What to Expect for Content Marketing in 2016? Top 5 Trends.

Content marketing increased its influence during 2015 and became recognized by marketers as one of the top digial activities driving commercial results. That’s evident from The State of Content Marketing in 2015 infographic. Now it’s time to evaluate the trends and predictions by top marketing experts for the year 2016 and figure out some tips for businesses that can help them to improve their marketing strategy.

So, what’s new for content marketing in 2016? Let’s look closely at the following top 5 trend categories: Investment, Organizationsl Structure, Content Creation, Distribution and Measurement.

  1. INVESTMENT
  2. Businesses will invest more in content marketing that will provide sustainable ROI for them.

  3. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
  4. To address the growing content marketing needs, busiesses will need to hire dedicated specialists.

  5. CONTENT CREATION
  6. Marketers will experiment with new content categories paying much attention to interactive content like video.

  7. DISTRIBUTION
  8. Brands will integrate paid and earned content with their own more effectively.

  9. MEASUREMENT
  10. The key challenge for 2016 will be identifying content that drives more engagement and eliminating unsuccessful content.

Infographic: content marketing prediction for 2016
Infographic source: www.curata.com

Market research in the digital age. 2015 trends.

Market Research Industry Highlights 2015. Infographic.

2015 has been another remarkable year for the market research industry. Due to digital technologies, new advancements have been introduced into the process of research. The number of businesses and organizations investing in market research has also grown this year, which led to an increasing data turnover in the industry.

The following infographic shows the main market research highlights form 2015. You will see:

  • Key market research industry stats;
  • Market research revenue trends;
  • Popular research methods;
  • The industry’s biggest challenges;
  • Predictions for the future.

According to leading market research experts like Dan Matthews from Raconteur and James Murphy from Dissident, businesses no longer want to only find things out, but they are seeking for in-depth understanding of how the data they reveal can help them to make their customers happier with the products/services they provide, and to succeed on the market; the present-day market research uses a combination of both old-fashioned and modern tools which help to bring truly deep insights altogether.

Infographic: market research industry trends and stats from 2015

The infographic has been prepared by Neil Cery, market researcher and founder of Surveygoo.

Surveygoo is a team of marketing specialists in the UK providing affordable and professional market research services and tools.

Click here to see the Top 5 Content Marketing Trends for 2016.

Facebook pages for business

How to generate more leads from Facebook pages using free tools for business

The number of companies using Facebook as a platform for their online presence keeps growing. Small and medium sized businesses alone amounted to 40 million Facebook pages in April 2015, compared to 30M in June 2014.

At the same time, only 2 million of SMEs advertise actively on Facebook. Considering the fact that organic reach for posts by pages was declined last year, it looks like the rest 95% of companies are either finding alternative ways of reaching more people or keeping their Facebook pages just in case.

Apart from just posting updates, promoting posts and buying likes or clicks, a lot can be done to turn a company’s Facebook page into a lead generation booster. Using a few simple tools, it’s easier to achieve more specific goals and increase the effectiveness of your promo campaign.

Lead generation tools on Facebook pages for business
Facebook page lead generation tools

Call-to-action button

This agile tool allows to direct potential customers to any desired landing page right from a company’s Facebook timeline or any other page tab. After adding a call-to-action, it is displayed right of the Like button. Facebook provides 7 standard calls to action, any of which can be selected and edited anytime:

  1. Book Now – best to use for online event- or ticket reservation.
  2. Contact Us – link this call-to-action with the Contact us page on your website.
  3. Use App – promt your visitors to download a mobile app right away. Also shown when your app is listed in Facebook App Center and associated with the page.
  4. Play Game – this button is displayed on app pages of both canvas and mobile games listed in Facebook App Center. Optionally, it may be added to any other type of a Faceook page.
  5. Shop Now – send Facebook visitors right to your online store.
  6. Sign Up – perfect to grow your mailing list or take visitors to a campaign-specific landing page.
  7. Watch Video – drive more traffic to your YouTube channel or let your Facebook page visitors learn more about the product/service you’re promoting with video testimonials, guides and reviews. If you’re running a pre-launch promo campaign for your app, service or product, link the button with a video teaser.

Call-to-action buttons also work in Facebook’s mobile app and mobile web version. What is more important, it’s easy to figure out which call-to-action works best on your page with statistics for button clicks during the last 7 days.

