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January 25-27

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New Year comes with new goals and new interventions that every business owner and marketing expert take to enhance the performance of the business line. Without having a new creative mindset for the future, no business brand can excel in the way that all business owners dream of. Digital marketing has recently become a great necessity and using it to the fullest is what differentiates you from the others.

In order to learn, it is important to make mistakes but what if we point out the top seven mistakes every digital marketing expert tend to make once in his work life? Wouldn’t it be just easy to take care of it and pursue your goals without making it?

They are as follows:

  1. Have you crafted the latest goals plan for the year?

The number one mistakes that most of the companies and firms commit is avoiding the importance of making new goals plan for the New Year. No matter whether you have achieved the previous year’s goal; it’s time that you make new goals for better functioning of the firm. Making a new goals plan gives you the energy to work in order to achieve them.

  1. Not keeping your old customers updated

It is important to land new clients and customers every now and then while running a business firm but it is also essential to keep in touch with the old ones. Most of the time, it’s about the quality of the relationship you have with the clients than the number of clients you have. This is why if you don’t pay attention to your old customers, it’s about time you focus on that.

They can bring more work for you if they stay and are a good source of making a referral as well.

  1. Overseeing the necessity of a good analyzing program

Do you understand the use of a good analytic program? Having an analytical program for your website or project according to the web design is one thing but having a good one is entirely different. Even if you have to pay for the software, it’s worth a shot! But digital marketers often save their budget and go for the free ones. Digital and social media marketing services are not a piece of cake. Having a program that can go through, analyze and point out the changes to be made in your work is a win-win for the business firm.

  1. Not working on the email marketing technique

Do you have your email newsletter ready for every month? Is your contact list loaded with people to whom you may send it? Not paying attention to the weekly/ monthly newsletter is yet another mistake that the digital marketers make. Though it’s a bit of an extra work but it helps in keeping your connection with your contacts alive. The customers wait for latest updates and news about the business line. Giving them regularly strengthens the connection even more.

  1. Under or overuse of SEO techniques

By now all of us know the importance of running by the rules of SEO but we still tend to make mistakes while using them. Some of us overuse the SEO techniques while others do not make sufficient use of it. This means that you must focus on your SEO work. The better you get at it, the better your website will rank in the Google’s and other web engines.

  1. Not frequently updating your business profile

Your business profile is your identity. You need to keep it up to date. While busy with other tasks; the digital marketers forget to update their profile and of those who they are working for. Making this mistake means that others are way too ahead of you. Even though your skills and work experience beat others, how would the new visitor know about it? Your business profile is what puts you out in the light. Make sure you update it!

  1. Failing to giveaway attracting offers to the customers

Every now and then, you need to make discount/ sales or other attractive offers to your customers. This way your customers wouldn’t go for another brand product or service and you’ll succeed in keeping your status alive. Not making these tiny exceptions in your sales might result in the diversion of your customers to another business brand.

Make the above-mentioned mistakes and you’ll pay a price for it. Avoid making them and you’ll see your business flourish this year. 2017 is all about innovation and improvisation. Taking risks is good but make sure you don’t make mistakes.

About this author: Junaid Ali Qureshi is a digital marketing specialist who has helped several businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Elephantation, eLabelz, Smart Leads.ae, Progos Tech and eCig.

(Photo credits: Shutterstock)

 


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Analytical Customer Journey Mapping – Weaving Together The Strand

Before the advent of vertical integration, retail shop keepers fulfilled many roles: marketer, sales person, distributor and often product developer. Standing behind a counter face to face with customers, this professional listened to and answered customer questions. They learnt which products were popular with whom. They watched returns, revenue and profitability. Opportunities for cross-selling were across the counter. Problems with customer services were gossiped about in the community (some things never change). Products that performed poorly were returned, and our shop keeper asked where the product failed to meet need. There were no frayed edges: the feedback loop was complete.

This is the opportunity of customer journey mapping and analytics: to think holistically and understand the business impact of market and marketing decisions, like our well-grounded shop keeper, but at scale.

