Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why Most Marketing Campaigns Fail

Typically the reason a business, from start-ups to fortune 500 companies, hire an outside marketing consultant is because their internal marketing campaigns are failing. And if the best-laid marketing plans have the ability to go awry, imagine just how bad it is with poorly planned marketing campaigns. Here are some mistakes to avoid/things to consider when coming up with your next campaign that will hopefully increase your chances of success.

Ending a Campaign Too Soon

Too many times company's pull the plug on a campaign before giving it a chance to perform. Things like SEO and SMM aren't things that can be turned on and off. You must continually focus on them, investing time and money, even when you are losing out in the short term in hopes of recuperating your losses and making a profit in the long run.

That's why it's so important to budget correctly. The amount of money that you have available to spend will greatly impact your strategies. With the exception of a few situations (like running a PPC campaign), you should plan your budget on a yearly basis and not quarterly. 

With proper budget management, you should be able to keep campaigns going that need time to flourish before producing a positive ROI. This leads to the next point.

Not Getting Your Marketing Campaigns to Fund Themselves

While it may not be an easy task to create a positive ROI in the short run, it is possible. The best way of doing this is by splitting your efforts into two buckets.The first being campaigns that will provide a ROI within a few months and the second being those that will provide a ROI in the long run.

Campaigns like pay-per-per click advertising or pay-per-call marketing can provide a return in the short term while SEO, social media marketing, and content marketing are campaigns that typically need a longer time period to run before being able to provide a positive ROI.

It's important to maximize profits on these shorter-term campaigns so that you can take the money and invest in long-term campaigns. This will prevent you from burning through your budget too quickly since your marketing campaigns can help to fund themselves.

Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket

Many businesses that run a marketing campaign make the mistake of spending their entire budget on one specific marketing area which is a big mistake. Spreading your marketing and advertising efforts (SEO, SMM, PPC and other methods) will help with keeping your ROI balanced.

You Didn't Follow Up with Customers

The sales team should be at the center of your marketing campaign. It's important for your sales team to maintain open communication with potential customers. It is a common marketing mistake to allow customers to fall through the cracks. Once a potential customer makes contact, it is a good business practice to stay in touch with them. If the sales team is not following up with potential customers, the marketing campaign efforts won’t matter. 

If you're making these mistakes, don't panic. You can recover from a failed marketing campaign. Just make sure to take the time to review the previous campaign, recognize errors you made, and learn from the mistakes.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Choosing A Competitive Title For Content Marketing

Content is king - by writing good content, not only will it allow you to rank well in search engines, but it'll help with social media sharing and allow you stand out among other your competitors.
However, having good content alone may not be enough. Without having a good title to entire readers to click through to your site, your content may never have the chance of competing against your competitors. Title is the key to get the attention of your targeted readers and it plays an important role to help your content becomes king. Right, content does not become a king unless it has been acknowledged by its readers. So title is the opening door for a content to own a castle. But how do you choose the best appropriate title for your content? Here’s how, from both an SEO point of view as well as one that will lead to increased click-through:
Think about your target audience and the message you're looking to convey. With that in mind, then come up with a title that's simple but creative and memorable. Try creating a title that opens a knowledge gap, thus violating a user's schema 
Don't Write Misleading Titles
No matter how sensational and marvelous your blog post titles are, if you want your visitors to continue returning and to increase your conversions, then you better make sure that your content lives up to the hype. Misleading titles lead to high bounce rates and will leave visitors with a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to your brand. Title-content mismatches will only confuse — and alienate — readers.
Picking the Right Keywords and Proper Positioning

If you are looking to rely on traffic from search engines, then you want to have a focus on the right keywords to help you reach your intended targets. You also want to make sure that you position the keywords at the beginning of your title, as this is good from both an SEO perspective as well as a human one. People typically look at the first two or three words to decide whether they want to keep reading or move on to something else. 
Check Title Length (under 64-66 characters)
The number of characters that can be displayed in a search engine depends on the engine, however the typical rule of thumb is that you don't want a title that's greater than 64 characters. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Power of Color and its Ability to Impact Conversions

Color has a very powerful psychological affect on the brain, yet how much have you considered the colors you chose for your website, in particular your landing/sales page? When you choose the right visual elements (colors, fonts, design and theme) and get them to work in harmony  you'll be able to boost your conversion rates, however when they clash, you can certainly expect your conversion rates to drop. Take a look at the infographic below from KISSmetrics a revolutions person-based analytics platform for your entire team.

