Category Archives: Online Marketing

Klout- what’s the score?

Klout3

Klout is a relatively new concept and is the measured score of your influence across social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Klout score is available on a website or app and uses analytics focused on your business’s social media sites to work out a score between 1-100 based on your interaction and general activity on social media sites. The higher the score the more klout you have generated, celebrity profiles such as Obama and Justin Beiber boast klout scores of 99 and 93, around 30 is the normal score for the average tweeter though. Klout score measures the size of your business’s account on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Wikipedia although it started on Twitter- all Twitter users are automatically assigned a score. Klout is influenced by the follower and following count, retweets, unique mentions, how many spam or dead accounts follow you and so on, from a business perspective it is far more beneficial to have an organically grown business account, with a real person running it compared to one that posts on a timer etc.

From a business perspective klout matters; klout’s score attributes towards your websites page ranking and general online presence, it influences your key performance indicators, or KPI’s, which is very important from a marketing perspective. Your business’s klout score is there and whether or not you pay attention to it, it does exist and when used properly it aids businesses to gain the recognition for their strong presence online. Often klout is overlooked or considered a pointless score as anyone who is capable and has time to move content around on social media sites that then provokes reaction, meaning people and businesses can fake their klout simply by making sure they’re tweeting and interacting, usually via spamming. Klout should be seen as being so much more though; a reflection of your success when networking and communicating through your business, popularity as well as your content quality are all factors that assist with a strong klout score. Some of the most influential people in the world, such as Obama, have very high klout score because they are simply very popular public figures, provoking reaction with anything they say. Klout score is becoming increasingly more important as businesses realise how important social media and SEO has become from a marketing perspective and maintaining an online profile is sometimes more beneficial than the old fashioned approach of marketing a company via networking etc.

In America Journalism students have been graded purely on their klout score and it is becoming very commonplace on interview for online marketing jobs to check your klout score when interviewing a candidate to ensure they are walking the walk when it comes to mastering social media and SEO. This is an extreme of example of just how influential klout can be, and although most companies don’t have that much focus on klout score, it has become an important element within a successful marketing strategy.

The Plus Sides to Google +


google pic

When it comes to social media sites Google+ is the newest social networking site creating a buzz in the online marketing world. Launched by the search engine giants’ Google, Google+ or G+, is the latest social media site creating a storm online and has been attracting attention from all over the world with businesses in particular taking a shine to the ‘professional’ and more business orientated which is one of the reasons why it is perfect for growing your business from a marketing point of view. As it is relatively under the radar in terms of social media sites Google+ has, until now, been left alone by businesses looking to expand their online marketing strategy but there are many reasons why you should be signing up to this new social site:

  1. Google is the most recognised brand in the world alongside Cocoa-Cola and Apple, making it very worthwhile to  be a part of
  2. Google is the number one search engine, forcing Bing and Yahoo to fade into the ether of the internet- use this to your advantage in terms of search engine results for your website
  3. G+ is the equivalent to Facebook in social networking sites but has a more professional approach than its competitor, making it ideal for businesses and companies looking to create a professional and social profile.
  4. Content shared and ‘plus oned’ on G+ sends a positive signal to Google that your content is good and worth reading, this helps gain page rank whilst creating a strong site recognised by the search engine.
  5. A recent investment, made by Google themselves, of half a billion dollars into the social media site indicates just how important they envisage G+ being in the future. If its good enough for Google, it must be good enough for your business
  6. G+ allows you to target very specific communities and groups on the social media site, relevant to your business
  7. Make the most of the current low key reputation Google+ has and promote your business in a small community with less competition. The more you build your profile now whilst G+ is relatively unused the less you will need to do when more companies sign up and try to create competition.
  8. Use the fact that it is now the second largest social media site in the world to your business’s advantage! Join the community and benefit from a global audience at your fingertips
  9. Google+ is seen as a ‘pure’ social site as it is free of adverts whereas Facebook generates a large amount of its profits from advertising alone. A ‘cleaner’ user experience will only benefit your followers as well as business connections by using G+, adding to its professional approach to social networking.
  10. Lastly, you should take the massive hint as being suggested by Google themselves and sign up to G+, because Google said so! Use their social media site and reap the benefits of maximised SEO and positive signals- all being read by the search engine themselves.

 

The underground buzz surrounding Google+ is beginning to reach the mainstream in terms of online marketing and social media strategies so why not sign up and make the most if this relatively new site and take the opportunity to build a profile for your business whilst the competition is still ‘liking’ away on Facebook.

