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Content Unlimited and the Dreaded Writers’ Block

If you are a content writer and have been writing for years, then I am sure you would have encountered the dreaded writers’ block. Churning articles for the print media or the online media is not easy. Especially when you are just starting out on a career in content, you are expected to write several scores of articles on various topics, and it is very easy to arrive at a complete shutdown of ideas.

Writers Block
Writers Block

As an author also, you could risk stumbling at crucial parts of your story, and just cannot seem to move any further in a way desired by your satisfaction. What do you do?

Let us understand what writers’ block is first.

Writers thrive on creativity. Creativity basically means to come up with new ideas and new ways to represent a story or an article. Creativity also implies saying something mundane in an innovative way, just like it happens in advertising.

When something like this happens, it is really alarming and upsetting, especially when you have deadlines to stick to.

What does one do, as a content writer, to combat such a writers’ block?

Whether we are writing for the web or for the book, we have to keep our creative juices flowing. When it comes to the web, content writers of today have to take care of so many things. It’s not enough to dish out a ‘good’ article with the use of high class vocabulary. Content writing for the Millennials is all about keywords, density, search engine optimization, packing the punch, marketing for the machine, digital, info graphics et al.

Here are a few tips for you to help you ease yourself out of that infamous writers’ block effortlessly:

  • The moment you realize you have a block, S.T.O.P. Leave everything, no matter how tight the deadline. Just stop, and take a deep breath. Get up and go out for a short walk. Just get away from work.
  • If you are into meditation, try visualizing during your meditation sessions.
  • If you aren’t the meditating kind, understand that you need to calm the crows inside your mind to concentrate on the stuck piece of written work. So, try counting numbers backward until there are no thoughts in your head. Slowly, get back to where you got stuck.
  • Deconstruct the constructed. Supposing you were writing content for a website, and the block struck. Deconstruct what you have written till now.
  • On a white board, list down the important areas to cover, mark the topics already addressed.
  • Try writing exercises – for example, choose a random page out of a random book, and start a new story with a random line in the page. Do it for the sake of helping the creative juices flow.
  • Relax… it is very important to have all your faculties working at the topmost order. So, when faced with a block, de-stress, relax, go for a pampering session. Whatever you do, relax.
  • If you are still unable to move ahead, you can try leaving that portion of the story and deal with another part of it – the subsequent outcome might bring about an idea you were looking for at the previous milestone.
  • When short of ideas for articles, or if you have written so much that you don’t really know what to write on anymore, the best way to go ahead is to see trending topics and add on your own to them. Trending topics are always changing. For example, even as I am writing this, the current trending topic on Twitter is LCD TVs. How? Why? One never knows. Just capitalize on it. Your next post could be a well-researched topic on the LCD technology. Or one on the marketing strategy of the biggest LCD brand.

Overcoming the writers’ block is not as tough as it looks. Try these tips the next time you encounter one, and let us know if they worked for you.

And if you have your own little trick that pulls you out of the block, do share with us in the comments section below.

Also, if none of these tips work, contact us to see how we can help you fulfill your content needs.

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How to write powerful web copy content that boosts product sales

Content is ‘king’ is passé. Good Content is king is the new mantra. Good content means content that your customers can trust. With the advent of Web 3.0, the entire landscape of digital marketing is going to see a sea change. That web copy writing is going to be the most daunting task is a given. And the game is all about conversions. Your copy is not ‘good content’ until it turns leads to conversions.

Shareable content has just become the norm. Share-ability of content is going to be measured not only by the understanding of users, but also by Google’s semantic algorithm that tries to “understand” content-worthiness.

The important elements of good web copy content and how to create copy that boosts the sale of your products phenomenally.
The important elements of good web copy content and how to create copy that boosts the sale of your products phenomenally.

Let us see the ingredients of the perfect content/copy recipe that “sells”.

Do you have a Content Strategy?

First off, do not start with a blindfolded, take-as-it-comes approach. Content strategy is very important, because it is going to be the base for all your marketing analytics. This strategy will include every detail about key players, starting from product info, target audience, target location, primary and secondary keywords, to a well-defined writing style and a uniform brand.

