Category: Marketing
Video Marketing Trends For 2022

In 2022 it is predicted that the average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos. Can your business afford not to be featured in that 100 minutes!

  • 93% of businesses already have video marketing as an integral part of their marketing strategy.
  • 84% of consumers have been convinced to buy a product after watching a video.
  • 82% of all online traffic in 2022 will be video, according to Cisco.
 

Still not convinced, let’s take a look at some of the video marketing trends for 2022

Live Video

Live video really took off in 2020 when the pandemic shut down in-person events. It became an incredibly powerful way for brands and influencers to connect with audiences. While video is popular overall, consumers will engage more when the content is live – users will watch a Facebook live for 3 x longer than the same pre-recorded video and are six times more likely to engage. Lives are a really powerful way for brands to share real time content with their audiences – this can include live coaching sessions, brand launches, product reveals and live interviews. Do you have live videos as a part of your 2022 marketing strategy?

video-marketing-article

Smartphone Production

Thanks to the advancements in technology, you don’t need expensive video equipment or time in a studio to get quality video. You can use your smartphone to create quality, authentic and engaging content. In fact, influencers have perfected the art of creating video content with nothing but a cell phone – think TikTok, Instagram Reels and Vlogs.

 

Search-Optimised Videos

Research by Forrester found that videos are “53 times more likely to generate first-page rankings than other traditional SEO techniques.” Are you taking advantage of this?

Videos need to be relevant. They need to solve a problem, answer a question, or educate the audience and they need to be interesting.

Consistency is key. You can’t create on video and expect it to rank. You need to be creating regular, consistent content that is posted to your website as well as your other social media channels.

Optimise your videos. Creating the video is the first step, making sure you use title tags, keywords and engaging thumbnails is the next step to help optimise your video.

 

Vlogs

Telling your brand’s story should be a part of your marketing strategy as it allows you to really connect with your consumers and build a community. One of the best ways to tell your story is through the use of video blogs (vlogs). Your brand becomes the main character, and you can use that voice to tell the brand story which allows your audience to understand who and what the brand stands for. Influencers are, again, leading the way when it comes to the creation of authentic and engaging vlogs.

 

Social Media Stories

Unlike vlogs, stories are an informal way of connecting with your audience, allowing you to share behind the scenes snippets and outtakes. Because they are informal, stories are a lot more interactive. You can ask questions, run polls, share challenges, and create campaigns.

video-marketing-article-infographic

Silent Videos

85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Sounds strange but makes sense since users are watching videos on the go, in waiting rooms, on trains and in classrooms. If a video doesn’t make sense without sound, people will stop watching. A quick fix is to add closed captions to your video if their audio.

 

User-Generated Content

User-generated content builds more trust, and most users find it more authentic and appealing. Using user-generated content is a win-win for brands – it builds trust and creates content for your channels. You don’t need to work with influencers to get UCG, encourage your clients to share their experience with your brand and tag you so you can reshare it. Video should be a large part of your 2022 marketing plan, but you cannot rely on video alone, it does need to be a part of a larger marketing strategy, supported by creative, engaging content and images. Our team of marketing consultants can help you develop an overall marketing strategy that includes video, and our skilled videographers can create quality video for you to use on your website and on your social media channels.


Marketing And Branding, They Are Not The Same Thing

When it comes to marketing your business there are so many buzzwords that it can be hard to figure out what is important and more importantly why is it important. Branding and marketing are two terms that are very commonly (but mistakenly) thrown in the same basket. Marketing and branding are two very different concepts – you can’t have one without other, but you can’t deal with them the same way and you most definitely cannot ignore either one.

When you are starting your business, it is important to clearly define your branding and your marketing strategy – if you don’t it will be a struggle to grow your business.

What is marketing?

Wikipedia define marketing as follows “Marketing is the process of exploring, creating, and delivering value to meet the needs of a target market.”

Essentially marketing is everything you do get your specific audience to buy your products or services. Marketing changes and evolves constantly – audiences evolve and change, channels of communication change, your business changes and your marketing efforts need to keep up with that.

Marketing, in general, can include.

Each of these methods of marketing will be used for a specific reason to reach a specific audience. A successful marketing strategy will consider and make use of the right channels at the right time, which means you may use all of these or only one or two at a time. Basically, marketing never remains constant, it is constantly changing to meet the needs of the audience.

What is branding?

The Entrepreneur defines branding as “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.”

Sounds simple enough right?

Not spending enough time developing a brand is one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs can make. Branding is more than just a logo; it is what will separate you from your competitors and make people remember your brand over other brands.

Before you decide on a company name, or a logo answer the following set of questions.

Why did you start your business?

What is the mission statement of your business?

What are your core principles and values?

Why this product or service?

What make you different?

What is your style?

How do you communicate?

When someone hears your business name, what do you want them to think of?

When you have a clear understanding of your brand, it will drive your marketing efforts and will determining how your audience experiences your brand.

The differences between marketing and branding

Branding and marketing work hand in hand but there are some key differences between the two that need to be understood when you are building both your branding and your marketing strategy.

Marketing grabs attention but branding keeps it.

In order for your business to stand out from the others in the industry, you need to make a noise and that is where marketing comes in. But once you have the attention of your audience you need to make sure you keep them – enter branding.

People are more likely to buy from a brand they are familiar with, one that they trust and one that makes them feel good.

89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.

Your marketing and branding strategies need to be aligned – your branding defines your marketing message.

Marketing is all about sales, but branding is about loyalty.

Your marketing team are largely driven by increasing revenue, driving leads and growth but your brand managers are focused on building brand loyalty.

Over 70% of brand managers consider building an audience more important than converting sales.

Without a loyal audience (or even an audience at all) you won’t have sales, right? Branding plays the long game and is focused on building up a loyal audience who will not only buy the products or service but will also come back and tell their friends and family.

Branding may not drive sales right now, but it will determine the sustainability of the brand in the long term which is equally as important as marketing to drive immediate sales.

Which comes first? Marketing or branding?

If you don’t have a message, how are you going to market? This is another common mistake entrepreneurs make; they start driving sales without a clear idea of what their business actually stands for.

To answer the question – branding comes first. Marketing has to have something to market!

What are the colours of your logo?

What does your packaging look like?

What is the company’s values?

What is your WHY?

Before you even create your website, or print a flyer or have a uniform made, you need to understand what your brand is, what it stands for and what the message is.

Once you have that, your marketing team are able to create a marketing strategy that speaks to the right audience, in the right tone with the right message.

Marketing evolves but your branding is forever

Think Nike and Coca-Cola, their branding has remained on point for decades. They have each made subtle changes to their logos but in essence their core branding has remained constant.

94% of the world’s population recognizes the Coca-Cola logo.

Their marketing efforts, however, are constantly evolving and changing. They have short, once off campaigns combined with longer term strategies but they change as their audience changes.

Branding does, however, also need to change and evolve as times changes but ultimately the core values and principles will always remain the same.

In short, branding and marketing are essential components of your business. They work together to help your business grow, drive leads and build a loyal community.

If you need help with your company’s branding, get in touch with us today and let us help your business prosper.


5 Reasons You Need LinkedIn for your Business

Is LinkedIn a part of your 2022 Social Media Strategy? If not, it needs to be.

LinkedIn is fast becoming one of the most valuable platforms for your business.

These are a few reasons why your business needs a LinkedIn page

  • There are 800 million Members on LinkedIn
  • At the end of 2021, LinkedIn claims to have reached 65 million decision-makers.
  • 87% of the Inc 500 companies use LinkedIn
  • The average LinkedIn user spent 7 minutes and 12 seconds

1. It increases your searchability

This is probably one of the most important reasons why you need LinkedIn for your business. When people search for a business, where is the first place they go? Google, right?

If you have a LinkedIn company profile, it will show up on the first page. The more relevant results people find when they search your business, the more your credibility grows. It does also increase the chances of people getting in touch with you, sending a message on LinkedIn is very quick and easy. 

2. Customise how you showcase your products and services

Your LinkedIn business page allows you to showcase your product and services easily and succinctly, but it also allows you the ability to customise the content you are sharing. There are tools available that give you the ability to target your audience and meet them where they are and shaping the message to suit them. 

