines charge less for ad clicks which comes from an ad which is relevant and well targeted. 

So, to start leveraging Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, it’s essential to learn how to do it right. The other option is to hire professional PPC experts (like Netilly) to help you out.

If you’d like to discuss how PPC can help your business or brand, then please drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our PPC experts.

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What is Digital Marketing?

Image used for a blog post on "What is Digital" published on the Netilly official blog

Digital Marketing! Another buzzword which you must have come across in the current high-tech internet-connected era.

The global spend on digital marketing is reported to have crossed the $100 Billion mark in 2018. In the US and UK, the industry is growing at a whopping 44%.

One of the most significant events that has affected ‘marketing over the last three decades is the mass adoption of the internet into everyday life.

Today 40% of the world’s population has access to the internet. It was less than 1% in 1995.

Currently, there are an estimated 4.1 Billion internet users in the world.

With 26% of U.S. adults staying ‘almost constantly’ online and an overall 77% of Americans going online daily, the way people shop has changed the way companies market their products and services.

Every company in today’s time needs to market its products, services or brands ‘online’ if they must survive.

This is digital marketing at a fundamental level!

In case you are looking for a more formal definition here it is:

Digital Marketing, also known as ‘online marketing,’ is basically promoting products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. It’s a way to connect with and influence your potential customers ‘online’.

Digital marketing, using multiple channels and methods, enables organizations to analyze marketing campaigns and understand what is working for them and what’s not in real-time.

In this blog let’s explore three key W’s of Digital Marketing!

Why is Digital Marketing essential for your business?

As per Salesforce, 75% of the total marketing budget is expected to go to Digital Marketing!

Let’s look at some interesting facts to understand why digital marketing is currently an essential investment that businesses must make:

  • 72% of marketers believe that the traditional way of marketing is no longer enough and digital marketing will increase their company sales & revenue by 30%.
  • 83% of businesses think their efforts through digital marketing channels are useful in helping them accomplish their goal.
  • According to a survey of more than 500 digital marketers, most businesses rely on a variety of digital marketing channels to drive sales and revenue.
  • There will be more than 2 billion online shoppers around the world by 2020, so it’s essential for businesses to have an online presence.

Digital marketing is an easy way for companies to tell their brand’s story and bring them to life on a digital platform.

A firm can engage with its audience effectively with the ability to narrate their brand story on digital media channels such as social media platforms, a website, or through email.

What benefits does Digital Marketing bring in?

People often think that the main advantage of digital marketing is that a target audience can be reached cost-effectively.

But is it enough?

Not really, until one can measure the marketing efforts real-time.

With the traditional offline marketing, it is not easy to measure how many people reach the specific page of a newspaper where your ad is published.

Further, it is way complicated to know how many readers paid attention to your ad and if that ad was responsible for any sales conversions.

But with digital marketing, one can see accurate results in real-time and can also measure the ROI of any of your marketing efforts.

There are many tools available such as Google Analytics which can tell the exact number of people who have viewed your website, how many pages they visited and which location are they from, in real time.

One can even identify patterns and trends in a user’s behavior before he/she reaches the final stage of buying.

 It means a business owner can make more informed decisions about how to attract them to his/her website right at the top of the marketing funnel.

Further, right tools and an effective strategy for digital marketing allows one to track all sales back to a buyer’s first interaction with his/her business.

Which Digital Marketing channels are most commonly used?

The approach to Digital marketing largely depends upon the type of audience interactions.

Further, businesses usually invest in a combination of Digital Marketing channels.

Let’s briefly touch base the most popular digital marketing channels:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines are responsible for driving 93% of all website traffic. 

SEO is a technique of optimizing your website to “rank” higher in search engine results pages.

It is the most effective method to generate organic (free) traffic to your landing page.

Examples of SEO Tools: Google Keyword Planner, SEM Rush, Long Tail Pro

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

 PPC is another technique to drive traffic to a website.

The advertiser needs to pay a publisher every time his/her ad is clicked.

While SEO takes 3-6 months to generate results, PPC leverages the paid ad campaigns to drive inorganic traffic to your website.

Examples of PPC Tools: Google AdWords, SpyFu, Ahrefs, SEM Rush

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

 SMM is one of the highest used (81%) digital marketing channel.