Secondly, who are you writing for? Remember – Google might bring you to the top, but if your copy fails to address the needs of your audience, they will never spend a penny. That is why a content strategy is required, to strike a balance between SEO practices and writing simple copy that converses with your customers and tells them what they need and why they need it.

“Content marketing is not just about amplifying your message to your customer; it is about helping them find what they are looking for.”

– Kaitlin Walsh via bluechipcommunication.com.au

What’s in a headline?

A headline by any other name would still be as important.

Call it title, headline or caption. It is the most important part of your content – the element that is going to decide if the customer will scroll down to read your content and do as instructed or not.

Write a headline that confirms to 3 Cs:

(a) Generates Curiosity, (b) Is Compelling and (c) That Connects

A headline that does all the three is a clincher. Making your customers curious enough to be compelled to read through the end and make a connection that makes them fill up the lead form – you are done.

Does your copy contain a hook?

Once you are done with the headline, decide what element you would want to use inside the copy that serves as a hook. Good copy uses emotions to create that hook. For example, “Never miss out on your granddaughter’s stories anymore – with XYZ hearing devices” will make your customers want to know more, as the emotional hook has them ensnared.

Does your copy tell your visitors what to do?

You may write pages and pages of value, features, and benefits, but if your visitors do not know what to do, they will keep on reading and get lost in the scrolling. Tell them in BIG clear font what to do. “Call to Action” items such as “Click Here”, “Add Me”, “Count me in”, “Get EazyMop now!”, “Step into the inner circle”, etc., can be used as buttons on lead forms that take user information for various outcomes which include subscribing, data input, or actually buying the product.

Size does matter! Long copy Vs. Short and Crisp copy

Long copy or short? How long? These are some questions worth pondering before writing web copy for a product or service.

First off, rule 1, your customers have NO time. Read no time. And that means their attention span is gone in a second. So, if you are writing long copy, know that the product has to be of that much importance and worthiness that the customer wants to know anything and everything about it. If you are trying to sell a mop and you write 3 pages of copy convincing the customer of its benefits, you won’t have any customers left. “Keep your floors sparkling clean with EazyMop!!” works perfect for an ad copy of a mop. On the other hand, if you are selling a washing machine, long copy will help you distribute all the benefits that the customer would want to know before investing in it.

The eternal debate: Features or Benefits?

The best way to convince ghost-convince your customers is to help them visualize what the benefit actually does to them after they have bought a product. Instead of listing features and then benefits, make them SEE the benefit in actual use. For example, you are selling a shirt – show the user how the shirt will look when worn. And there he goes, convinced and ready to hit the big Buy button.

And always, benefits first – preferably visually served. Features next.

Testimonials: Everyone’s used it!

The best way to convince a customer is to tell him/her that they are the only ones left out and that everyone else has tried the product. And how do you do that? You publish lot of testimonials about the product from your happiest customers (Base rule: You better have happy customers if you want to really sell your product). The moment a user sees another of his/her kind praising truckloads about a product, he/she is convinced. Testimonials are the online versions of “Word of mouth” publicity. They work like nothing else. They are deal clinchers.

Surprise!! You’ve got a free gift!

Your product must have a free giveaway, and it must be a surprise. This plays on the emotions of an already-convinced customer to get him to buy more. Much like up-selling.

“I am convinced. I am buying a product. Oh Wow! Free gift! That’s amazing! Let me spread the news. Let me buy one more.”

You get the drift. Surprise is what makes a customer return for more.

Serve them content on different platters

Current most-effective trend in digital marketing is to re-purpose content in a different way. Use of info graphics has become the in thing, as customers understand visual cues better than rolls and rolls of boring text. Using graphs, info graphics and other visual elements such as interactive or response-based articles actually hooks the customer on to the next step without giving him/her a chance to digress from the page.

Final Say:

Just one last thing to remember: always write to the customer, and not for the search engine. What you write has to connect with your customer and genuinely make him feel that it is of real benefit.

It sounds tough but isn’t really. Learn to use these tips in your copy and you are sure to make lasting impressions (pun intended).

Can’t write? No worries!

Contact My Digital Marketing Team here for a quote.

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Social media rules to adhere to for sureshot success

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, Google+, Tumblr, Slideshare, Instagram, so on and so forth, the list goes on. For a company that’s serious about marking and imprinting its social media presence across the World Wide Web, the Web offers innumerable platforms, and which ones to choose becomes a tough decision.