LinkedIn has a tool that the other social media platforms do not have, you can create Showcase pages, further allowing you to target specific audiences for specific branches/areas of your business. 

3. Increase credibility

Establishing credibility is a goal all businesses share. Every business, regardless of the product or services they offer wants to develop a relationship with clients and be influential within their industry – a LinkedIn business page can help with this. In fact, if used right LinkedIn can help you position yourself as an industry leader. 

What sets LinkedIn apart from the other platforms? Quite simply it is the sharing power it has. You have the ability to make connections, not only with peers but with industry leaders. Groups offer powerful opportunities to connect with new audiences and establish credibility.

 

4. Staying front of mind

Business cards are so yesterday! LinkedIn allows you to share all your personal details and those of your business with potential clients and other connections. LinkedIn functions as your online business card and the benefit of this is that you can stay front of mind with everyone you meet. 

You can easily connect with people while still in a meeting or reach out to them after your interaction with a personalised message inviting them to like your LinkedIn business page.

 

5. Find new clients

Whether you like it or not, the business world is now digital, and your next client is using LinkedIn right now. 

LinkedIn is used to post jobs, find jobs, look for clients and so much more. If you spend time researching your ideal client on LinkedIn, find out what content they are responding to and create more of that kind of content, you will start to attract the clients you want. 

We can help set up your LinkedIn Business page, optimise your personal LinkedIn account and set up a content plan. 

Contact us today and let us help your business prosper.


17 Social Media Trends for 2022

Social networks aren’t about websites they’re about experiences

Social media is a part of life, whether we like it or not. As a business owner it is not something you can ignore – a social media strategy has to be a part of your digital marketing strategy.

What is social media?

Social media is more than just Facebook. Wikipedia outlines social media as including all of the following.

  • Social media are interactive Web 2.0 Internet – based applications.
  • User-generated content—such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos, and data generated through all online interactions — is the lifeblood of social media.
  • Users create service specific profiles for the website or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization.
  • Social media helps the development of online social networks by connecting a user’s profile with those of other individuals or groups.

It is important to keep this in mind when you start working on your social media strategy for 2022.

These are some of the social media trends for 2022 that you also need to consider:

  • TikTok Will Continue to Grow
    Those in the know have been saying this for a while now and even though Instagram remains a favourite, the growth in TikTok will continue rapidly. The main reason for this is the increase in popularity of short-form video but TikTok has also launched tools like ads and business profiles, making it a lot more user friendly for businesses. If you are targeting millennials and Gen Z, then you want to consider working on your TikTok account this year.
  • Consider Ads on Smaller Networks
    When it comes to ads, TikTok isn’t the only platform that has made marked improvements. Pinterest and Snap Chat are both growing in popularity, especially when it comes to ads. Pinterest Business recently shared data that found that Pinterest ads are generating twice the return on ad spend, compared to other channels. Snap Chat has also shown noteworthy increases in performance recently, making it another one of the smaller platforms to consider.

Shifting focus to smaller platforms is advisable, especially since Apple’s announcement in 2021 to block Facebooks ability to target significant segments of its users.

  • Social Commerce Will Continue to Expand
    Selling on social media will no longer be a nice to have but it will become the norm. It is expected that the social commerce industry will be worth $80 billion by 2025. Social media channels will continue to improve the shopping experience for users, allowing brands and businesses to streamline the online retail experience. When you are setting up your user experience keep this in mind and make the purchasing process as seamless and simple as possible.
  • The Focus is Now on Reaching New Audiences
    Social media goals should no longer be to boost sales and advertise but rather the goals for 2022 need to shift to focus on reaching new audiences, improving customer relationships and customer services. Social media channels will no longer be used for purely advertising, there will be a significant shift to improved customer experiences.
  • Video Content Remains King
    This comes as no surprise; we have seen the increase of video over the years, but it is now estimate that this year 82% of all content will be video. If you are not creating video content – even short form video, you are going to fall behind. Instagram, Facebook and TikTok all allow you to easily create engaging video that can be shared in real time. If you are considering adding video to your strategy for 2022, set up some time with our video production team to see how he can help you create content that is king.
  • Social Audio will Increase
    According to Hootsuite’s 2022 Social Media Trends survey, 74% of business plan to invest in audio-only content in 2022. This includes creating podcasts and other audio-only content. While it is not as easy to create this type of content as it is to create video, it is something to be aware of.
  • Paid Advertising is Now a Necessity
    Organic reach is declining, and it has been for a while. It is still possible to grow accounts organically, but it now takes a lot longer and much bigger time investment than in previous years. This means that paid media is now a necessity and must be worked into your online marketing budget for 2022. We have a team of Paid Media experts who can assist you in developing a paid media strategy for 2022.
  • Influencer Marketing Will Grow Rapidly
    This is not a new trend, but it will continue to grow in 2022 with more and more people making a substantial living as influencers. Brands are spending more and more on influencer marketing, working with networks of relevant influencers to increase brand awareness, drive sales and build communities. When done correctly this type of marketing can be very beneficial for your business.
  • Customer Service Will be Important
    Social media is very quickly becoming a powerful place to improve customer service. More and more people are reaching out to brands online. They are looking for answers to questions on Facebook, they want to be able to query things on Instagram and brands have to respond accordingly. To make this process easier you can make use of chatbots, publish FAQs on your social media channels and make sure you respond to queries timeously.
  • User-generated Content Continues to Grow
    User-generated content is content that your users create and then tag and share the relevant brands. This has been used by brands for a while now, but it will see considerable growth in 2022. Many larger brands have seen great success using UGC on their social media channels (check out Airbnb – they rely heavily on UGC for their social media content). User-generate content is free and helps you to build credibility and is something you should work into your social media content strategy.
  • Social Listening is Invaluable
    Whether we like it or not, social media is a data gold mine. User behaviour is tracked and analysed using a variety of easily accessible social listening tools. Social listening offers invaluable insights into what users want, how they are responding to campaigns and generally what they want to see more of. Social listening can be as simple as creating or tracking hashtags and keywords to see what content is being generated on certain topics.
  • Inclusivity will be Important
    Brands need to be aware of social issues but more importantly brands need to focus on ensuring inclusivity. This will remain a hot topic in 2022 and brands need to ensure their content is sensitive and relevant while ensuring inclusivity.
  • Communities Remain Important
    Communities on social media include groups like Facebook Groups that can be private or public, depending on the purpose and goals. These are spaces where like-minded people can come together to share their stories, ask for information and build communities. Brands can utilise these communities in a variety of different ways, but the focus should always be on building a community.

Fio Marketing can help you with your Social Media marketing for 2022. Set up a consultation with one of consultants and let us help your business prosper.


Have You Ever Heard Of Neuromarketing?

Summary. Neuromarketing is a potential game-changer in the marketing landscape. Brain scanning and imaging equipment can be used to determine prospects’ reactions and preferences to stimuli such as logos, packaging material and campaigns, allowing marketers to essentially reverse engineer their marketing strategy by knowing which elements will contribute to conversions first. This could save significant amounts of time and money because all marketing efforts can be laser-targeted from the get-go.

Is it possible that all human feelings, thoughts, and actions are products of neural activity in the brain? Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, who put forward this hypothesis, certainly thought so. Its potential application for marketers to fully understand their audience on a neural level opens up new avenues that could have a seismic, game-changing impact on the marketing industry.

An article published in the Harvard Business Review discusses Crick’s theory saying, “For marketers, this idea promises that neurobiology can reduce the uncertainty and conjecture that traditionally hamper efforts to understand consumer behaviour. The field of neuromarketing—sometimes known as consumer neuroscience—studies the brain to predict and potentially even manipulate consumer behaviour and decision making.”

There are different schools of thought about the efficacy of neuromarketing. Many people dismiss it as a ‘frontier science’, not worth any investment; others are intrigued, studying it more in-depth to find its marketing application potential.

Neuromarketing could be a vehicle that would allow us to determine the ideal customer experience first. In theory, an innovative marketing consultancy could reverse-engineer traditional marketing processes because, technically, we’ll know what elements are needed to induce the desired behavioural change, leading to increased quality lead generation and conversions.