A few takeaways:

  • Color Matters for Call to Action Buttons - Performable did a test where all the content in their page was the same except for changing the color of their CTA button. They noticed that the red button outperformed the green button by 21%. Or take this study done by 
    dMix where he also tested both a green and red button on his website. The text (“Get Started Now”) was the same on both buttons. The eye-catching red button contributed to a 34% increase in conversions.
  • Product Assessment Takes 90 Seconds
    According to research done by the CCICOLOR - Institute for Color Research eveals people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.

  • Visual InfluenceSecretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo 2004 showed that 92.6% of those surveyed stated they put the most importance on visual factors when purchasing products. Only 5.6% said that the physical feel via the sense of touch was most important. Hearing and smell each drew 0.9%. 
When making any changes to your website, you may want to do some testing first to see which colors work best with your page and your audience. Some generalizations though that you do want to take into account - think about what sections of your webpage should stand out the most and then use contrasting colors. The most important sections of your site should be in high contrast with the background while the lesser important parts should be in colors that don't contrast as much. This will allow you to draw your visitors eyes to the sections that you feel are the most important.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Google Planning On Competing Against Spotify

Google kicked off its annual developers conference Wednesday by launching news about All Access a subscription-based streaming music service to compete with the likes of Rhapsody, Pandora and Spotify. There will be no free version of the service, however Google will be giving a 30 day trial to all new users. The cost thereafter will be $9.99 per month or $7.99 per month for users who sign up before June 30.

Google has been working diligently at developing entertainment features for mobile devices running their Android platform, putting them in direct competition companies like Apple, whose iTunes store is the largest retailer of music in the US. While Android phones as well as tablet remain popular, Google has had limited success with its download store which is why Google is looking to expand into streaming music and tap into what has become the most rapid growth segment in the digital music market.

Aside from just streaming digital music, Google will be looking to guide you to music that you like through recommendations by Google's curators. You'll be able to choose from 1 of 22 music genres and will then be shown key albums that define the genre. While it appears that Google will be putting a new spin on features that are already seen elsewhere, analysts don't believe that these improvements will be revolutionary as compared to Spotify and other streaming services. However, Forrester analyst James McQuivey said it's important for Google to enter the market. "If Google failed to make a play for the music business," he said in an email, "it would later regret it because its customers would remain forever tied to another digital service."

At this state it would seem Google All Access has a chance of taking away a piece of the pie from Spotify and Pandora when it comes to premium/paying customers, however Google may want to consider releasing a free version to pick up steam for their app or look to add additional features that just can't be found on other steaming programs. The one advantage that they do have is that they can tie in their social network and other applications to try and give their All Access a leg up.

Would love to know your thoughts on All Access and whether you plan on purchasing a monthly plan by leaving a comment below.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Internet and Phone Access Cut Off For Second Day

Since Tuesday afternoon, Internet activity has completely dropped off in Syrica according to multiple sources. 
Internet monitoring firm Renesys confirmed yesterday afternoon via a tweet about the "loss of Syrian Internet connectivity 18:43 UTC. BGP routes down, inbound traces failing."
Google also certified the inaccessibility of Internet in Syria via a tweet with a link to its Transparency Report showing a complete drop in internet activity as seen from the graphic below.

There's still a blackout as of Wednesday, 5/8 with government media reports blaming a “fault in fiber optic cables,” according to Dubai-based news organization Al-Jazeera.

The excuse of a fiber optic failure doesn't seem to sit quite right as it would require the simultaneous interruption of four separate fiber optic cables that bring bandwidth into Syria. Not only that, but there are several other countries that share the same cable and yet none of them are experiencing any type of failure.

There could be several reasons why the Syrian government would want to shut down the internet (this wouldn't be the first time it has done so), however at this point we can only speculate as to the real reasons behind the internet shutdown.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Google Glass Apps Start to Hit the Market

While Google Glass is about a year out from being available to the general public, apps are already starting to come out for Google Glass from early testers and developers eager to to be first to come to market.

Google Glass which has been designed with the idea to let Glass be manipulated with touch, gesture and voice, already has an app out that has already garnered a lot of attention called Winky. The app enables a user to take a picture of whatever they're looking at with just a wink.

Check out this video from inhabitants of Willamsburg, Brookly giving their opinion on Glass.