10 of the best iPhone Apps for Marketers

iPhone apps

The Apple app store has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception in 2008, as of April 2013 the store has a total of more than 45 billion total downloads and close to one million unique applications.

These apps fulfil many purposes from simple games to useful tools for marketers. We’ve assembled ten of the most useful and popular apps that will help you manage and market your business wherever you are.

1. TweetDeck

TweetDeck allows you to manage many of your social networking accounts from one place, although originally designed a way to manage your Twitter feeds, the app also supports Facebook, Instagram and other popular services.

Use TweetDeck to manage your social networking accounts as well as bulk schedule content for your business accounts.

See Also; Hootsuite and Twitterrific

2. WordPress

Many sites and blogs are supported by WordPress, with this app blogging on the move is easy. Whether you’ve forgotten to post a certain article or you’ve had a great idea whilst your travelling the WordPress app allows you to update and maintain your blog wherever you are.

You can also respond to any comments you may have received or add images and videos to your existing blogs.

3. Linkedin

The official Linkedin App functions exactly as the desktop site, the app will help keep you up to date with your connections, you can also extend your existing network by adding and communicating with other businesses and individuals.

4. Mashable

Mashable is one of the most popular sites on the web, delivering the latest news on technology, social networking, online marketing and general internet-related news.

Search by category, news or via author. Mashable is a great source for blogging inspiration, ideas as well as useful topics for discussion.

5. DropBox

The DropBox app allows you to store, sync and share folders online. DropBox has an easy to use interface, making it a popular tool for businesses and office based companies.

Dropbox works on both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity so you’ll have access to your files wherever you are.

6. Google Drive

Google Drive offers a similar service to DropBox, more importantly it allows you to edit, share and create files through the use of Google Docs, which has become immensely popular with businesses.

7. TED

The TED app presents talks and discussions from some of the most well-renowned people in the business world. TED videos are updated on a weekly basis so look out for discussions relative to your business.

8. AnalyticsPro

As the name suggests the AnalyticsPro app enables you to go through your Google Analytics reports straight from your iPhone. Track the analytics and web stats of your website or blog, check your best and worst performing pages as well as your bounce rate.

9. SEO Tool

A very useful app for site owners, track the position of your sites in Google, Bing etc.. Check your site’s ranking for specific keywords wherever you are.

10. Reeder

This RSS app works with Google Reader and Readability and is a great way to keep up with all of your news interests. This is an easy tool to use and can be synched with your iPad or Mac device.

iphone apps

Social media: How do you use yours?

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Social media is the ‘cool kid’ in town when it comes to online marketing and expanding businesses via the internet, but it is far more complicated than simply setting up a facebook page and asking your friends to ‘Like’ your stuff. Using social media platforms should be a strategy you use to gain klout and strong back links directly to your website as well as expanding business and building connections and by simply giving your company a bit of personality you will stand out on these various sites, gaining more followers etc.

When using a social media sites there are a few things to consider when adapting your approach on each platform and using each website to favour your business and maximise the potential social media could have for your business. Tweeting should be treated as a totally different concept to blogging, liking on Facebook and re-pinning- remembering the etiquette for each will not only benefit your business but ensure you are using social media to the best of its potential. Utilising each site as a tool to connect directly with customers, potential customers and B2B contacts is a great strategy for enhancing your marketing as long as you approach them in the right way.

Twitter- Businesses tend to use Twitter to interact and respond with customers and potential customers as it is a direct, short and instant social media site- perfect for immediate connections. Twitter forces users to use 140 characters which is great for a business to keep interest by asking direct questions, encouraging people to reply, retweet and favourite your posts. Companies benefit from using Twitter as it gives large corporations a ‘friendly’ human face to a product or company which people can relate to and feel valued when they give a response. Remember you don’t need to strictly use Twitter just to appear professional and business-like, it invites businesses to get involved with Twitter trends such as #FF and other other trends relevant to the day.