Any social media strategy depends on some basic tenets to witness phenomenal success. These tenets when followed ensure that your social media strategy takes off vertically and once this happens, your company can plan some focused campaigns around each of the channels to leverage and grow their followers.

8 - Social Media Rules for Success

1.     Focus:

It’s important to determine which social media channels your company would be focussing on as a part of the digital marketing process. Being everywhere and keeping some profiles dormant is not a very sound idea. Instead, by analysing the area of business and understanding what works for the industry, a company can wisely choose the most important channels for its digital marketing strategy.

2.     Visual Candy:

Remember reading boring essays in school? Same is the case with long never-ending essay type articles on the Internet. Content marketing has become the order of the day since the time search engines started giving importance to keywords. Everyone is churning content by the mills. But how do you make your content appealing? Visual candy is very important to grab eye balls and make them stay. So, always represent your content with good relevant images that enhance the context and meaning of your content.

3.     Interaction:

The essence of communication is always a two-way affair. Single-handed sermons do not work anywhere, more so in the online space. How can you elicit interaction from your customers, followers and prospects? You can ask questions – pertinent questions that your followers would be more than happy to answer. Thus starts a conversation. Debate – all the more desirable, but ensure that the area of discussion does not result in a controversy.

4.     Hash them all up:

The Internet has come up with so many ways to generate and file conversations. Tagging, categorising, hashtags, etc. are ways of ensuring that your content comes up in searches. Whenever hash tags are used, your content tends to get found globally and you get more traction to your website and social media pages.

5.     Gratification Mantra:

Your customers love freebies. Make good use of this general psyche of a buyer prospect and give them a sneak peek to your product by offering free previews or free giveaways. Encourage by requesting reviews and involving bloggers for the same. This not only creates legitimate backlinks but helps you to leverage the popularity of bloggers to your company’s advantage. For example, several beauty product companies have tied up with blogger communities in engaging bloggers to write about their new launches in return for a chance to win big prizes/hampers.

6.     Brevity is the key:

Remember that users tend to scroll away from your screen if you have pages and pages of boring content. As discussed in Point 1, in addition to images, if you can keep your social media posts brief and blogs concise, you will have more readers and takers for your social content.

7.     Numbers:

Stay on top of them. Numbers are your strength. Keep a track of how your posts are faring. In fact, these days, marketers are also calculating the best time to post their social media broadcasts in order to catch their readers when they are actually more likely to be online.

Social media is not about random posting and hoping with fingers crossed that followers will increase. It is all about strategy – planning for goals and making those numbers happen.

8.     Take feedback seriously:

Your readers are your best judges because they are the ones who take your content and are likely to share it across. So, when you receive negative feedback about any of your content or social posts, take it seriously, acknowledge it and move on with the changes. This not only places you on a credible pedestal but also ensures that your followers feel important, needed and heard.

9.     Get personal:

Literally. One-on-one interactions with your audience will take you very far. Communicating with your audience will ensure that they know that you know them personally, and you recognize them. Make them feel important. Address them by name and include them into your community, whatever it may be – Twitter or Facebook. This creates a personal relationship and your audience tends to become loyal to you and your brand.

So, follow these simple rules and you will be there on the top in no time.

If you need assistance in managing your social media presence, do get in touch with us here to understand how we can chalk out a Social Media Optimisation strategy for you.

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Join Tech Share Event held On 13th & 14th FEB 2014 In New Delhi

Techshare India 2014 to be held on 13th – 14th February, 2014 at New Delhi. Tech Share  is a conference and exhibition discussing accessibility and assistive technology at a national level with international participation. Techshare India 2014 will focus on Innovate – Adapt – Evolve theme under four verticals:

• Education – Whether it is primary, secondary, college level or vocational education, it is imperative for educators, parents and rehabilitation specialist to understand how they can innovate and adapt the existing and new technology to support the student with disabilities. If Education for All has to be a reality, we need to bridge the gap in implementation and provide them with the assistive aids and technologies required to meet their needs. It is important that the authorities in charge of education at all levels realize the reach of technology and implement it to attain Education for All.