Edit call-to-action button menu on a Facebook page
Edit call-to-action button menu on a Facebook page

Special offer custom page tab

Tabs are a wonderful tool to take your Facebook page to a new level. If you want to promote your special offer even more effectively on Facebook, you’ll definitely need to extend the limits of standard page tabs. Years ago, custom tabs used to be built with FBML (Facebook Markup Language). Now, displaying custom contet is carried out with the help of an iframe, which loads any web page developed and hosted outside of Facebook within a specific page tab. This works similar to a web app on Facebook and lets you use basically any functionality, any design elements you want. Read more about the process of creating custom page tabs in this tutorial.

Note that custom tabs will only work in the desktop version of Facebook. However, with tabs you are able to run very specific promo campaigns. Supposing, you’ve created a special offer landing page you’d like to direct visitors to and generate leads with (your landing page must have a contact/sign-up form). Here’s an idea how Facebook page tabs can be useful in this respect:

  1. Create a special offer tab displaying the content of your landing page.
  2. Go to Facebook Ads Manager and create a new ad campaign. Choose the objective for your campain: Promote your page.
    Promote your page - new Facebook ad campaign
  3. Set up targeting options for your audience, specify budget and scheduling, choose up to 6 images (see the Facebook Ads Guide). Then, expand the Advanced Options section and select the desired landing view. It allows you to set a specific page tab which will open after a person clicks on the ad. In this particular case, you’ll need to send people to your Special Offer tab:
    Select landing view for your Facebook ad
  4. In Ad preview and placements, remove the Mobile News Feed, as custom tabs on Facebook apply to the desktop version only. There’s no need to pay for irrelevant likes which will not follow the special offer tab clicks.
  5. Remove mobile news feed ads on Facebook in the new campaign menu

  6. Provided your campaign is optimized for likes (check the Budget & Pricing section in the new campaign menu), you’ll only pay when a person likes the page. But you won’t be charged for clicks on your ad, which happen more often than likes. Clicks will lead users to your custom tab where they can get detailed information regarding your offer and sign up if they’re interested. Even if an ad click doesn’t result into a page like, but the lead is submitted via the special offer tab, you will reach your business goal. This means that you can receive many of your leads from such type of an ad campaign for free.

Posting offers on the page timeline

Here’s another awesome tool to promote your unique proposal. An offer is a special post format which appears on the page timeline and in the user newsfeed. It can be created from pages for local business and places with at least 50 likes.

Offer created from a facebook page

There are pretty many ways to customize the offer. Facebook allows to add the following information:

  • Title;
  • Description;
  • Image;
  • Start & expiration dates;
  • Claims limit;
  • Online redemption link;
  • Terms and conditions.

Check out the Creating Offers Guide in Facebook Help Center.

Creating an offer menu on a Facebook page timeline

The best practice is to enable offer online redemption via the special offer landing page or online store. After a customer clicks on the Get Offer button, he or she receives an offer confirmation email. Customers’ details are not shared with the publisher, that’s why it’s necessary to provide them with a clear instruction how to redeem the offer, and prevent them from frustration. The easiest way to do this is to specify a link which they can follow to let you know they’d like to use the special.

Just like other types of posts, offers are displayed on both mobile and desktop. Besides, you can pin the offer to the top of the page timeline to give it more exposure. Then, any visitor that gets to your page will see the offer at once, whichever device type he or she is using.

Offers can be created not only from pages, but from Ads Manager as well. When creating a new ad campaign, it’s possible to use a special advertising format in order to get more people to claim your offer.

Get more people to claim your offer with Facebook ads

Optimizing the ad campaign for offer claims helps to increase its effeciveness for your business and save marketing costs. You won’t be charged for clicks which don’t produce leads.

Optimizing Facebook ads for offer claims

Indie games kickstarter cover

5 Tips To Market Indie Game Apps On A Shoestring Budget

This is a guest article provided by Shruti Lele.

The later part of the last decade saw herculean disruptions in the mobile technology space. With the launch of the first ever Apple iPhone in 2007 and subsequent launch of Android phones, the world of mobile technology was forever changed. Today, there are over a 1.5 Million number of apps in both the app stores combined and have together been downloaded over 160 Billion times. These numbers are indeed staggering and show the state of the mobile app ecosystem today.