This could potentially mean that because we are essentially starting at the conversion stage, long-lasting marketing methodologies such as the sales funnel could be inverted, entirely changing the way we market to consumers. Sounds cool, right? But is it really feasible? Let’s take a deeper dive.

 

What is neuromarketing exactly?

The article published by the Harvard Review further states, “Neuromarketing” loosely refers to the measurement of physiological and neural signals to gain insight into customers’ motivations, preferences, and decisions, which can help inform creative advertising, product development, pricing, and other marketing areas.”

There are two components to consider.

Neuroscientific medical research

Neuromarketing includes the direct use of brain imaging and scanning by using brain activity measurement technology such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and an electroencephalogram (EEG) as trackable measurement methods.

A regular contributor to Forbes, Roger Dooley, comments, “[You] may find that a particular stimulus causes a consistent response in the brain of test subjects and that this response is correlated with the desired behaviour (e.g., trying something new). A marketing campaign that specifically incorporates that stimulus hoping to create that behaviour can be said to incorporate neuromarketing, even though no physical testing of subjects was done for that campaign.”

In a nutshell, the aim is to see which brain areas are stimulated (light up) and the subjects’ coinciding reactions (positive or negative) when ‘experiencing’ different products, types of advertising, packaging, campaign ideas, and other marketing components.

Once we have images from which to work, benchmarks could be set, and the reactions could be measured across a spectrum ranging from highly positive to extremely negative feedback.

How does the equipment work?

The articles further explain how the brain measuring equipment functions:

“An EEG (electroencephalogram) reads brain-cell activity using sensors placed on the subject’s scalp; it can track changes in activity over fractions of a second, but it does a poor job of pinpointing exactly where the activity occurs or measuring it in deep, subcortical regions of the brain (where a lot of activity takes place).

An fMRI can peer deep into the brain but is cumbersome, and it tracks activity only over several seconds, which may miss fleeting neural incidents. (Moreover, fMRI machines are often more expensive than EEG equipment, typically costing about $5 million with high overhead, versus about $20,000). Tools for measuring the physiological proxies for brain activity tend to be more affordable and easier to use.”

So, it’s theoretically possible that the data obtained and analysed from brain scans and imaging can provide marketers with the golden all-access pass into the mind and consequent consumer behaviour. The acquired quantitative data could be applied in different social contexts to determine particular responses.

The social application

The interest in consumer neuroscience began approximately 15 years ago.

 

Case study

Business school researchers started to demonstrate that advertising, branding, and other marketing tactics can have measurable impacts on the brain.

“In 2004, researchers at Emory University served Coca-Cola and Pepsi to subjects in an fMRI machine. When the drinks weren’t identified, the researchers noted a consistent neural response. But when subjects could see the brand, their limbic structures (brain areas associated with emotions, memories, and unconscious processing) showed enhanced activity, demonstrating that knowledge of the brand altered how the brain perceived the beverage.”

From a marketing perspective, it can be deduced that brand reputation, awareness, trust, and loyalty significantly influence an individual’s neural pathways, which result in them choosing between Coca-Cola or Pepsi. The whole point is the choice rested on their previous holistic experience of the product, which was corroborated by the measured brain activity methods.

Another academic study using fMRI revealed that “when consumers see a price this may change their mental calculation of value: When price was displayed before exposure to the product, the neural data differed from when it was displayed after exposure, suggesting two different mental calculations: “Is this product worth the price?” when the price came first, and “Do I like this product?” when the product came first.”

Neuroscientists are constantly learning more about the brain, and social psychologists are applying the data to further understand consumer behaviour on a neural level. All marketers will agree that the three crucial touchpoints, authenticity, connection and emotion, heavily dictate whether a prospect ultimately converts or not – in other words, their ‘experience’ of the product.

Key takeaways

  • “Neuromarketing” loosely refers to the measurement of physiological and neural signals to gain insight into customers’ motivations, preferences, and decisions, which can help inform creative advertising, product development, pricing, and other marketing areas.
  • All marketers will agree that the three crucial touchpoints, authenticity, connection and emotion, heavily dictate whether a prospect ultimately converts or not – in other words, their ‘experience’ of the product is the crucial touchpoint. Neuromarketing could help us determine the ideal customer experience first. This means businesses will eliminate time and money wastage and can expect a high conversion rate.

Even with the data gathered from brain scanning and imaging, the customer experience still needs to be created as if the reactions and preferences weren’t already known. So, that brings us to the efficacy of scientific research’s application in society. Enter: the customer experience (CX). What is it exactly? Before we answer that question, we first need to understand that a customer’s experience is in itself an economy.

Customers want to experience a product and/or service. It’s evolved into an ‘economy’. UK CX Consulting expert Branwell Moffat discusses the evolution from the Industrial Economy to the Service Economy and the Experience Economy.

 

Understanding the ‘experience’ economy

Moffat posits that to truly understand the customer experience, we need to look at the evolution of commerce and economics from the last 2000 years. Here’s a summary.

The agricultural economy

People bartered goods and services. A producer could oust the competition simply by having crops that no one else could provide. It gave him value. However, as technology evolved, it made subsistence farming redundant. It also allowed crops to be produced at scale, commoditising the products and diminishing the competitive advantage or value.

The industrial economy

Technology became more advanced, and businesses were established to offer unique, high-value products on a large scale. E.g., “The owner of a textiles factory which could produce different and unique textiles on a large scale was adding value because very few others could do this which, in turn, gave him a competitive advantage over others.”

The service economy

At this point, localisation deferred to globalisation, meaning “the availability of products became more widespread. The textiles produced by the local factory were now less unique, as many more manufacturers were able to supply the demand, sometimes at a better price, and their value dropped.”

Throughout all this time and change, one fundamental principle has remained constant: if a person or business can provide something of value that people want, that others can’t offer, they’ll have a competitive advantage. In short, at each transition stage, “people and businesses started offering something new, unique, and of high value to others.”

 

Introducing the experience economy

We’ve recognised that enhancing value and keeping a competitive advantage are the key elements to commercial success over time. Well, it’s been proven that products and services can be produced at scale; so, what’s next?

Moffat says, “As many economies have evolved from producing commodities, through to products, and then onto delivering services, they are now evolving to deliver customer experience.”

An article published by Inc provides some fascinating statistics, and fundamental comprehension brands need to have about marketing to millennials and generation Z. It states, “A study by Harris Group found that 72 percent of millennials would rather open their wallets based on experiences rather than on material items.”

So, suppose you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a new business geared towards targeting millennials and generation Zs as your primary audience. In that case, objective data shows that they prefer an experience over a product. Customer experience (CX) is now the critical battleground in which most companies must compete. If a company isn’t focusing on and investing in CX, they’ll begin to lose their value and competitive advantage.

Throughout economic history, people and businesses have had to evolve to ensure that they continue to add value and compete as the world changes around them and now is no different.

We’ve now reached the stage where the customer has become the focus, not the product and/or service. “Economies have evolved from producing commodities, through to products, and then onto delivering services; they are now evolving to deliver customer experience, says Moffat.

 Key takeaways

  • We’ve now reached the stage where the customer has become the focus, not the product and/or service.
  • Brand reputation, awareness, trust, and loyalty significantly influence an individual’s neural pathways.
  • Choice rested on their previous holistic experience of the product.
  • Economies have evolved from producing commodities, through to products, and then onto delivering services; they are now evolving to deliver customer experience.

Pessimism should fade over time

The reality is that there are always going to be people opposed to specific changes to established ‘proven’ methodologies – this is true within any industry.

Despite what many people in the marketing industry have hailed as a triumph of coalescence between science and society, some marketing experts remain pessimistic. Ming Hsu, a marketing professor at UC Berkeley, stated that “The prevailing attitude…can be summarised as… ‘neuroscience either tells me what I already know, or it tells me something new that I don’t care about.'” For example, brain scanning can show that the same beverage with different price tags may produce differing responses in test subjects, but so can simpler methods. He asks this question, do marketers really need to be told that people’s brains react differently to Coke and Pepsi to understand the importance of branding?