Facebook- Facebook is notoriously more difficult to gain likes and following as a business as the users tend to only be interested in connecting and communicating with their friends and families, not businesses. Try to use this as an opportunity to engage your friends with longer status updates, competitions and blog posts, engaging people to read and react on your facebook page. Share articles amongst other businesses and spend a bit more time building your facebook page with pictures which will encourage people to ‘like’ and comment. Facebook allows your business to have more of a personality too so use this to the best of your company’s advantage

Tweeting, blogging and facebook ‘liking’ can sometimes be seen as a waste of valuable time for a business, especially a smaller company who perhaps need to spend the time doing more constructive activities. However businesses are beginning to see how much customers appreciate and enjoy the interaction on social media sites, especially when the posts and likes are un-work related. Bringing banter from a company profile will make you more following just through being entertaining and interesting. Of course this does not suit every businesses tone or approach and would need to be carefully considered by the executive before a personality is decided when using social media. The method of bringing a company’s quirky side out via twitter and facebook has proved very successful for the likes of Innocent smoothies and even Heathrow Airport, so if its good enough for their business then why not consider it as an approach for your own.

Blogging for your Business; 3 Reasons to blog

reasons to blog

Many businesses have active blogs, if your business doesn’t have one then I suggest you should certainly read on.

Have you ever wondered why businesses insist on dedicating time and resources to routinely updating their blogs?

Blogging really took off in the early days of the internet, initially as a way to provide a way to share unique thoughts and information, this is still the case for bloggers, celebrities and journalists alike.

There are many advantages to having a blog, we’ll look to explain some of the benefits in this blog…

1. SEO Rankings

Blogging Matters-Just ask Google

Unbeknownst to some people blogging can benefit your SEO rankings, Google looks to rank sites that regularly update and contribute new information.

Blogging is one of the best ways to do this, after all there’s only so much you’ll want to update the static pages on your site.

Google puts emphasis on keywords, through the use of a blog you can share information that targets these keywords in order to improve your place on a search engine’s SERPs.

Tip; Always remember to SEO optimise your blog posts to target a keyword relevant to your business.

2. Hook your audience

A blog gives your audience a reason to revisit your site, directing traffic to your page in the process. Some will visit your site purely to read the content on your blog, so bear this in mind.

3. Free Marketing

By building your reputation as a ‘blogger’ you market yourself in the process, being recognised as an author that contributes useful information can potentially bring publicity, in the process you’ll extend your network on sites like Google+, Twitter and Linkedin.

Blogging is free, even if you’re not getting the kind of traffic you’d like, at least you’re adding pages and information to your website that will improve the experience for the user.

10 Tips To Get a Retweet

retweet

Undertaking a successful Twitter marketing campaign requires valuable time and resources, it can be very frustrating to devote so much time to social media marketing without getting the results you need.

Luckily, we’ve gathered ten of the best tips to help your business get the right results;

1. Install a Twitter button

Many websites have their own Twitter ‘button’ that directs traffic to your Twitter feed, Twitter recently launched their own official button.

Tip: If your website directs a decent level of traffic, then it’s a good idea to drive some of those numbers towards your social media channels.

2. Repeat your best Tweets

Keep an eye on your most successful Tweets, for instance if you’ve asked a question that’s getting a lot of responses, make a note and save it for a later date. Some of your followers may have missed that particular Tweet so bear that in mind, keeping track of your most successful info is a valuable aspect of the social media learning curve.

Note; You will of course need to be careful of being perceived as spam, if possible try and rephrase your tweets to avoid this.

3. Including @mentions to those you’ve referenced

Always include the username of those you’ve mentioned in a post, letting them know you’re giving them a shout-out. If you don’t mention them via the @ tool then the person you’ve mentioned will not be aware that you’ve included them.

4. Trending Topics

Particularly if you’re operating a business Twitter account it’s a good idea to get involved with topics that are relevant to your industry.

For instance an electronics retailer would look to play an active part within the discussion surrounding the new Playstation 4.

Trending topics offer a useful way to tap in to a never ending stream of tweets, which many people will be viewing, getting some valuable exposure for your business.

5. Use Quotes

Whilst quoting Marilyn Monroe may get a lot of people’s attention it’s unlikely to be relevant to your business, try and find quotes that are both useful and applicable to the information you share. Quotes are often shared between users, so try them for yourselves.

6.Tweet Links

Your Twitter account has to offer a service to your followers, offering them a link that they may find interesting may get you some valuable retweets.

Tip; Try sending your visitors to websites that aren’t related to your business to avoid being too promotional.

7. Keep an eye on the most retweeted phrases

Words such as blog, social, free, help, follow are some of the most searched for phrases on Twitter, try to include them whenever you can.

8. Run a Twitter contest

Contests are much more likely to ‘go viral’ than just sharing information, try offering your users a prize for retweeting your information, you’ll be surprised at how much attention you can attract.

9. Time your Tweets

There are peak times to tweet your information, different times attract different demographics. For instance information shared in the morning will attract those sat at their desks, Tweets after 5 PM will be targeted towards those on the way home from work who may not be interested in talking about work.