The era of the indie game gold rush

According to Statistica, the top 5 Apple app store categories as of March 2015 were the following:

Top 5 iOS Apple App Store categories in March 2015

It is evident that of all the apps in the app stores, game apps are the clear majority. Most app developers, whether it is the indie developers, medium sized app development shops or giant game development firms, are trying to ride the popular game app wave.

Indie game developers are a special breed of app developers that are very innovative and passionate about gaming. It was somewhere around 2008 that the indie game world first experienced massive success with games likes Braid and World of Goo, which then started the era of the gold rush towards indie games. More recently the mobile indie game world saw the phenomenal success of Flappy Bird. It was stuff that indie game developer fairy tales are made of. The game became a global phenomenon in a matter of few weeks, raking in more than a whopping $50,000 per day. From then on, every indie game developer worth their salt started believing that they could develop the next big successful indie game and achieve gaming glory. If an indie developer sitting in Vietnam could achieve such success so could anybody right?

However the reality was a little bit different. Let’s look at some statistics:

  1. The average indie game developer makes less than $500 per month while it takes an average of $6000 to develop a game. (According to AppVee)
  2. Gartner projects that by 2018, less than 0.01% of consumer mobile apps will be considered financial successes by their own developers
  3. 95% of indie games are not profitable (According to Indiegamegirl)
  4. 500 new iOS games and 250 Android games appeared in their respective stores every 24 hours (Venturebeat)

What does this mean for the indie game developers?

While there are many challenges in the way of indie game developers, the biggest one is having unrealistic expectations. What indie game developers need to understand is that they don’t have to only look at the two extremes: complete failure or epic success like Flappy Bird, and that there is a happy middle where their games can slowly succeed with time.

Mobile gaming continues to dominate the app stores, generating the maximum revenue compared to any other category. According to a study published by Newzoo, the estimated total revenue of mobile games industry in 2014 is at $25 billion out of which $4 billion is gained by Apple and $3 billion by Google.

Global Games Market Report by Newzoo, Q3 2014

Source: Estimated Mobile Games Market Growth for 2013-2017 by Newzoo

Clearly, mobile games are here to stay and there is a huge market for indie game developers to tap into. With the right marketing plan and exposure, indie game developers can achieve app success.

Marketing indie game apps on a shoestring budget

One of the top challenges indie game developers face is app discoverability, which is a challenge across all app developers. It takes aggressive and consistent marketing to make an app stand out and get noticed. A big myth that a lot of indie developers have is that marketing an app requires a gigantic budget. That is just not true. For the best results it is recommended that indie game developers should start marketing their game long before it is actually released. Marketing usually takes time to plan and implement and it’s best not to lose precious time once a game is launched. If the foundation is laid properly, it will help get the maximum exposure for the game and increase it’s chances of success.

Here are some tactics that every indie game developer can use and most of them are completely free or have marginal costs:

1. Create a website and blog

This is the first most important task you need to do as an indie game developer. If you are a serial developer you should have one main website which lists all your games and then individual pages for each of the games. As a best practice it is important to have landing pages for each specific game that should feature high quality screenshots, overview of the game/top features and links to download the game. In addition the page should include social sharing icons and the trailer of your game.

The main goal of the website is to increase awareness about your game and get people to download it. It is thus crucial provide a seamless user experience where the readers are able to learn more about the game and easily download the game if they like what they see. Here are some examples of great landing pages for games:

QuizUp mobile game landing page
QuizUp: https://www.quizup.com/en
Dots mobile game landing page
Dots: http://weplaydots.com/dots/

A blog is where developers can write interesting stories about the process of game development, update their players about new releases or in general keep in touch with the player community. It helps loyal users keep in touch with the developers. Consistent blogging can not only help build a loyal community but also increase organic reach with due to SEO. In this age of search and social, it can’t be emphasized enough just how important it is to have a website and a blog for your indie game.