Customer journey mapping provides an accessible customer centric framework for considering prospects’  needs. As a prospect’s understanding of a problem develops, as they consider alternatives, and choose solutions, there are a myriad of ways they ‘touch’ your organization. Perhaps they start with a search, or come across you on social channels. Then as your remarketing, paid search, paid social and email campaigns kick in, your prospects download whitepapers, read reviews and learn from industry thought leaders. Add in ‘person to person’ interactions, as sales and support teams get involved, and that’s a great many ‘touches’. The data gets big quickly.

Customer journey mapping provides a strategic anchor for cross department and cross channel collaboration. It provides a framework for bringing the various marketing strands together and identifies process gaps. (Often the worst gaps are early journey questions, such as comparing different technological approaches). Teams working with journey maps gain a shared language, an understanding of how their individual roles fit into the customer experience and, ideally, with shared goals. There is nothing like a team pulling together.

Coupling customer journey mapping with analytics enables digital feedback loops, and focusing on what matter most: business results. Marketing metrics should cover the entire journey; acquisition, behaviour and business results. There are many sources of data. Social media marketing analytics, email analytics, paid search, CRM analysis, and the experience of your team creates a rich understanding of customers. In particular, website analytics draw together your individual digital touchpoints (content, channels, and campaigns) into a cohesive picture of what works. And unlike our shop keeper, analytics operate at scale.

Analytics is the core of fact-based decision making. Cross-departmental collaboration is the core of customer centricity. Customer journey mapping weaves these wonderful strands together. It’s accessible and a strategic tool to guide your organization.

 

Learn how to structure your customer journey map at 3XE Digital in Jane’s workshop.


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Building Relationships Through Mobile Optimisation

Advances in mobile technology combined with the increase in highly involved consumers are driving change across the digital marketing landscape. By 2020 it is forecasted that there will be over 34 billion connected devices worldwide. In theory, this should provide marketers with endless opportunities to connect and influence the people who really matter to their business.

However, the increase in the number of consumers on the internet has led to increased supply meaning that there is more and more content to choose from, marketers not only have to deal with being heard through all the extra noise, but must also fight to retain customers whose risk aversion is lessened by the plethora of brands to choose from. Brands must look to take advantage of the opportunities offered by mobile, to cut through the noise and deliver personalised user experiences which add value for both the consumer and the brand.

Marketers should attempt to utilise mobile technology to cultivate long-term relationships with current and potential customers. This can be achieved by creating a truly unique brand experience based on the needs and wants of the aggregate. Personalised messages driven and continually refined through extensive data analysis should be the priority for any marketer struggling with how to effectively implement mobile strategies. It is important to keep in mind that consumers identify with brands who share their ideals. Marketers can stimulate this congruity by recognising consumers as co-produces of the brand message and actively striving to maximise consumer involvement, which will in turn create a unique user experience.

Of course, the collection of data, evaluation of your customers and the creation of campaigns which successfully integrate these customers is easier said than done. In order to get a better understanding of how this could be done, we are going to travel back to 1981 and the foundation of the Starbucks brand. At the time there was much debate about the merits of moving away from the short term transaction oriented approach which had dominated commerce up to that point. The founders of Starbucks were interested in building long term relationships which led to fewer costs and greater profits. And it is hardly a spoiler to tell you this approach worked in spectacular fashion, from relatively humble beginnings Starbucks has become one of the most well-known brands in the world with over 22,000 stores in various regions across the globe.

 

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Many of the tactics which Starbucks employed can also be taken, modified and applied to the creation of enduring relationships with customers through mobile optimisation. The culture of Starbucks from the outset was based on giving customers a personalised experience which added superior value, before and after the service. Quite soon after opening their first store, Starbucks marketing manager, Howard Schultz, realised that new customers sometimes felt uneasy due to their limited knowledge of fine coffee and because store employees came across as arrogant. To improve their customer’s experience Schultz initiated employee training centred around customer care and produced brochures educating potential customers on the variety of fine coffees available.

Applying this to the modern day the example of a lipstick brand  shows how important it can be to refine how those operating the brand’s social media respond to customer complaints and generally create a better experience for the customer.