• Employability – For employers today, equal opportunity is key, how do we integrate people with disabilities into the corporate culture wherein there are numerous hurdles that people face in using the infrastructure whether physical or technological. How can assistive technology be adapted and implemented so as to develop a self-sustainable population.

• Accessible technology – With technology evolving so fast, ensuring that people with disabilities are included and that web, mobile or any technology is accessible is the key question. The technology companies need to see how they can innovate and adopt to the needs of people with disabilities and how they can ensure that their products and services are accessible to all. People from research and development can bring a whole new meaning to accessible technologies.

• Laws, Policies & Standards – One way to ensure implementation is by enforcing laws, policies and standards that will provide direction on how people can implement accessibility & assistive technology. Various government and non-government bodies can come together to spread awareness, identify gaps and provide solutions.

You can find few more details of the Conference at the links below

About TechShare
Speakers at TechShare
 

 

Schedule & Venue:

 

February 13, 2014 — 9:00 am to
February 14, 2014 — 6:00 pm

India Habitat Center
Gate No. 3, Lodhi Road
New Delhi, New Delhi
India

 

 

 

Below is a youtube video of the Techshare conference held in 2012

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WAI-ARIA Live Regions

Aria-live regions will help a screen reader user get the dynamic updates on the application without losing the current focus from the activity that is being performed. Aria-live property is extremely useful to make a screen reader user under stand the complex widgets like dynamically updating tables or chat windows etc and the aria live property can be useful for regularly updating news sites, blogs & applications that pull data from social channels, gamification portals etc.

Aria-Live Property

The aria-live property indicates a section within the content that is live and the verbosity in which changes shall be announced. The following values may be used to determine the verbosity,

Aria-live=”off”

Aria-live=”off” indicates that a region is not live & changes will not be announced to the user. This attribute is used when there is a frequently updating content for example tweets & facebook activity that is being pulled into the site. There is no necessity for the user to get these updates by default, how ever user can read these updates by usual navigation.

Aria-live=”polite”

The update must be announced at the next interval. For example when the user stops typing or when the user is waiting for an update to happen & the most important thing to note is that user will not be interrupted by the live region in order to provide the update.

Example breaking news headlines, new offers in ecommerce stores, optin box for blogs etc.

Aria-live=”assertive”

Aria-live=”assertive” will inform the update immediately & this must be used with care as update is announced mmediately this cannot be used in a live region where frequent updates are expected.

For example aria-live=”assertive” can be used for form validation, appearance of new chat windows and one time offer of a product in ecommerce stores.

More examples of Aria live property can be found on the following websites,

Aria live region example1

Aria live region example 2

Aria live regions by juicy studio

Here is a screen capture video explaining all about ARIA live regions & this video is little behind the time, but concept is valid.

Note: I am just sharing the knowledge that I acquired by reading & practicing as accessibility consultant. Lot of this is already available on the web & is sharing it here on my blog so as to make my self an expert in the field & to remember the concepts.

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Responsive Design: Being device inclusive

A recent survey by ReturnPath has turned up with interesting numbers, stating that almost 51% of total emails sent in December 2013 were opened in mobile devices as against 27% on desktop and remaining on webmail.

Mobile Email Users prompt the need for responsive design
Mobile Email Users

The trend started in early 2011, when PC sales dipped down after sale of smart phones shot up and crossed the PC sale numbers. Between 2010 and 2012, the number of mobile Internet users had grown by 45%.

As per another survey by GetResponse that was conducted between June 2012 and March 2013, emails opened in mobile increased by 30%.

What are the implications of this survey vis-à-vis responsive design?

The implications are very clear. If your website/emails are not compliant with a responsive design, they are less likely to be read; and also more likely to get trashed/bounced off.

A majority of global online users carry smart devices, including smart phones, tablets and I-pads. Most of these users are perpetually online, connected to the Internet and almost always available the moment mails and messages pop into their inbox. This means, it is easier for them to just switch on their hand-held devices and check the emails right there, instead of waiting to get onto their laptops or desktops.

Many companies these days are heavily into email marketing and newsletter distribution. Emails and Newsletters is a great way to keep the customers abreast of the latest updates from your industry. However, if your emails are not responsive, which means, if your emails are not mobile-friendly when viewed on mobile and other devices, you lose traffic from your website.