2. Create a short trailer

Trailers have been all the rage for a while now and it is a tried and tested best practice. It is the fastest most efficient way of showcasing a game and it is a must have for a website. Trailers are a great tool to entice gamers and help build the first impression in their minds. Here are some tips to help you create awesome trailers for your game app:

  • Hardware and software needs: You can create decent trailers just using your laptop, a video editing software like iMovies and some screenshots of your game. There are various tools and softwares in the market that you can choose from if you are looking to create high quality videos and are ok to spend some money. Gamasutra posted a great article on creating trailers. Check it out to learn more.
  • Keep it short and sweet: The trailer video should be attention grabbing, short and sweet (ideally no more than 90 seconds) and include real in-game footage. A good trailer can help convince a gamer to download your game so make it good and make it short. No one has the time to sift through long boring trailers and you will likely lose the gamer of your trailer is too long.
  • Include game title and your company name: It is recommended to include your game’s title and your company name clearly in the trailer. This helps with brand recall and helps players remember who you are.

3. Get on the social media bandwagon

Yes you heard right. Social media is not only for the millennials. Social media marketing is a great free way to spread the word about your game and help generate word-of-mouth interest for it.

Here are some tips to help you kick-start your social media presence:

  • Create social media pages: First thing to do would be creating some social media pages for your indie game. Do some research beforehand to find out what are the social media channels that indie game players spend the most time in. Pick the top 2-3 most popular channels like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and create your pages there accordingly.
  • Optimize your social media pages: Each social media page must include a brief description of your game along, trailer video, links to the website and to the app stores. In addition, you should make sure that you use high-resolution screenshots and cover pages for your social media pages. Keep in mind to incorporate the image guidelines for each of the channels.
  • Actively engage in conversation: Make sure you consistently post across all the channels. Be sure to post things about other games and/or industry news in addition to stories about your game. No one would like self promotion and you are to make sure you put out content that your players will be engaged in. Once you start building a community and start getting players interact with you, make sure you actively respond to all the messages. It helps your potential players to get to know the human behind the game.
  • Optimize posts: It is ideal to post during peak times like 11am to 11pm EST. It has been found that posting at 11am on a Monday works best. You should post multiple times through the day to be able to reach the maximum number of people. You can use tools like Hootsuite to schedule tweets and posts.

4. Reach out to the press

It is a very important and effective skill to know how to contact press. Everybody does it but not everybody does it well. Getting press coverage by a game journalist or getting featured in a game specific publication can be invaluable in getting the much-needed exposure for your indie game. While there is no magic pill to do it right, here are some tips on how to get the basics right:

  • Create a press kit: Journalists get thousands of emails on a daily basis and often don’t have the time to go through different links. It is extremely important and useful to have a press kit ready that they can download with the click of a mouse and get all the necessary documents they need to get about your game. Things to include in the press kit are: screenshots of your game, trailer/video of the game, team/company info page, any press mentions/awards received, links to social channels and logos.
  • Create a wish list of journalists and publications: Do your research and create a list of journalists who cover indie games and write for the type of publications that you want to be featured in. This step is very important because getting featured in the wrong type of publication doesn’t help as the audience of that publication might not be ones who are interested in indie games. Create an excel spreadsheet to list down the names of the journalists and also note down links to their social media accounts and the publications they write for. Maintaining a spreadsheet like that helps keep track of everyone you need to contact and ones who already have been contacted. It helps to start building a relationship with your target journalists by following them on social media and engaging with them long before you need something from them.
  • Draft an introduction email: It is always helpful to draft a generic introduction email to send to journalists so that you don’t waste time drafting a new one every time you need to reach out to a new journalist. Make sure the email is to the point and crisply answers why you are reaching out to the journalist. Remember, journalists get thousands of emails about “the next best game” so your email must be able to stand out from the others. Keep the email brief, pleasant and include a line about why they should care about your game.

5. Build relationships with the indie developer community

This is an absolute must if you are a newbie indie developer. It really helps if you build relationships with fellow indie game developers. This community can be an invaluable resource in learning new things, getting support, cross promoting and much more. There are various forums and groups like the Indie Games subreddit, that indie developers participate in. Make a list of the top forums and groups you want to start engaging in and then make it a habit to carry on regular conversations and slowly build relationships with the fellow indie folk. Also, make sure that you extend any help and support you can because that will go a long way in building strong relationships and those developers will be more than happy to return the favor when you need it.

Conclusion

Marketing indie games is almost as important as thinking of the game idea and developing it. To summarize this article, must-have steps to start marketing your indie game are:

a. Create a website and blog
b. Create a short trailer
c. Get on the social media bandwagon
d. Reach out to the press
e. Build relationships with the indie game community

Remember, no matter how great your game is, it won’t matter if no one hears about it. So if you think you have the next big indie game, start marketing it now!