My short, direct answer is ‘No.’ However, in my opinion, Hsu is oversimplifying the value of the data provided by images and scans. Firstly, he assumes the technology has reached its peak and can’t tell us more than we already know. This is not necessarily correct.

Any marketer will tell you that the evolution of mobile technology is constantly providing us with new inspirations, ideas and ways to market products, services and streamline experiences.

 

So, should companies invest in neuromarketing?

According to the Harvard Business Review article, “some already have. NBC and Time Warner have operated neuromarketing units for years; technology companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have recently formed units. Karmarkar says that in-house neurocapability is still out of reach for most organisations simply because of the expense but that smaller companies can look to partner with specialist consulting firms.”

Experts warn that the field is inundated by vendors who oversell what neuromarketing can deliver. We have the opportunity to use a powerful marketing technique that can change marketing forever. However, no marketing method is without flaws, and it’s vital we are cognisant of that fact. Overselling its capability could destroy a precious marketing asset.

In conclusion, it can be said that neuromarketing has enormous potential in the marketing industry. It has the potential to give marketing consultancies and businesses the ability to access prospects’ reactions and preferences on a neural level. A meticulous context-driven strategy analysis, development and implementation are vital and ethical guidelines definitely need to be compiled and regulated to prevent malicious manipulation of customers’ choice.

If used ethically and correctly, neuromarketing could, with time, contribute to establishing one of the most powerful marketing techniques in existence.


Must-Know Social Media Terms & Acronyms in 2021

SUMMARY. ICYMI, BAE, FWIW, doxing, dark social – are you familiar with these acronyms and terms that are commonplace on social media? It’s become digital short-hand communication that needs to be understood to deduce the content and context of messages posted on social media. Here is a guide to assist you in learning social media speak.

ICYMI (in case you missed it), there are numerous terms, acronyms and other types of shorthand ubiquitous in the realm of social media. Here is a list of the common jargon you can expect to find on your favourite platforms to prevent you from having FOMO (fear of missing out.) 

 

Social media terms you need to know in 2021

 

Connections

‘Connections’ are the LinkedIn equivalent of Facebook ‘friends. Why? LinkedIn is a social networking platform where professionals of any industry can connect with each other. They could be contacts that you’ve met, heard speak, done business with, or know via another connection. It’s important to note that it isn’t a place to post your lunch for the day or the activities you and your friends got up to at the weekend. You’re representing your personal brand which needs to be credible. Connections are categorised by: 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree.

Finsta

Finsta is not a new platform (although it sounds cool.) It’s short for “fake insta” and is the term that describes an individual’s secret or fake Instagram page.

Lurker

A lurker online is a term that describes a person who reads discussions on a message board, newsgroup, social network, or another interactive system but rarely or never participates in the discussion. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual has malicious intent, but it may be worth monitoring their presence and any messages/content they post. Don’t confuse a lurker with a troll.

A troll/trolling

A troll is an individual (or group) that attempts to instigate conflict, hostility, or arguments in a social community. Their numerous motives stemming from personal grudges with other people to blatant politically based disruption. A troll has malicious intentions and it’s recommended that if you are a victim of trolling, don’t interact with them at all because this will stoke the proverbial fire.

RSS Feed

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a protocol (an XML text file) that keeps a running list of recently uploaded content. Publishers can syndicate a feed, which allows users to subscribe to the content and read it at any time from a location other than the website.

Social Selling

Social selling is an approach geared towards leveraging members of your social networks to find and build relationships with prospects with a higher chance of turning into customers. Through the loyalty and trust created, Building and retaining customer relationships is easier. According to LinkedIn, social selling can be broken down into four pillars:

Create a professional brand

Focus on the right prospects

Engage with insights

Build trusted relationships

Dark post

It may sound ominous, but dark posts are targeted ads on social media that don’t appear on your timeline, like boosted and organic posts. They also don’t show up in the feeds of your followers. Rather, they show up as sponsored content in the feeds of users you’re targeting specifically.

Dark social

Dark social is a term that describes web traffic coming from social media whose source couldn’t be tracked. This is often due to users sharing links privately on social chats or direct messages. According to Falcon, “often, one of or even the biggest source of traffic is filed under ‘direct.’ This traffic is not necessarily, as the name suggests, primarily made up of people typing URLs into their browsers. Instead (at least according to Madrigal), it’s mostly traffic that comes from people sharing links to your site, but in ways that are not measured by analytics tools.”

Disappearing content

Disappearing content (also known as ephemeral content) refers to posts, usually photos or videos, on social media that delete themselves automatically after a certain period ­– usually 24 hours. ‘Stories‘ is a form of disappearing content used by popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. It’s a valuable social media marketing method to increase audience interest and engagement due to the sense of urgency it promotes.

Geotargeting

Geotargeting is a social media marketing tactic that adjusts targeted ad content based on the users’ location. For example, a restaurant or retailer can geo target their ads to pop up when you are within a certain radius.

An Influencer/influencer marketing

An influencer is someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.

The extent of the following depends on the size of their niche topic. On a surface level, influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing by which influencers (individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as authorities within their niche) endorse or mention brands’ products and/or services.

READ: Do I Need to Add Influencer Marketing To My Business Strategy?

Content curation

Content curation involves sourcing and adapting existing valuable and relevant content to provide value for their audiences. It’s an effective way to let you reassure your audience you’re actively listening to them by providing content they want to consume. It plays a significant role in community and lead nurturing. It can also be used as a means to build relationships with other brands, thought leaders and influencers.

Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing can be seen as a digital focus group in which a group of people can generate ideas or give input into a task, project, service and/or product. The idea is to accumulate as much information as possible from a prospective customer base. It is a perfect way to introduce your brand and foster relationships with prospects who will reciprocate through brand loyalty, trust, and purchases. An example could include inviting followers to vote on the potential names you’ve chosen for your latest product and/or service.

Newsjacking

Newsjacking (also referred to as trend jacking) is a tactic that businesses use to capture audience attention and interest. In a nutshell, they reference a news item or trending topic to communicate with their audience within the context of that story. A typical way to connect content to breaking news is through hashtags. It’s essentially an invitation for the audience to join in the conversation and give their opinion. E.g.

Newsjacking can assist in increasing organic engagement with your brand, specifically attracting customers who might not otherwise have seen your content. It would be best if you had a robust sales funnel strategy in place to capture and nurture any leads generated via the content. Newsjacking can also refer to aligning your brand with existing newsworthy content to add value to readers. 

Doxing

Doxing is the malicious practise of deliberately searching for and publishing an individual’s personal information. Boxers use these digital assaults to threaten or terrify their victims. If you find yourself in this predicament, contact the ‘help centre’ of the specific platform to report the abuse.

Sentiment

Sentiment is an emotion-based marketing tactic used to determine what users think and feel about your brand on social media. Data can be captured, analysed and interpreted from the feelings and attitudes contained in those posts.

URL shortener

A URL shortener is a tool that condenses a long URL into a shorter, more social media-friendly format. Popular URL shorteners such as bit.ly can also provide tracking capabilities, allowing businesses to measure critical metrics such as click-through rate (CTR) from that specific link posted on the relevant social media platform.

15 popular social media acronyms

Acronyms are synonymous with social media. It allows users to communicate information, status, questions and/or feelings in as few keystrokes as possible. Here are 15 acronyms that you’ve likely seen on social media platforms.

  • AMA: “ask me anything”. It’s used to prompt questions from other users.
  • #FYP: (For Your Page) – #FYP is a hashtag that TikTok users place in their videos to prioritise their content on other users’ “Your Page” feed. This is essentially the same practice as content curation.
  • AFAIK: As Far as I Know
  • BTAIM: Be That as It May
  • DAE: Does Anyone Know?
  • TL;DR: Too Long; Didn’t Read
  • POTD: Photo of The Day
  • IMO: In My Opinion
  • IRL: In Real Life
  • FUTABA: Feet Up, Take A Break
  • FWIW: For What It’s Worth
  • FYI: For Your Information
  • DYK: Did You Know
  • BAE: Before Anyone Else
  • ELI5: Explain Like I’m 5 (years old)

Recommended articles

  1. Why Do I Need a Social Media Strategy?
  1. Why Is Social Media Branding Important?
  1. Awesome Business-Changing Social Media Trends To Follow In 2021


UPDATED: How to Use Content Marketing to Build Your Brand

Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve assisted clients in adapting their content marketing strategies to suit the current social environment. Even before COVID-19 hit us, user behaviour and expectations regarding brand-to-customer communication had changed. Now, due to the increase in eCommerce and general ‘pandemic frustration’, concise, laser-focused messaging to your target audience is no longer optional.