10. Try Promoting Others

Twitter is a community, by taking an interest in other people’s business you increase the chance they’ll show interest in yours, you can also form long term relationships which may result in more retweets in the future.

Reaching the Premier League: Marketing & Cardiff City Football Club

marketing cardiff city

We take a look at the implications of reaching the promised land for Cardiff City from a marketing perspective as they join their rivals Swansea City in the Premier League.

Benefits of Reaching the Premier League

Experts suggest that reaching the top flight of the English league is worth around 90 million pounds to any given club, taking in to account the potential parachute payment the clubs receive should they get relegated.

The sum may be even greater when you consider how marketable clubs become to outside parties when they reach the Premier League.

Impact on the City

Promotion not only benefits the club itself but the city surrounding it, the city of Cardiff will receive a windfall in tourism with thousands (more) football fans visiting the city on a weekly basis.

“It’s fantastic advertising you could not pay for because it’s a completely new market of people”

  • Tony McGetrick, Tourism Chairman for Swansea Bay

With a Premier League Football Club in the city of Cardiff, the city itself becomes more marketable which will certainly provide a significant boost to the Welsh economy.

cardiff city v swansea city

Graph illustrating searches for Cardiff City FC (blue) and Swansea City FC (Red)

In the last decade Cardiff City football club have racked up more searches in total than Swansea City, until Swansea reached the Premier League in 2011. Searches for the two clubs spike towards the end of each season, particularly when they approach promotion.

As you can see tee teams become more marketable as they approach the top flight, interest also spiked in the teams as they both reached the Carling Cup final respectively.

Marketing and Cardiff City

marketing cardiff

If you want to take a look at the effect the marketing industry can have on a football club then Cardiff City is a prime example, after all the club controversially re-branded itself this season to be more appealing to the ever-expanding Asian market.

Much to the dismay of the fans, the club re-branded this year as a result of the choices made by its Malaysian owner Vincent Tan. The chairman sought to make the club marketable to the Asian market by re-branding the club, redesigning the crest and the team’s kit in the process.

The club had previously worn blue since 1908, red was chosen as a more appealing colour to the Asian Market. In exchange Cardiff’s owners settled their debt, built a new training facility and improved their transfer budget.

Cardiff fans may have become more open to the idea this week, as the re-branding of the club has allowed them to reach the Premier League for the first time.

“There has been a lot of disappoint in that time and the backroom staff and directors here have been through some tough times. Obviously the players and especially the people of Cardiff have been waiting a long time to be back in the top division and we’ve never been in the Premier League.” – Cardiff Manager Malky Mackay

What Social Network is right for your Business?

social network

If your business is yet to tap in to the social networking market then perhaps it’s a matter of picking the right site for your business.

Despite its advantages not every social networking site will be suitable for your business, whilst bigger brands may be able to spread time and resources over several sites, a smaller business may be looking to concentrate on one or two sites that are relative to their business model.

The key for smaller business is to devote as much time as possible finding it which site is right for them, luckily we’ve prepared some info that should help you decide.

social network

Facebook:

With one billion active monthly users Facebook is still the dominant force in social networking, despite other sites making inroads in the market.

Good for;

  • Connecting with your current customers
  • Sharing visual information
  • Communicating with the largest audience in social media
  • Business to consumer companies

Negatives;

  • Hard to build a reputation without brand identity
  • Customers will usually only ‘like’ trusted brands
  • Not as contextually focused as other sites
  • Difficult to break in to social circles

research tools

Twitter:

Twitter is Facebook’s main rival, making the most significant impact on social media in recent years experts suggest that this site is better prepared for the future as far as the mobile market is concerned.

Good for:

  • Sharing contextually related information
  • Quick, real time, microblogging
  • Targeting a relevant demographic
  • Building a following quickly

Negatives;

  • Followers have to click through to images
  • Limited to 140 characters
  • Easy to spam your audience

google+

Google+;

Google+ is a newcomer to the social networking sphere but it already has 400 million users, its presence is only going to improve with the search engine giving precedent to its own social network, Google+ is set to become an SEO ranking factor.

Good for

  • Business Communities that allow discussion on relevant topics
  • SEO Rankings
  • B2B businesses

Negatives;

  • Not as popular for B2C
  • Social Media newcomer
  • Not as widely recognised as others

linkedin

Linkedin;

Linkedin is rapidly expanding, adding millions of new users every month, the site is becoming a must have for any business looking to network.