Social media marketing enhances a firm’s brand awareness by promoting its brand and content on social media platforms.

It also drives traffic and generates leads for a business. The channels you can use in SMM are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Google+.

Examples of SMM Tools: Buffer, Sprout Special, HootSuite

Content Marketing (CM)

 Great content is the fuel that drives a business’s digital marketing function. 

Content Marketing is basically the creation and promotion of content to generate brand awareness, drive traffic, lead generation, and convert leads into sales.

Examples of CM Tools: BuzzSumo, Kred

Email Marketing

 Email has been around for more than two decades, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

It’s still the most direct and quickest way to reach customers with critical information. People are very attached to their emails!

Examples of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include:

  • Newsletters for a blog subscription.
  • Follow-up emails to visitors who took any kind of action on a website.
  • Welcome emails for new customers.

Affiliate Marketing

 This is a kind of performance-based marketing which allows one to promote someone else’s products or services on his/her website and receive a commission.

Examples of Affiliate marketing channels:

  • Via your social media accounts, posting affiliate links.
  • Via the YouTube Partner Program, hosting video ads.

Many companies are offering digital marketing courses for learning these tools efficiently.

Conclusion

To sum up, digital marketing is about accomplishing marketing objectives through digital channels and technology.

Further, joining the dots between sales and marketing is essential.

As per a market study, companies can achieve a 20% annual growth rate, if their sales and marketing functions are aligned, compared to a 4% decline in revenue for companies with poor alignment.

If a business can improve its customer’s journey throughout the purchasing cycle by using digital marketing, then it’s likely to reflect positively on the bottom line.

If you are looking to grow your brand or business through digital marketing, drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

image for blog social media marketing

A decade back, nobody could have imagined that communicating with people anywhere across the globe would become so fast.

Today not only can one connect within a fraction of seconds but also share pictures, videos, and documents over the internet so easily and instantly!

Sharing live updates, stories, experiences, or moments through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are an “in” thing.

In fact, social media has become an essential part of people’s everyday lives. From teenaged youngsters to septuagenarians, everyone alike is hooked onto the social media apps on their mobile handsets.

With an estimated 4.1 Billion internet users and nearly 3.1 Billion social media users, the landscape for today’s diverse social media has drastically changed.

According to a survey done by ‘The Manifest’ of more than 600 social media users, people regularly access a variety of social media channels via a mobile app or computer web browser.

Further, an interesting but scary revelation from the report is that the average person will spend nearly five years, four months of his or her life on social media.

Image showing a pie chart with distribution of time a person spends on various social media platforms
Image Source: mediakix.com

Time Spent on Social Media = 5 Years, 4 Months in a Lifetime

86% of people use social media at least once daily out of which 72% use it multiple times every day.

These numbers are bound to grow, as most people are becoming increasingly dependent on their social networks for advice.

People use social media platforms to reach out to their friends, relatives, or colleagues for things like medical advice and travel recommendations.

Facebook is literally a country by itself, with over 62% of North Americans using it. And that’s just one of the many social media platforms.

With so many people on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., these channels have become revenue generating customer-bases for businesses across the globe. How? Simply through something called ‘Social Media Marketing.’

Social media marketing (SMM) is the use of social media websites to market a company’s products and services and generate organic (free) traffic to their sites.

This helps in optimizing the website’s position on search engines, i.e. it will be seen in the first few results as anyways 90% of users browsing the internet to search something do not usually look any further than the first page of the search engine.

Many businesses also promote their products or services directly on social media platforms.

SMM provides businesses with an effective way to reach new prospects, engage with existing customers and promote their brand, mission or tone.

Creative and engaging marketing on social media can bring phenomenal success to businesses by creating brand visibility and even driving leads and sales.

In fact, SMM has become an integral part of the digital marketing strategy of most small and big businesses as well as professionals and freelancers.

How does SMM work?

SMM experts use social media ad campaigns and various other strategies to develop messages and ‘sticky’ content and have people engage with it.

Individual users share those posts with their online social community of family, friends, and colleagues resulting in the matter going viral.