Shruti Lele

Author Bio:
Shruti Lele is a Sr Digital Marketing Manager at Personagraph, a mobile user insights company. She has a keen interest in all things digital including search, content, SEO and social. More recently she was responsible for conceptualization, deployment and content creation of a knowledge academy at Personagraph. For more interesting articles on the mobile ecosystem please visit Think Tank.
Follow Shruti Lele on Twitter and connect with her on Linkedin.

Key social media benchmarks for digital marketers in 2015

Key Social Media Benchmarks for Digital Marketers in 2015

Social media is still on the top of the wave in 2015 though it’s constantly evolving. In the modern marketing establishment, there are many debates on how exactly to use it for business, but basically everyone agrees that social media works better in conjunction with other promotional channels, to name a few: SEO, email marketing, writing and blogging, special offers, loyalty programs, mobile marketing.

So, how marketers should approach socail media in 2015? The Social Media Benchmarks Report 2015 by HubSpot based on insights from 7,000 experts helps to elucidate that point. Let’s highlight the key social media esentials for digital marketers and business owners in 2015.

Social networks with the biggest number of monthly active users, 2015
Social networks with the biggest number of monthly active users, 2015. Facebook: 1.35 billion; Instagram: 300 million; Twitter: 284 million.
  • More social activity doesn’t guarantee more user engagement. In fact, the correlation between the number of posts per week and the number of post interactions varies widely for different industries. For example, two industries with the lowest weekly social media activity (consumer goods/retail/ecommerce and manufacturing) get relatively high interactions, and nonprofit/education, the industry with the highest interaction average, is characterized by moderate post frequency per week.
Social media posts per week vs post interactions by industry
Social media posts per week vs post interactions by industry
  • It looks like there’s more correlation between the number of followers and post interactions, at least for certain industries like nonprofit/education, consumer goods/retail/ecommerce and manufacturing.
The number of social followers vs post interactions
The number of social followers vs post interactions

  • Brands shouldn’t fully rely on either activity index or the number of followers if they want to generate real user engagement via social media. It is necessary to find the ballance between post quality, which means relevance to users, credibility, uniqueness, visualization, etc., and post frequency. Better do less posting but make your content valuable for users. Try to engage with real audience, not scammers and bots.
the ballance between post quality and post frequency in social media
Find the ideal ballance between post quality and post frequency

Find more insights in the full report. Download it on the HubSpot’s official website.

Discover the Top 5 Content Marketing Trends for 2016.

Top 10 languages for mobile games and apps localization

Top 10 Languages for Mobile App/Game Localization with Maximum Revenue

Promoting a mobile app or game only in one language is not enough. Actually, an app publisher should create multiple localizations in order to cover the top grossing and emerging geographical markets. We recommend considering no fewer than 10 languages for mobile app localization.

App Store Superpowers are the countries holding leadership in terms of downloads and revenue. The latest stats show that the United States is not the front-runner anymore. In 2014, Japan and South Korea surpassed the United States by revenue on Google Play. At the same time, Japan is hot on the United States’ tail on the App Store, where it is #2 by revenue.

According to App Annie’s infographic presented at GMIC Silicon Valley event in December 2014, the following three countries form the App Store Superpowers: Japan, South Korea and the United States.

iOS + Google Play worldwide app revenue & download growth by region, Q3 2014
iOS + Google Play worldwide app revenue & download growth by region, Q3 2014. Infographic by App Annie.

When building the list of the top 10 languages for mobile app localization, we should keep in mind other English speaking countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, where mobile apps and games gain high revenue as well. Collectively, the English speaking world is still dominating on the mobile app market.

Another significant player on both iOS and Android is China, which became the top 2nd gaming market by revenue worldwide in 2014. Bear in mind that games drive up to 75% of total revenue on the App Store and nearly all revenue growth on Google Play. App Annie Index Market Q3 2014 report puts China to #3 by revenue on the Apple’s App Store. The only reason why this country has not reached similar revenue rank on Google Play is that it got numerous Android app stores, and only 13% of Android market share in China belongs to Google Play.

Android app stores in China
Android app stores in China

As a matter of a fact, simplified Chinese, which is common for Internet and mobile users in China, goes to the #4 in our list of top ten languages for mobile app localization, following English, Japanese and Korean.

