Thursday, July 31, 2014

Taken for a ride by Mahindra First choice - A feedback Part 2

In continuation to my earlier article, here is summary of the my experiences with Mahindra First Choice.

After AC repair the car ran fine for few days before my worst fears started to come true. Suddenly while running, the car started giving error messages. The AC tripped and car lost pickup while driving. Out of gut I switched of the car and restarted the car and the error message went away and the car ran fine. At home I checked the Owners manual and found that the error message is critical and advises immediate attention by the workshop.

I went to the authorised VW dealer and got it checked, they have advised me to come back the same day as the error message flashes again. While I was discussing the issues with service advisor I asked him to show me the service history of the car.

What I saw then gave me the shock of my life. The car mileage in there system shows as 92000 km + in may 2014. I took the delivery of the car from Mahindra First choice at 54000km 


WHAT does this means.


SOMEBODY TEMPERED THE METER READING?
WHY IS MAHINDRA NOT SHOWING ORIGNAL SERVICE RECORD

WHAT KIND OF CERTIFICATION IS MAHINDRA DOING
WHO APPROVES ALL PROCESSES.

I dont have the answer yet, but they not showing me the service records despite repeated requests indicates this only.

I immediately contacted the same representative from Mahindra First Choice and sent him an email aswell.

I am yet to get any reasonable or responsible reply from the senior executive at Mahindra. Lets see

I have always admired Mahindra as a company and its directors as role models, but now for me its a test of it's character.

Hope for the best and prepared for the worst.

Why Outsourcing Social Media Is a Winning Strategy


Why Outsourcing Social Media Is a Winning Strategy
On average, business owners waste about 4 billion hourseach year dealing with tasks that could easily be delegated to vendors or other employees, yet they work twice as much as their employees. Business strategists recommend delegating as many non-critical tasks as possible to work smarter, not harder.
Outsourcing social media is a winning strategy for maximizing the most of your time without sacrificing the quality of your customer engagement campaigns.
Good for budgets
There’s scarcely a business owner on the planet who isn’t watching the bottom line all the time. Tight budgets mean every penny must be pinched and every dollar squeezed, especially for startups operating on a shoestring.
Unfortunately, in-house media teams are often besieged with runaway costs and overages that eat away at their piece of the budgetary pie. Whether it’s unplanned overtime to cover for a marketing department member whose out sick or the unexpected cost of buying analytics tools to track your progress across social channels, it’s easy to end up in the red before you’ve posted your final Facebook update for the week.
When you outsource your social media, there are no surprise expenses, no last-minute software purchases, and no scrambling to cover gaps in coverage. You know what  your costs are upfront and can plan accordingly, knowing your social accounts are in good hands.
Surround yourself with experts
You know that old adage, business owners don’t need to know everything if they surround themselves with people who are experts in their own field? Bringing in an outside social media team fits this concept perfectly.
Unless you’re running a social media firm, your expertise probably lie in other areas. Just as you’d hire an electrician to wire the fire alarms in your office, so should you hire professionals to handle this unique aspect of your marketing strategy.
Businesses that hand off important social media tasks to a new intern or recent hire are brands that don’t fare as well in social marketing. You don’t need to know everything about the nuts and bolts of social media management as long as you hire a team that does.
Hang in there
Social marketing takes momentum and time to build. It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results, especially when you feel like your time could be better spent working on other ways to grow your business.
Too many small businesses that try social media marketing either don't do it right or don't do it long enough, or both, and then give up, thinking it doesn't work. You can absolutely use social media to drive and track new leads and sales, increased frequency of purchase from current customers, both very hard business metrics, but don't expect this to happen overnight, or over three weeks. Expect to see (and by all means track!) results within six to nine months.
It takes a long time to see results because business owners are pulled in many directions and only have a limited time to devote to making it work. Outsourcing teams have the expertise and ability to groom your social media accounts for solid growth in less time.

How Businesses Can Improve Their Apps


How Businesses Can Improve Their Apps
App creation, in spite of what you might have believed when you first sat down with your coder, is never really done. There are always improvements to be made and concerns to address. There are always things that you can do to improve your buyers’ experiences. How, though, do you figure out what those concerns and improvements are? In this article we will show you 4 things that you can do to make sure that your app’s users have the best experience possible.
1. Customer Feedback
This is the easiest (and, frankly, most obvious) place to start. Pay attention to the ratings and reviews your app receives in the app store. Make sure you read every email you get about a user’s experience. Look for independent reviews online. Don’t, though, wait for people to just volunteer their insights. Come right out and ask for it! Encourage your buyers to send you feedback directly. Tell your buyers that you’re eager for positive as well as negative feedback.
Make sure that it is as easy as possible for app users to send you feedback. You might even build a “send us feedback” option into the app itself. If your feedback rate is low, there is nothing wrong with offering users an incentive for sharing their opinions.
2. Go Back Into Research Mode
You probably did some market research when you were still developing your app idea. You don’t have to limit your market research to your development phase. Remember: life moves pretty fast and what your market was clamoring for six months ago might have changed. Find out what your competitors have been doing to improve the apps they’ve released. You know the drill.
3. Test Test Test
Make sure you thoroughly test out any change you make before releasing it to the public. Do not, however, limit this to formal software testing or QA. Instead, offer your “update” to existing and new customers as a limited edition beta test. People love participating in beta tests. It allows them to test your product (and its updates) for free and make them feel special. It’s a great way to build brand loyalty while simultaneously improving your company’s app.
4. Analytics
Tracking user behavior is not limited to a web based or cloud environment. Tracking user behavior is something that mobile developers do too. App analytics solutions like those at Appsee.com let developers track both small trends like user level analytics and big trends, such as aggregated level  analysis of touch heatmaps and UI analysis.
Just like in a web based environment, this data can tell you things that you would never learn through a survey or independent review. For example, if you notice that 90% of your users are force quitting the app from page X, that might mean that there is a bug in the code that causes the app to freeze on that page. Analytics are like flashlights pointing toward the areas that are most in need of your attention.
Remember: releasing your app does not necessarily mean that all of the work is done. If that was true, we’d all still be using first generation iPhones and OS1. If you want to keep your customers happy (and sell more apps and products) you have to always be looking for ways to improve your buyers’ experiences.

Is Your Company Paying Attention to Social Listening?


Is Your Company Paying Attention to Social Listening?
It’s no little secret that social media marketing plays a vital role in the success of any company’s marketing campaign. In fact, social media has significantly changed the world of marketing as we know it by providing consumers with the opportunity to voice their ideas, opinions, and reviews about your brand, products and services with their friends, family and audience at large. This level of sharing can result in significant influence on the buying public. According to a report published by Digital Information World, 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.
With so many people likely talking about your brand, it only makes sense to pay attention to what they are saying.

What Is Social Listening and Why Is It Important?

Social listening assists companies in understanding what their customer’s desires and concerns are while providing the opportunity to respond in real time. Social listening can provide a great number of benefits and opportunities, including the ability to engage directly with consumers, drive insights that can be used for making informed decisions, and obtain sales leads.
Social Media Examiner reported that although many companies have a good understanding of what social listening is, they fail to understand how they can apply an effective listening strategy to their social media process. Still, learning how to employ social listening effectively is critical to a company’s future success. According to Social Media Examiner, 60 percent of marketers surveyed used social listening strategies last year and 24 percent had plans to do so this year. Unfortunately, only 31 percent of marketers believed that their social listening strategies were effective.
When implemented in the correct manner, social listening can provide the opportunity for companies to interact directly with their consumers. Social listening is about much more than simply watching tweets and posts that mention the name of your company. Additionally, social media listening must be more than something that is applied at the beginning of a campaign. Instead, it should be a strategy that is applied throughout the entire process.

Effective Strategies for Social Listening

In order to achieve solid results, it is imperative that you listen carefully and respond in a strategic way.
·      Begin by setting up a strategy for tracking social mentions. Given the breadth of the Internet and social media platforms today, this can seem like an overwhelming task. Fortunately, there are some tools available that can help you with this process. Mention.net is one of those tools. This tool will watch literally millions of different sources in dozens of languages. Anytime someone mentions your brand, Mention.net will provide you with real-time alerts.HootSuite is another great tool that can help you benefit from customized streams, allowing you to easily track conversations across a variety of platforms. Other popular tools include Trackur and Sprout Social.
·      Do more than just listen; understand before you respond. Take the time to analyze what you are hearing from your consumer base. Consider the context of the conversation. For instance, consider whether your customers are venting and complaining to their friends or whether they are reaching out to you in a direct manner.
·      Consider share of voice. In other words, what is your place in the conversation? How much are people talking about your brand? If you are a small business, it very well may be the case that your customers are not talking at all. As surprising as it may seem, a lack of conversation can be just as bad as a negative conversation. When your customers are not saying anything, it is vital that you take advantage of the opportunity to jumpstart the conversation. A great way to do this is by posting different types of content that will encourage shares and likes. Great examples include entertaining posts, inspiring posts, and posts showing them how to solve everyday problems, hopefully using your product.
·      What is your customer’s tone of voice? We all know that when you are interacting with a customer on a one-on-one basis, it is vital to pay attention to the customer’s tone of voice. The same is also true when it comes to social listening. In this case, you need to gauge whether the conversation regarding your brand is primarily positive or negative. Ideally, the conversation should be positive, but if not, you need to ascertain the root of the problem and take steps to resolve it.
·      Trends matter. Social listening is about much more than simply tuning in occasionally to hear what customers have to say. You must stay actively engaged in order to identify trends as they develop over time.
·      Do not listen just for the sake of listening. Social listening should always have an identifiable outcome. Make certain that your company has a process in place to do something with the information that you obtain. The information you glean will do nothing to benefit your company if it remains trapped in your marketing department.
As social media continues to grow and evolve, the importance of social listening will expand as well. Make sure you have a solid plan in place sooner than later to ensure you’re taking advantage of the knowledge you gain. 

Generate Leads Online for Your Brick and Mortar Store


Generate Leads Online for Your Brick and Mortar Store
Although many small businesses have created a website and Facebook page that covers the bare minimum, plenty of local businesses are still missing out on opportunities to use their websites to generate qualified leads.

If you have a brick and mortar store, you may have written off online lead generation as the domain of ecommerce sites, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Here are just a few ways that local businesses can use online marketing to reach out to their target audience and get more customers in their stores.

Align your internet strategy with a focus on leads, not traffic. Many businesses (and SEO consultants) make the mistake of aiming to drive as many visitors as possible to a website.  That may sound great, but 100 visitors that fit your target demographic are worth far more than 10,000 visitors who have absolutely no need for your products or services. Make sure your strategy is driven by your business goals, not just traffic generation.

Ensure your have a lead capture mechanism on each landing page. At the very least, you want a clear call-to-action on each and every page, but there are dozens of ways to encourage people to reach out to you. Just a few ideas include incentivizing them by offering a free e-newsletter, e-book, or coupon in exchange for their email address. What’s right for a business depends highly on your demographic and business goals, and the right internet marketing expert can help guide you in the process.

Develop a system to follow-up on those leads. If you’re capturing dozens or hundreds of leads, you’re headed in the right direction, but you have to do something with those leads. You must follow up in order to get them to convert.

Make contact information easy to find – on desktop and mobile devices. Don’t make web users do an in-depth search of your website just to find your phone number and address. Many consumers will be searching from mobile devices, and if they have to do a lot of scrolling or squinting, they’ll turn to another business with a better website layout.

Invest in mobile click-to-call. The fewer clicks a web user has to make to contact your business, the more likely they are to actually do it. Recognizing this, Google recently added a click-to-call extension for their Adwords. If you use this extension, a phone icon and the word “Call” will appear below your ad listing in search results, and people who have performed the search from their phone can simply click the button to immediately call your number.

Get listed online. When was the last time you used a phonebook to look up the number for a business? If you can’t remember, you’re certainly not alone. With more and more people eschewing land lines for cell phones and businesses listing their contact information online, bulky phonebooks have largely become obsolete.

However, as the physical yellow pages have vanished, virtual Yellow Pages and other local business directories have sprung up. In addition to prominently displaying your business contact information on your website, get your company listed in these directories – and keep them updated – so that local consumers can easily find you. You can also use them to do communicate with customers about new products, changing hours, or other important announcements, and run specials and promotions.

Claim your location on map sites. Speaking of local directories, claim your profile on map sites, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. By doing this, you can make sure these sites aren’t posting inaccurate information about you (you won’t see new customers if your physical address is listed incorrectly online) and respond to consumer feedback.

Include a contact form on your website. Adding a contact form to your site is incredibly easy to do (there are many templates available, and if you use a platform like Wordpress, they already have contact templates built in) and also incredibly advantageous. It provides site visitors with an easy way to provide feedback, ask questions, and request services and information, and it allows you to directly communicate with site visitors who may be interested in your products, improving your lead generation as a result.