Users hardly go back to their opened emails. Once opened, emails remain read, unless very important. It becomes vital for you to make the email reading for your customers an easy experience on their mobiles.

Most newsletters and emails look great on the Web. However, when opened on phones, a lot of issues crop up, especially those related to layout, design and fonts.

The fact is that only 25% of digital marketers or companies opt for responsive design for their mobile devices. (Email Marketing Census 2013 – eConsultancy)

For example, a very popular product company had a big lead form popup window inserted on its home page for product enquiries. The same web page, when opened in a mobile, was not optimised to re-size the pop up window as per the mobile specifications. As a result, the user was stuck as the close button was outside the scrollable area. On the mobile screen, neither the complete form could be seen, nor the complete window. The only option was to close the browser and abandon going to the site again.

Such scenarios are real time scenarios that crop up when a website is not optimised for the mobile and other devices. The disadvantages of bad mobile design could be humongous, including higher bounce rate and loss of RoI. A bad user mobile experience is not a good sign for any company, be it an e-commerce store or a real estate company.

Decoding responsive mobile design

Responsive Mobile Design
Responsive Design to cater to mobile users

Building a responsive mobile design is completely dependent on the following key aspects:

  1. Maintain a simple design, no matter how flashy, engaging or wow your web email design is.
  2. Keep it short and sweet – the KISS acronym applies here to the subject line, the actual email, and the format layout.
  3. Be relevant and to the point. Remember that a trash button gets hit easier on mobile than on the computer monitor where there is a lot more space to entice your customer visually as well as with context.
  4. Very practical design tips include increasing the line space, especially around clickable links to enable easy navigation. This also applies to button sizes. Consider the size of a finger that is going to click on the button. Design accordingly. Make sure your call to action is very clear in the final design.
  5. Font sizes need to be determined as per target device platforms because different platforms respond differently to font sizes.
  6. Keep reiterating your testing practices on different platforms to see the results, with focus on the loading time of emails and links within them.

Conclusion:

Mobile customers can turn into conversions on the go. Do not ignore them and ensure that your website is mobile friendly and also compatible with other devices.

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5 Simple Steps To Make Your Website Accessible

Video produced by System Concepts for World Usability Day 2010. This video describes how making your website accessible to people with disabilities improves the usability of your website for people of all abilities. This podcast describes and illustrates five simple ways you can improve the accessibility of your website.

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Social Media Roundup: What’s gone and what’s to come in 2014

As 2013 bids goodbye and ushers the New Year with a lot of expectations, the Social Media scene remains as dynamic as ever. Rapidly changing trends, viral strategies, changing algorithms and the capitalistic tricks of search engines to trap users into using their products have all grabbed headlines in the year past.

Several trends were predicted for 2013 in the year 2012, and these trends have today become a vital part of digital marketing strategy.

Quick Roundup of social media scene:

Content marketing was one of these and the latest Google update underscores the trend and further reiterates the importance of producing high quality and intelligent content. The Hummingbird update rolled out by Google during the last quarter of last year took everyone by the wave. Google timed the launch to coincide with its 15th birthday on 27th September 2013. Most Google’s updates are looked upon with apprehension because they are aimed at quashing the digital marketers who misuse and abuse the search algorithms to play with the rankings. One such example is keyword stuffing.

However, with the Hummingbird update, Google has now started understanding user queries to display better results. So, while we all were typing ‘grocery stores street name’ onto the search bar, Google was revamping its algorithms to understand ‘grocery stores within 5 kilometres of street name’, or ‘grocery stores inside malls’.

Trends in Social Media 2014
Trends in Social Media 2014

Hummingbird update signals the era of intelligent searching. The technical word here is ‘semantic search’, which means search by queries/context in totality, and not just by keywords alone. So this in simple words means users get what they want in the form of answers. This calls for writing more How to content, questions and answers, and phrasing content in simple words that converse rather than preach, teach or sermonize.

The last quarter of 2013 witnessed the release of direct messages at Instagram, and the launch of Twitter IPO which rose to 70% of its initial offering price on the same day of launch.

Facebook tried acquiring Snapchat for $3 billion, while Google tried offering $4 billion. Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel turned down both!! 2013 was the year of “Selfies”, so much so that the word, meaning self-picture was added to Oxford dictionary owing to a 17,000% increase in its frequency. The year not only saw a boom in the social media space, but also suffered with rise in social media spam by almost 355%. And Google Plus took the second spot after Facebook for the most active users.