This strategy provides several benefits upfront, such as:

  • The content reaches a wider audience that an SMM manager may not have been able to access otherwise.
  • Shared content carries an implicit recommendation when sent by someone whom the recipients know and trust.
  • Cost of SMM is low compared to traditional marketing approaches like advertising.
  • Unlike traditional advertising where the reach and effectiveness can’t be measured, social media platforms provide accurate insights into engagement metrics ( like the number of people reached, number of clicks, the number of views and resulting actions).
  • Sticky content gets a user’s attention and increases the possibility that he or she will conduct a desired action, such as purchase a product or service or else share the content with others on social media platforms. This, in turn, helps in search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Some social media ad campaigns encourage customers to share their feedback, such as product reviews or comments, which is an excellent way to engage directly with the people.

Further, many social networks allow users to provide detailed personal, demographic, and geographical information, which enables marketers to tailor their messages such that it is most likely to resonate with the intended users.

This helps companies ensure that the marketing campaigns are specifically targeted at the right audience.

To be able to measure and quantify results for the money, time, and efforts which have been put in ‘marketing campaigns’ is an essential goal for any business.

Social media platforms have in-built data analytics tools that allow marketers to track how successful their efforts have been. Also, the impact of SMM efforts on the traffic data on a website can be monitored using Google analytics.

Some of the metrics used to measure the success of an SMM campaign include the number of likes on a post, the number of shares and reach (can be monitored using tools like BuzzSumo), the number of click-through rates and views and finally, the sales funnel created through the leads generated.

If we dive deeper into SMM, there are primarily two ways of doing SMM promotions- active and passive.

Active SMM Promotion

If sharing your content on various social media platform is a task in itself, then no one is going to do so. Forget people doing copy and paste links of your content across various social networks.

To encourage social sharing among web users, active SMM promotion is the way forward. Active promotion means adding links such as social media sharing buttons (as below) to the content on your website.

You can add these social media buttons to your blogs or content on the website with simple code that allows users to share your content across the web with just a couple of clicks. In WordPress, these buttons don’t even require any plugins.

Image showing the social media share buttons that enable users to share content on different social media platforms

Social networks which can be used for SMM campaigns are listed below (Most have their own terms of use):

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Quora

With the above mentioned social media platforms, companies also have the option of launching paid ad campaigns to reach wider target audiences, thus improving traffic on a website or a specific web page.

Passive SMM Promotion

Passive SMM promotion refers to promoting activities on social media platforms by updating statuses, publishing images, videos, tweets, or posting blogs.

Traction through passive promotion is achieved by creating content that works well on the individual platform as each platform is different. On one, blog content may work whereas on another, a video may do better and on another probably, pictures dominate.

Hence every platform requires a different strategy but, in the end, whatever content is posted, must be informative and engaging so that people share it more and more with their online communities.

This kind of promotion also seeks customer’s direct feedback real-time, which can be further analyzed to enhance their brand experience.

Preparing an SMM campaign for your business

Before you start creating SMM campaigns, consider your business’s goals. If you for launching a social media campaign without a proper strategy in mind you’ll possibly get lost as it’s like roaming around a jungle without a map

When defining your social media marketing goals, here are some questions to ask:

  • What are you expecting to achieve through SMM?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What message do you want to pass on to your target audience?
  • Which all social media platforms would your target audience use?

Your SMM strategy should be driven by your business type. For example, a travel business can get a lot of traction from a strong presence on Instagram or YouTube being highly visual platforms.

A business-to-business (B2B) company might find more leverage on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Apart from a right SMM strategy, here are a few quick best practices for your social media marketing campaigns:

  • Create engaging content. Can’t emphasize this enough how important it is for your SMM campaign. Until your content is appealing, it will not fetch you any result. Getting a like on a post is easier than getting a comment, so ask people question in your posts or videos to give you feedback.
  • Share your social media posts multiple times. Once anything is out of sight, it’s out of mind. People need to be reminded continuously about your brand for their subconscious mind to register it. Make sure you post regularly.
  • Create a reliable brand image. Your business brand identity, whether it’s a value system or fun or trustworthiness, should remain consistent irrespective of which social media platform you use as each platform has its own unique style and voice.
  • Do a regular competitive analysis to observe the trends. One can get valuable data for keyword research and other marketing insights by keeping an eye on competitors’ social media posts. Consider using the same technique or social media platform, which seems to be working for your competitors and try to do it better than them.
  • Make your presence felt on social networks. Make sure you participate well on the social web by creating conversations and not just uploading photos on social media. Be known to the social community.

