Author: imparulsharma

I analyze best practices in online digital space. I belong to digital world & research 360 online digital marketing services. I love to explore the latest online trends in digital marketing. I work as Business analyst in a happening digital agency. I write industry reports, ebooks, whitepapers, research data for infographics, write expert guest blogs & so much more.

7 Conversion Optimization Techniques that will Work in 2014

Like any other digital marketing strategy, conversion rate optimization strategy, too, needs to be planned carefully. We definitely cannot adopt “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to improving conversion rates for websites. According “Quarterly Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends for 2013”, a report from Econsultancy and Adobe, around 39 per cent marketers placed importance to conversion rate optimization after content marketing in 2013.

Image Source: emarketer

Like other marketing strategies, conversion rate optimization techniques may also differ for different industries which have different sets of visitors.

The prime objective of any brand is to increase conversions on the website. All our marketing efforts may go futile if we ignore this aspect of conversions.

Now many brands seek to attain this by the way of improving the design and few elements which might not work for others. As I said, the same tactic does not apply to all brands.

However, there are few best practices which you may follow in 2014 to get the desired results. But again, these practices must be backed by A/B testing in order to track their success for your website’s audience.

So here is the list that I have compiled based on various studies on best practices on conversion rate optimization:

1. Simplify Contact Form: Make sure that you place a simple form for your visitors to fill. We don’t really like to fill each and every detail like our company name, zip code, etc. This may push our visitors to leave page and move on. I was amazed to read about Imagescape which increased its conversion from 5.4% to 11.9%, a 120% increase in conversions, by reducing 7 fields from their contact form.

Here is an infographic released by Quicksprout on how to optimize contact forms for conversions. (more…)

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Content Marketing in 2014: Will it Survive?

Content Marketing in 2014: Will it Survive?

‘CONTENT IS KING’, it seems like we have grown up hearing this saying. Isn’t it? Brands have been reaping the benefits of content since years and the only change I have observed is in the way consumers now consume content and the strategies followed by content marketers. There are 93 per cent of B2B marketers who were using content marketing in 2013. In fact, 35 per cent of marketing professionals focused on content marketing, followed by social media at 25 per cent. According to Forbes, 82 per cent of businesses plan to increase their budget for content marketing in 2014.

I believe content still rules the world of online marketing. Yes, the strategies have changed but that’s owing to the changing information needs of the consumers. While the fundamentals of good content remain the same, the channels and tactics will keep evolving. So what do brands need to do in the current year? I think in order to be successful; all it requires is a focus content strategy, execution and distribution to suit the ever changing demands of target audience.

Let’s explore the content marketing trends and strategies to be followed in the year 2014 in order to remain ahead of the competition. This infographic designed by Media-Mosaic, gives an overview of how content marketing is going to be in this year.

So before you jump on to kick start your content marketing, take a look at this infographic to understand where content is heading in this year.

The key trends pointed out in this IG are:

  1. Bigger Budgets: With the kind of traffic and leads generated by content marketing, marketers allocated 39 per cent of their sales budget to content marketing in 2013 and it is surely going to increase in this year too.
  2. Visual Content will Rock: Visual storytelling has been loved by people since ages. So instead of directing their efforts on textual content, visual content like infograpghics and videos will be the area of focus for marketers this year.
  3. Blogs, Blogs and Blogs: Blogs are my favorite and are loved by people too. Marketers who have blogs on their websites have seen tremendous growth in traffic than those who do not. Thus, blogs continue to play key role in content marketing mix.
  4. Google Analytics: In order to track performance of different marketing campaigns, Google analytics will be used by marketers in this year. This is imperative from strategic planning point of view.
  5. Social Media: Needless to say, Social Media has given voice to brands. It’s so much easy to reach your consumers via social media channels. Thus, Facebook, Google Plus, Linkedin and Instagram will dominate content marketing strategies in 2014.

content-marketing

The 2014 Consumer: Understanding Content Needs

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe – Abraham Lincoln. This saying by Araham Lincoln holds true when it comes to planning a content marketing strategy. As a marketer, you need to plan your content marketing strategy well before you start implementing the same. We all are very well acquainted with the power of content then how can your strategy be weak and ineffective?

Let’s assume for a minute that there is a brand called XYZ which has been marketing its products through different social media and advertising channels. Now, this brand loves to boasts its own products online with posts only about the products flowing in every day. The likers of this brand keep getting updates about the new products being launched by the brand. Now, would you really like someone touting his or her own horns for a long time? Certainly not! That acts as a turn off for most of the people. The consumers of this brand will soon unlike the page to stop those notifications. This is really bad for a brand! It’s like using traditional tactics on modern marketing channels. So what should marketers be doing? Well, the answer is to have a documented content marketing strategy.

While we all are more focused towards what and how the content marketing strategy should be, very few focus on what our consumers want? What kind of content they wish to see and consume? What are their expectations?

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According to a survey conducted by Yahoo and BBDO, there are around 57 per cent of consumers who wish to know about the history and more details of the brand while 54 per cent of consumers feel that it is important that brands provide information as to why consumers should care about a particular brand and 45 per cent of consumers are looking for interesting stories about the brand.

Consumers want to engage with the brands. 79 per cent of consumers say that brands should be ‘genuine’ and 82 per cent of consumers will ignore a brand if it is viewed as intrusive.

Information seeking consumers are hungry for more information and that more information is still not enough! If you have posted a great content, you have not reached a finish line you have merely reached the starting line.

This blog will talk about consumers’ expectations from brands’ content marketing strategy. Check it out…

Think Like a Consumer

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Okay let’s be honest here, how many of us keep our target audience in mind before creating content. I believe very few of us. It’s important for us as marketers to think from our consumers’ perspective. Think like your consumers. What kind of content do you scroll through when you visit Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. This type of thinking will give you a direction which will eventually help you create compelling content for your target audience and you will relate better with your consumers.

Content is More Than a Blog

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Gone are those days of creating a blog to attract large number of audience to your website. Consumers are not satisfied with a blog. With diversification of social media channels, consumers’ needs in terms of content too, have diversified. If they have access to YouTube channel, they would love videos from their favorite brands. Similarly, if they have an account on Pinterest or Instagram, they would be more than happy if they get to see amazing pictures from their preferred brands. The formula is “When in Rome, do as Roman do” which means customize your content according to the social media channel you are using for branding. Thus, consumers are consuming content in all forms be it video, whitepaper, article, Image, case study or ebook. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to creating content for your audience. Be in front of them, educate them, entertain them! That’s the new mantra.

Information is Power

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Talking and blabbering just about your brand creates unnecessary noise on social media. People have limited time. And in that short span of time they would want to gain knowledge and if you are thought leader in your industry, you have hit it right! Your customers will definitely follow you because they know that you will come out with something really interesting and informative for them. What else do you need eh? Inform your consumers about latest trends and share your industry reports with them. Consumers want to stay updated and informed. Use this opportunity to attract them towards your webpage.

Content Consumers Love to Share

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There is no doubt about the fact that consumers love to read interesting and informative content online. However, there are few types of content that people love to share with their friends and groups. This becomes an opportunity for marketers to focus their efforts on content which is shared widely. One such content type is Infographics. Infographics are basically representation of complex information using various visual elements. These are easy to read and understand and are most popular among consumers. Another eye-catching content which can be created is ‘Curation Lists”. For example, ‘Top 10..”, “Top 7…”, etc. Other content types which a marketer should explore are videos, slideshare, and research based articles which are easily digestible and draw people’s attention.

Correct Your Intentions Before Its Late

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Let’s get it straight! We are creating content to woo our customers, to gain their attentions and to win their trust. We want them to engage with us and finally convert. But our intention and focus is still lingering on SALES! Why can’t we try and shift our intention of luring customers to creating something which is valuable for them. While keeping an eye on the end objective of more traffic and leads we can still become a master of different types of content. Venture and tap into the world of content but with the sole intention of satiating information hunger of your consumers. Then what is there that you cannot achieve. More traffic, more engagement, more conversions will happen automatically! Isn’t it a win-win for all? Think.

Become a Multi Screen King!

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Source: Infographic by Uberflip

Not just Smartphones, your consumers are using screens of all sizes. These include tablets, ipads, mobiles of various screen sizes, etc. Your content must be created to suit the multi screen market. For example, the image posted on your Pinterest account must look as attractive on a mobile phone as it does on a computer screen. The videos must load as faster on a mobile phone as on a laptop. According to a research Consumers give up on an online video if it doesn’t load in two seconds. Thus, the trick is to make your content compatible to all screens.

Human Touch

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Do not make your content too professional especially when it is directed at B2C consumers. It should always carry your personal message in a well defined and humanly manner. This will make your audience more interested in reading your content.

CONCLUSION

Content marketing is evolving and developing into something bigger and better. Marketers, who have not yet started exploring the wonders of content, need to start it in 2014 in order to be able to compete with their counterparts. On the other hand, brands which have been doing content marketing need to change their content marketing strategy according to the needs of the online consumers. Understand your consumers first and then create content. You will observe the amount of traffic growing tremendously within few months.