Ask for reviews. If a current customer emails you or tells you in person how great they think your business is, politely ask if they’d be willing to write a short testimonial for your website or post a review on a site like Yelp. These positive reviews can help your business rank more highly in the search engine listings, and they’ll also encourage the many people who use review sites as research tools to come visit your brick and mortar location.

Try drip marketing. This communication strategy involves sending shorter, pre-written messages to prospects over time. These messages are called “drips”, and they are designed to help lead a prospect to converting into a sale. If you have captured online leads, this is just one strategy available to you for following up via email marketing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Promoting Your Business on LinkedIn



About LinkedIn 
LinkedIn is the world's number one social network for establishing professional connections between both businesses and individuals. As with any other social network, LinkedIn facilitates content sharing and publication, but with a more professionally oriented approach. As a platform for social media marketing (SMM), LinkedIn's main potential concerns its power to connect businesses together in business-to-business (B2B) marketing or connect businesses with the general public whether to exchange ideas, cultivate authority or seek out new employees. Although LinkedIn is not a suitable platform for every type of business to include in their SMM strategies, it serves as an invaluable resource for others, particularly those in B2B industries. This guide takes a look at the inner workings of the LinkedIn platform to see if it is suitable for your business before guiding you through the best practices for using it as a marketing resource. 
LinkedIn was launched to the general public in May, 2003, making it almost a year older than Facebook. While that social networking giant still dominates in terms of numbers with over 1.2 billion active user accounts, LinkedIn has around 300 million user accounts. However, LinkedIn is not like the other major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Whereas these social networks are popular among individuals and for personal interaction as well as tools for online marketing, LinkedIn is primarily a professional networking site.
LinkedIn is available in twenty languages, and it is used in around 200 countries and regions around the world. Being the professional-orientated network that it is, by far the fastest growing demographic on LinkedIn includes graduates, and the site accepts an average of two new registrations every second. In addition, around 3 million companies have established LinkedIn company pages for marketing their businesses and reaching out to other businesses, individuals and potential job applicants. The network's popularity is also growing rapidly on the small screen as well, with over a third of its unique visitors coming from mobile apps.
How People and Businesses Use LinkedIn
Individuals use LinkedIn to create professional profiles rather like online CVs. They use these profiles to detail their professional experiences, including job experience, education and any other relevant information. At the same time, people can use their profiles to get in contact with previous professional connections as well as potential ones, such as employers, employees or potential leads (particularly in B2B marketing). For these reasons, LinkedIn is one of the most popular online platforms for people seeking jobs, particularly those in professional spheres.
Companies use LinkedIn both for marketing and recruitment. Being an online job advertising board as well as a virtual water cooler, the platform is ideal for building authority and exposure for many businesses as well as exchanging professional ideas. LinkedIn provides its company pages feature for businesses and organizations to create profiles for their businesses for a different kind of audience to those expected on Facebook and other major social networks. Where LinkedIn is strongest is establishing professional connections between businesses in B2B marketing.
For both companies and individuals, LinkedIn provides groups for specific professional interests, facilitating job recruitment and other professional connections.
How LinkedIn Can Help Your SMM Campaign
Although any business, regardless of its size and industry, can use LinkedIn for its recruiting efforts, businesses in certain industries will also find it to be an invaluable tool to include in their social marketing strategies. The various social activities which you can conduct using the platform for the benefit of your business include the following:
  • LinkedIn is by far the most popular online platform for establishing B2B marketing leads, and any industry which is concerned in generating leads from other businesses can expect to see around three times the conversion rates from using this platform than they can with Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Of course, your levels of success will vary depending on a number of factors, but some sure-fire ways to increase your chances include keeping your company page up-to-date, promoting relevant products and services regularly and seeking professional recommendations for them.
  • As a professional platform, LinkedIn is one of the most valuable resources for building up brand authority through thought leadership. In the highly competitive online world, building trust among your professional connections is key to building trust with your current and prospective consumers as well. The platform provides an invaluable set of features which help brands to provide important updates, share news about their companies' performance, achievements and new products and services as well as establish a more professional side to their businesses' online presence.
  • Businesses can use LinkedIn for positive engagement to reach out to potential customers including both businesses and individuals. Just like any other social network, it allows brands to engage their customers directly and build relationships based on these interactions. Customer engagement via LinkedIn can also be personalized, as with any other social network albeit with a more professional tone and approach. However, as is the case with any SMM platform, LinkedIn is not a place for blatant self-promotion and one-sided conversation.
Where LinkedIn really wins over the other social networks is that it offers business value due to the fact that it is based on the professional interests of both businesses and individuals. These characteristics make it the obvious go-to place for sharing important news and information about your brand in order to raise awareness, drive more traffic to your website and increase conversions. However, while LinkedIn does serve a more specific and unique purpose, this is not to say that the other social networks shouldn't also form a major part of your SMM strategy.
Best Practices for Success with LinkedIn
For the most part, all of the best practices which apply to SMM using any other social network also apply to LinkedIn albeit with a more professional and business-orientated approach. As is the case with any social network, marketing on LinkedIn means becoming part of a conversation and engaging your intended audience in the process. As is often the case with SMM, it is easy to convey an insincere approach by way of using blatant promotion and sales pitches, and this is not what social media marketing is all about. In order to succeed, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the general tips and guidelines for good social media etiquette by paying close attention to social stimuli and current trends. The following details the best practices for using LinkedIn as a marketing platform:
  • The first thing to do is set up your company page. Ensure that your company page and profile are complete, and keep all of the details up-to-date and consistent with your other online profiles at all times. Keeping your content up-to-date is essential for keeping your LinkedIn profile alive and conveying a professional image. Updates will also be displayed in the newsfeeds of your followers. You should also provide regular news updates on important company-related events, achievements, changes and product or service launches.
  • Keep a close eye on any responses to your posts, customer and business reviews and any questions which your followers may have. Social media is just as much about responding and answering questions as it is about posting. Be sure to address concerns and complaints and thank people for leaving positive feedback. In doing so, be transparent so that you can build up trust and authority in the eyes of your audience.
  • Follow your competitors' profiles on LinkedIn to see what they are doing. As a professionally orientated network, LinkedIn can provide invaluable insights by way of competitive intelligence while opening up a wealth of new B2B leads and marketing possibilities.
  • Follow up potential leads in a personal rather than promotional manner. If you find someone on LinkedIn who you believe may be a promising lead, do not think of that individual as someone you are trying to sell something to. Instead, personalize the way in which you contact them by addressing them directly and telling them what you have to offer and how you may be able to help them. Using personalized greetings rather than generic ones will greatly increase your chances of generating leads.
  • Use recommendations wisely, and do not go about soliciting them en-masse from people who you have not already established a high degree of trust with through two-way conversation. Recommendations are basically comments written by members to commend a business, professional partner, colleague or student. Genuine recommendations come from those who value your business and what it has to offer, not those which are obtained in a pushy manner.
  • Be wary of the type of content you share. The content you share on LinkedIn reflects your professional reputation far more than it does on other social network.
Once you have set up your LinkedIn company page and started gathering followers and getting involved in the community that you have established for yourself, you should start seeing results fairly quickly. However, from the very beginning, be sure to track your performance to determine which factors are driving you forward and which ones are holding you back.