At the beginning of the 1990’s Starbucks realised that they were still too product focused when they should have been customer focused. This realisation motivated management to alter the foundations upon which the company was built, this involved policies like the snapshot programme which involved unannounced visits in monitoring staff customer care. Furthermore, the company heads realised that the key to building strong relationships was to stay in touch with the customer on an individual level. To achieve this, the Starbucks leadership read through reams of unedited customer feedback once a week. As we know the importance of effective data collection has only grown from there and is especially important when attempting to create personalised messages which engage customers on a mobile device.

This level of data analysis enabled Starbucks to create a more personalised experience which better meet the needs and wants of their customers. For example, despite worries about compromising the product and objections from within, Starbucks began offering non-fat milk when they realised customers would simply go elsewhere if they did not provide that option. By the end of 1997, almost half of the drinks purchased were with non-fat milk.

Starbucks also prioritised the customer experience by developing partnerships with other brands, such as PepsiCo and Barnes and Noble, with the aim of expanding their reach and providing their customers with an even more integrated and valuable experience. Their partnership with Barnes and Noble worked so well because the companies had similar visions on the quality of service and experience which they wished to deliver to their customers.

The important point to note for marketers struggling with mobile is that Starbucks gained a competitive advantage by offering customers an experience which was different from anything else on the market. Over time the social and structural bonds which Starbucks established with their customers led to a level of loyalty which is unparalleled in their industry.

Much like the nature of digital marketing, Starbucks operated in an industry in which consumers had an endless number of options and brands to choose from. However, by taking relationship marketing strategies and applying them to their particular situation they were able to provide customers with extra value and establish themselves as industry leaders.

With the news that Google is cracking down on intrusive pop-up ads, it is more important than ever to follow the example of Starbucks and create an authentic and unique experience offering extra value to the consumer and the brand.

 

What to learn more about building strong relationships and improving customer experience in the new age of digital? Join us at the 3XE Digital Search & Social Media Marketing Conference taking place on October 13th, Croke Park.

 

 



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The digital revolution that has taken place across all aspects of marketing is most succinctly characterised by the loss of brand control experienced by marketers.

Brands were keen to adapt to social media due to its low-cost nature when delivering against campaign objectives. However, many professionals failed to note the egalitarian nature of social media channels, directly contrasting more traditional forms of marketing up to that point.

The brands that initially reaped the greatest benefits from social media were those who truly bought into the concept and developed strategies to enhance their consumers experience online. Marketers today are still facing many of the same issues, I will look back at some past cases to look at the strategies which some of the most successful brands on social media have utilised.

Back in the naughties, Web 2.0 technologies spread across the globe seemingly overnight.  Many experts in the marketing industry viewed social media as the holy grail, a way to truly build strong and enduring relationships with their customers. These same social media channels offer organisations and brands the opportunity to engage and listen in on their target audience. Customer relationships can be further enhanced by collecting in-depth information which enables micro-targeting and customised messaging.

Despite offering these opportunities to marketers, social media biggest impact initially was to level the playing field, reducing the role and impact of brands to just another actor in the network, fighting to be heard. In a forum which was built on communication and the sharing of information, many brands were initially viewed as invasive and their attempts to sell their product/service was rejected out of hand.

The biggest challenge facing marketers initially is the concept of peer to peer communication inherent in social media. Transforming traditional marketing strategies in the social media forum is only likely to alienate your consumers.

Effectively utilising social media requires marketers to accept a level of co-creation with their target audience. Unsurprisingly this can be a difficult balancing act, the change from solo creators to active moderators of brand content can be a nerve-racking transition. Being overly restrictive comes across as being inauthentic thereby reducing engagement, while too little restriction can lead to your brand being perceived in a way which is at odds with the desired image.

It is clear the marketers are still struggling with similar problems, problems ich are only exacerbated by the changes in technology and the increasing complexity of the consumer buying process. Research recently carried out by IBM indicated that under half of marketing managers surveyed believed that they were fully prepared to manage the challenges presented by social media. In spite of this, marketing managers are devoting more resources than ever to these channels. CMO survey research shows that marketing departments are planning on doubling their social media spend over the next five years.