 Conclusion

Social media with such extensive use presents an incredible opportunity for marketing. In fact, for a few people, consistent use of social media even opens up career prospects.

Through sharing content n social media with friends, influencer and blogger Christina Vidal made a career out of it. She is a full-time traveler and now has nearly 75.5k followers on her Instagram account. She uses social media multiple times every day.

So it is better to learn social media marketing (SMM) now instead of losing in the long run.

If you find this article and the tips given in this article useful, please share with us in the comments section below.

If you’d like to discuss how SMM can help your business or brand, then please drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our SMM Specialists.

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How does Content Marketing help Drive Organic Traffic to a Website and aid SEO?

Image used for the Blog on How does content marketing help drive organic traffic on a website and aid SEO

You must have possibly heard that – getting traffic from a search engine is hard, but buying traffic is easy. Though garnering organic (free) traffic is no cakewalk, but it’s the best way to get traffic for any business for two reasons.

Firstly, around 80% of web users ignore paid ads in search results. Secondly, it sends you the most targeted traffic, and once you do it right, its free traffic.

In fact, more than 51% of content consumption in 2018 was majorly driven by organic search. Hence, boosting organic traffic for your website or content is the best way forward!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to get organic traffic, and the ROI proves to be higher as time elapses.

Building organic traffic through SEO is undoubtedly the hardest effort you’ll ever put into your website. But the time and effort on this can essentially become the most significant investment.

Reason being the SEO content you put on your website today will drive traffic not only today or tomorrow but for the long term probably several years from now.

This is not the case with paid Google AdWords, which will not get you any traffic the moment you stop paying. That’s why focusing on enhancing organic traffic through SEO is an effort worthy enough for the long-term.

When it comes to following the right approach to garner more organic traffic, Whitehat SEO is the best way to stay on top of traffic that is sustainable as we discussed in our beginner’s blog on SEO.

Let us now dive a little deeper to understand how SEO boosts organic site traffic at no cost except your time.

Create Quality Content & Optimize Old Content at Reposting

The intent of creating content is not to fill the website pages or blogs just for the sake of doing it. Publishing valuable content that renders value to its readers is the reason behind the search engines, ranking a good content website higher.

Your website is a representation of your business, and usually, it’s the first impression a potential customer may have of your business.

Essentially your website is a representation of your business, and it forms the first impression about your business in a potential customer’s mind.

You shouldn’t be publishing low-quality blog posts just as you wouldn’t deliver a crappy product or service,

In fact, when you publish unique and information-packed content, it acts as an ultimate marketing strategy where the content ranks higher for relevant keywords.

With search engines becoming smarter over time, they can weigh the content you have posted. If the content is good, it is ranked higher, and that is how organic traffic reaches the website or blog.

So before hitting the ‘Publish’ button, give your content everything you can.

Further updating and republishing older blog posts with new content and good images or insightful videos can grow organic traffic by as much as around 111%.

Using Long Tail Key Phrases

Primary keywords have higher search volumes. However, broad two or three-word key phrases are highly competitive. So rather than going for the most popular keywords, it is better to use keywords that are more specific to your product or service.

Instead of sticking to the addition of two or three phrases of keywords switch to long tail key phrases.

Let’s take an example – if you are running a digital marketing agency, then instead of trying to rank for the term ‘digital marketing agency’, narrow it down a bit more and go for something like ‘digital marketing agency for real estate’.

This will narrow down your content ranking for those specific keywords that are more relevant and will lure potential leads to your website with higher chances of conversion.

Long-tail key phrases are likely to be closer to what a real user would be typing into a search engine while looking for something on the web. Thus the long tail keywords have lesser competition and higher relevancy.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is purely a genuine way to earn links that are valuable to your website. Publishing your content on a high authority website is a perfect way to garner more eyeballs. Make sure you post quality content on these websites and expose it the way you present your own blog on social media channels.

Apart from this, some of the best practices to consider when guest posting are:

  • Aim for publishing guest posts only for trusted websites with high domain authority and decent traffic.
  • Create content in and around your niche o reach your ideal audience.
  • Create relevant backlinks to some of your blogs or content on your own website.
  • Engage with the readers regularly by responding to their comments irrespective of whether it’s a guest post on someone else’ website. This is a great way to build a rapport and establish a relationship with those visitors. 