AdWords gets dynamic, Yahoo gets Flurry and more



Adwords dyanmic links
AdWords, Yahoo, and don’t forget Google.

Let’s finish up the week with a couple of quick hits.
AdWords is adding deep linking, dynamic sitelinks to search ads. The links are automatically generated and added to the bottom of your existing ad based on searcher behavior.
For example:
When people use Google to search for used cars, they may perform multiple searches and click on several search results before scheduling a test drive on a dealer’s site. While searching, they might see an ad for Joe’s Used Cars with a dynamic sitelink for the test drive page on Joe’s website, based on the customer’s current search activity.
Nice way to get a relevant call to action without any additional effort on your part. (Other than a website with a variety of actionable content pages.)
 Yahoo!
Earlier this week, Yahoo declared their intentions to court mobile ad exchange network Flurry.
Our agreement to acquire Flurry is a meaningful step for the company and reinforces Yahoo’s commitment to building and supporting useful, inspiring and beautiful mobile applications and monetization solutions.
Here’s what Flurry is bringing to the marriage:
Over 170,000 developers are using the Flurry platform for analytics, ad monetization and traffic acquisition. Together, they have over 540,000 applications on our platform. That number has been constantly increasing since 2008 and it is showing no signs of stopping.
Yahoo is bringing around $200 million, which seems a little light. We’ll see how it goes.
91,000 people now have the right to be forgotten
Back in May, Google began accepting removal requests as part of the whole “right to be forgotten” rule. They received requests from 91,000 individuals covering 328,000 URLs. Wall Street Journal reports that Google has since processed a little more than 50% of the requests.
Not all requests are getting processed. 30% of requests were rejected and Google asked for clarification on another 12%. That still leaves quite a few mentions that are going to be stricken from the record.
I’m not surprised so many people want their past cleaned up. I am surprised that the majority of claims are legit. I’m also surprised that we haven’t seen more protests from people who think the internet shouldn’t be censored.
That’s it for me. Have a great weekend. I’ll see you back here on Monday.