Let’s not forget about the Old World. Traditionally, the lion’s share of revenue generated by mobile apps and games in Continental Europe belongs to its most developed countries: Germany, France and Italy. It is worth noting that the estimated revenue from mobile games in Western Europe, according to AppLift and Newzoo, reached $3.2 billion at the end of the year 2014. Which makes Western Europe the third region in the world by revenue from mobile games, after North America and Asia Pacific.

Global mobile games revenues by region
Global mobile games revenues by region. Source: AppLift & Newzoo

Following English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, the next positions #5 to #9 in our top 10 languages for mobile app localization go to major Western European languages. Let’s take a look at the chart provided by Statista listing the leading gaming markets worldwide in 2014:

Leading gaming countries worldwide by revenue in 2014, Statistic
Leading gaming countries worldwide by revenue in 2014, Statistic

Germany is the leading European market by revenue from mobile apps and games. In App Annie Index: Market Q3 2014 Germany was reported the #4 country by revenue on Google Play. in our list of the top 10 languages for mobile app localization, German language wins #5, and #6 goes to French. Italian (#9) follows Portuguese and Spanish which take #7 and #8 respectively. The reason why Portuguese ranks better than Italian and Spanish is that Brazil’s market share of Google Play downloads increased more than any other country worldwide in Q3 2014. In total, estimated year over year revenue growth in Latin America’s mobile gaming segment exceeds 60%, which is bigger than elsewhere.

In the end, we recommend looking at another huge emerging market, the Southeast Asia. As stated by Newzoo in 2014 Global Games Market Report, the following six countries represent 97% of game revenue in Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Phillippines and Vietnam. So, Malay becomes our #10 language for mobile app localization, which is the most widely spoken in this region.

Let’s summarize, here’s our top 10 mobile app localization languages for 2015:

1. English
2. Japanese
3. Korean
4. Chinese
5. German
6. French
7. Brazilian Portuguese
8. Spanish
9. Italian
10. Malay

UPD: check out the top 10 countries by total, online and Facebook population with infographics: Global Population: Online and Social. Infographics.

Mobile apps vs mobile web

Mobile APP or Mobile WEB? How to Make the Right Choice for Business?

As the total amount of mobile devices worldwide is estimated to be more than 7.7 billion by the end of 2014, it is crucial for basically any business to build a proper mobile marketing strategy. Probably, at this stage, a big challenge to many entrepreneurs can be deciding between a mobile responsive website and a native mobile app.

Mobile apps dominate mobile websites in terms of time spent online.

There’s at least one important fact that speaks in favour of mobile apps. Users spend much more time with apps than with mobile browsers. Another fact is that over 90% of the top 100 brands have their own mobile app. With the variety of apps that are available for mobile devices nowadays, a web browser is just one out of the numerous tools for searching and exchanging content. According to stats revealed by Flurry, there’s a huge shift towards mobile apps at the expense of mobile websites this year. It states that an average US user spends 2 hours and 19 minutes with apps out of 2 hours and 42 minutes spent with a mobile device in total per day. The share of apps increased from 80% of the total time in 2013 to 86% in 2014.

Mobile apps vs mobile web usage in 2014 compared to 2013
Time spent online: mobile apps vs mobile web

But if we take a closer look at the following infographic, it becomes clear that only specific apps categories are used with high frequency. And the biggest share in that respect belongs to games, followed by social networking and messaging apps.

Mobile apps categories 2014
Mobile apps vs mobile web usage breakdown 2014

So, if your app doesn’t belong to one of the most popular categories, it’s probably not likely to reach very high download ranks very fast. Just think of it, there’s about 400, 000 apps with zero downloads out of nearly 1 million apps on the Apple’s App Store in 2014!

Google to encourage mobile friendly websites

Google isn’t going to be out of the swim in the ‘mobile apps vs mobile web battle’. It has introduced a new search label which indicates a website’s ‘mobile friendliness’ and gives it a boost in search results.

Google's mobile friendly search label for websites
Google’s mobile friendly search label for websites

To own the label from Google, a website must meet a number of criteria:

  • not use Flash, which is unrecognizable on mobile devices;
  • links must be optimized for tapping;
  • text must be readable without zooming and scrolling;
  • a web page must load fast enough.

In brief, a website must look great both on mobile and desktop devices. Anyone is able to check a website’s eligibility for the Google’s lable by running a mobile friendly test.