  • The most highly targeted B2B site on the web
  • Extremely professional
  • Serves as a directory for businesses

Negatives;

  • Difficult to network, require permission to connect with other users
  • Not as ‘social’ as other sites
  • Difficult to make connections without brand recognition

Pinterest

Pinterest;

Pinterest can be a very good asset for a business that can share products and visual imagery and was the fastest growing social network in 2012.

  • Great for B2C businesses
  • Excellent for advertising products
  • One of the most visually targeted social media sites

Negatives;

  • Unsuitable for B2B businesses
  • Difficult to market without a visible product
  • Not so effective for service based businesses
  • Difficult to share text based content

So there you have five major social networking sites on the web, as you can see not every site will be suitable for every business, this largely depends on your product and the nature of your business but each site has distinct advantages.

Using Facebook to maximise your marketing

facebook

A recent survey has suggested that Facebook receives 3.2 billion likes and comments on average every single day, these figures are incredibly impressive and should not be dismissed when considering the use of Facebook to maximise your business online.

With the impressive usage as well as ever-strong branding Facebook has globally, it is no wonder this free and easy to use social media platform is one of the most popular form of marketing for any business.

Free to use- Creating a page on Facebook page for your business can happen within five minutes and costs nothing but can make all the difference to their profit. With such easy access to a powerful social media platform it makes sense to utilise Facebook as a free, easy to use tool to enhance your business potential and expand your network quickly.

This is particularly useful for smaller companies and businesses on smaller marketing budgets as social media can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool when utilised properly and they all still remain completely free to use.

Invest the time- Investing the time in your Facebook page not only makes your readers ‘share’ and generate interest around your page but it increases the growth of your business with little to no effort. By investing a small amount of time on your company’s Facebook page and creating a strong presence with ‘likes’ you are securing your company’s inclusion in conversations and acquiring connections with people online.

Generate interest on your page for free with images and videos that attract and grab attention, they don’t have to be related to your business but just something that will generate interest and activity on your page and encourage people to talk about your company and mention your business.

Visual aids- As mentioned previously Facebook actively encourages people to interact and generate interest with images and video sharing. Pictures keep people interested and are far more popular than lengthy blogs and by creating interest around your business’s account with quirky imagery your popularity on Facebook will quickly increase.

This also refers to the branding of social media sites such as Facebook as the logos have become very powerful brands in their own right. Seen everywhere from adverts on television to posters on the street, the social media icons are powerful enough to appear on the front page of your company’s website and people will immediately know what they are.

Recently SEO experts have found that strong and regular activity on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, generates more traffic on the business website and therefore enhances your page ranking. By maintaining any sort of presence on these huge social media sites can make all the difference when it comes to SEO and page rank and are all completely free to use.

Linking your business’s homepage to your social media sites and vice versa will not only ensure a better flow of traffic and general visits but enhance your page ranking overall, maximising your SEO and presence as a business.

The 360* Approach to Online Marketing

online marketing
One of the main pitfalls businesses often fall in to during their online marketing campaign is the concept of relying too heavily on one aspect of the spectrum.

Too frequently a business relies on a singular approach, it’s these businesses that are often hit by changes in Google’s algorithm. Similarly those who rely too heavily on paid search may be missing out on the benefits of an effective SEO strategy, often all you need to undertake a successful SEO campaign is patience and the relevant expertise rather than significant monetary investment.

The more efficiently all aspects of your online marketing strategy work together the more focus Google will place on the content you share and in turn the higher your pages will rank within Google’s SERPs.

A good place to start is with an audit of your website which can illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of your site. From there, you can re-evaluate your selection of keywords as well as your overall content strategy, you can also take a look at which aspects of SMM would suit your business.

It’s important to question whether your content strategy is working effectively, so it’s a good idea to measure the engagement of your blogs, tweets etc.. How many comments, shares and likes are you receiving on a regular basis.

Google Analytics is a great tool to use to measure the strength of your online presence.

What your business focuses on largely depends on your goals and the nature of your presence but as a general rule it’s a good idea to take a holistic approach that includes as many features as possible.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):

Keyword Research

On-Page & Off-Page SEO

Link Building

Social Media Marketing (SMM):

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Linkedin

Pinterest

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Google Adwords

Facebook Paid Advertising

Linkedin Paid Advertising

Stumbleupon Paid Advertising

Online Press Releases:

Copywriting

Distribution

If your business is neglecting any of these major aspects then it may be time to revise your online marketing strategy.