How, when, where and why you publish content must be based on informed, data-driven decisions. So, read this article to make sure your content marketing strategies are agile enough to adapt quickly to the current volatile socio-economic conditions. In short, is your business completely pandemic proof in 2021?

We’ve all experienced the scenario: After a sip of your morning coffee, you open your email and are greeted by a barrage of information that has no relevance nor offers any value to you. So, let’s get this right once and for all, sending content (in any format) that isn’t targeted to an audience and doesn’t provide value and relevance to a prospective customer, isn’t effective content marketing; it’s simply the dissemination of information that will likely be sent straight to trash.

The Content Marketing Institute states,

‘Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’

Does your business have a defined, effective content marketing strategy in place? We will educate you about the most effective types of content marketing so that you can gain insight into the optimal ways to communicate with your target audience which will increase the potential for conversions, turning prospects into paying customers.

 

The different types of content and why you should use them

Today, the different types of content available aren’t mutually exclusive; they can (and should be) integrated to provide a beneficial customer experience.

 
  • Blogs

Blogging seems to receive an increasingly lousy rap. Search ‘blogging is dead’, and you’ll find

a litany of articles claiming it’s become an archaic marketing method. Unfortunately, too many people focus on the term ‘blog’ without looking at it from a holistic perspective. The truth is that blogging as a concept isn’t dead, but the landscape has changed drastically, and an agile content marketing strategy is vital. With a few tweaks and expert guidance, blogs will drive traffic and generate quality leads.

Ways to Grow your blog

  • Combine other platforms

Think about the last article you read. Unless you were looking for that specific topic,

chances are that you didn’t go directly to the company’s blog page to read the article. It’s more likely that you saw it on a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter and clicked through to the relevant page.

Social media platforms are content sharing, relationship building juggernauts. So, if you haven’t already, set up your business pages on these popular platforms and post blog articles.

  • Complement your blog with video content

Video has grown exponentially over the last few years. Look at some of your competitors’ websites, and you’re almost guaranteed to see video content promoting/discussing/demonstrating their products and/or services. This begs the question, ‘why has video content production become so popular?’ Three words: engagement and trust.

Video enables you to give users a peek ‘behind the curtain’ showing some of the core inner workings of your brand. It’s also much easier for users to find out more about who you are. By conveying your personality and values, users gain the all-important human element of your business, which will determine whether they can relate to you and ultimately foster trust.

Video blogs (known as vlogs) give your business the ability to deliver tailored, visual content to your audience. It’s a much more productive way for the creator to voice an opinion and/or insights. The primary goal is to communicate on a deeper, more personal level with an audience.

  • Invest in copywriting

Copywriters specialise in writing relevant and valuable brand-appropriate content on various platforms such as blogs and social media to have a conversation with your target audience and, in turn, assisting in converting prospects into customers. There is no doubt that blogging is definitely NOT dead; it’s evolved.

  • Videos

As mentioned above, the value of video marketing is growing at a phenomenal rate and is producing revenue growth for many businesses. It could be argued that one of the primary reasons for this growth is because it is easier to produce, cost-effective and can be posted on a plethora of social media platforms.

YouTube is the perennial video marketing platform, but features on other platforms such as Instagram Stories are gaining traction – some businesses are building their brand solely on this platform. The benefits of video marketing include

  • Users share videos

Users who watch a video with content that they find appealing and valuable can easily share it with followers/fans/friends on various platforms, particularly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

  • Video ads are ideal for mobile devices

Users are more likely to watch short videos (around 30 seconds) to the end and therefore have context and a good understanding of what you’re advertising.

  • A lot of info in a short time

Video advertising provides you with the opportunity to offer a vast amount of information in a short space of time.

Furthermore, through video, all of the services that are being discussed can be marketed effectively. This is a content marketing tool that will continually evolve, providing businesses with new, unique ways to engage with their audience. The claim can be substantiated by recent research conducted by Wyzowl that strongly suggests that video content for 2020 and beyond. The research found that

  • Video remains a crucial priority for marketers.
  • Marketers feel more optimistic about the return on investment offered by video than ever, as it continues to strongly influence traffic, leads, sales, and audience understanding.
  • People watch significantly more videos than ever before.
  • Consumers continue to use video as an integral part of their journey with brands and are excited to see even more video content in the year ahead.
  • The research also found that ‘88% of video marketers reported that video gives them a positive return on investment (ROI)
 
  • eBooks/How-to-guides

We’re not talking about electronic novels here. Instead, from a content marketing

perspective, eBooks and/or how-to- guides are known as long-form content. Long-form articles are suited for businesses that want to offer their audience in-depth insights into a particular topic that REALLY adds significant value to an audience.

Neil Patel, one of the top online marketers in the world, explains, “you should create long-form content because it will get you more of what you want: more online visibility (social shares, links), more proof of your authority and industry expertise, and more material for altruistic community building and engagement.’ We can’t emphasise the value of gaining authority in your industry. If your brand is revered as the go-to resource in highly competitive and saturated markets, you’ll

  • Dominate Google search rankings.
  • Have high visibility across all marketing channels.
  • A massive digital footprint and a loyal customer base.

Patel also says that when thinking of a topic, it’s important to think about

  • Keywords and search queries (What are people looking for?)
  • Existing analytics (What content do you already have, maybe on your blog, that’s performing well?)
  • Target audience (Who are you going after? What makes them tick? What do you know about them?)
  • Competition (What else is out there? Can you beat it?)
  • Remember, you may have a stunning piece of content, but if no one can find it, it may as well not exist. So, a sound SEO and content strategy need to be conceptualised before you start writing.
 
  •  Infographics

An Infographic is a fun way to blend text and visuals into eye-catching content.

Furthermore, they are a quick, cost-effective way to break down a topic into easy to

understand chunks. For example, it will be much easier for consumers to recognise and relate to the content being offered via this medium if you want to present data.

A few more reasons why infographics should be part of your content marketing strategy

  • Our brain processes visuals better than text

Nemanja Darijevic, Creative and Development Director of Pixel Road Designs, joined the renowned SEJ ThinkTank and provided the following facts.

  • Our brains process images 60,000x faster than text. After three days, customers still retain 65% of visual stimuli versus just 10% of auditory stimuli.
  • Consumers are 80% more willing to engage with content that includes relevant images.
  • Content with relevant images earns 94% more views than content without images.
  • Images are the most important deciding factor when making a purchase, according to 93% of consumers.
  • Linkable and shareable

Infographics provide a valuable snapshot of the topic that is being discussed. They can also be linked to a more detailed article should the user want to delve further into the topic. In addition, infographics are also easily shareable through social media platforms. Interestingly, approximately 80% of marketers choose to use visual content for social media marketing.

  • It can help increase sales

Infographics assist in increasing sales because a business can convey a lot of easily digestible, valuable information to potential buyers quickly. They’ll know within a few seconds whether or not they want to purchase your product.

  • User-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) can be considered one of the most powerful marketing tools because it’s essentially an example of trust in your product/service. Crowdriff comments, ‘Boiled down to its essence, user-generated content is a vote of confidence. Your brand’s biggest fans are snapping photos, writing reviews, and publishing blog posts promoting your products or services — often without any prompting.’ The benefits of UGC include

  • Putting your customers in the spotlight

When using content that your audience has produced for your brand, you’re letting them tell your brand’s story for you – they’re ambassadors for your business. Furthermore, it gives your customers a sense that they are being noticed and valued; you’ve succeeded in building a relationship with them – that’s marketing gold.

  • The proof is in the eye of the consumer

There is no better way to prove that you have a fantastic product and/or service than by the consumer confirming it to the public. It verifies your vision, mission and values your brand represents and, in so doing, shows that you’ve stuck to your promises to the customers, strengthening credibility and authority.

