Remember when everyone had to have a website? Well, the explosive popularity of the smartphone means that more and more consumers are shopping online using a mobile device. In fact, website traffic from smartphones increased 103% in the last year. So now its not just a website you need, its also a mobile-friendly site.
Here are the latest stats and facts from the team at Monetate to help you understand the impact of smartphones for shopping online and the battle for supremacy between iPhone and Android.
Are you taking mobile into account in your online marketing and retail strategies?
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.
So you want to work in marketing? Well, to be hired as a marketer you need to start acting like one. And not just any marketer, an inbound marketer.
Way back in early 2009 I wrote a post about how to get a job in advertising, design or media and it went nuts. Its one of the most popular posts I’ve ever published and still gets a lot of traffic today. A lot of that advice still rings true today, but a lot has also changed in the marketing world in the last 3 or 4 years, so I felt it was time to refresh the topic.
I interview dozens of marketing graduates each year and the first thing that strikes me is that very few have much experience of any kind. Universities are pumping out thousands of cardboard cutout graduates annually to compete for a small number of quality positions.
If you want to be hired as a marketer you need an edge. Here is what I advise them to do:
1. Create Content
This is the single best thing you can do. Start publishing great content. Show the world what you can do. Ideally focus on your interests or desired career niche if you really want to attract the attention of the right people. Two young guys come to mind who blogged their way into great careers; Julian Cole and Zac Martin. These guys began publishing excellent, confronting, interesting content on their respective blogs before they even graduated. It got them on the marketing radar early and saw them stroll into excellent jobs quickly.
Here’s a test: do a Google search for your name and see what comes up. Personal blog? Content you’ve written for other people’s blogs? News content you’ve authored? Infographics you’ve designed? Videos you’ve recorded? Whitepapers you’ve put together? If not much shows up then you’re not a good content creator and that’s going to keep you off the radar. I suspect HR will be much more impressed with the candidate who shows up for pages and pages of content (appropriate content) than someone with a degree and no content.
These days marketing, especially inbound marketing, relies heavily on great content. Being able to produce it, being able to recognise what drives traffic, clicks and responses is key.
The good news is that you can set up a blog, YouTube channel, Tumblr or Instagram account for free. All you need is time and some great ideas to fill them with content.
2. Be social
If you haven’t heard, social networks are kinda big these days. Having an account isn’t enough (although I’m surprised how many marketing wannabes don’t have one). You need to be savvy enough to be active with these accounts. Strategically, I would recommend having a Twitter account that follows the players in your desired industry and begin sharing your great content via that account.
You also MUST have a LinkedIn profile and should be looking to join some relevant LinkedIn groups for your chosen niche.
Companies are trying to work out how to leverage social networks, be the one who knows the answers and prove it in your own networks.
3. Learn some basic SEO
Here’s a secret…we all Google ourselves, our competitors and our industry. Learn some basic search engine optimisation and push your great content to the first page of search results. You’ll be in the radar faster and prospective employers will be wondering why and how you did it. Another skill most of your fellow graduates won’t have.
You can check out our NLYZR site. It has tons of great SEO information and you can set up an account for free to learn even more.
4. Study stats
Modern marketers are statistics nerds. Online marketing is amazingly measurable and there are dozens of great analytics tools to measure and test performance. Start using them and getting to know how they work. Practice with your own blog and social networks.
Make sure your resume reflects experience with different analytics platforms and that you understand how to make data-backed marketing decisions. This will put you ahead of most of the pack.
5. Become an all-rounder
I really feel its important these days to be well-versed in technology and be a bit of an all-rounder. Knowing some basic coding and editing allows you to understand what other suppliers or employees do and to be able to speak with some authority to them. I know of several senior marketers in large organisations who have no idea at all what their IT department or web developer is saying to them. As a result they make poor decisions. It’s only a matter of time before they’re found out and replaced by savvy young marketers with more all-round experience and knowledge.
The all-rounder can often get their foot in the door with companies and move towards their desired area of specialty later. But to be honest I believe that in most organisations the all-rounder is going to the future.
6. Keep reading and learning
This industry is dynamic and changing daily. Your Uni curriculum was out of date before you started. Subscribe to industry sites and blogs and devour as much information as you can. Learn about the latest technology and trends. Know what’s going on. Attend industry events, some are free, and listen to what people are talking about. Don’t stop reading and learning.
7. Market your way to employment
Know who you want to work for? Think you’re their next star recruit? Be brassy enough to create an inbound marketing campaign about hiring you or examining an aspect of their industry. Set up a site or blog, optimise it for search and fill it with great content directed at your desired employer. Use social networks to spread the word. Before you know it you could be on their radar via search or social.
The smart marketers are jumping to the front of the jobs queue by using modern inbound marketing strategies. It is much more effective than sending standard resumes and responding to employment ads.
The job market is changing. Freelancing and outsourcing are changing the way we do business and make a living. A new generation of young entrepreneurs realise that the traditional 9-to-5 job is no longer their only career option.
At the recent launch of the report A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050 futurist Mark Pesce predicted the employment market is “going to look a lot more like eBay than it does like Seek.”
“The idea of employment, as in a job that lasts for more than a few days or a few weeks, is going to be this very weird term by 2050. Our grandkids will go up to us and say, ‘You had a job and you did it for years at a time?’”, says Pesce.
“That much connectivity in the economy creates this enormous capability for fluidity, and so jobs are going to start to become gigs and those are going to start to become tasks, and eventually we’re all just going to be doing a little bit here and a little bit there and it may not be until we get up in the morning and check the smartphone that we’re going to be knowing what we’re going to be doing that day.”
That’s where InsiderJobs comes in. Its the place where freelancers and businesses can offer their services and buyers can find amazing outsourcing options. Our vision is to be Australia’s premium freelancer and microjobs site; a dedicated Australian marketplace for Australian freelancers and professionals.
Unlike other freelancing and microjobs sites, our aim is to try to keep outsourcing local. Do business with dozens of talented people in your area whilst keeping your overheads down and profits up. We call it TownSourcing.
One thing we are keen to maintain is a high quality of services and offers. Any offers considered to be “black-hat” or “spammy” may be blocked or moderated. The reason is that we want InsiderJobs to be a place where buyers can shop with confidence that they will receive a range of good, reliable services.
The first InsiderJobs has launched with a focus on Newcastle. This allows us to iron out the bugs and test responses in our home town before expanding nationally very soon.
If you are based in the Hunter region we’d love you to list some of your products or services on the site. It could be a lead generator, an automatic digital product or your usual service. In testing this we’ve learned that great deals get the biggest responses.
If you live outside the Hunter you are very welcome to list any products or services that can be delivered online and aren’t limited by geographical location. These will be able be offered nationally as we expand.
Conversely, if you’re a business owner looking for service providers and other freelance resources then check InsiderJobs might have the answer. You can also request services and have freelancers come to you.
My team and I are really excited about the launch of InsiderJobs and hope it becomes the trusted site where businesses and talented Australian freelancers can connect.
A focus on customer experience can result in vastly improved metrics for any company. We’ve seen it for years in traditional retail where companies such as Nike and Apple have created amazing customer experiences in order to maximise sales and profits, but can this work online?
The team at Monetate have designed this excellent infographic to demonstrate how excellent customer experience can impact key online metrics like web traffic, referrals, conversion rates, average order value, revenue and customer lifetime value.
The web is a place for new and shiny things, for fads and sexy new start-ups. Like many of us, web “experts” have short attention spans and tend to jump from one fad to the next. Over the last few years I have heard a consistent refrain that Search is dead or dying and being replace by something new or better.
In 2012 the discussion around search have been even more vigorous following Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. Some have even claimed this will kill the SEO industry.
SEO is more important than ever, it just needs to be addressed differently.The only people suffering are the SEO’s who cling to old-fashioned strategies that are no longer effective.
Lets look at the facts:
- Eighty-two percent of consumers researched a product before buying it according to latest Forrester report
- Search engines are still used by around 92% of all internet users
- Here in Australia, Google continues to enjoy approximately 94% share of all search traffic according to Stat Counter.
- Crucially, being found on page 1 of Google is still the best way to drive qualified traffic to your website.
- The higher your Google search ranking , the more likely you will receive a click through to your site, as this graphic from Search Engine Watch displays.
A lot of the “search is dead” hysteria has been due to Google’s apparent punishment or discounting of unnatural link-building. This has long been the main tactic of many SEO’s and is how they measure and charge for their services. So while it might mean the death of SEO for for practitioners, the fact that Google is placing less emphasis on link-building is a good thing for consumers. It mean that results are steadily becoming more relevant. Smart SEO’s know this and are addressing it.
What is also becoming apparent is that social media is becoming a significant factor in search results. Most experts now agree that Google and Bing are paying attention to the amount of social activity around posts and pages on your website, even if Google is paying an unnatural amount of attention to its own network. The smart marketers are making sure they have a holistic approach to search and social to achieve the best results.
