Since the down of the commercial internet in the early 1990′s banner ads have been the default form of advertising. Google shook things up massively with their Adwords program but most media sites still rely heavily on banner ads for revenue.
Banner ads have always stuck me as old media imposing their old models on new technology. However, measurement is different as advertisers were encouraged to look at clicks rather than exposure, as they would have done with press display ads. Branding became less important and click-through became the goal.
The question is do banner ads really work? Are they effective? This nice infographic from the team at Prestige Marketing explains who’s clicking, who’s not clicking and why.
The price of bad advice11Apr12
I came across three pieces of mind-numbingly bad advice today, all from experts in their respective fields, all to prominent organizations. Each of them have caused me to question:
A) the quality of expert advice
B) the lack of digital knowledge in the business world
C) how organizations can determine which advice they can trust.
But let’s start with the bad advice. These are clangers.
The first company, a prominent industry leader, wants to get more search traffic for a new service they offer. Whilst weighing up an organic search engine optimisation strategy they’ve received advice from an Adwords specialist. The response: spend the budget on an Adwords campaign because the clicks from the traffic will increase your organic search results.
WRONG. There is no relationship between paid results and organic search results. Organic search results come from a combination of inbound links (indicator of popularity) and on-page optimisation for targeted terms.
We are experiencing a permanent shift in shopping habits from which many brick and mortar retailers will never recover.
After the initial hysteria and over-hyped promise of online shopping in the late ’90s dot-com boom, most retailers shrugged off the threat of online and continued with their traditional business models. The prosperity of the new millennium in Australia meant that retailers were profitable and the apparent need for change was unnecessary.
But as the decade continued online was becoming much more sophisticated. Social networks sprang up to increase connectivity and word-of-mouth, and e-commerce became an easier function to execute. Online giants like Amazon, e-Bay and Apple introduced millions of consumers to simple electronic transactions, steadily decreasing the fear of credit card fraud.
The storm clouds for retailers were on the horizon but only a few paid them any attention.
Let’s face it, the face of marketing has totally changed over the last decade. We have moved on from an era when broadcast media ruled the marketing world and all you had to do to reach potential customers was run a TV schedule or place some ads in the paper or on the radio or perhaps whack a big message up on a billboard. Now your customers are in charge of the media they consume and prefer to find what they need through online search and social endorsement or recommendation than be advertised to.
We are now in the era of inbound marketing where providing solutions and relevant information is a more effective way to attract potential customers. It is now incumbent upon us to build relationships and trust first.
The new marketing paradigm is tricky but it can also be extremely rewarding for organisations that get it right. I’ve seen dozens of companies totally transform their marketing and results over the last few years by adopting a holistic marketing strategy. They’ve combined intelligent web design with clever search engine optimisation, mixed in social media and tweaked conversion funnels to achieve exceptional results.
Its the whole theory behind my agency’s new 360 Degree Digital Marketing Strategy.(<- click on the link for more information)
Yep, the world of marketing has changed. Here are another 27 reasons why you need a professional digital marketing strategy:
Andrew and Elise had a dream to launch a business that provided people with the mind-blowing experience of swimming with dolphins in the wild. They now receive bookings online every day and meet their (pre-paid) customers dockside just prior to the swim. They did it with a kickass online marketing strategy.
Don decided it was time for his innovative Australian-based software solutions company to launch in the most competitive market in the world, the USA, and compete against the might of software giants Oracle and SAP. Two years later they’ve not only launched in the USA, they’re winning a significant share of the market and exceeding all sales projections. They did it with the help of a kickass online marketing strategy.
I’m proud to say that my team at Sticky were involved in creating these and many other successful strategies for clients over the last 6 years. Now we have distilled that thinking into an e-book that provides you with the information you need to create your own kickass plan – The Sticky Guide to Online Marketing.
If you have been thinking about launching a new business, growing your current business online, or have been frustrated with your results online then this e-book is your guide to successful online marketing and sales. Its an actual step-by-step plan that you can begin following from day one to improve your online marketing and results
The Sticky Guide to Online Marketing will be released in late February but you can find out more and get your own free copy via NLYZR.
US market research firm AYTM have just published an excellent infographic, Branding and how it works in the social media age, which has some handy statistics for modern marketers.
I have paraphrased a few of the best stats here or you can look through the entire infographic by clicking on “read rest of this entry”.
1. 85% of internet users have Facebook accounts; 49% are on Twitter
2. 74% of internet users use Facebook daily; 35% use Twitter daily
Almost six out of ten consumers (59 per cent) have stopped engaging with four or more brands as a result of poorly targeted communications, according to research released today by Experian. The report, titled ‘The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives,’ shines a spotlight on disconnects that exist between marketers and consumers and highlights the opportunities available to marketers to minimise the impact of poorly targeted communications.
The Experian figures show that, as a result of poorly-targeted communications, eight per cent of consumers have stopped engaging with 20 or more brands. A further 27 per cent of Australians have gone as far as creating a separate email address to receive this information to avoid other email accounts from being inundated.
However, marketers are also making strides to change traditional marketing practices demonstrated by a significant 89 per cent of marketers now using a customer segmentation strategy. In addition, 69 per cent are becoming more selective about the channels they use to engage with customers. A key challenge identified by half (50 per cent) of Australian marketers lies in cutting through the white-noise to get messages through to the consumer.
It’s clear that many marketers are investing in tools to get the right message to the right audiences at the right time, yet the findings suggest that they may not be applying this strategic segmentation across all marketing disciplines, particularly among newer channels such as social media.
The evolution of social media
The findings show that consumers are least trusting of newer marketing channels such as social media, SMS and LinkedIn for direct communication with brands. Almost three in 10 (29 per cent) consumers ranked social media as among the three marketing channels they trusted least when receiving information about a brand. While just four per cent said it was the channel they trusted most.
The great thing about inbound marketing is that there is no shortage of excellent tools to help you go about your job of attracting qualified traffic and converting it into something more meaningful like leads, inquiries or sales.
Here are the 16 top tools I use regularly for inbound marketing;
WordPress website. Sure there are other excellent open source content management systems available but for inbound marketing its hard to go past WordPress. Its easy to use, very search engine friendly, extremely optimisable and has thousands of great plugins to address just about any requirement. There’s a reason over 60 million people have chosen WordPress for their websites.
WordPress mobile app. Inbound marketers like to post content. Lots of content. From almost anywhere. That’s where the WordPress mobile apps come in. You can create and publish content directly from your iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or Nokia to your website.
Website optimisation is a fascinating field. Most of the gurus will tell you to look at code and build links…lots of links. And, true, that is important. But if you really want to be found on Google you should be trying to answer questions and provide solutions.
The biggest mistake most companies make when optimising their sites for search engines is poor keyword selection. They tend to optimise for themselves; company name, products and services. This is fine if the person searching knows exactly what they want or who you are already, but in most cases they don’t….they’re usually looking for an answer or solution.
The rise of the web has led to a fundamental change in the way we research, share information and shop. Search engine optimisation, blogging and social media have combined to create a new form of marketing around attracting potential customers rather than interrupting them. It’s called inbound marketing.
This excellent infographic from Voltier Digital – Inbound Marketing Rising, the dawn of marketing you won’t hate – demonstrates the differences between Inbound Marketing and the traditional Outbound Marketing. In light of recent studies revealing that Australasian marketers are lagging in tech and social media expertise these are some statistics that need to be shared:
1. 200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list. Tweet this stat
2. 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted into. Tweet this stat
3. 84% of 25-34-year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising. Tweet this stat
4. 86% of people skip television ads. Tweet this stat
5. 44% of direct mail is never opened. Tweet this stat