Mobile friendly website
An example of a mobile friendly website

In conclusion, the best strategy for business to compete in this rapidely changing envirornment is to have a mobile friendly website by default. But a native mobile app can be a good solution to enhance the added value for customers, though its development, maintenance and promotion requires additional costs and resources.

More traffic for startups

How to Gain More Web Traffic for Your Startup: 5 Simple Tips

It looks like major players leave no room for startups and small sized entrepreneurs on the Internet. They buy up as much traffic as possible, place their banners far and wide, occupy search results, etc.

However, there’s still a huge growth in online business. For example, there’s a 15-20% annual increase of newly launched online shopping sites. It is as clear as noonday that all those new ventures demand more and more traffic and, unless a startup is backed by strong investors, many of them can barely get enough of it to promote themselves effectively.

The following 5 sources can help you to generate extra traffic for your startup at few or no cost, provided you rethink the way you used them before.

1. Social Media

Look at the examples of popular accounts maintained by business owners in social networks. Check out Steve Blank, Richard Branson, Randi Zuckerberg and others. Develop your brand in social media through your personal expert profile. Just one tweet from a popular “business expert” can generate more traffic than an average corporate account can do throughout the year.

Try suggested posts on Facebook. According to AddRoll, suggested posts get 49 times more traffic than standard right sidebanners. In case you’ve got an email subscription database, don’t send “spammy emails” to users. It can be used to target ads.

2. Search & Referral Traffic

You must know that Google underrates websites with few or no external backlinks. On the other hand, backlinks should be treated like a real source of traffic too, not just for various bots and automated testers. So, focus on both increasing the quantity of backlinks (for better search ranking) and creating high quality content which can go viral and generate referral links to your website (for example, articles, interviews, infographics and analytics).

3. Traffic from Images

Millions of Internet users search images and videos every day. Sometimes it’s easier and less expensive to get traffic from visual content than from general search results or ads. Besides, try posting such type of content on Pinterest if your business is easy enough to visualize. On average, about 69% of consumers who have pinned an image related to a product or service on Pinterest, purchase it eventually.

4. Traffic from Comments

When users comment on your site, don’t leave those comments unanswered. Make sure to provide immediate response and avoid negative statements. Instead of standard pre-defined comments, it is better to set a social commenting platform (e.g. Disqus) that allows to log in with an existing social profile, as well as share discussions with friends. Consider commenting on third party websites and putting links to your own site, but keep in mind that by doing this you’ll always stand on the sharpest edge of spamming. However, if you find communities where people discuss similar products or services and suggest them relevant information, your comments will be able to generate hundreds of visits to your website.

5. Cheap Commercial Traffic

Sometimes even the most popular websites sell off relatively small amount of traffic that they had been unable to sell to big clients. Even more often, they fill vacant spots on their websites with AdSense. Thus, it is possible to place your ad on such websites either directly with considerable discount or with the help of specific targeting your campaign on AdSense.

4 Vine Hacks for Effective Marketing

4 Vine Tips for More Effective Marketing

As marketing becomes more and more creative nowadays, various businesses are seeking for new effective tools and techniques to engage with potential customers. Social media looks particularly attractive with that respect. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin – basically any well known social network provides plenty of tools for business promotion.

Vine is one of the up-to-date social media platforms – the mobile video sharing app developed by Twitter that allows its users to create and share short six second long videos. Vine is available in 25 languages and has over 40 million registered users.

So, why not take advantage of Vine for marketing activities in order to promote your business? These 4 Vine tips may help you drive more customers via this awesome social service. Check them out and make your business grow.

1. How-To Videos

Because of its video-based format, Vine offers opportunities to show things that static photos can’t – like demonstrations of products or services. If your company offers a service that people might not be familiar with, use Vine to create a demonstration for customers about what the service does or what its results look like.

If users can see what they can actually do or get with the thing you are offering (and it’s something they want), they will be more likely to invest in it. One great example of a company that made a successful how-to Vine is Bacardi UK, who showed users how to make a Cuba Libre cocktail in six seconds. The video was clear and concise, and it showed an awesome potential result of purchasing the product they are selling.

2. Behind-the-Scenes Videos

People always want to do business with real people – not robots or computers, so using Vine videos is a great way to show your customers (or potential customers) who is actually behind the scenes at your company. Introduce members of your team or company, and have them say something or show a little bit of their personalities.