(via)

How to Optimize Your Content Strategy With Social Listening

Follow me on Twitter! @woofer_kyyiv
Social media has grown drastically in the past decade. With several successful social networks, accompanied by the continuously broadening user base, the data and insights available through social listening can drastically help improve your marketing efforts.
If you aren't familiar with social listening, sometimes called social media monitoring, it is the practice of collecting tweets, Facebook shares, blog posts and much more, sorting through the data, and finding key insights and trends related to your product, service or industry.
Companies engaging in social media often leverage tools such as Sysomos, Radian 6, Hootsuite and others to "listen" and utilize this data to help inform their social strategy.
But social listening can actually do much more than inform your social strategy. It can help you find new keywords to target via paid search, find new networks or websites to run display ads on, and it can also help you optimize your content strategy.

Optimizing Your Content Strategy Through Social Listening

Having rich, unique, engaging content has become a solid way to help grow your business and audience. How that content is used is dictated by your business model, but the fact is, content plays a role in getting users to your website and getting them to come back for more.
One area where agencies and companies struggle is determining what content should create and provide to their audience. That's where social listening comes in.
Each day, millions and millions of tweets, status updates, Tumblr posts, and any other forms of social postings touch on a wide array of topics. Chances are, they are talking about your product, service, or industry. By understanding what is being said, you can help craft your content strategy.
For example, let's take a look at an industry such as yoga equipment. Through the social listening tool Sysomos, we can see that the term ‘yoga' was mentioned over 12.5 million times in the first half of the year across the most popular social networks.
Yoga Total Mentions
We also can see that a significant portion of the conversation is happening on Twitter. So let's dive deeper into that specific channel.
When using social listening tools, you can dive all the way down to specific blog post, forum post or even a tweet or status update. You also can look at trending information to understand what types of conversations occur most frequently.
Yoga Social Listening
In the case of yoga, various other terms are mentioned frequently alongside the term yoga. Due to the very broad nature of yoga, many people on Twitter are talking about products, working out, fitness and even some things that may not be related to your business. The great thing with social listening tools is you can constantly update your query. If you feel some of terms shown aren't relevant to your business, you can update your query to not include those terms.
This is the just the tip of the iceberg. Through social listening, you can understand who your most influential tweeters are related to your product or service. From there you can review the content they share, what questions they ask, and help inform what content you should have on your site.

Making Recommendations from Social Insights

Continuing with the yoga theme, if your business happens to sell yoga equipment, you can easily see there are significant conversations occurring around what type of equipment to buy. People new to yoga as well as aficionados both use social media to gather information prior to purchasing new mats and other gear.
While you could jump on your blog and create the next Top 10 Yoga Poses to Lose Weight post, your time may be better used creating something your audience is asking for.
By creating reviews and comparison shopping information related to your products, you answer their needs. Strengthening your product descriptions and providing insights on how specific gear matches up with body weight/size could help sway those users to making the purchase through your site.
You also can get an understanding of what format your audience wants content in. Instagram and other photo/video based social networks contain a significant amount of conversations related to yoga.
Search for #yoga on Instagram and you'll be bombarded with more than 5 million unique posts from this year. With many users sharing pictures of yoga poses with pristine backdrops, a company selling yoga products could potentially follow suit, and feature their products within the photos and videos they share.

Summary

This type of thinking is applicable to almost all businesses. If you understand what your customers are saying, what they need, and how they want to get it, you can craft the right content that meets their needs.
Unfortunately, just publishing great content isn't enough. You must also leverage social listening, content marketing, and SEO to ensure your audience reaches your content. But having an understanding of your audience and what they need is the first step.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Ensure Your SEO Strategy Delivers the Right Traffic

Red Bullseye
When it comes to SEO, achieving first page rankings and getting more traffic is one thing, but what about ensuring those rankings deliver the right type of traffic to your website, traffic that will actually convert into new customers?
Here are three steps to ensure that your SEO campaign delivers the right traffic to your website.

Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience

You know your customers. So, identifying your target audience should be the easy part, but when it comes to SEO, this isn't always the case. If you offer different service or product lines, your target audience may comprise of a number of different segments. This makes identifying your target audience for SEO purposes much more difficult.

How to Use Twitter Lead Gen Cards to Increase Newsletter Sign-ups

How to use Twitter Lead Gen Cards to Increase Newsletter Signups
Newsletters are an amazing marketing tool. The fans that regularly read your newsletter are often your most valuable brand advocates. They are the amplifiers that spread the good word about your brand.
Building a large newsletter audience can be tough, but there are some great tools out there to help you through the process. One of them is Twitter.
Marketers don't always think about Twitter as a tool to increase newsletter subscribers. Buried within Twitter analytics, there's a way to create a lead generation card.
Most marketers are initially discouraged from exploring the lead gen cards because it looks like you have to enter credit card information and pay for an ad campaign. But you that you can run these Twitter lead gen cards for free. Just don't promote it, and you never have to pay a dime.

Retailers Outspend Luxury Brands on Luxury Keywords in Paid Search [Report]

Luxury
In the battle for luxury shoppers, top retailers in 2013 outspent top luxury brands on Google AdWords paid search ads in four of five categories: apparel, beauty and cosmetics, shoes, and watches, according to a new AdGooroo report.
Handbags was the only category in which luxury brands outspent retailers.
Below is a breakdown of the investment in U.S. paid search spending for luxury apparel.
Luxury Brands vs Retailers Paid Search Spending on Luxury Keywords
In 2013 alone, five of the top personal luxury brands spent nearly $22 million on paid search in Google AdWords. This didn't include the money invested in mobile search or Product Listing Ads.
Let's look at some additional findings.

The Biggest Luxury Apparel Spenders

Which brands are investing the most in paid search for luxury apparel? Below you'll find the top 10 brands by spend. Louis Vuitton claimed first place with $1.3 million, which is more than double the next brand on the list.
Top 10 Luxury Apparel Brands by Paid Spend
Retailers aren't far behind in their ad spend. In fact, many retailers spent more than the luxury apparel brands themselves on PPC. You'll notice that six of the top 10 retailers by spend are department stores.
Top 10 Retail Advertisers on Luxury Apparel Keywords by Spend

Luxury Beauty & Cosmetics

For their 2013 report, AdGooroo collected data on 810 luxury beauty and cosmetic keywords. There is a significant gap in spend between the top brands and retailers and those that came in at the end of the top 10.
Top 10 Luxury Beauty & Cosmetics Brands vs Retailers Paid Search Spend

Luxury Footwear Brands & Retailers

The ads spend for luxury shoes is significantly less than that of luxury apparel and luxury beauty and cosmetics. Here are the top 10 brands and retailers by ad spend:
Top 10 Luxury Shoes Brands vs. Retailers Paid Search Spend

Luxury Handbags

Chanel, the top brand by spend in the handbag category spent $816,000 in 2013 while the brand in tenth place (Burberry) spent only $53,000. The gap was not so significant between retailers with Neiman Marcus spending $480,000 in position number one and The Luxury Closet spending $135,000 for 2013.
Top 10 Luxury Handbag Brands vs Retailers Paid Search Spend

Luxury Watches

It's no surprise that Rolex came in number one in Paid Search by spend with $149,000. The next brand (Cartier) spent $50,000 less on paid search. Below you'll find the breakdown by brand and retailers for the top ten by spend in each category.
Top 10 Luxury Watch Brands vs Retailers Paid Search Spend

What Are Advertisers Getting for their Investment?

Based on the significant investment that advertisers are making in paid search, it is essential that we understand what their impression share is off of that budget.
  • Louis Vuitton's ad spend far surpassed that of any other brand or retailer in luxury apparel. However they only had a 3.45 percent impression share, and was steamrolled by retailers.
  • The top retailers by spend in beauty and cosmetics got their money's worth. Amazon came in with nearly 11 percent of share of voice, but brands didn't fair so well in this category.
  • Retailers also dominated luxury shoes. Saks Fifth Avenue, which had the top spend for retail, had a 9.87 percent impression share.
  • Amazon and Saks Fifth Avenue also dominated handbags, with 6.79 percent and 5.06 percent impression share, respectively.
  • Websites that sold luxury watches at a discounted price were winning the war in this category. The top retail spender was authenticwatches.com and they had the highest impression share, 8.72 percent.
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