These two studies provide an interesting picture of the current social media landscape. However, important lessons can be learned from brands who successfully navigate the digital minefield. The most effective social media strategies are able to integrate consumer-focused content into their marketing mix, thus providing compelling and authentic brand stories.

Proctor and Gamble provide an excellent example of the power of social media, they co-created content in the form of a video response campaign on YouTube. They were able to effectively reposition the Old Spice brand and open it up to an entirely new audience.

 

Mountain Dew created a campaign which looked to tap into the collective intelligence of their consumer communities. As part of the campaign, fans generated new flavour ideas which Mountain Dew then went produced in small quantities. The flavours were then sent off to fans with camcorders and they were encouraged to upload videos discussing the experience with the brand a product. This created enormous engagement and put their brand at the centre of the cultural conversation. This campaign although carried out in 2009 contained two elements in particular which are two of the biggest keywords for 2016, video content and brand influencers.

 

Video is set to dominate social media platforms for the forcible future. A Cisco white paper predicts that by 2019 almost 80% of all consumer traffic will be dedicated to video consumption. To be successful it is important to provide an integrated experience for consumers across channels which tells the story of the brand in an organic way.

Mountain Dew also effectively utilised brand influencers as part of their campaign. This is seen as being extremely important over the coming year with 95% of marketers stating that influencer marketing boosts awareness while 75% believe it generates sales leads. An influencer should be in essence the anthropomorphized image of the brand, having all of the traits which you want your consumers to see in the brand.

In order to build strong relationships if is more important than ever to listen to your target audience. Even more importantly, with consumer buying behaviour becoming ever more complex, marketers need to effectively track consumer movements across devices like never before. You will see greater and greater benefits as tracking technologies become more refined.

Despite its challenges, social media is a fertile ground when incorporated within strategies aimed at creating an integrated user experience which provides extra value to the consumer outside of the product or service being sold

Want to learn more about social media in the new age of digital? Join us at the 3XE Digital Data, Mobile & Social Media Marketing Conference taking place on February 9th, in Croke Park.

 

Sources 

  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007681311000036
  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007681311000024
  • https://hbr.org/2016/07/fix-your-social-media-strategy-by-taking-it-back-to-basics
  • http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.pdf
  • http://www.pepsico.com/live/pressrelease/The-Mountain-Dew-DEWmocracy-2-Campaign-Empowers-Brand-Loyalists-Nationwide-to-Cr04202010

 



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There is no doubt conferences offer fantastic opportunities for networking. However, they can become an overwhelming rush of presentations, conversation and potential meetups, so how do you know where to focus your time and to get the full benefit from the day?

We have put together some useful tips and tricks to help you make attending a conference that little bit easier and one of the best things you can do for your career.

#1: Be Prepared

Get comfortable talking about yourself and know what are the right questions to ask. This is very similar to preparing an elevator pitch. You should use the days prior to the event figuring out what you want to say to people. What are your goals of networking at the conference? What do you want to learn from other people?

After exchanging introductions, the most awkward moment is when you don’t know what to say next, and the two of you are just standing there… awkwardly… staring at the coffees you’re holding. To prevent this scenario, have a list of stock questions ready to go that can be applied to anyone.

Also a good tip is to make sure you have your phone and laptop chargers with you. You’re going to spend a huge part of your day on your device – don’t get caught with a dead battery.

#2: Connection Building

Go in with the intention of making several meaningful connections instead of trying to meet every person or impress the big names. If you do this correctly, you will leave the conference with a list of people with whom you can continue building strong business relationships. Ask yourself: “Who do I want to meet and why?” and you start the conversation from there.

Your first connection at an event is your gateway to meeting more people. Maybe they came with friends they can introduce you to, or maybe you’ll decide to break into bigger groups together. Whoever you approach first, relieve some of the awkwardness with informed, relevant conversation starters to get in the swing of things together.

