Digital marketing is evolving at an incredible pace. There is a wide range of effective tools, technologies and platforms delivering exciting changes to the digital marketing world this year.
The infographic, The Top 4 Digital Marketing Trends for 2013, provides a comprehensive analysis of tools and technologies defining the digital marketing landscape this year. It traces the impact of the digital revolution on consumer behavior and highlights key trends that marketers need to focus on in 2013.
It provides insights on optimally utilizing various elements of a digital marketing strategy like mobile marketing, social media, content marketing and author rank, to offer greater reach, better relevancy and higher customer engagement. Thanks to the team at DCI for this excellent piece.
Levels of contact5Jun13
The blogosphere can be a wonderful source of information. We all regularly trawl it looking for great ideas, inspiration and help.
The thing is, it is really only a starting point.
Most good bloggers are happy to share information, but they’re probably going to draw a line at sharing the really good stuff. And fair enough too. Most bloggers are in business and need to keep the very best ideas for their clients.
You see, good online marketers understand that there are levels of contact; social media, blogs, databases and clients. Accordingly, there are levels of information they are willing to share at each point of contact; general information, detailed information and high level / high value information.
It sort of looks like this very detailed graph I drew on a napkin:
Which leads me to this….
My team and I at Sticky have just launched a new Marketing Tips Newsletter. It is full of really useful online marketing information, much higher level than what I blog about here or over at GetSticky. Its not spammy and its not hard sell. Its the next step up as a level of contact for people interested in seriously improving their marketing results.
So, I invite you to subscribe via the form in the sidebar ———->
If you like the newsletter, keep on reading and tell your friends. If you don’t, then just unsubscribe. No harm done.
See you on the other side.
Social influencers are possibly digital marketing’s most underutilised resource.
Let’s face it, we’ve always been influenced by people we admire or know. But online influence takes it to a whole other level. Buyers are listening to what their key online influencers are saying and sellers need to start paying attention.
I’m as guilty of this as anyone. When Tim Ferriss talks about a new product, book or brand I usually check it out and often buy it. Same for Chris Brogan, Chris Guillebeau or Gary Vaynerchuk. These guys know their stuff and I (and many others) tend to trust their opinions.
Technorati’s 2013 Digital Marketing Report revealed that brands spend the least on the outlets consumers trust the most: the word of mouth of their friends and those they follow.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association defines a social media influencer as a person or group of people who possess greater than average potential to influence due to attributes such as frequency of communication, personal persuasiveness or size of and centrality to a social network, among others.
Yet fewer than half of social media influencers follow brands on Facebook (47%) or Twitter (38%) while well over half of the social media marketing budget goes toward those outlets. Why? Because they are being ignored by brands who would be better off engaging with them.
Here’s the bottom line:
- 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions.
- 81% of consumers are influenced by their friends’ posts on social media when making purchasing decisions.
- Facebook and Twitter are the top platforms used by bloggers and the top platforms for generating blog revenue.
- Facebook is the number one platform for mobilizing consumers to be brand advocates.
Marketers must start to invest in influencing the feeds of key influencers and bloggers.
Who do consumers trust when it comes to their purchasing decisions? This great infographic from MBA in Marketing explains all.
My theme this year is “adapt or die”. Last week I explained 5 ways businesses must adapt in 2013 to survive and thrive. I am convinced that organisations must either commit to making significant changes to the way they do business or keep doing what they’ve been doing and try survive while their market share is steadily eroded by smarter, faster, more nimble competitors.
I’d now like to introduce you to one of those smarter, faster, more nimble competitors….Dollar Shave Club.
Here’s a start-up that launched in mid- 2011 and then relaunched in March 2012 and is already making a big splash in the exciting world of…..men’s razor blades. You know, that purchase you have to make at the grocery store once a month. Its been dominated for a century by Gillette and Schick. No other challenger comes close. Until now.
This video (which had had over 8 million views) is their main marketing tool and hilariously and effectively explains why you should stop buying blades at the grocery store and start buying from Dollar Shave Club. It’s pure genius. In 90 seconds they have skewered the industry leaders, entertained us and invited us to be part of their”club”.
A close look at their website is like a blueprint for online retail success:
- the aforementioned video tells you everything you need to know…and its laugh-out-loud funny.
- a prominent call-to-action “A great shave for a few bucks a month – DO IT”
- a testimonial (which is fairly tongue-in-cheek)
- a simple range of 3 packages to choose from
- a simple and fun rewards program for sharing the Dollar Shave Club story, “Free blades for life”
- a quick and easy payment gateway you’ll only ever need to visit once
- Facebook sign-up option for membership
- social media sharing
The whole site contains the same irreverent, “they’re just razor blades guys” style humour. Its fun, its compelling and it works a treat. I signed up within minutes and was actually excited when my blades arrived.
But the real genius is in the very simple proposition and business model.
The blades are made in South Korea and can be found under different brands in Pharmacies across the USA. They’re pretty good, not much more than that.
But Dollar Shave Club turns a traditional $15-20 grocery store expense into an easy $7 / per month subscription. They don’t just get the sale, they get your repeat business and a nice big database of customers.
Their product line is ridiculously small. Just 3 types of razor blades. By focusing in this way they maximise buying power and minimise overheads.
The Dollar Shave Club business model doesn’t rely on advanced computer algorithms and other amazing tech innovation like many startups we follow. It’s simply a business where the founder Michael Dubin looked at an industry and said he wanted to help men have fun with shopping online, because, “Women have all the fun [shopping online] with fashion, shoes, and accessories.”
By making shopping for blades easy, fun and more affordable they have seen explosive growth and have attracted an impressive $10.8 million in VC funding. For razor blades??!!
An old industry suddenly interrupted by a simple but new way (subscription) of selling an existing product, executed extremely well. Hell, any of us could do that…couldn’t we?
Email is not a sexy topic and is often overlooked these days amongst trendier social network and display campaigns but there is still plenty of value and potential in well-managed email marketing. In fact, it is alive and well as a proven inbound marketing channel which converts strongly.
Here’s a great guide to creating an email marketing campaign that drives conversions from the team at Monetate. It is something I encourage my clients to do and part of the strategy we have employed in the launch and growth of InsiderJobs.
Continuing my recent theme of how technology and social media is affecting and interrupting various industries, this week I thought I’d look at real estate. My family was in real estate for 40 years so its something I have been watching for a long time. I also took a lot of interest in a friend of mine who sold his Sydney home after moving to the USA by utilising social media. He said the best inquiries and the ultimate sale came from his online strategy rather than the agent.
In a buyer’s market, exposure is one of the most important factors to consider when you are selling property. There is no outlet that will give you wider exposure than the internet. Real estate agents have long been aware of this, with a recent online marketing survey finding that real estate is the industry with the most internet savvy, second only to those in the internet business itself. For individuals who have property they wish to sell or rent, taking a two-pronged approach to online real estate marketing is recommended. The use of online listings websites combined with social media marketing will reach the largest audience in the shortest amount of time.
Listing Property with Real Estate Websites
One of the primary ways to use the power of online marketing is to use websites for selling your home. Approximately 87% of Australian consumers turn to online listings before they contact a real estate agent. This means you should put forth the effort to create a flawless listing. Attractive photos, attention-grabbing headings, and a list of your home’s most important features will help your property stand out. Listings without images or any relevant information will usually get skipped over by anyone performing a specific search, so be sure to include all pertinent information.
Market your Listing Using Social Media
You may already have your listing up, but if you want to draw in the full potential range of potential buyers or renters you’ll need to start casting a wider net. This is where social media marketing tactics come into play. The following techniques can help you market your listing.
- Property Blog – Create a blog for your property. You could use free services like WordPress or Blogger to get started, which come equipped with free templates. This helps you tell the story of your home and reach out to potential buyers on a more personal level, using video, images, and social media widgets.
