It’s that time of year where we hear from the esteemed and knowledgeable in the biz what we can expect from the year ahead. With predictions and guesstimates ripe with talk of a literal digital age, experts and key-players across a selection of disciplines offer their predictions for what we should expect in the marketing world this year.
Adam Graham: Weapon7 spoke about the word ‘gamification’ become an integral part of our dictionary this year. “Done well, gamification offers fantastic opportunities for brands engaging with consumers.” He does have his apprehensions about the initial lack of understanding or acceptance, but as more people become aware, set money aside and throw more resources at it, he believes that this will be as successful in the gaming world as mobile strategies have been.
Geoff Gower: ais London believes that the word ‘branded content’ will be made redundant and it will be the age of excellent and well written content. “It’s time for brands to stop treating content as an add-on…no longer will it be about generating content that can be ‘branded.’” In this sense, a niche market may be required for amazing content ad copywriters! We think that what Geoff is getting to, is that 2013 will see the end of content for branding sake and more content that actually means something and says something about what and who the brand is.
One of the main factors when reading and darting through a whole range of industry expert views and predictions for 2013 is mobile. This issue has been referred to again and again, but it seems like the big boys in business are expecting mobile to become mandatory from companies and expected from the consumers.
Frazer Gibney: Inferno describes his thoughts of the mobile-age to go from “hot to incandescent as a category…publishers predict over 50 per cent of traffic from smartphones and tablets.” He also notes the importance and potential demand for mobile advertising with tools such as ‘LoopMe’ creating a more focused avenue to advertise, and one that consumers respond better than on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. Also agreeing with the importance of just how big mobile will become this year; Mandeep Mason: International Microsoft predicts that 2013 will be the year for “the industry finally unlocks the potential of mobile as a scalable marketing and commerce channel for advertisers.” Mark Freeman: Movement also agrees that mobile is continuing to rise, but thinks that the messaging services are vastly underused. “I think we’re going to see a resurgence in companies sending messages to opted-in consumers as businesses continue to realise that the channel really does have potential.”
There are so many predictions for 2013 that it would take most of the year to go through them all. The main focus that we have gathered from the information we’ve read (and it’s been a lot) is…expect to expand into the world of mobile even further, gather as much information on your consumers as possible and give them what they want, and consumers expect more and more technology wise from brands. We (consumers) now live in age where if a web page hasn’t loaded within seconds, the brand has lost us and we have moved on to the next. All in all, we are a fast-tracked, tech-savvy nation and we expect more from 2013 than we have any other year before.
Facebook is gearing up to become much more than the leading presence in social media to date. It seems the social media moguls are ploughing ahead and dipping their toes in the online retail market. A US trial is taking place to send out real gifts from the Facebook platform. You can send gifts to your friends, ranging from cupcakes, stuffed bears and gift-cards for a cost.
Facebook has dabbled with a similar idea before, starting out small with sending virtual gifts to people, some free, and some for a small cost. The team are looking to go big this time, and have got some of the high-end brands on board during the trial. Starbucks – the leading coffee chain, Magnolia Bakery –New York’s most famous bakery (made even more well known through ‘Sex and the City’), and Gund – a huge bear retailer, are all in on the trial act. Only a small percentage of people are involved in the trial, but we’re looking forward to the outcome of this.
It seems like a natural progression for Facebook to take on, what seems like such a daunting task to the rest of us, with the gumption and drive of the big boys in business. With the social media platform notoriously known for working with companies to track what we shop for online, whilst browsing on and after visiting the site, we predict it won’t be long before we start seeing last nights browsing items pop up on the right hand side of our screens.
It has not yet been stated if and indeed when the trial will end, when the scheme becomes multi-nationals and inevitably world-wide. However, we can only assume that with Facebook being as big as it is, that it will only be a matter of time before companies sign up to the project. With shares in Facebook remarkably low considering the wealth the company holds, this is one way they are almost certain to make more on the advertising scheme of things, with top retailers paying above the odds to be listed on the social media pages.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach customers that are interested in your product. If you are planning on sending emails, or already send them then you know the importance of the subject line. Having subject lines that not only catch the attention of your customers, but also get them excited is the best way to make that sale. If you aren’t sure about the best way to write your email subject lines, here are a few tips that you should follow.
Use A Newspaper
Learn how to write your email subject lines like a newspaper headline. Newspaper headlines are short and crisp. They give you all the information that you need in just a few words. These headlines are attention grabbing allow the reader to know what they should expect after they open the email. Use you local newspaper to get a feel for how your subject lines should look.
Use The From Line To Your Advantage
The “from” line in your email should be from a private host. For instance, if you are emailing your customers from Dave@aol.com they will not take it as seriously as Dave@emailmarketing.com. Make sure that you have your own webhosting email service when you are sending out your emails.