As Neil Perkin says in his recent analysis of the industry:
“….whilst SEO may not be dying, it is certainly changing and changing fast. As the link between so-called ‘earned media’ and search engine results gets stronger and as the data sources that form results become more numerous and more complex, the requirement is increasingly for SEO to be integrated into everything that the brand does. That means not only the quality of your content, but how you produce it and what you do with it. The skills of a good SEO person have always been about increasing visibility of content and getting it in front of people who are prospective buyers/customers/consumers. And that skill will surely be in more demand than ever.”
SEO isn’t going away anytime soon. Its changing rapidly but as long as so many consumers are logging on to research and purchase SEO will remain an important and necessary task. Honestly, we’re only at the beginning of the online shopping revolution. The numbers will grow exponentially in the next 5 years.
The question now is whether your SEO strategy reflects the current state of the search industry. If it doesn’t then its likely your results will be far from optimal.
Have you noticed how many image-based sites and apps are taking off lately? Instagram, Pinterest and Tumbler have really caught fire, and for good reason; we all love great images. As they say, a picture says a thousand words, and that’s why visual storytelling is so effective.
According to this new infographic from communications company M Booth and media measurement and analytics company Simply Measured, visual content is not only popular, it’s also driving engagement. Consider these stats:
- Videos on Facebook are shared 12X more than links and text posts combined.
- Photos on Facebook are liked 2X more than text updates.
- 42% of all Tumblr posts are photos.
- 100 million Youtube users are taking a social action on videos every week.
- Photo and video posts on Pinterest are referring more traffic than Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and Google+.
I know from personal experience that using great images can be very effective. This year I have seen traffic to this blog explode largely due to publishing and sharing more infographics and helpful images. My company’s GetSticky site began using a really nice, clear diagram to display our services and its led to more inquiries than ever. Meanwhile our NLYZR site uses video and bold graphics to get quickly to the point. We keep testing and refining along the way, but these tactics have really helped.
What are you doing to tell your story visually?
BestVendor has just released the results of its 2012 Freelancer Survey, revealing the most popular tools and apps for freelancers and entrepreneurs.
Freelancers are a huge part of the workforce, with 42 million in the U.S. alone. And as one-man (or more commonly, woman) operations, they typically have to manage everything from accounting to sales to operations. BestVendor wanted to know: What are the most popular apps used by freelancers? Below is an infographic showing the top 25 based on data from nearly 100 freelancers
The single most popular tool? Überpopular file-sharing, storage, and back-up service DropBox. Evernote, the electronic memory app, comes in at No. 4.
Which ones do you use? More importantly, which ones should you be using?
Most of us now know that effective use of social media can be highly beneficial for business, but have you ever wondered when is the best to post your message to reach and engage with the most people? Fortunately Bit.ly have done the research on this and have the answers courtesy of this nice infographic by Raka Creative. They’ve worked out the best times to Tweet for click-throughs and the best times to post on Facebook for click-throughs. How does this compare with your experiences?
The Olympics is considered to be the greatest sporting event in the world as well as the oldest international sports extravaganza. Leading up to the London Olympics 2012, Beijing as the host of 2008 had ushered in an era of glitzy grandeur to the event which made the games a big hit all over the world. When every continent comes together for the Olympics with the urge to create a historic event every four years, you would expect the Olympics to sync well with times. Sadly, the upcoming London Olympics 2012 has just been plagued with a controversial statute.
The IOC, International Olympic Committee, has set aside a few very strict social media laws for this year. As per the social media laws stipulated for 2012 Olympics, every post, tweet or blog, in short any online content being circulated through social media or social networks, must be in a first person narrative. Which implies that every piece of information posted online should be in a diary type format necessitating the fact that the poster, tweeter or blogger is giving a firsthand account and speaking for himself or herself.
If these social media laws were not enough, the IOC further states that no videos can be shared from the Olympic village and if athletes were to post any photos or any sort of content about their peers or other competing athletes then they would have to seek permission from the concerned athlete or athletes prior to doing so. What the social media laws for this year Olympics imply is that there would be a sort of social media ban on athletes and everyone involved in the event. This is a form of censorship being imposed and the social media laws basically amount to a social media ban.
What the IOC had in contemplation while announcing these social media laws is not well ascertained at this stage but the sporting community and also a huge section of the online community are not very happy with these social media laws. Putting a social media ban would not only limit the exposure of the Olympics but telling the athletes what they can do, share and what they cannot is simply something that would not go down well with most sportspeople, not to mention the hundreds of millions of social network users.
The IOC is certainly out of touch with the social media phenomenon to have come up with these laws which are nothing short of a social media ban.