What a year!!

Looking ahead at 2014: What’s in store?

Of course, it goes without saying for it’s been said and repeated umpteen times, how content is going to be a really strong player in the coming years. More so, the use of visually pleasing and graphical content such as Infographics will heighten the ‘shareability’ factor by leaps and bounds. Content will be developed exclusively for mobile devices with brevity as the foundation.

Geo-tagging is taking off in a big way. Findability on Google Places and elsewhere will become the most important strategy for businesses. Pinterest has teamed up with FourSquare to allow geo-tagged pins to be posted. As mobile users increase, digital media efforts will be more focused towards roping all the alternate platform users into the funnel.

The void of certified courses in the area of online media and marketing is expected to be filled by international universities, some of which have already introduced graduation and online programs to produce skilled digital marketing talent.

Short copy will rule as users’ average attention span keeps dwindling, owing to a surge in the available devices at hand as well as overload of information. Marketers will use attention grabbing techniques which include colourful images, graphics, info-graphics, repackaged and repurposed content. ‘Less-is-more’ is still going to be the mantra.

All in all, 2014 is going to be an interesting year in the digital marketing space – a lot to look out for.

Source:
The State of Social Media 2013 by Infographic Promotion

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Should your company outsource digital marketing services?

The outsourcing industry has seen quite a sweeping change in the last decade and a half. Changing technologies, rapid updates in the online sphere, economic instability across the globe and cost arbitrage are the primary drivers of the outsourcing industry.

Although getting digital marketing services outsourced is more of a strategic and a tactical decision for most organisations, dynamically changing scenarios in the digital space also contribute to this decision. Most digital marketing agencies like these have a trained talent pool that keeps itself up-to-date with the latest technological changes happening in the industry and are better equipped to handle these changes as and when they happen.

Outsource digital marketing services
Should you outsource digital marketing services

Here are some of the key drivers that can help you decide if your company should opt for outsourcing digital marketing services:

Does digital marketing fit into your organisational strategy?

Many companies such as those in the manufacturing sector, or the aerospace industry do not see digital marketing as a core competency in terms of organisational strategy. So, it is more beneficial to them to have the digital and online marketing services outsourced to agencies, rather than allocating dedicated resources to this function. Of course, privacy, data integrity, and confidentiality concerns also are taken into consideration.

Do you have the right resources?

In case of digital marketing functions, the requirement of resources varies greatly and unless a company is a very large MNC, it is not viable for them to invest hugely in digital marketing resources. In many cases, the marketing team carries out the function in a limited way.

A fully fledged digital marketing team includes specialists such as web developers, SEO strategists, SEO experts, content specialists, UI designers, graphic designers, creative head, analytics experts etc. Hence, small and medium enterprises usually opt for outsourcing of digital marketing services when they want to introduce the entire gamut of services such as SEO, PPC, SMM, etc.

Does your technology support the function?

The digital marketing function requires the support of integrated technology along with cutting edge infrastructure and higher specifications than normal. For example, a designer needs access to a higher capacity processor which can run heavy programmes such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. This might be feasible for a company that has enough design needs to justify the RoI on these softwares.

Let the Operations part be handled by the pros

While it is a good idea to ideate and create concepts for advertising or campaigns, you are more likely to think about the big picture and let the rest be taken care of by the agencies. Strategy and insight is the input that goes from you to the agency that you have outsourced your digital marketing services and operations to. That way, you can take care of the core operations of your own company.

Avoiding hindrance in the path of growth

When you have the path for your company set and established, and know the plan of action, you might want the expert agencies to take over some or all parts of a digital marketing strategy and operations. Hence the need to outsource digital marketing services becomes an organisational decision.

Cost Arbitrage

Most companies outsource because it is worthwhile to invest in; outsourcing became the norm because it was profitable in many ways to give a part of the business process to an agency that would handle it from end to end, rather than investing in it.

360 degree coverage

When you hire a digital marketing agency for your social media needs, you can rest assured that there will be a 360 degree coverage of your brand across all possible channels, or most effective channels, and the kind of leverage that you can get from the focused industry knowledge of these agencies has great benefits. For example, agencies know which concepts and Hash tags are trending and can connect your brand to the current trends, thus leveraging the popularity of current in-the-news hash tags.