  • Consumers trust user-generated content

People trust UGC because it’s created by people who have actually used the product and/or service and are very happy with the result. The opinions are objective, meaning they are generally unbiased and genuine. Crowdriff explains that “People also trust user-generated visuals over any other type of content. The numbers speak for themselves: More than two-thirds (72%) of shoppers are influenced by Instagram photos of a product. User-generated videos on YouTube get 10x more views than branded content.”

 
  • Conversion funnels

You may have heard of the terms: conversion funnel and lead magnet – what’s the

difference?

A lead magnet is a dedicated data-capturing marketing tool. Its purpose is to attract prospects by offering something for free such as an e-book, guide or discount on a future purchase. The key is that it has to be valuable enough for them to exchange their contact details for the offer. Once a prospect agrees to the terms and conditions, submits their details, they’re usually added to the respective business’s database. From there, they will often receive content such as newsletters or upcoming sales.

A conversion funnel (also known as a sales funnel) represents the route that a user can take on the path to purchase; the trail narrows as the user progresses through various stages. Prospects who have converted from the lead magnet are now in the database and added to the funnel’s first stage.

Should a prospect respond in a manner determined by custom criteria, they’ll move down to the next stage of the funnel and receive curated content to nudge them to the next stage. The aim is to move them along as smoothly as possible down the path to conversion (purchasing the product/service).

 
  • Testimonials and Reviews

Testimonials and reviews are other types of user-generated content, and they can play a meaningful role in making or breaking your brand. The truth is that people want to know the thoughts of their fellow consumers. For example, you may be browsing for a product on an eCommerce platform, finding precisely what you want at a reasonable price, but if you see a slew of one-star reviews and unfavourable comments, it’s unlikely you’re going to make the purchase.

Big brands such as Nike purposefully use testimonials from top athletes to market their products; it adds an extra oomph of confidence that a prospective consumer may need.

The bottom line is that each of these different types of content marketing has specific powers to capture, generate, nurture qualified leads and retain customers. This plays a fundamental role in helping businesses achieve their desired objectives. If you’re not sure where to start, speak to a professional marketing consultancy that can recommend and implement all the above-mentioned content marketing instruments.


UPDATED: Should I Use Online Marketing for My Business?

Now that you’ve reached the point where you have hired and are managing your employees successfully, you need to find your audience and market your products/services to them. “Go where your customers are” should be integral to every decision you make, the strategy you compile, and campaign you execute.

 

The benefits of online marketing over traditional (offline) marketing

One word: Communication.

Communication with your audience is vital and, unlike traditional marketing, the online marketing space provides you with the opportunity to have a two-way conversation with them. This plays a substantial role in the customers’ journey as they travel down the conversion funnel.

However, this doesn’t mean that above-the-line advertising doesn’t have its place. TV and other mediums such as billboard and print advertising can be powerful, but a reciprocal relationship with online marketing is essential to maximise reach to prospective customers. This can be as simple as displaying your business’ website and social media icons on the ad. The ultimate goal is to get prospective customers to begin their journey down the conversion funnel.

 

What is the conversion funnel?

The term conversion funnel (also known as a sales funnel) represents the route that a user takes on the path to purchase your product(s) and/or service(s). The funnel narrows as the user progresses through various stages. We’ll take you through each stage in detail to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism. There are a few different interpretations of the funnel, the most common of which is the AIDA model, but we feel it’s too elementary and therefore we’ll discuss the following stages in this article.

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Intent
  • Evaluation
  • Purchase
  • After-purchase actions

It’s critical to be cognisant that every stage of the funnel serves as a data-capturing tool by which you can analyse and interpret the data to leverage remarketing and retargeting customer retention campaigns (discussed in stage seven).

 

Stage 1: Awareness

Awareness is the first (and widest) stage of the funnel. Your potential customers (also known as prospects) are attracted to your business offerings through different channels such as your website, paid media campaigns and social media marketing.

According to an article published in the Sophisticated Marketer Quarterly entitled ‘How to give your marketing full-funnel power’, “Brand awareness prepares the ground for demand generation from increasingly informed prospects, which then gives way to the crucial business of generating leads and working with sales to close deals and increase customer value.”

The great news is all of these channels can be used to magnify awareness online through Paid Media.

Recommended service: paid media

Paid media is a marketing method that allows you to promote your products/services via sponsored social media posts, display ads, paid search results, video ads, pop-ups, and other endorsed multimedia.

The best way to reap the rewards of Paid Media is to hire an experienced marketing consultancy that specialises in this service to set up and operate campaigns for you. They can analyse your current market positioning and recommend the most effective brand messaging to attract prospects to your products/services.

As potential customers engage, leads are generated through the information that is collected. The data is then inserted into a lead management system which will assist in nurturing these leads as they travel down the funnel.

How does paid media support the conversion funnel?

The primary benefit is the cross-channel applications. As mentioned above, sponsored posts can appear on various social media platforms and take top spots on Google search results pages (SERP). Every channel can link to the other, increasing your reach to a broad audience.

Paid media creates a ripple effect that influences various marketing goals—an article published on Medium lists the following seven benefits. Paid media can:

  • Amplify your reach
  • Fit any budget
  • Enhance your targeting
  • Boost brand awareness
  • Maximise your content marketing
  • Gain access to mobile users
  • Gather market insights

All of these benefits work holistically to achieve marketing goals.

 

Stage 2: Interest

The prospects (now known as leads) move to the interest stage. Here, it’s critical for the lead to learn as much as possible about your brand’s products/services, which should include important information such as case studies and/or research to support any claims that you may make about your products/services. This stage provides you with the best opportunity to start creating relationships with your database of leads. It subsequently opens the door to introduce your unique service proposition, which assists in refining your leads into marketing qualified leads (MQLs).   

Recommended Service: Targeted Content Marketing

Once you have a sound knowledge of your ideal audience and know exactly what they want, implementing targeted content based on a defined content marketing strategy is a recipe for success. The primary benefit of this marketing method is to bypass the abundance of unconnected information on the internet and engage with relevant, personalised content.

How does targeted content marketing support the conversion funnel?

One of the most prominent reasons for a potentially converting lead to losing interest in your products/services and consequently your brand is due to cookie-cutter (generic) content. So, it’s imperative that you create content that speaks to them on a personal level; they should feel as if they’re having a conversation with you.

 

Stage: 3: Consideration

As mentioned above, at the consideration stage, leads change to marketing qualified leads (MQLs). What does this mean? An MQL is a lead who has passed through your marketing lead-qualification criteria that you believe needs to be satisfied; essentially, an MQL is much more likely to convert into a customer.

At this point, it’s advantageous to create a new segment in your database for leads that have become MQLs. Should they not progress to the next stage, you can remarket to them by communicating specific information and content via the most-used channels. E.g., It wouldn’t make sense to send an MQL a welcome email; instead, send targeted content informing them about a sale or another activity that is likely to garner interest. The ideal outcome is that it will facilitate a return and resume their journey down the funnel on the path to conversion.

Recommended service: visual content creation and content marketing

Your target audience is watching more video content online every day, making it one of the most effective communication media for brands. So, if video advertising isn’t part of your marketing strategy, it should be – and that’s precisely what a full-service marketing agency can conceptualise, implement and execute for your business.

 

How does visual content creation and content marketing support the conversion funnel?

This is essentially an extension of targeted content marketing but integrates visual content such as video and infographics to strengthen the targeted communication that you’re providing for your audience.

The benefits of visual advertising

  • Users share videos

Users who watch a video with content that they find appealing and valuable can easily share it with followers/fans/friends on various platforms, particularly Facebook and Twitter. This fortifies content significantly.

  • Video ads are ideal for mobile devices

The number of people watching videos on mobile devices is increasing exponentially. Users are more likely to watch short videos (around 30 seconds) to the end and therefore have context and a good understanding of what you’re advertising.

  • A lot of info in a short time

Video advertising provides you with the opportunity to offer a vast amount of information in a short space of time.