People will appreciate being able to associate faces with names – and it could make them more likely to business with you. Fashion legend Marc Jacobs shared a vine video showcasing its staff’s styles with users; it gave people a taste of what happens behind the scenes at the company and a better look into how the brand’s aesthetic is carried through day-to-day.

3. Product Launch

Want to build hype for a new product you’re launching? Vine is a great way to give users a heads-up or peek into something that will be available soon. Show features of the new product, tell people the date it will be out, or build suspense and mystery about its details.

These short videos are a great idea for marketing because they give the public a taste of what’s coming next, but only a very brief one – giving them enough info to pique their curiosity, but leaving them wanting more. Taco Bell did this well when announcing its Doritos Cool Ranch Taco.

The video showed Cool Ranch Doritos coming out of a Doritos bag, followed by a whole taco from the same bag. It also included the Twitter hashtag for the product and the date it was coming out. Watch the video here:

4. Interesting, Engaging Content

So, you don’t have to directly market your product or service to market on Vine. One of the best ways to market your company is to prove that you are an engaging, clever and creative brand – and one great way to do that is to creative funny, well-made or just plain entertaining Vine videos.

Make something hilariously funny or cool to watch, and people will follow you on Vine and want to see more of what you will create. This will keep them around so that when you do advertise or market something directly related to what you sell or do, they will be more likely to buy or promote for you. General Electric handles this concept well. Some of the entertaining Vines they produced were an endless pie for Pi Day:

and a cool demonstration about what happens when you combine milk, food coloring and dish soap:

Author information

Maryam Taheri

Like a true San Franciscan, Maryam has a passion for dogs and the Giants. She heads up Content Marketing at creativemarket.com where she writes about all things creative. You can find her on twitter at @caracaleo.

Via:: Inspirationfeed – Social

How to use Twitter for Marketing

How To Improve Your Marketing with Twitter: 4 Essential Tips

So, you’re marketing your product or service and considering whether social media tools can still be helpful? Yes, Twitter can and should be used to improve your marketing! Here’s at least 4 tips for better customer acquisition and retention from business experts that use Twitter every day.

1. Engage with other experts.

One of the smartest things you can do on Twitter to boost your reputation is interact with other Twitter experts. If you’re first starting out, find someone who is popular on Twitter in your same field, or who has the same audience you do (or hope to). Then, observe how they interact with people, what they post, and how they engage others.

You should also interact with them as well – tweeting at them, favoriting posts, and posting content they might find engaging. If you get noticed by this expert, you might be retweeted or mentioned, which will not only get you a whole bunch of new attention but also help build your credibility on the site. Twitter experts tend to help build each other’s popularity by interacting with one another.

2. Offer Deals Exclusively to Followers

It’s great to Tweet interesting and relevant pieces of information on Twitter – but if you want to convert potential customers to paying customers, you’re going to want to offer them deals (or special opportunities). A great way to both boost your business and get more followers at the same time is by offering specials only to people who follow you on Twitter. Not only will people jump at the special deals you share, but they will also want to follow you on Twitter to make sure they don’t miss any you offer in the future.

3. Make your brand shine through.

One of the things that Twitter experts are best at is communicating their brand and aesthetic (or creating one) via Twitter. When you Tweet, make sure every single message you send and every word you write is in sync with the company that you are and the voice that you use. Followers should be able to recognize a Tweet from you without even seeing your Twitter handle first. Building a very strong, specific identity and voice helps create brand awareness on Twitter and beyond.

4. Write quality content.

This one seems pretty straightforward, but the best and most important way to be considered an expert on Twitter is to write expert-quality content. First, and most importantly, your tweets should be grammatically correct without spelling errors (unless they are intentional, of course.) Then, you should offer facts and information that are well researched and don’t contain erroneous information.

Finally, you should only Tweet to your followers with relevant, interesting information that will engage them and make them want to hear more from you. Tweeting just to tweet is pointless for anyone. Make sure that every message you send out ups your credibility and encourages people to want to be engaged with you.

Author information

Maryam Taheri

Maryam Taheri

Like a true San Franciscan, Maryam has a passion for dogs and the Giants. She heads up Content Marketing at creativemarket.com where she writes about all things creative. You can find her on twitter at @caracaleo.

Via:: Inspirationfeed – Social