Personalising your email subject lines for the product that you are promoting is essential. Some email marketers will send out a message with a subject line like “New Product Available.” This could mean anything and it doesn’t draw excitement. An email subject line like “Marketing Solution 2.0 Now Available For You John” draws excitement and can be used as a call to action.
If your email is seen as too spammy to the inbox, it will get flagged. One of the best ways to see if your email can get flagged is to run it through a content checker. These are designed to tell you what words in your email could get it filtered. Subject lines with all capital letters or using an exclamation point can get your email marked.
The word “Free” will not necessarily get your email filtered out, but you shouldn’t make “free” the first word of your email. This may get your email marked as spam. If you are offering a free product or bonus, use “no cost” or something similar to get your email to go through without being marked as spam.
Don’t Lead Them On
Email marketing is a lot like dating. You don’t want to lead the person on when they are putting trust in you. When a customer reads about your product and you are going on and on about how great it is, they expect a great product. If you are giving them a product that doesn’t have the features you claim, they will never trust you again. You want to be honest with all of your email marketing and not lead your customers down a path they will never return to.
If you are about to launch an incentive for your affiliates there are a few things you might want to think about first;
Set Your Objective
Incentives are an easy method to improve affiliate marketing, and can be very rewarding for all those involved. In order to make an incentive successful, it is vital to recognise your objectives. Some programs are designed to promote brand name. Yet others are have the goal of gaining new affiliates, while others are made to promote productivity in current ones. Whether you have similar goals, or completely new ones, remember to think about what you want to achieve whilst you design your incentive.
Making It Fair
Your program will be more successful if you make it fair. If you arrange it so that only a select few will be able to win (top affiliates, most sales etc) you will probably not be reaching your goal. In this circumstance, many people may not wish to participate, due to the feeling that the prizes are not easily reachable. If you create an incentive which offers different levels and types of prizes, more participants will be able to get a reward for good work. Remember, the goal of the incentive is to either have your affiliates perform better or to attract more affiliates or for you to gain additional exposure. Many companies use their own products as incentives, which can often be successful, as your affiliates will get to experience first hand the products they are promoting.
In order to get the word out about your incentive there are a few tools you can use to ensure you get maximum exposure.
Other forums such as ABestWeb or AffiliateForum.com.au
Your own affiliate blog
Email your affiliates direct
Network email system
Monitor and Measure
After you implement your program, you will, of course, need to put measures in place to find out how well it is working. You will need to find out how much is being put towards giving out incentives as compared to how much your profit is. Obviously, the program will benefit your company more if you have gained something from the program as well. It will also be necessary to see how well your affiliates are satisfied with the prizes. You will get much information from monitoring increase in sales and other markers of better productivity. When these numbers are compared to number of prizes given out and who is receiving the prizes, you will get a better idea of whether your program is successful at the goals you had predetermined.
As Google is one of the largest and some may say most important companies in the world, it only makes sense that it would want to make a move into social networking and the business networking world. As a result, it has created new pages to help businesses boost their revenue and gain greater visibility across Google’s many channels.
In the past, Google+ has restricted businesses from creating pages, however they now welcome businesses to the world of social media giving them the opportunity to share vital information with other G+ users and use features such as circles and hangouts to maintain a connection with their customer base’s. With over 40 million people already using G+, it’s important for small businesses and corporations to have a place where they can interact and advertise services without really “advertising” at all. Now companies can build relationships with people, as well as benefit from putting G+ pages into search results. Businesses can also link their Google plus page with the ad words campaign, making visibility extremely easy for businesses.
Here are some interesting facts and figures about G+ and its popularity with the social media world –
*The dominant age bracket is 25 to 34
*G+ is made up of mostly males, with around 72% currently using the social networking service.
*The 10 most common occupations for Google+ users include engineers, developers, software developers, and designers.
*Girls currently make up only 28% of the social networking site.
*G+ cost over $500 million to build completely
If a business is wanting to increase sales, using G+ to do so may be very wise in building customer retention and ROI. Since it is still fairly new to the social media world (it was open to the public in June 2011), people have an easier time navigating the site and following your posts rather then if they used Facebook to do the same thing. If you have a website, you can also add the ‘+1′ button so that people can like your post and interact with it. In the Internet marketing world, visibility is very important for small businesses who want to establish an online presence. No matter what your business is involved in, using G+ to interact with your customers and fans is a great idea in giving people a chance to communicate with each other and getting others to voice concerns on how they think your company could run better. It might take years before Google plus is as popular as Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t regard G+ as competition; as a $1 billion company, it has still been able to gain lots of followers based on it’s ad revenue model and search query domination.
Finally after what seems like weeks and weeks and months of plotting, writing and building, Bright Digital Minds is finally live!
Hopefully the site gives a good insight into the many services BDM offer along with some interesting articles on digital marketing. We’ll be updating the site regularly so make sure you keep coming back.
Huge thanks to everyone who has supported BDM these last few weeks, from the creative aspects to the content tweaking and the feedback!
Here’s to a bright future!