Integrating different inbound channels as part of a content-led digital strategy

Here's the only way to approach your marketing: What content will your customers thank you for? Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs @MarketingProfs In the ever-evolving sphere of digital marketing, creating compelling content just isn't enough. Instead, what you need to do is develop a strategic plan that is both consistent and integrated and will help drive traffic, generate leads and increase your conversions. While content creation still plays a pivotal role in an effective marketing strategy, smart brands are taking a more holistic approach - and that means focusing on how content marketing, SEO, social media, blogging and email marketing all work in sync.    Along with our own tips and tricks of the trade, in this article AWeber has enlisted a few industry leaders to share their insights…

Do We Need a Digital Department At All?

When I began working on the Smart Insights Digital Transformation guide, I believed that the days of the digital department were numbered. After all, if digital integration was a true goal of a business, shouldn’t this department simply be merged into marketing and other ‘non-digital’ departments? I felt that we’d only created digital departments as a bolt on reaction to the changing landscape, and that over time different skills would simply be ‘absorbed’ into the rest of the business. While this sentiment may run true amongst some readers, I soon found that this ideal has seldom been reached, and may never occur in many verticals. After all, it often seems that there will always be requirements for specific skills that need to sit within a specialist team. Rather than saying whether we ‘should’ or ‘should not’ have a digital department, there are varying ‘phases’…

3 Strategic learnings for real time marketing

Value: [rating=3] Recommended link: Forrester real-time analytics report - free download  Commissioned by MediaMath, the latest research piece by Forrester is well worth the time it will take you to scan to understand this emerging modern marketing technique. I think most marketers understand the concept of real-time marketing but may struggle to see how that works across the WHOLE customer journey (most people associate real-time with Social media channels, mistake number one! More on that later). It is certainly something I am still learning about especially the practical side of it and excited by the prospect of working with more clients on helping them on the journey. Looking at the data shared in the report suggests the value that brands can get from real-time marketing. So, the value is in…

Examples and research showing why content marketing is now key for driving Ecommerce customer journeys

Ecommerce is constantly evolving alongside the development of new digital media and technologies, yet one aspect has not changed. That is, the importance of search intent in the buyer journey. Consumers continue to use search to find, research and buy the products that they want. However, though this basic fact may not be changing, the way search works is. Search algorithms and in particular those by Google are regularly updated to focus more on quality and relevance of content. So now ecommerce businesses have to think differently about content's position in the buyer journey. Long gone are the days of keyword density, link farms and ghost pages. Want your products to rank well for search? You need quality content.

The intersection of content marketing and ecommerce

How are ecommerce businesses using content marketing?  New research from Econsultancy…

What Makes Great Ecommerce Website Design? Part 2: The Category Page

In Part Two of my series of blog posts looking at the factors that help make different parts of an ecommerce websites more effective in experience, merchandising and SEO, I review examples of category pages. In Part 1 I looked at 5 Ecommerce home page best design practices. You can think of Category pages serving as the 'Departments' within your website like they do in a department store - the ladieswear department, childrens wear department and so on. These areas in a department store are typically demarcated by very visual merchandising, such as mannequins dressed in the types of clothes that you'd find in that department, visual posters/ signage showing branding or imagery depicting the section you are in - smiling children on posters indicating that you are in the childrens' section. These subtle visual prompts are often un-noticed yet serve to ensure that…

A case study of how Ford have embraced digital and social media

The digital landscape for the majority of sectors has witnessed a meteoric rise in the number brands. These brands come in all sizes and shapes – On one side you have the traditional brands making the steady transition to the world of digital and on the other, the start-up brand, out there to cause disruption to the sector and to offer that something a little different. And they all have the same objective - vying for our attention.

In with the old

The transformation traditional organisations are learning to wrestle with is the fact that moving to a digital future, traditional brands should not still try to control media content that impacts the brand and its perception, rather the brand should instead focus on becoming more transparent and seek to build engagement, credibility and collaboration with its user base.

A case study of…

Should your CEO be blogging?

Should your CEO have a blog separate from your company’s blog? Although it does depend on sector, it’s an increasingly important question, since many CEOs are emerging (or are already well established) as the 'public face' of the organizations they lead. Richard Branson (Virgin Group), George Colony (Forrest Research), Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks) and Martha Heller (Heller Search Associates) are only a few of the many chief executives who have successfully taken to digital media to communicate on a more informal basis to employees, customers and other stakeholders. Many of these also run a LinkedIn blog shared via LinkedIn Pulse alongside their personal presence.

Pros and Cons of running a blog

Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons for CEOs contemplating a blog of their own:

Pros of CEO blog

These include: It gives your company a personal touch. Any effort that helps to humanize your brand should be strongly considered.…

Are you reaching your audience on mobile?

Importance: [rating=3] Recommended link: IAB/IHT Mobile advertising report This month, the IAB and IHS Technology's published a survey that shows strong demand for global mobile advertising, as revenue almost doubled last year to 19.3 billion dollars and mobile growth accounts for a large proportion of this. In terms of the format of mobile advertising, display has shown the most growth followed by search and then messaging. According to Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. 'as mobile ad campaigns become easier to plan, create, buy, and measure – in great part due to programmatic strategies – these operational efficiencies are spurring the growth of the mobile display ad market. And, this impressive rise in mobile advertising is unquestionably a worldwide phenomenon, with strong year-over-year upticks being seen in every corner of the globe.' Globally, there are differences…

“Close variant” keyword matching to become default by end September can increase clicks by 7% on average

Importance: [rating=4] (If you’re not already using this feature) Recommended link: AdWords official announcement

Context for the change to match types

The Match types advertisers use in AdWords are important since they control whether relevant ads are displayed to searchers based on the keywords they type. This in turn affects the clickthrough rates, Quality Score and the ROI you get on your campaigns. Here’s a reminder of the main match types from iProspect:

What is the change?

In their announcement, Google explain that starting in late September, they’re applying close variant keyword matching to all exact and phrase match keywords. Previously it was possible to opt-out of these. Close keyword variations include Close variations include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor…

Our new mobile responsive home page and customer journeys

22nd August update: New library search and other updates It's nearly a couple of months now since we redesigned the site to update our design style and to make the site fully mobile responsive on smartphone and tablet. In this note I just wanted to let members know about another round of updates. Since the original relaunch we have updated our blog page template to be responsive too, so you can access our updates "on the go" more easily. Thanks if you left a comment with support - it's been nice to get a lot of positive comments! We did have a few support queries about mangled layouts with the previous updates - this can happen when the previous design stylesheet is in your cache if you have accessed a page before. A simple refresh of the browser should sort this, you may need to do this for the the new…

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Summer Sale 2014

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