Leveraging network

Digital Marketing agencies are usually in touch with a lot of media people as well as have good connections across the industry. A company on its own may not be able to spread as much word about its services at the right places, as an agency.

If you would like to see a professional and qualitative approach towards your digital marketing plan for 2014, do contact us to know how we can make your brand name a buzz word in the digital sphere.

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Secondary Marketing Techniques: Landing Pages and Microsites

Secondary marketing is the usage of smaller, often single or two-page, websites as a complement to the main website. These smaller websites serve as an addition to the main website but are of secondary importance. Microsites are also known as landing pages, essentially pages that a customer would land on, after searching for keywords on search engines or clicking on advertisement banners online. Although both microsites and landing pages serve the same purpose and are used as tools for secondary marketing online, the basic difference between both is in the number of pages – landing page is just one, while a microsite can have a couple of pages or more. Both utilise attractive graphics, text and images to grab the attention of visitors and encourage them towards a desirable action.

Secondary Marketing - Use of landing pages and micro sites
Secondary Marketing – Use of landing pages and micro sites

A typical microsite is made of two elements which might be spread over a single page or several pages:

  1. The visual (consisting of images, text and graphics), and
  2. A call to action that guides users towards a course of action.

Microsites are launched with several objectives. In terms of secondary marketing, microsites enable users to grasp more information on a service or sub-product.

How do users “land” on your landing pages?

There are several methods of directing users to your desired landing pages.

  1. Banner ads
  2. Pop up on website home page
  3. Google search engine result
  4. Email marketing (usually emails containing links are sent to users)

Why does your company need to use secondary marketing techniques?

Many digital agencies suggest the use of secondary marketing for branding purposes, because it is easier for them to successfully execute digital marketing strategies for companies by using microsites.

  1. It is a great marketing idea to promote a specific product/service, target a specific location and conduct a seasonal event by using microsites. Doing so gives access to a host of analytics that are relevant only to the purpose of its creation. For example, if a brand has created a landing page for a newly launched product, it can measure the number of people interested only in that brand by tracking the metrics for the landing page.
  2. Microsites and landing pages are essentially used for lead generation and in most cases, contain a lead form that captures customer information such as name, number, email address, etc.
  3. Most companies are reluctant to give control of their websites to agencies, and hence, this is another way to market a company’s products and services online.
  4. In some cases, websites are made in a haphazard way, or have just plain simplistic and uninteresting home pages. Getting an amateur agency or an inefficient resource or for that matter, not having had the time to look into the website launch could result in branding without quality. This means, the branding has been done, but is ineffective.
  5. Once customers start recognizing a brand, companies feel apprehensive about making very big changes. In such cases, and in cases where the website is in an unsalvageable state, digital marketing agencies suggest the use of landing pages, or microsites.
  6. Campaigns – Say a popular telecommunication company comes out with an integrated online marketing campaign to launch its new mascot, and creates a new microsite to introduce the mascot, announce some new plans and gather customer information.
  7. Events – Many companies participate into or conduct events and to promote the same, they create microsites with event information, ticket sale pages and booking information details.
  8. New launches – Companies advertise new launches through landing pages to gauge customer interest, more so, if the launch is of a new range of products or a new entrée.
  9. Social Media, Search Ad Campaigns and PPC for display ads – This is another way of directing your visitors to a good attractive landing page. By linking ads and PPC display banners to a new landing page, brands can also measure the traffic that the ad is sending to the landing page.

Types of secondary marketing techniques that warrant the use of microsites and landing pages

Conclusion

A landing page is a great way to engage users and disseminate information that a brand does not want to disclose on its home page. Landing pages/microsites actually complement the home page and enjoy the same level of importance without overshadowing the purpose of a home page. Many marketers use microsites to engage users in interactive games such as karaoke sessions or quiz with gratification.

Ultimately, secondary marketing techniques must empower the business to grow by converting visitors into leads.

My Digital Marketing Team has a team of expert designers and programmers that create effective and interactive landing pages and microsites for expanding your customer base through result-based online marketing campaigns.

To know how we can help you grow your business, contact us here.