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July 30, 2012

5 Reasons You Need Social Reporting

Posted by Pramod S.N. at 10:06 AM

 More and more businesses are using social media for marketing, yet most fail to utilize it to its fullest potential. In 2011, over 40 percent of companies were turning to social media platforms to market their brands, according to a Regus survey.  However, many brands are not utilizing social media analytics in order to maximize their ROI on social media engagement--and that's a serious mistake. Instead of just assuming your efforts are working, you must specifically examine how they are succeeding in order to craft and maintain your presence. Here are five reasons why social reporting is key.


1.  Helps identify conversions. The evolution of web analytics now allows brand managers and CMOs to measure and monitor which calls to action are currently most successful on their websites. This way you can track exactly where you're excelling, and where you may need to boost your efforts.


2. Helps determine where to spend your time. Engagement, reach, and other quantitative data help marketers determine where to invest more time for maximum effect.  Social Media Examiner's 2011 analysis found marketers who spend six hours or more per week on social media have stronger lead generation, and 78 percent report an increase in website traffic. But the key to using your time effectively is knowing exactly where your energies are best directed. Using analytics can help brand managers maximize results while minimizing effort.


3. Helps you understand your customers. Analytics can provide insight into what, when, where, and how your customers are interacting with a particular brand.  For instance, Mashable reports that businesses who post outside normal business hours see a 20 percent increase in engagement. This is a great example of why brand managers need to use analytics to get a more comprehensive picture of their target audience.


4. Helps marketers look at the big picture. Beyond the day-to-day, analytics help you look at long-term growth. Too often data analysts focus on narrow data sets and forget how the data is applied to the rest of the business. praises data analysts who report on economic value, conversions, and profitability (big picture metrics) because these metrics are usually what's most important to businesses.


5. Helps analysts calculate real ROI. At the end of the day, the one question that CMOs and brand managers want an answer to is, "Are my campaigns increasing the bottom line?" With social reporting, brand managers are able to track revenue and costs associated with specific campaigns.


Businesses not monitoring social metrics are missing opportunities to refine and focus messages to their target consumers, drive conversions, and boost ROI. Ultimately, utilizing social reporting is something you can't afford not to do.

July 16, 2012

The continued rise of Digital Marketing

Posted by Pramod S.N. at 1:04 PM


Marketers are shifting or have already shifted to digital marketing because of flexibility, scalability, and measurable results in real time.


The proof is the in numbers. 


A 2011 study commissioned by Social Media Examiner showed that 88% of all marketers said their companies' social media efforts created more exposure for their businesses.


Another benefit was improved traffic and increased subscribers. The study also showed that almost two-thirds of the marketers surveyed said their companies experienced a rise in search engine rankings because of social media marketing. About half of the marketers also reported social media generated qualified leads.


That same study showed digital marketing increased sales even when there was a minimal time investment into the marketing plan.


Digital marketing strategies also don't require a long-term time commitment and are often more cost-effective than traditional marketing.


Many expect the trend of spending more on digital marketing to continue. A recent study published by  Duke University's Fuqua School of Business showed that within the next five year marketers expect to spend 19.5% of their budgets on social media -- almost triple what they currently spend. 

Internet marketing is expected to increase 14.3% over the next year, as the percentage on traditional advertising is predicted to plummet by 161.5%, the study showed.


Advertisers want to spend on media that their customers are paying attention to on a regular basis. We should expect this free-fall to hit an equilibrium level at some point in the next few years. But until then, agencies will need to continue to morph their capabilities toward the web in order to survive.


A separate study by the IBM Institute for Business Value based on surveys of chief marketing officers showed that three areas need to be focused on to improve digital marketing including delivering value to empower customers, create lasting relationships with those clients and being able to measure marketing's contribution to the business in relevant terms.


The study showed that 63% of survey respondents believed marketing return on investment will become the most important measure of success within five years -- but only 44% felt prepared to manage that heightened importance on ROI.


Marketers need to continue to adapt to the expanding use of digital marketing to keep their businesses in the forefront of advertising.


July 9, 2012

Online Will Overtake TV AD Sales in 2016

Posted by Pramod S.N. at 9:07 AM


Ever since it's inception, television has been the medium in which most marketers allocate a large percentage of their budget. Perhaps this due to the potential exposure a television ad receives? Whatever the case, new research from emarketer shows that online advertising spend is expected to overtake TV ad spend by 2016. The infographic below shows not only year-by-year breakdowns of ad spend, but also shows estimated budget allocation in the online landscape.

July 2, 2012

Is Your Website Set Up for Conversion?

Posted by Ajay Anand at 6:51 AM

You have 3 million unique visitors a month and a well-designed website. So why aren't people signing up for your newsletter, downloading your software, or purchasing your products? The reason could be that your website, as beautiful as it may be, isn't set up to help visitors convert.


A common visual guide that organizations use to help explain the conversion process is known as the "conversion funnel." The conversion funnel is meant to show the journey from landing on your website all the way through the purchase, download, sign-up, or any other predetermined conversion.


1.      Quality Content vs. Quantity of Content

The old adage "if you build it, they will come" isn't necessarily true when it comes to websites. Just because you have a well-designed site doesn't mean people are going to find your website and sign-up for your weekly newsletter.


In order to truly be effective and have people engage with your brand online, you have to have quality content. Notice I didn't say quantity of content. Quality content is usually content geared toward a specific audience that has targeted keywords throughout and has a high chance of being shared on social channels. Having web visitors land on your site thanks to a piece a quality content usually infers that the web visitor will be interested in other aspects of your site, such as a product offering, whitepaper, blog posts, etc.. Creating quality content is the starting point to bettering your website's conversion rate.


2.      Top Tier Navigation

When a new visitor lands on your website for the first time, they will interact with the website based on their past experiences on the web. It is essential that your website's navigation is clear and easy to use in order for your visitors to quickly and efficiently find relevant content.


Navigation is part of the UI/UX (user interface/user experience). If visitors on your website have a positive experience, they are likely to return. Return visitors are more likely the convert.


*Navigation is the key to help a web visitor's progress through the conversion funnel.


3.      Easy-to-Understand Calls to Action

Complementary calls to action are essential for increasing your conversion rate on your website. After all, it doesn't hurt to ask (subtly). For example, let's say a web visitor is on your site reading an article about the top tech trends in 2012. They happen to see a call to action on the right rail of the page that says, "For more info on tech trends, sign up here." Wouldn't it be safe to assume that the user is more likely to sign up than someone who isn't interested in tech trends?


This goes back to the quality content point. If you are creating quality content and guiding your web visitors through the conversion funnel by top tier navigation and calls to action, you should begin to notice an increase in return visitors and a better conversion rate to boot.


4.      Analytics and Tracking

The reason I left analytics at the end was to make sure it wasn't forgotten. If you aren't tracking web activity on your site and utilizing the data to make better business decisions, then your conversion rate will never reach its full potential.


Most free analytics software will give your organization the ability to track which content pages are the most popular, where exactly visitors are in the conversion funnel, and what keywords are driving traffic to your site. This knowledge should provide your organization with the insight necessary to make changes on your website and further meet the needs of your potential customers.

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