Approaching a big or small group can be intimidating, but with the right approach, you can join in on an existing conversation or start your own successfully. Ease into the day by introducing yourself to one person who is also flying solo and looking for someone to talk to.

Read up on industry news and trends beforehand so you’ll be prepared to spark conversation and ask for their thoughts on topics that are interesting to both of you.

#3: Leveraging Social Media Channels

In today’s society, one of the best ways to make connections is through social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. These platforms are a great way to start the conversation before the actual event begins by using the hashtags that have been generated for the conference.

Tweet that you’re attending! If you’re a bit nervous about reaching out to other people on an individual basis, start by making it easy for other attendees to find you and reach out to you.

LinkedIn is a more formal platform so you may be more comfortable with using this channel to connect with other business professionals. You can use LinkedIn to learn more about people’s professional background and to see if you want to spend your time networking with them at the conference.

#4: Take Notes and Apply Key Learnings to Your Practise

With days full of speakers and sessions, there’s a lot to take in and you’re probably not going to remember all of it when you get home. So, collect your notes and information in a way that makes it easy to access when you return to the office.

Regardless of your note-taking format of choice (pen and paper, laptop, tablet, smartphone), at the end of each session you attend, write down the three key takeaways and any follow-up you want to do on the topic or with the speakers. This will help jog your memory and give you specific to-dos when you get back to work.

#5: The Follow Up

Connecting with people you met during the conference is best done in the days immediately following your return. Send follow-up notes and LinkedIn requests while the conference is still fresh in everyone’s minds.

Include a personalised message to accompany your request on LinkedIn. Remember, everyone’s inbox will be flooded, so make yourself memorable by reminding your new connection what you discussed.

Want to put these tips and tricks into practice? Then join us at the 3XE Digital Social Media & Content Marketing Conference on Wednesday, May 11th. 



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It is still hard to believe that Twitter turned 10 this week, Facebook launched 12 years ago in February and even Instagram has just celebrated its 5th birthday.

Social media has became an essential part of everybody’s life and it’s here to stay. People have realised how powerful social media can be, from doing something that goes viral to making something happen for a good cause.

I’ve got 5 great tips that you should know about social media and how to improve your own social media marketing strategy.

#1: The Facts

Everyone knows how popular social media is but when we see the numbers in front of us, that is when it becomes impressive.

  • In any given month, approximately 1.28 BILLION people are active on Facebook – roughly equivalent to the entire population of India, the world’s second most-populous country.
  • Almost half of all Twitter accounts – 44 % – have never sent a tweet.
  • Two new users join LinkedIn every second.
  • Instagram’s per-follower engagement rate is 58 times higher than Facebook’s and 120 times higher than Twitter’s.
  • Pinterest generates more than 400% more revenue per click than Twitter, and 27% more per click than Facebook.

#2: What to do about your competitors

In today’s digital society it is no longer a matter of choice for a company to have a presence on social media, you have to be part of it in order to survive and thrive within this competitive landscape. Fortunately, tracking your competitors correctly on social media helps you see what they are doing, gain great insight and see how you measure up against them.

Before social media, businesses and corporations were paying an arm and a leg to get the kind of information on their competitors that we can now access for free on social media.

Here is what you should be doing when it comes to your competitors:

  • Follow your competitors
  • See what content they’re putting out and how they’re doing it. Are they using a different angle or perspective on things than you do? How are the responding to customers?
  • Facebook pages to watch – Did you know that you can create a list of your competitors’ Pages on Facebook, and Facebook will automatically help you monitor their performance statistics?
  • Twitter Lists – Hands down, the easiest way to sift through your Twitter competitors (and the rest of the network, too)
  • Read through their reviews that they’re getting on their Facebook Pages or Google+.

#3: Always think about your content

Consumers are so overwhelmed with information on any newsfeed that they are filtering out the noise. And unless you catch their attention in authentic and engaging ways and with quality content, your message will get filtered out too.

Click Here to learn how to create ridiculously good content that everybody wants to read.

#4: Embrace the latest social media platforms

People are just starting to become experts on Facebook and Twitter but now the latest social media platforms are starting to take over and we can not ignore them. We have to embrace Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest.