Create & Use Relevant Internal Links

You need to work strategically to create powerful internal links in your blogs and on your website to guide your visitors to more relevant content.

This can boost your search rankings by keeping visitors on your website for longer. But this will happen only if you have used links in a way that are natural and relevant for the reader and not created just for the heck of creating an internal link. Ultimately internal links should add value and provide relevant information to the visitors.

Once a page is ranked higher in a search engine, you can internally link it to other pages on your website. This way, you can embrace the SEO aspects for those other pages also to possibly get high ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).

There is no shortcut to it- all you need to make sure is that you keep good links and keep removing the bad ones periodically. However, don’t overuse internal links else it will look like spam.

Utilize Social Media Promotion 

It has become imperative to build a substantial presence across social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Google understands that recommendation for any shared content, on all these social media channels by people within their trusted social community, is a great signal to rank that content or website higher.

All of the social media marketing (SMM) promotional activities help to get your brand and website address out on the internet. Write content worthy enough of sharing and add share buttons within your content and website so that people can share your content or website easily.

Monitor Regularly 

It is very crucial to monitor what is happening within your domain. Use tools like Google Analytics to track visitors to your blog and website.

 You can fine-tune your content after analyzing where the visitors are coming from and what keywords they searched.

It is also advisable to monitor your competitor’s social profiles to see what’s working for them and try to do it better than them.

Try to be in Google’s Good Books 

Avoid using any unethical ways to get good ranking on search engines as it’s unwise to be on Google’s wrong side. You should always look for increasing organic traffic ethically or else be ready to get hit with a Google penalty sooner or later.

Achieving good ranking in search engines through ethical means might be a time consuming process, but eventually, it gives good results in the long term in terms of increasing organic traffic.

Don’t buy inbound links or build cheap links. Also, don’t publish low quality or plagiarized content.

Instead, get into the habit of creating quality content that aids users and provides a solution to what they are looking for. Eventually, that will drive more organic traffic than any other alternate shortcut ever will do. 

Conclusion

Hard work always gets the best results, and it’s no different on the web. If you are looking for more organic traffic, you must put more effort into it. 

That means giving your best effort every time, identifying the niche for content, understanding good and bad backlinks, knowing your keywords, guest blogging strategically, staying on Google’s good side and lastly you need to consistently implement all of these to create an organic reach over your competitor.

The most important task is to closely monitor what SEO technique is bringing you more organic traffic. Once it is identified, keep implementing it consistently to get results that are organic and gigantic. 

If you have any questions or need assistance about building organic traffic for your website, please leave a comment below or drop us an email. We will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our SEO experts.

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What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

image for blog search engine optimization

The invention of the internet and its impact on the way the world works has been nothing less than revolutionary. Take Google as an example. Today, we have become so dependent on the most popular search engine for finding the information that we need, that people use its name as a synonym for the word “search.”

Google receives 63,000 search queries per second which translates to 5.6 Billion searches per day! Have you ever wondered how website links are prioritized on result pages when you search for anything on a search engine like Google?

Do you usually click the topmost links which appear on the first page of the search engine results? A lot of this makes a fundamental difference when it comes to businesses engaged in the selling of products and (or) services “online”.

Interestingly, 93% of all website traffic is majorly driven by search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, etc. If we specifically talk about Google, 75% of people searching through web start their searches on Google, and the first five results on Google get 67% of all clicks.

The higher your website link shows up on the search engine result pages (SERPs), the better it is! But how does one achieve the topmost rankings for their website? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the obvious answer.

SEO is a technique of optimizing one’s website to “rank” higher in the organic SERPs. It is the most effective method to generate organic (natural or free) traffic to your site.

The organic search results are those that appear directly below the top pay-per-click (PPC) adverts in Google, pre-fixed with Ad icon and are most viable for the long-term. Such as highlighted below:

Image showing the organic search result below the paid pay per click google adwords advertisement
An Organic Search Result below the Pay Per Click Advertisement
 SEO can improve visibility in various other search result sets as well, such as map listings, videos, the knowledge graph and more. 

The SEO industry is expected to reach $80 Billion by 2020 according to a report by Borrell Associates that produces advertising reports. The whopping number is for businesses in the U.S. alone.
 

 How does SEO Work?

