Blog it to Bring Home the Advantage

If ever Content was King- It is now. The fortunes of your business, how it is perceived and accepted by its prospective audience is fully defined by the depth and intensity of the content that you target them with. Good, catchy content gets you interest- Intense, monotonous write-ups are rarely subscribed to. There are a number of reasons why powerful content works for your business, read about how you can invest in content and reap back a loyal following-

There is an actual demand. Really!

An average customer dedicates upto 5hrs of online research before zeroing in on a possible offline purchase. That’s a lot of reading- not lots of content- just thoughtful content.

A Punchline a Day- Keeps costly Advertising away

Remember the last time you were really impressed with a Marketing jingle? That feeling remained with you for a while didn’t it? Creative content can be very limited but still make a big impact.

Creating Content is Easy…Anyone can do it

Creating great content that really hits its mark is a professional job. Hire a good Digital Marketing Company for this. However, the audience generally loves the freshness that comes from amateur writing. No harm giving it a try.

Write Killer content

In today’s world, the easiest way you can create awareness about your business while not entrusting the task to a professional Digital Marketing Company is through Blogs, Social Media and Blogs that ride on Social Media. Indulge in talking your heart, explaining the nuance of your business that can be easily understood and create a real sense of pride and belonging through the use of free flowing words. Remember, you aren’t Einstein explaining your theories to a Nuclear Scientist- you are the owner of a Small business who needs to create a simple footprint that is easily distinguishable as your own. Words, cleverly used words, can help you do that.

I did talk about taking professional help (aka a Digital Marketing Company), if you think content creation to be a job for the professionals. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo give great prominence to fresh, non-plagiarised content that shows your company as a subject expert on the discussed topic. A good Digital Marketing Company will cover all the bases, keeping all things under consideration to drive home real results that can be measured and analysed. The followership that can be attracted is good returns for your investment.

But do write. Blogs are easy to setup (thanks to free platforms like Blogger, WordPress etc) and open out to a World of interested readers and subscribers. What you write can make an impact- and will make an impact. The bottomline is that if you market Quality Products or Services, and talk about it in a simple, adhering format, the expected interest from your target audience is bound to catch up. It’s as simple as that.

Posted in Biz Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bait your Audience – How Humour can be your best Hook.

Human Psychology 101- An average individual responds better to funny messages than gravely intellectual content. Being a regular clown isn’t the idea- the suggestion is that you concoct marketing messages that are laced with the right dosage of humour. Your target audience will respond better to suggestions that will make them laugh.

Human Psychology

PS- Don’t be moved by the above suggestion, actual content is way more powerful than pie-charts. Except maybe, through a long meeting that extends into your lunch break.

Humour on Facebook and Twitter- Here is a test, just evaluate all the people you follow on Twitter. Also quantify all the pages that you like on Facebook. Apart from strictly personal reasons like Health, Family and Employment, most of these people and concepts appealed to you because they were Funny. They tickled you enough (through their content or presentation) that you decided to subscribe. Apply this same concept to your target audience base- identify, nurture and convert them into valid customers through relevant content that is funny and captivating.

Humour on Facebook and Twitter

Humour on Twitter

Select a Digital Marketing Company that laughs a lot- This is no joke. A Digital Marketing Company that pays attention to humour as part of its powerful presentation package is on the right track. People turn to a concept, a message to be inspired. A humorous approach ensures that even if the potential customers aren’t looking for your services or products, they will still remember your witty message. And maybe suggest your brand to someone who might have a requirement for your services or products. A good Digital Marketing Company laughs a lot, to stay relevant and followed.

Finally, a culture of humour is always appreciated. Do laugh, crack jokes…it’s good for business.

Posted in Biz Updates | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Creativity is the Best Answer – And it’s FREE.

The present world is commercially driven – what speaks loud is heard, with quality being a second priority. You might assume that your Digital Marketing Company has all the creative answers to your express questions – that your message will be heard loud and clear by your target audience, while also considered highly for your Quality. Have you ever faced this equation? A situation wherein you outsource all your creative requirements to a bunch of experts and wash your hands off the responsibility? I say, don’t.

Of course, the average Digital Marketing Company will be far better at ideating concepts, at painting a thoughtful picture about your services and products that will be willingly lapped up by your target audience. They might also be more adept at clearly organizing your promotional campaigns and creating real value for your brand. However, nothing can negate the fact that nobody understands your business better than you. The finer details of your workings, the in-depth knowledge of your domain and the understanding of your customer base- the best research cannot acquaint a Digital Marketing Company with 100% of these details. This is your advantage – and with a little self-prompting, you can make this knowledge work for you.

Creativity at its Best

Creativity at its Best

Creativity is a twofold concept. The bulk of it is knowledge, and a minor part of it is neat arrangement that makes it immediately appealing to your target audience. Co-ordinate with your Digital Marketing Company with regards to the knowledge aspect, input finer details that might have been omitted or deliberately ignored by them, participate in the Quality Analysis of the ongoing project from a non-judgmental point of view. These steps ensure that you are as much part of the Digital Marketing Company’s ideation process as the in-house Designer, Visualizer or Content Writer. The ongoing involvement also means that you are more likely to be satisfied with the final product than running the presentation for changes at a later day. In business, time saved is money made, right?