2016 is going to be the year of video and live streaming. So professionals need to understand that a platform like snapchat is not just for teenagers, it can be heavily used to enhance your business. Brands and content creators are using Snapchat to produce daily stories that engage and excite audiences. it’s perfect for real-time social media marketing.

Visual content sparks engagement, it must attract attention, entice action or sharing, and inspire advocacy becomes the ultimate form of marketing.

#5: Take full advantage of the free tools available

Whether you are part of a startup or an enterprise marketing department, there will always be a budget. And the majority of the time it is never enough. So when you get use something for nothing is a great bonus and there are some great free tools out that for you to use.

  • Hootsuite

This is one you have probably heard of before as it is a trusted giant in the land of the social media tools. And it comes highly recommended. It includes features such as a multi channel social media listening tool, a scheduling tool, RSS feeds, analytics and reporting.

  • Buffer

On Buffer’s free plan, you can track all the major engagement and activity stats for every update you post to help you determine the perfect moment to schedule your future posts to maximise your exposure.

  • Followerwonk

Followerwonk shows you detailed breakdowns of your followers and activity. Click on the Analytics tab, enter a Twitter username (either yours or someone else’s), and view information on followers and following. See stats like when your followers are online, when you typically post, and how your followers fall into categories like social authority, activity, total tweets, and follower count.

  • Viralwoot

This tool is only for Pinterest and goes beyond analytics. You can schedule pins, promote pins, and gain new followers all through Viralwoot.

By using these tools, you will shave so much time off your social media planning and marketing while providing data that’ll help you make the most of your campaigns.

Want to learn more about Social Media? Join us at the 3XE Digital Social Media & Content Marketing Conference at Croke Park, Dublin on May 11th 2016.



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Have you ever spent loads of your time slaving away at the keyboard trying to put together the perfect piece of content for your latest blog post, email or webpage?

Have you become frustrated, after all that time and effort, that the piece of content you put out to the world isn’t getting the traction you had hoped for?

Well if that’s the case, I’ve got some advice and tips to share with you that will help things along.

Create a Strong Headline

I am not the first person to advise this and I definitely won’t be the last. This is a point that every content writer will suggest to anyone who wants to improve their content skills.

The headline has the power to make or break a blog post. It impacts whether people will actually take the time out of their day to read what you have to say.

It also has an impact how (and if) it is found in search engines. It needs to be able to grab the attention of the reader over other articles. When searching on Google (other search engines are available) a reader has very little information to go on to decide which result to click on. The title, a short excerpt and a URL. That’s it. Make it count.

Don’t Write To Impress

Writing is all about communicating ideas with clarity and personality. Write in a way that it’s a conversation with your reader, not down to them. Your blog post isn’t an assignment that you have to hand in to your college teacher tomorrow morning, so don’t confuse your reader with jargon and acronyms and technical stuff.

The idea is to keep it simple. At this point your reader has made that decision to read your post, they just want to go through it without putting in too much work.

A piece of content should have a conversational tone, this makes the reader feel like you are only address them personally. Pretend that you’re having a conversation with a friend or colleague, and write like that. When you are finished, go back over your writing and edit the sentences and words that are unnecessary or unclear.

Your Readers Scan, They Don’t Read

Let me guess, your eyes scanned through this blog post before you committed yourself to reading this far?

Studies have shown that internet searchers are more impatient than ever before. You don’t just want people to click the “Back” button in the web browser before properly engaging with your content. You will need to learn how to write content that will cater to this reading style:

  • Embrace the White Space: Press “Enter” after every few sentences in each paragraph. This makes your post easier to read quickly.
  • Make Points with Subheads: This will create a summary of your post and lets the reader decide if they will go deeper and spend more time in reading.
  • Make Important Concepts Stand Out with Bullets and Lists: This allows you to emphasise important points that you don’t want the reader to miss while scanning your content.

Want to learn more about content? Join us at the 3XE Digital Social Media & Content Marketing Conference at Croke Park, Dublin on May 11th 2016.