Google (or any other search engine) score their search results based mainly upon relevancy and authority of pages it has crawled and included – every detail it crawled through- in its web index.  That index is fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with user query to provide the best answer.

Google uses a cluster of ranking factors in its algorithm to score their search results and uses a hyperlink based algorithm, PageRank, to calculate the popularity and authority of a page. This is still a fundamental factor in ranking even though Google is far more sophisticated today. In fact, Google keeps updating its algorithm as the behavior of people changes.

SEO further encompasses technical and creative activities to influence and improve some of those known ranking factors. SEO also includes actions to help improve the number and quality of “inbound links” to a website, from other sites.

Relevant and renowned websites linking to a site is a strong signal to Google that it might be of interest to its users. This also signifies that the website having backlinks is ‘authoritative’ and can be trusted to appear in the search results for relevant queries.

Activities involved in SEO?

SEO activities are often grouped into “Onsite SEO” and “Offsite SEO.” These two categories split practices that can be performed on a website, and away from a site.

Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO, also known as On-Page SEO, refers to technical activities to improve organic visibility within the website. This broadly means optimizing the site and content itself to improve the relevancy, accessibility, and experience for users. Some of the typical activities (though not the complete list) include –

  • Keyword Research– Understanding the user’s intent and their expectations from their search. Analyzing the kind of words and frequency used by prospective customers to find brands, services or products.
  • Technical Aspects– Ensuring the website can be crawled and indexed and is free from errors or user experience barriers.
  • On-Page Optimization– Improving the website structure, internal navigation, on-page alignment, and content relevancy to target relevant search phrases.
  • Content Optimization– Ensuring amazing content with compelling data that establishes subject expertise, authority and trust, and ultimately provides an excellent user experience.

Offsite SEO

Offsite SEO, also known as Off-Page SEO, refers to creative activities carried outside of a website to improve organic visibility. This aims to increase the number of reputable links from other domains hence often mentioned as ‘link building,’ as search engines use them as scoring for trustworthiness.

Quality links from websites and pages with more trust, popularity, and relevancy pass more value to another domain than an unknown poor webpage that isn’t trusted by search engines.

Some of the typical activities include –

  • Digital PR– Strong PR provides reasons for other websites to talk and link to your domain. This might be internal news flow, writing for external publications, original research, expert interviews, quotes and much more.
  • Outreach & Promotion– This involves communicating with key journalists, influencers, bloggers or webmasters about a brand, resource, or content to gain coverage and ultimately earn links to a website.

The more quality, relevant sites that link to your website, the higher your position in search engine results will be. If the site won’t send any visitors, or the audience is entirely irrelevant and unrelated, then it might not really be a link that’s worth pursuing.

Before we conclude, let’s quickly look at different approaches for SEO- black hat and white hat.

White-Hat SEO, Black-Hat SEO, and Gray-Hat SEO

There are two major approaches to SEO – White-Hat SEO (the ‘good’ kind), and Black-Hat SEO (the ‘shady’ kind). There are of course differing opinions about the nature of each of these SEO approaches.

 It’s important to remember link schemes such as buying links, exchanging links excessively, or low-quality articles that aim to manipulate rankings- falls into the category of Black-Hat SEO. These are against Google’s guidelines, and strict action can be taken by penalizing a website.

The best and most sustainable approach is White-Hat SEO. Best way to improve the inbound links to your website is earning them rather than buying them. This can be achieved by providing genuine and compelling reasons for sites to cite and link to your brand for who you are, the service or product you offer or the content you create.

There is another SEO practice called Gray-hat SEO, which is riskier than White-Hat SEO, but may or may not result in your site being banned from the search engine(s). This may involve tactics which are ill-defined and could improve your site’s ranking without negative consequences.

But it’s not wise to get on Google’s wrong side, and if you aren’t sure whether a given method is in violation of Google’s guidelines or not, it’s best to avoid that tactic.

Conclusion

Investing in SEO can return an exceptional ROI compared to other types of marketing and promotion. However, it takes three to six months of ongoing effort for results to come through and requires continuous analytics monitoring.

SEO activities require expertise to carry them though they can also be learned. The other option is to hire professional SEO experts (like Netilly) to help you out.

If you’d like to discuss how SEO can help your business or brand, then please drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our SEO Specialists.

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