Creativity is the Best Answer

Creativity is the Best Answer

I agree that ideation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, intimate domain knowledge is a whole lot of power, a more refined way of approaching a problem and an assurance that a more complete product will be in the works. So, indulge in practical creativity- it’s free and it makes money.

Posted in Biz Updates | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Beginners Guide to SEO

Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO is a very broad term isn’t it? Through the years, Digital Marketing Companies have told you how SEO is going to bring recognition to your business, is going to revive interest in your product or service by bringing in an online audience. Maybe, you were desperate or curious enough to indulge in this concept without understanding the process in its entirety. Herein is a brief introduction to SEO, for those that believe and those that are sceptical- SEO is no Rocket Science, or Voodoo, or magic, it’s just compressed strategy.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

SEO takes time

Expect no short term results. A good Digital Marketing Company will invest atleast 6 months of time before showing any concrete results with regards to your company website’s Google, Bing or Yahoo ranking. So be patient, and contribute to the effort by actively promoting your website in your online communications and social media dealings.

It takes Skill to seduce Google

Google is the biggest search engine there has ever been- and figuring prominently in its search ranking for specific keywords could be very important for your business. However, Google has its own laws and expectations that are not always easy to match or comply with. So, it’s a good strategy to hire a good Digital Marketing Company to entice Google to rank you better.

Getting the Rank is half the Job

So, you finally rank on the first page of various search engines for the keywords of your choice. Don’t get complacent- these rankings need active maintenance or else other relevant websites will take your place on the listing. Identify all the things you need to do to keep your position- namely, keeping things fresh and complying with the frequent algorithm changes from Google.

Quality is the Buzz word

Organically, a website that posts great, original content will always find favor with Google. Thus, an upcoming website can just focus on developing catchy, relevant content that provides great value for the website visitors to establish itself in due course of time. Incidentally, SEO is a bunch of techniques as administered by a Digital Marketing Company that merely speeds up this process.

Finally, don’t procrastinate

Don’t delay what’s obviously good for your business. SEO helps elevate your business above your immediate competition. Everyone is doing it, but in different ways and under varied timelines since SEO is more innovative than being firm and inflexible. Know that your investment on SEO will generate the kind of response that is in tune with your inputs and expectations.

So why does your business need SEO? You need SEO because the world is online and this is your primary tool to catch your target customers’ attention. In business, interest equates to more business.

Posted in Search Engine Optimization | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Real World – How SEO Saved Me!

Recently, I took a voyage of discovery, my rickety- aging Suzuki Fiero, and four hours of blissful biking from Sakleshpur to my home base in Mangalore. The air was chilled, the roads were placid and there was a tune in my spirits. It’s a magical journey, this route through the cloudy Western Ghats, at the slow beginning of the monsoon and if you are a biker, the feeling of being an extension of your machine is just ambrosia for the soul. And then, like a rude awakening, my bike died on me.

It’s not a pleasant place to be stuck in at 6pm in the evening- the damp, dark slopes of the Western Ghats. And since I don’t consider myself much of a survivalist, I actually started to worry. Thankfully, I am a digital marketer– and the really nerdy kind. I whipped out my cell phone (praying that the network gods were not part of this conspiracy) and was fascinated to find a single stick indicating my signal strength. A couple of hops on higher ground, and two more sticks made their lethargic appearance. Whoa!! One phone call permitted- pick this one up Ma.

No Sir. I pried out my Web Browser and ran a Google search for the nearest Bike Mechanic. The results were pretty encouraging and after browsing through some promising listings, I zeroed in on someone who claimed to be a ‘Bike Doctor’. The doc’s website looked very neat and functional on my phone’s postage stamp sized screen. I called him up and he showed up with a pickup truck in no time at all. After two eventful hours and a couple of cups of hot tea, I drove away enriched by this experience, and having gained a new friend and a lifetime’s appreciation for hot beverages.

Also, enthralling was the website experience on my mobile phone. This is a real comfort, not rocket science and millions of people are coming on board every day to experience this magic via their increasingly powerful Smartphones and Tablets. Obviously, not all websites that will function magically on your standard computer or laptop will work seamlessly on the mobile screen as well. The real advantage beckons businesses that customize their websites to be compatible with this evolving medium. In the real world speed matters, as also looks, and actual functionality.

Mobile SEO

Mobile SEO

But just building a more compatible website isn’t enough. The actual point of conquest is in making your website easily accessible to those that seek it (I mean, seek the collective of websites that are dedicated to a cause that’s similar to yours). That day in the Western Ghats, I searched for a Bike Mechanic and got a Doctor instead. Since then, this story has undergone numerous retelling and each time, people are made aware of this Doctor who is a magician when it comes to wheels and concocting hot cups of life-saving tea. Word of mouth spreads, if your business brings actual quality to the table, and invests in productive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that your website gets found when someone runs a search on engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.