 

Stage 4: Intent

At this point, it’s clear that the MQL is interested in your product/service, and there is significant potential to convert. So, you need to nurture them by providing a solid case for why your product is the best on the market. To achieve this, you’re going to have a defined customer nurturing strategy that not only keeps your MQL interested but to give them a reason to progress down the funnel.

Recommended service: Strategy and Consultation

Michael Porter, a strategy expert and professor at Harvard Business School, emphasises the need for a strategy to define and communicate an organisation’s unique position. He says that it should determine how organisational resources, skills, and competencies should be combined to create competitive advantage, which is vital in a saturated marketplace.

Mind tools explains that ‘a strategy at the business unit level is concerned with competing successfully in individual markets, and it addresses the question, “How do we win in this market?”

However, this strategy needs to be linked to identified objectives. Competitive analysis, including gathering competitive intelligence, is a great starting point for developing a business unit strategy. As part of this, it’s essential to think about your core proficiencies and how you can use these to meet your customers’ needs.

How do strategy and consultation support the conversion funnel?

Sound, well-researched digital performance strategies provide you with a clear framework and should be compiled for every stage of the conversion funnel. The goals will change depending on the relevant stage, but the inherent purpose of generating leads that convert remains the same. The conceptualisation, implementation and execution of strategies require a thorough knowledge of the marketing realm.

 

Stage 5: Evaluation

Buyers are in the process of evaluation so that they can make a well-informed final decision about whether or not they’re going to make a purchase. It’s usual for marketing and sales mechanisms to be used concurrently to convince the MQL to buy the product/service.

Suggested Service: Targeted Campaigns

At this point, the potential customer is more than halfway down the funnel. Now, it’s your job to nudge them over the threshold. This requires using specific information that hooks them so that it’s difficult to resist making a purchase.

Once again, we specialise in this service and will help you craft enticing brand messaging.

How do targeted campaigns support the conversion funnel?

When a campaign is complete, the measurable data collected and analysed so that the performance of campaigns can be assessed. It’s important that you have access to the necessary campaign tracking tools. It’s worth speaking to a marketing consultancy with expertise in website analytics and tracking.

They can offer omnichannel campaign data collection, which means that they can track how various channels may interact and assess audience engagement. They will show you the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign and offer insight to help you leverage and refine campaigns that will have the best bait on the hook. 

 

Stage 6: Purchase

You’ve reached the final stage of the funnel; congratulations! Your hard work has paid off. Your MQL is about to become a customer. It’s time for the transaction process to take over and complete the transaction.

Ensure that your website is designed and optimised for a user-friendly customer experience. This includes everything from the UX, UI and payment portal works perfectly. By removing any obstacles on your buyer’s path to purchase, they will be happy and likely to leave favourable reviews and refer other prospects to purchase your products/services.

 

Stage 7: After-purchase actions

  • Loyalty

You don’t want a customer to make a once-off purchase. So, you need to have a strategy in place that sustains and strengthens their loyalty to your business. You want to add customers to your community so you can keep them coming back as frequently as possible. There are two effective ways by which this can be achieved:

  • A mailing list

After a customer has made a purchase, ensure that you ask them to subscribe to your mailing list and offer them a reason to do so. For example, give a discount on their next purchase. Also, punt the value they are receiving from signing up to your list. `make sure you add icons that link to your social media pages in your mailers.

If you are going to send them content regularly in a mailer/newsletter covering various topics, make this clear up-front, and explain how they can benefit from the information. Be completely truthful because the second they see that not offering them what you promised, it is likely that they will unsubscribe or send any further correspondence to spam. 

  • Social media

The majority of customers are likely to engage on social media platforms more frequently than email, so offer ‘follow’ buttons for all your social media accounts on your order confirmation page and encourage them to contact you via the relevant instant messaging platforms such as Messenger.

Tell customers about the benefits of following your social media pages – whether it is exclusive weekly content about how best to use your products or monthly competitions, make sure communication is exclusive to social media channels.

  • Monitor Your Funnel

Optimising your conversion funnel involves research and a comprehensive understanding of what your customers want from you. This can be achieved by consistently evaluating success/failure at the various stages of the funnel. So, it’s important to constantly refine the touchpoints to attract more people into the funnel and use supported data to entice them to move down the funnel to the point where they become advocates for your product/service and brand.

  • Analytics audit

The main reasons for conducting an analytics audit are to ensure the appropriate tools are being used to collect accurate data. We want to understand the data to provide valuable insights and detailed reports to develop actionable strategies. These tactics are fundamentally based on comprehending user behaviour.

The benefits include

  • Improving user experience.
  • Conversion optimisation (potential for more sales).
  • Stronger, engaging content that leads to customers performing the intended action.
  • Tracking refers to monitoring and analysing user interactions on your website.

The data collected plays a significant role in refining organic and paid media marketing activities. Conversion tracking (a more advanced form of tracking) explicitly specifies the path to completing the whole process: a successful purchase. Tracking is a fundamental part of assessing whether paid media ad campaigns are successful.

In summary, the generation of quality leads that convert is essential to sustainability and growth. In theory, it sounds simple, but practically, implementing effective marketing strategies that hit the correct touchpoints at every stage of the conversion funnel are an entirely different monster. However, with the correct mindset and assistance from industry experts, all the facets of online marketing will harmonise, resulting in quality conversions.

Key takeaways: Building a lead-generating conversion funnel

  • Focus on a specific message and call-to-action

Whether you’re launching a new website or promoting a campaign, a lead funnel gives you the platform to shout out a strong CTA that will drive organic traffic to your website.

  • Data capturing tool

By incorporating an automated marketing platform such as Mailchimp with your lead funnel, you can easily add their information to create (or add to an existing database) of leads.

  • Help you define your ideal customer

Quality leads that convert are the customers you want to deal with, but consistently tweaking the messages conveyed from conversion funnel observations can turn a prospect into a paying customer/client.

  • Don’t underestimate the importance of top-of-funnel marketing campaigns

The upper part of the funnel serves to spread awareness, educate prospects, and cultivate brand buzz for your product or service. Measuring the inbound channels at the top of the funnel helps you understand your marketing landscape.

If you want a website that turns visitors into customers, you need to gather and understand the supporting data. 

  • Always be searching for ways to add more value

The relationships that you build are reciprocal, meaning that the relationship’s longevity relies on the client gaining a level of value that keeps them interested. By increasing the value, you give to customers at each stage relevant to a particular phase of the buying process; you can gently nudge your visitors all the way to the checkout and beyond, so they become advocates of your brand.


Why You Need a Quality Website: Part Three

Welcome to the third instalment of our three-part series about why your business requires a high-quality website with a diverse range of functionalities. We recommend that you read Why you need a quality website: Part One and Part Two before reading any further, but here’s a brief recap of Part Two.

 A brief recap of Part Two

  • User experience (UX) & user interface (UI)

Users want to access content and complete their desired action without any unnecessary interruptions or cookie-cutter marketing ‘noise’. A Google friendly responsive website with quick-loading pages is non-negotiable in today’s online landscape.

A user interface is the ‘face’ of the website. It provides the user with a look-and-feel consistent with the brand’s core messaging, products and/or services.

  • SEO

Search engine optimisation gives your website an online presence to Google and appears on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Marketing influencer Neil Patel states:

“When you create a website, Google will discover it eventually. The Googlebot systematically crawls the web, discovering websites, gathering information on those websites, and indexing that information to be returned in a search.”

  • Website security

It’s an unfortunate reality that websites can be compromised and suffer data breaches. These attacks commonly target personal data, card information, and passwords.

Here’s a shortened list of the different types of security software a business website needs. Please note: We’ll be taking a deep dive into this topic in an upcoming article.

  • Add encryption software
  • Apply for a web application firewall (WAF)
  • Add bot mitigation software
  • Add HTTPS and an SSL Certificate
  • Use a secure web host

Please read the full article here for the complete list and more information.

 

In this article, we will discuss the off-page business benefits of having a superior quality website.

Gain a strategic advantage over your competitors

More often than not, your website is the first digital component of your business and brand that a prospective customer sees. Therefore, your website needs to leverage your product(s)/service(s) unique selling proposition (USP) quickly and effectively. A few examples include:

 
  • Structure your website correctly

The Nielsen Norman Group conducted a study about how users read websites. They are far more likely to scan the website instead of reading every word. The core determination from the extensive research is that even though there have been seismic technology shifts introducing new layout and design options, users’ eye gaze patterns haven’t changed much during the 13 years in which the study was conducted.

According to the study, “almost all of the gaze patterns observed in 2006 were present in our 2019 study.” They include:

  • F-pattern
  • Layer cake pattern
  • Spotted pattern
  • Commitment pattern
  • Exhaustive review pattern
  • Bypassing pattern
  • Zigzag pattern
  • Sequential pattern
  • Love-at-first-sight pattern
 
  • Contact information

Your audience won’t chase you down. This should be a no-brainer, but many poorly designed websites have minimal contact information; some websites don’t have a contact page at all.

Ensure your website has

  • Physical address
  • Correct email address
  • Phone number(s)
  • Make sure all the links click through to the relevant landing page
  • Links to social pages (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn) so visitors can follow you and share your brand.

This gives your website credibility in the consumers’ eyes as well as Google. Also, it’s crucial to have a Google My Business profile linked to your website.

 
  • Add a Google My Business profile

Wordstream explains, “Google My Business is a tool that enables you to manage and optimise your Business Profile on Google. A Google My Business account is the only means by which you can claim ownership of your Business Profile, attain management rights to it, and unlock additional free features to increase your visibility on Google.”

A Google My Business Profile also allows users to easily view comments, reviews and ratings about your products and/or services. You should consider showcasing positive reviews and testimonials (especially if they are from industry experts) on your website. This generates social proof.

 

Market to your audience more effectively

  • Know and speak to your audience

What is the purpose of your brand? Who are you targeting? You must have an extensive quantitative and qualitative knowledge of your audience. If not, you’re not going to make sales, gain customer trust, authority and loyalty. In this regard, it’s best to employ content marketing experts who can identify, interpret and measure crucial customer behaviour metrics that determine business performance.

It’s also beneficial speaking to a business consultancy that has access to expert copywriters and content developers.

Read: Our article about the difference between a copywriter and content developer here.

In a nutshell, content development consists of producing valuable, relevant content that educates and solves a problem for your audience.

Copywriting is primarily sales-orientated content such as enticing phrases and direct calls-to-action (CTAs) to persuade the user to perform an action(s) such as subscribing to a newsletter or purchasing a product.

 
  • Prioritise customer experience

Today, your website’s customers’ experience is just as relevant as the product/service and its price point. The combination significantly influences the path to purchase. Delivering a world-class customer experience includes customer-centric marketing such as follow-up emails, newsletters, surveys and a comprehensive customer support system.

 
  • Enhance brand reputation management

Your brand reputation is everything. Make sure you are well-versed in resolution methods. A metric that you can track and always increase is the first contact resolution rate (FCR). Your FCR is the speed at which you resolve complaints or enquiry tickets on the first attempt. For this to be successful, all support staff should have full knowledge about the company’s products/services as well as easy access to content so they can solve the issue(s) as quickly as possible. This also means that easily understandable, appropriate policies and procedures are in place.

 

Conclusion

The quality of your website has a significant impact “off the page,” which subsequently influences on-page signals such as traffic, lead generation and conversions. Ensure that you have all of the abovementioned elements integrated and working cohesively to provide the best customer experience possible.


Why You Need a Quality Website: Part Two

Welcome to the second instalment of our three-part series about why your business requires a high-quality website with a diverse range of functionalities. We recommend that you read Why you need a quality website: Part One before reading any further, but here’s a brief recap.

 

Recap of Part One

“A website is the start of your online journey. If it’s poor quality – we’ll dive deeper a bit later in the article – users are going to abandon the site (and your brand) in favour of a competitor whose website satisfies behaviour, sentiment and expectations.”

If you want your business to be seen online and grow in both revenue and audience, you need a premium website build that includes the following elements:

  • Web and mobile optimisation
  • Well written, relevant and valuable content
  • Outstanding multimedia
  • Social media integration

Read the full article here.

In this article, we’ll be covering the importance of a streamlined user experience (UX), easy to use user interface (UI), the significance of SEO functionality and website security.

 

Ease of navigation (UX and UI)

  • User experience (UX)

Today, a streamlined user experience is non-negotiable. Web developers will tell you that access to so much information can be a double-edged sword because user sentiment and the consequent behaviour have changed dramatically over the last decade. People not only want to be able to access information via mobile devices, but they also want it to load quickly. 

Here are some suggestions from Google about other factors that contribute to a beneficial user experience.

  • Content readability, relevance and value
  • Website structure
  • Responsive design
  • Non-intrusive ads
  • Meeting users’ expectations

Content optimised for mobile devices is the new ‘king’ in the digital marketing realm. It needs to be clear and concise while still communicating the message that leads to the intended call-to-action (CTA). When it comes to ranking organically on Google, well-written, appropriate content is critical to your return on investment (ROI) and the user experience.

  • User interface (UI)

On a general level, a user interface is the ‘face’ of the website. It provides the user with a look and feel consistent with the brand’s core messaging, products and/or services. Webflow comments, “[UI consists of how] each element of the product will look, including buttons, placeholders, text, images, checkboxes, and any visual interface elements people interact with.” A talented graphic designer and web developer are the perfect combination for building a high-quality UX and UI.

                                                                                                                    © CareerFoundry

 

SEO: Your website in the eyes of Google

Your website won’t have an online presence without search engine optimisation (SEO). Marketing influencer Neil Patel states:

“When you create a website, Google will discover it eventually. The Googlebot systematically crawls the web, discovering websites, gathering information on those websites, and indexing that information to be returned in a search.”

From a technical SEO perspective, this means that:

  • A sitemap needs to be created
  • Your website needs to have Google Webmaster Tools
  • You can also ask Google to index your site on the Webmaster Tool URL submission page.

Other website essentials that Google takes into consideration to track performance include:

  • Page speed: Data from KISSmetrics shows that “about 40% of people will abandon a web page that takes more than three seconds to load.”
  • Domain authority
  • Domain rating
  • On-page optimisation
  • Off-page optimisation
  • Keyword rankings
  • Click-through rate

All these metrics need to be applied and monitored by marketing professionals. Many other aspects need to be implemented for your website to be found on Google. SEO is not a simple process, and therefore, you must contact a business consultancy that has access to a marketing agency specialising in SEO.

 

Types of security a business website requires

It’s an unfortunate reality that websites can be compromised and suffer data breaches. These attacks commonly target personal data, card information, and passwords. According to information compiled by First Data, 31% of customers are unlikely to return to websites where they have suffered a fraud experience. Therefore, it’s vital you have the correct online security measures in place.

Here’s a list of the different types of security software a business website needs. Please note: We’ll be taking a deep dive into this topic in an upcoming article.

  • Add encryption software
  • Apply for a web application firewall (WAF)
  • Add bot mitigation software
  • Add intrusion prevention systems
  • Use advanced monitoring tools
  • Install a superior quality anti-virus and anti-spyware software
  • Improve network security
  • Add a virtual private network (VPN)
  • Add HTTPS and an SSL Certificate
  • Use a secure web host
 

Conclusion

As you can see, the architecture and elements needed to build a quality website are vast and require professional assistance from marketers, IT experts, front-end and back-end developers, as well as graphic designers.

An easily navigable UX complemented by a streamlined UI that showcases your brand’s messaging, look, feel, and overall personality is essential for attracting an audience. SEO tactics are required to ensure your website is Google-friendly to rank on search engine results pages. Finally, state of the art security is necessary to protect your customers’ sensitive data.

Please ensure that you invest in these website elements. By doing so, you’ll reap the numerous benefits of satisfied customers. You can potentially expect an increase in conversions, trust and brand loyalty from an ever-growing audience.


Pretoria South Africa

Boardwalk Office Park, Phase 2, Block H
107 Haymeadow Street
Faerie Glen
Pretoria 0043

Cape Town South Africa

50 Long Street
Western Cape
Cape Town
8000

Lisbon Portugal

Rua Santo Amaro 148
First Floor
Alcantara
Lisbon 1300-516