- Keyword Research -Determine which keywords are searched for most frequently by those looking for property listings in your area. You can then work these into your blog and online listing.
- Create Multiple Accounts – Setting up different social media accounts for your property will allow you to reach out to a potentially unlimited audience. Twitter, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, and LinkedIn can all be used to sell your property when given its own unique profiles. This is less time-consuming than it seems, because you can use the same information for each account.
- Post Regularly – It’s tempting to set up these accounts, post your listing online, and be done with it. Yet this defeats the purpose of using social media to market your property. If you want to rent your house, use your Twitter account and blog to post interesting news for renters or personal anecdotes about features in your home.
- Engage and Share – Interact with your audience, responding to comments and encouraging contacts to share stories you’ve posted. The more you engage with social media, the higher the likelihood that you’ll find a receptive buyer.
By combining the use of a professional listings website with your own social media marketing campaign, you can reach out to a far more diverse audience. Although it takes a bit of effort to take the online initiative, you’ll boost your chances of success in a tight housing market.
The traditional commerce model has been something like this:
Manufacturer produces product -> ships it to retailers -> retailer markets product -> retailer sells to consumer –> retailer orders more product from manufacturer.
As the internet has grown and e-commerce become more viable many manufacturers looked to cut out the middleman:
Manufacturer produces product -> manufacturer markets product -> manufacturer sells to consumer
This worked for some but obviously resulted in a lot of retailers no longer supporting the manufacturer. Not an ideal outcome.
Now there’s a new model to consider, Retail-integrated eCommerce:
Branded manufacturers sell online directly to consumers -> manufacturer passes order to their retailers for delivery to customer
The following infographic from Shopatron demonstrates how the new model works. Is it Retail-Integrated eCommerce something your industry should be considering?
In 2012 its amazing to still learn that many businesses are yet to embrace online as part of their marketing and sales strategy. A recent survey by Hunter Valley Research Foundation revealed that many Hunter businesses are not embracing the digital economy with rates of taking orders via the internet remaining very low and 42.7% of businesses having no website.
Contrast those statistics with a new survey report released today by American Express showing those who have embraced e-commerce are 33 per cent more likely to have reported a profit increase in the 2011-12 financial year.
Here is the full media release. I have highlighted significant points.
GOING ONLINE MEANS GOING STRONG FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Company website and Facebook page top marketing channels
One in three small businesses have made their products available for purchase online and those that have are reaping the benefits, according to a nationwide survey.
Commissioned by American Express among more than 1000 Australian small business owners, the survey shows that those who have embraced e-commerce are 33 per cent more likely to have reported a profit increase in the 2011-12 financial year.
Those small businesses who have introduced e-sales say it accounts for almost half (45 per cent) of their revenue and the majority (55 per cent) predict an increase in this type of trade in the next 12 months.
“Small business owners who have incorporated e-commerce into their business are seeing it as a worthwhile investment and appear confident of its long-term benefits. This comes at a time when having an online presence is becoming more and more important for small businesses. In fact, Australian business owners cite company websites and Facebook pages as the most effective marketing channels,” said Amelia Zaina, Head of Marketing and Customer Engagement, Small Business Services at American Express.
Social media drives revenue growth
The American Express survey also found that social media has helped almost one quarter (23 per cent) of small business owners to grow their business – and those that attribute business growth to social media are more likely to have reported an increased profit in 2011-12 (57 per cent) than those who don’t (35 per cent).
Small business operators who use social media believe it has helped them grow their business in several ways, including:
- Sourcing new customers (54 per cent);
- Raising brand awareness (51 per cent); and
- Generating new sales (40 per cent).
“These findings support the notion that small businesses who have gone online and are using social media, are seeing comparatively stronger revenue growth” Zaina said.
“While different channels work better for different industries, both e-commerce and social media can be innovative and affordable. Businesses can benefit in many ways to offset the impact of tough economic times on their business.”
Non-embracers reluctant to introduce e-sales
Despite the success of e-commerce, those who have not established an e-sales strategy are reluctant to do so, with only 12 per cent planning to sell their products and services online in the next 12 months. An even smaller number of small business owners (9 per cent) consider e-commerce necessary for future-proofing their business.
This reluctance can partly be explained by the significant proportion of respondents (40 per cent) who don’t find e-commerce relevant to their business – a view most prevalent among those in construction, finance, insurance and health and community services.
“Some small business owners also say they are not sure how to approach adopting e-commerce with their main concerns surrounding difficulties in setting up the payment platform and customer privacy issues. Seeking out information and advice on how to do this could potentially benefit their business and allay any concerns they may have,” said Zaina.
“Fortunately for small business owners, the internet offers limitless opportunities so even those who feel e-commerce isn’t right for them can make use of the online opportunities offered by social media to promote their products and grow their business.
With thousands of ecommerce websites filling every niche interest under the sun, it’s difficult for website owners to stand out from the crowd. It’s also difficult for consumers to sift through all of the online clutter to find the products that best match their personal style and interests.
A solution to both of these problems has arisen organically over the past couple of years in the form of curated commerce. Sites like Pinterest use a combination of social networking and editorial layouts to create crowd-sourced collections of lifestyle, fashion, and other niche market products.
Pinterest has already become an extremely effective marketing tool for ecommerce business owners. According to a survey conducted by the shopping cart software giant Shopify, consumers arriving at Shopify stores via Pinterest were 10% more likely to make a purchase than those who arrived via other social networking sites. Referral traffic from Pinterest matched traffic from Twitter, and Pinterest has quickly become the third most popular social networking site on the web today. This makes it a potentially valuable tool for online retailers, who can set up their own profiles and interact with consumers to boost the chances of products appearing in Pinterest-curated collections.
Other top user-curated sites include Polyvore and Svpply, which allow users to mix and match their favourite products into stylish collections. There’s nothing trendy consumers enjoy more than trying their hand at becoming stylists, which is partially why these fashion sites have boomed in popularity. In addition to user-curated sites, the world of curated commerce also includes professionally-curated collections. JewelMint is a website run by Cher Coulter, a professional stylist, and Kate Bosworth, an actress noted for her sense of fashion. They send out personalized collections of jewellery according to subscriber preferences, laid out in a slick magazine-style format.
Online retailers are sitting on a potential goldmine if they are able to crack these curated collections, which reach a wide audience of internet-savvy consumers. One potential problem for established brand names is that these collections tend to be based on unique, quirky, or new products that aren’t advertised elsewhere. Consumers turn to sites like Polyvore and Pinterest to discover something new, not to see bland advertisements from big-box retailers. To break through this barrier and harness the power of curated commerce to promote a website, it’s necessary to stay on top of trends by getting involved with these curated websites.
Most ecommerce website owners already have a Facebook and Twitter account. Joining Pinterest, Polyvore, and other sites of this nature can help retailers reach out to consumers in a different way, by sharing interests and highlighting products that have influenced the brand’s aesthetic. It’s key to walk the fine line between sharing and spamming when curating your own collections; or the collection will ring false with viewers.
Another potential benefit of curated collections is that they allow business owners to see how their customers view and use their products. Searching for your brand on a curated website can allow you to see how your customers style your items in their own collections, and which other brands or products they pair yours with. This could help you define your marketing efforts more effectively, using the visual appeal and aesthetic that appeals to your real-life consumers.
It takes a little bit of effort and imagination to start using curated commerce effectively. There’s a playful edge to curated websites, and retailers that successfully use a combination of style and originality in their own collections will reap the most benefits.
Is colour important when designing a brand or product? You bet it is!
Studies show that a product’s colour influences 60-80% of a customer’s purchasing decision. So before you invest all that time and effort in explaining all the rational reasons why someone should buy your product, make sure you have the colour right.