The world has evolved beyond the obvious and the loud. Businesses don’t compete based on how big they might be- but how effectively they reach out to a potential customer. Put your website to work- it’s about time it paid you back for all the time, money and energy you have spent on it.

And PS- Anyone looking out for a 2002 model Suzuki Fiero? It flies like the Wind.

Posted in Biz Updates, Search Engine Optimization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook Graph Search – Boon for Small Businesses!

Facebook Graph Search is a while away from actual implementation – it’s still in beta testing and silently waiting out the applause and criticism it’s attracting across the Internet. However, one thing stands out immediately positive – Graph Search is gonna be a boon for your Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME).

As we discussed in our earlier posts, Graph Search is Facebook’s answer to Google’s iconic search dominance. How does that help your small business? Graph Search allows people to find Restaurants, Retail Shops, Corner Stores, Libraries, Dental Clinics etc, that their Facebook friends have liked by literally hitting that famous ‘Like’ button. For example, a search for ‘Nearby Coffee Shops that my friends like’ will display a comprehensive list of local Coffee Shops’ pages. If you own this Coffee Shop, the people following and liking your business’ Facebook page are your greatest promotional assets.

Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search – Like

Of course, quality is always the deciding factor. As in Google Search results, on Graph Search, those results that have been frequently liked, shared and commented upon will get higher prominence than pages that lack such inputs. Imagine, in the foreseeable future, a potential customer will choose your business over other more established ones based solely on two important pointers – a) Recommendation from their Facebook friends, b) Inherent Quality of your product that prompts such recommendation. If your business doesn’t have a Facebook page yet, you should consider creating one today!

Currently, Facebook Graph Search is not slated as a feature to be made available on the Smartphone and Tablet base. However, this criterion might change soon based on the responses received when Graph Search eventually rolls out. According to established studies, consumers perform upto 500 million searches worldwide each day for information about a local business. Most of these searches are conducted through Smartphones- and thus, a powerfully integrated Smartphone feature like Facebook, a new technology like Graph Search, the emerging tendency of consumers to procure products or services on the back of peer suggestions and the influence exerted by Smartphone culture will eventually result in an even playing field for your business. Timing and positioning are the crucial details you must attend to.

In our final post exploring the coming impact of Facebook Graph Search, we will explore the ways in which you can ready your business for this game changing social search methodology. Stay tuned….

Posted in Biz Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook Graph Search – Watch the Tag!

A friend of mine, a techno whiz kid named Sandy had this to say when I prompted him about Facebook Graph Search, ‘Look, searching for people who like Pakistan will yield you a bunch of results including those who liked pages for a Indo-Pak cricket match, Pakistani Girls, or spicy Pakistani food. Now, if you an Indian fundamentalist, Graph Search ain’t helping you much’.

True, Facebook Graph Search needs to seriously improve its search and prediction capacity to break into a segment that’s effectively Google’s ‘Bread and Butter’. This path breaking yet simple search option utilizes a user’s natural language to frame search queries and utilizes MSN’s Bing search engine to drive its results. The results are gonna be amateurish for a while, but that situation will improve very soon.

So cutting out all the technical mumbo-jumbo, how exactly do you prepare for Facebook’s supposed onslaught on your Social Privacy? Read on,

The major problem area would be the pictures you have uploaded into your Facebook account. If you have set the privacy for an individual photo such that only your Friends or ‘Friends of Friends’ can access it then only these people can access such photos by Graph Search. The general public can access all those photos which feature you, were taken by your friends and publicly shared on their profiles. The first point of attack is identifying these rogue pictures-

Access your Activity Log. To get here, just access your profile and the Activity Log button is displayed very prominently on the right hand side of the page. Listed before you is a chronological listing of all your activity on Facebook- including posts and photos wherein you were tagged by your friends. This listing helps you to set iron-clad privacy setting for your data. Use this feature wisely.

Next, click on the very prominent Photos link on the Left hand navigation panel. All the photos (the ones posted by you or your friends) wherein you are tagged are displayed before you. Clicking on the little icon on the right side of the photo will displays all the people who can currently see this picture. Tweak the photo privacy settings here and Graph search will abide by it when populating its search results. There is also a small edit button right there- helping you to hide the picture from your timeline or report the picture to be brought down by Facebook.

Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search – Settings

This little bit of work will save you the surprise of finding your ‘deemed embarrassing’ pictures from landing on Graph Search, as accessed by a practical joker. By improving your own defenses, you can allay most of your privacy related issues in the wake of the Facebook Graph Search update.

The final entry in this trilogy of blog posts about the Facebook Graph Search will be hitting you soon and will address the proper protocol for Facebook behavior post the update. Stay tuned.

Posted in Biz Updates | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment