Category Archives: Branding

Understanding the Conversion Suite

How Google Analytics can Improve Your Conversion Rates

Go beyond counting page-views and visitors with the Conversion Suite in Google Analytics. This application will help you observe how your online marketing efforts come together to drive more traffic to your website. Find out whether enough people download, share and engage with your content. Understand what made users like your website and why others don’t. Your findings with the Conversion Suite will help you improve your site for the better and meet your marketing goals.

Analyze visitor behavior once they access your website. Do they linger and look for the content they seek? Do they find it? Use Goals to measure how well you meet individual objectives. You may want to see how many downloads certain files get or learn the number of hits a new page generates. Set clear goals and evaluate whether they are fulfilled. Set up goals to track each time a user completes an occurrence. This will help you understand how to drive people towards the results you want to happen.

Every time a user performs an action you assigned Google to track, a conversion occurrence is noted in your data. Establish a monetary value for each goal, and soon you’ll see how much your conversions are worth. Analyze how this plays out in reports such as site search, visitor reports, and more.

Visitor Behavior

What are the common types of goals?

1. Destination – A user applied for membership on your site and registered his personal details like email and birthday. Once the registration was completed, the user was led to a page saying, “Thank you for registering. Please access your email and click on the confirmation link sent.”User opens email and confirms his application. A new page pops up and says, “Thank you for confirming!” This page marks the Destination Goal. This will ring a conversion, which will be included in the report. Use Destination Goal with a Funnel for more effective use.

2. Visit Length – This Goal works well on pages where browsing intervals are important. For example, you have an ecommerce site. The number of minutes that users spend looking at and selecting products are important to measure. Use this Goal to learn how long a user hangs around a website.

3. Pages per Visit (for web) / Screens per Visit (for apps)–Want to learn how many pages an Internet user looks at before leaving the site? How many screens a mobile app user browses? Use this Goal to determine the number. This will help you learn whether your web design and content grab attention or not.

4. Event – Set up Event Tracking and define a user action as an Event to use this Goal. It may be that you want to measure a certain event, like comment posting, social recommendation, downloads, or some other user actions. Use this Goal to find out if users perform a certain action you’d like them to do. The success or failure of this ‘experiment’ will help you think of ways to better improve the page you’re monitoring.

 

Goal Funnels:

The purpose of a Funnel is to let you set the path on which a user’s footprints can be measured. With this feature, you’ll learn which page is not functioning well. A user may follow the usual steps but leaves the middle of the path supposed to be taken to complete a goal and earn a conversion. You may realize that the page where the user stopped loads slowly or not functioning as well as it should.

Ecommerce Reporting

Track what your visitors find interesting. Do they linger at a specific product page? Which merchandise gets the most number of hits? How many times do certain users (the regular buyers) visit? How long does it take them to complete a purchase? These questions will be answered once you monitor your website for ecommerce efficiency.

With this feature, you can find out which of your products sell well and which ones don’t. You can improve your marketing strategies based on the data the analytics will gather. Do customers leave before transactions are completed? They might be having difficulties with a particular page.

Multi-Channel Funnels

Trace how a user completes an action (e.g. buying a product online or downloading a file) with multi-channel funnels. With this feature, you can see how your online marketing efforts contributed to making users complete transactions. The reports show what channels customers have accessed during the 30-day period before a purchase. This will disclose which channels mostly affect customer decision, what usual paths customers take before the transaction and other details.

 

Different Visitor Pathways

Site navigation is the catchphrase when it comes to understanding how visitors use pathways in accessing your site. Learn where they enter, get stuck and get the results they want. Maintain the good points and improve the bad ones to continue attracting more visitors to your website. Flow Visualization will show graphical presentations of the paths taken by visitors from the source, through the pages and the exit pages. Goal Funnels works with the data gathered from the Goals. These help determine if the pages are effective enough in attracting traffic and helping users go where they need to be in the website.

 

Attribution Modeling

Attribution Modeling is available in Google Analytics Premium. This feature allows you to build and personalize marketing attribution models. Create and compare different marketing models to determine what works and help you develop better marketing campaigns.

 

Start using Google Analytics to improve your conversion rates today! With these tools, you can improve your website to make it more navigable and user-friendly for all your visitors.

 

Reference:

Google Analytics Conversion Suite

Plotting the Way to the American Teen’s Heart

Online and Mobile Marketing Tips for Teen-Targeted Businesses

The teens will soon become the future buyers. How do they behave online? Are they any different from the usual Internet user who’s more active on weekends?

For American teens, it is important to remain connected almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. According to AWeber Communications, teenagers feel that they would be communication-handicapped without cellphones and Internet connection.

This is because American teenagers nowadays are much influenced by technology. They have rich online lives in the social networks they belong to. They call and send text messages more often than other age demographics. They’re also not much used to living without a mobile phone within reach and a computer with Internet connection in their vicinity. Existing without these two commodities makes for a very dull life, indeed.

This creates a need for businesses to step up their campaigns to be more visible in the Internet. Mobile technology is also rapidly developing to make web browsing convenient for smartphone users. Teenagers love to surf web pages on their phones; it makes sense for you as an entrepreneur to invest on a mobile website or app.

The Internet is so pervasive in the life of a normal American teenager. They’re connected to the online world from the time they wake up before they go to sleep. There’s…

  • email to check – time to start some email campaigns)
  • people to text or call during the commute – SMS campaigns, anyone?
  • zone out the teacher and check social networking account in class – set campaigns around the 8 am to 7 pm mark
  • Getting home after school? Time for YouTube surfing. – create a video to engage those online tweens
  • Going on a date? Update your friends on every word said with your phone. – Restaurant businesses, take notice! Put your bistro on Google Maps.
  • Skype chats before going to bed – it’s time to ask Skype if ads are allowed during chats.

Facebook, of course, is no stranger to the American teen. Surprisingly, it’s email that’s grabbling with the almighty FB for attention. It’s a neck-and-neck race between these two. This points out the need for more email marketing. Take note, though, of the best practices in email advertising campaigns. Follow the rules so your messages will not considered spam.

Reach out to the teens in the house with an aggressive Facebook campaign. This social network, so far, is the most popular hub for teenagers next to YouTube, according to Huffington Post. Start brainstorming with the staff on how to get teens on board your store to buy your merchandise!

Confused yet on what tools to use for your social media marketing campaigns? Here are the popular online hubs of the American teen:

Start communicating with teens online. Cultivate relationships with them now to earn lifelong customers for the future. Conduct your advertising campaigns to the teenage market now!

 

References:

AWeber.com

Huffington Post

Enticing Customers with Online Ads

Catching Attention with Online Display Ads

You’re browsing the Internet, looking for how-to articles on de-clogging the toilet and new recipes to try out for today’s dinner. Suddenly, you see an animated ad on top of the web page you’re currently browsing. It’s about getting tickets for a trip to the exotic tropical islands of the Bahamas. How likely are you to click that display ad?

Many will answer that no, they will ignore that ad. It might be a bogus advertisement that’s trying to trick people into downloading a file that will harm computers. Others will say they’re intrigued and will check out the site listed on the ad later on. Only a small number will actually click on the ad, which leads to the tour agency’s website. Why are some people not attracted to such ads?

According to Gilad de Vries, Vice President of Brands and Agencies at Outbreak, a content discovery platform, display ads fail to “truly create the kind of emotional experience that gets consumers excited about your brand.” He further adds that it’s hard to tell a story that will seize people’s attention and make them interested about your merchandise, message or marketing copy.

In a way, de Vries is right to declare that display ads can be ineffective compared with other marketing strategies. Content marketing, search engine optimization, social media advertising, and other promotional approaches are more efficient in attracting traffic. These catch more attention because they deliberately publicize in front of their target audience. These methods also provide content that successfully reels in involved readers and feeds them enough information to sustain their interest.

Online ads, on the other hand, don’t often have space enough for an intriguing marketing copy that would be catchy and appealing. These little boxes we see on top, sides, and middle of the web page rely on short, catchy phrases to deliver their sales talk. Take these images as examples:Do you think these ads will become popular? Most likely not. The combination of blue and electric pink clash against each other. Other than that, the woman on the picture is a bit mysterious, especially for those with poor vision. They would not immediately see that the woman is looking at an online storage instrument because the color of the machine matches the dark background. The second image does not effectively inform viewers what Goodnet is all about. The tagline does not efficiently tell what this company is. People might get the idea that this ad is from a religious group when, in fact, it’s from a social organization that strives to inspire good will.

These types of ads just encourage website visitors to ignore them. Many people have this built-in monitor for ads trying to sell them something. Other web users also have ad-blocking software that prevents ads from showing up on the web pages users are browsing.

Determined to use ads for your marketing campaigns? It might be better to use other online marketing techniques instead. You must first establish a name for your business on the web to get much out of ads. There is more brand recognition and recall that way. Starting your business? You might want to ask for advertising space from less-known websites. It’s more affordable, but you might have to wait awhile before you see returns on your investment.

Take advantage of free banner ad creation. Rely on a professional graphic artist to provide you with high-quality catchy ads that will catch attention and market your company well. Poorly designed ads will not warrant at least a two-second glance. Make ads that will make people stare and read the message or persuade them to click and visit your website.

Look at these ads and decide whether you’d click them or not.You’ll probably click on the first ad. Accenture’s a well-known company name involved in the business process outsourcing industry. Then, there’s KAPLAN, an examination tutorial center. Browsers will be interested because of the emphasis on ‘FREE.’ This old advertising technique is a classic for a reason—the promise of high-quality service for free is rather intriguing. Sotheby’s used an appealing picture. A beautiful estate is framed in the backdrop of snow-capped mountains against a blue sky. This image is effective marketing content in itself because it attracts the browser to click and find more information about the photograph. SAS as an ad also inspires trust in people who see it. It is evidently well-made with sharp graphics and smartly-written message.

Why not try making your own banner ad? You might hit it big if you work with people knowledgeable in online display ads and have established their names in the industry.

 

References:

Forbes.com

HowStuffWorks.com

Pictures are from dictionary.com, forbes.com, and goodnet.org

Social Media and the Changing Times

How the Advancements of Technology is Changing the Way We Communicate

Times fly by, indeed. Before the 1960s, the images we used to see in television were black and white. There were more newspapers, pamphlets, magazines and other print materials where businesses advertise their products and services. The radio was popular back then: news, dramas, music and other entertainment programs.

Now, we have different types of color televisions from HDTVs (High-Definition Televisions) to LCD TVs (Liquid-Crystal Televisions) to plasma screens.  Radio may have become more portable, but people are turning to other forms of media where they can listen to music. Book sales are neck-and-neck with ebooks. Newspapers and magazines are cutting back on publication costs, as more people prefer to read news and feature articles on the web.

People born in the 1940s sometimes express nostalgia over the media gone past and show wonder over the newfangled appliances and ideas today. How times change, they say.

The older generations are right. Since the late years of the 20th century, innovation has borne the computer, and then the Internet. Email came, and letters coming from the post office dwindled. Websites started sprouting from online shopping sites to websites showing off different types of merchandise. There came websites that function like the heavy tomes of encyclopedia we used to browse in libraries. News transferred to the web and gets updated in real time. Personal blogs also became more attractive reading material than magazines featuring the same content.

Pictures seem to be sharper and more colorful, too, because of Photoshop and other photo-editing software. The list can go on and on. Here’s a table that details the latest changes:

Jeff Bullas, a social media expert, further narrates the challenges of conventional media:

  • It’s not searchable (You need to access old files to view newspaper archives in libraries and publication houses).
  • It cannot be viewed when you want (Television shows run on a strict schedule).
  • It cannot be accessed on the hardware platform you prefer to use (e.g. tablet, computer or mobile devices).
  • It doesn’t build an online asset for the brand.

How do we reconcile both traditional and modern means of communication? Although current media such as the Internet may be more effective, marketing campaigns should not set down and throw away their traditional advertising campaigns. Many people still watch television, read newspapers and listen to the radio. The only differences are the demographics and the techniques used to convey messages to target audiences. For example, the younger generation flocks more to the online social networks while the more mature age group is inclined to traditional media.

Other people used to the convenience of today’s technology might say that online media has the advantage over traditional media. They may be right. However,  there’s a certain nostalgic feeling, a longing evoked by conventional media. The rustle of broadsheet pages, the glossy look of magazines and the excitement brought by colorful, moving images make many people feel strangely content and happy.

 

References:

Business2Community.com

Daily Mail UK

To Notify or Not to Notify

How to Use Effective Push Notifications for Mobile Marketing

You’ve downloaded apps in your smartphone and now you want to know the latest updates. Should you allow push notifications or not?

Push notifications allow a downloaded application to provide users with messages being ‘pushed’ to their phones from the server. So, what does it matter to businesses whether customers avail notifications? Businesses should take into mind the timing and design of notifications. Inconvenient sending and poorly designed notifications can make customers unsubscribe from updates and delete the app from their phones.

How do you make successful push notifications for your subscribers? Here’s advice from Brent Hieggelke and Dan Gesser:

1. Make app flexible for user notification.

An app that alerts every now and then can be annoying, especially for users who are waiting for urgent messages. Authorize users to change how and when your app alerts them to new information coming from your servers. This will make it fun for your subscribers and allow them dictate which times and methods the app they receive newly available information. For example, you have an ESPN app. Let your subscribers select a sport > a specific team > what kind of alerts they want > when they’d like to get the alerts.

2. Supply relevant messages for your users.

Subscribers enjoy messages relevant to their needs for they find it more useful and helpful. Gather data on what your users frequently purchase, download and share with your app. This will aid you in finding the right promotions on the products and services they like. Gather other pieces of data like their location to provide more customized content that complements the things they’re looking for.

3. Create well-designed notifications.

High-resolution graphics and appropriate lettering can make notifications engaging for various users. Be careful to pick designs that match the image you want to project. It might be more amenable to use traditional fonts for news apps and scripts for boutiques. The right choice of designs can make subscribers engage more with the message contents.

4. Send compelling and branded content.

When sending notifications, the content should be short and persuasive with a convincing call-to-action statement. Present subscribers with content creatively written to make them excited about your merchandise. Don’t forget to add either of the following, logo and business name, tagline or unique designs. Attaching these will make your subscribers associate your message with your brand. More brand awareness equals to more engagement.

5. Improve your notifications.

Experiment with new formats and ask feedback from your subscribers on what design/s they like best. The statistics you’ll get will help you determine which format will best attract their attention and make them more receptive to the information you’re giving.

6. Protect user privacy.

Subscribers can be very defensive about their privacy. Make sure your app is secure against malware threats to prevent customer data from leaking. Other than that, treat subscriber information as an instrument to ease customer experience with your app. It is also advisable to warn users when they have to provide personal information like date of birth, sex and other details. Frame short and straightforward terms of use and privacy policies to make subscribers easily understand all the details.

7. Plan how many times you send a notification.

Be careful not to send too many notifications to your subscribers. Your messages may be well-designed, but they could become ordinary if you send more than four notifications every week. Set up workable schedule for your notifications. You can use the time frequency strategies you use with email and SMS campaigns.

8. Monitor how much users interact with your app.

Some users may still be part of the subscriber list but they no longer interact with your app. It may be that they don’t check notifications often or they have many other apps they’re utilizing. Send a series of notifications, which you think may entice your subscribers to become active users again. Make them re-engage with notifications tailored to their product preferences. If they’re fond of clearance sales, send them updates on discounts and upcoming bargain sales. You can also inform them of new product arrivals or newly added services.

 

There is no single approach to reaching success with push-notification campaigns. You have to observe and study the trends shown in your analytics data to properly measure conversion and response rates. It is unavoidable for some users to uninstall your apps. Ask feedback on why they want to unsubscribe so you can investigate the causes and perform subsequent improvements.

 

References:

Examiner.com

Mashable.com

MobileMarketer.com

More than Publicity: Promoting NGOs in Social Media

How Other Companies can Benefit from Successful NGO Campaigns

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charity groups may be different from businesses in their core level, but the two groups are the same when it comes to social media. Their social media goals are no different from each other. Both of them seek to connect with their target audience through social networking pages in Facebook and Twitter.

It is more important, though, for NGOs to engage more with their followers. This is because they have limited resources which could not be touched often to finance publicity campaigns like other profitable groups do. They can use the viral potential of social media to accelerate sharing of information and reduce the costs of participation. NGOs also need to function as ‘social businesses’ as well, which emphasizes the need to engage their followers in a socially intimate manner.

More and more people are now going online and joining social networks. This creates an impending need for NGOs to drive more interest to their noble causes. In fact, the top 200 in Forbes’ non-profit companies are utilizing social media campaigns faster than Fortune 500 companies do. For NGOs, social networking is a low-cost alternative that provides various opportunities for conversations and complementary methods to messages shared through other channels.

How do NGOs catch the attention of the online world and get support for their causes? Here are five methods that successful not-for-profit groups in social media use:

1. Post more photos and videos.There are many types of content that circulates around the web: status videos, photos, videos and links. The likeliest content to be liked, commented upon and shared is photos. NGOs share more photos and videos than they do status updates. This is because people engage more with images rather than text splashed across the text. When we see heart-rending images, we don’t have to think; we immediately react. Text needs to be read, then processed by the brain to be understood. Videos, on the other hand, can disinterest viewers, especially if they run more than 3 minutes. Short attention span is the enemy of long videos.

This impresses upon the need for NGOs to post more photos and videos, as both get the highest engagement rates. They need to be artfully presented to catch attention and make viewers more interested in spreading the message of the organization. Photos need to be taken by professionals who know how to frame shots that would make viewers stop, stare and share.

2. Fitting Captions

A caption defines and emphasizes the message you want to people to hear when they see a picture. Without captions, a picture will be understood in a thousand different ways. Take for example, this picture:

What do you think when you first saw this? You may have thought that this is (1) a wildlife photo taken by Animal Planet, (2) maybe a picture circulated around by PETA or (3) an image from a forest conservation group.

Without a caption, this picture can even be turned into a meme. Imagine the elasticity of the image? That’s why a picture should have a caption, especially when you post it on the social media page of your not-for-profit environmentalist group. Here’s the same picture with a caption:

Captions should not just be a short passage that explains an image. It should be striking enough to cut to the heart of your message. This would resonate more to your readers and stick in their minds, which would encourage them to share your post.

Play with words to make a catchy caption. You can use idiomatic expressions, puns, alliterative phrases and other figures of speech to convey your message. Surfrider Foundation, a water conservation organization makes use of puns and popular sayings to motivate support for their ocean protection campaign:

See how effective a caption can be? That, and the quality of the photo, caught the interest of more than a thousand viewers. Put your message across with a well-captioned, first-rate image and you’ll take hold the crowd’s attention.

3. Post varied content at the right time.

Posting a batch of NGO content can overwhelm followers. Make sure to post one piece at a time, instead of many articles, photos and videos at once. This would increase your opportunity to engage with your readers. Communicate with your fans and reply to their messages and comments. This would boost and strengthen your relationship with them, which will make them more receptive to your messages.

Make sure to post content during the time and days when most of your followers are online. Weekdays are slow days when it comes to content. People are more active web browsers on the weekend, so schedule your posts on those days. Friday afternoon up to Sunday night are peak days, so make time to post during those days, rather than on Mondays to Wednesdays.

4. Make use of links.

Links are a good way to boost website traffic. Most NGO social media posts come from their own website. Too much of it though can be harmful. Take a leaf out of the book of top-performing NGO groups. Use links coming from your own website sparingly. Link instead to other NGO websites who can provide other resources for your chosen topic. Paste links of news articles, blog posts and other articles about your causes. This will increase back-links and pull up your search rankings.

5. Emulate the example of your betters.

If you’re having difficulties setting up your NGO page or encouraging follower engagement, study the strategy of NGOs that have succeeded in social media. Adopting their strategy to your own organization might help you attract more likes on your page. Pay close attention to how they created their page and framed their content. This would help you learn what works for your NGO page.

What Businesses can Learn from NGOs

NGOs generally post more engaging content than their counterparts in the corporate world. Not-for-profit organizations are more in touch with the concerns of the community, while companies can be a bit more concerned with profit. Entrepreneurs can learn to pay more attention to the needs of their customers instead of driving more marketing campaigns that promote their merchandise. Customer relations should be upheld more than advertising products and services. This would make your clients more amenable to read your copy instead of ignoring your messages.

Analyze and study whether NGO social media techniques will fit your marketing campaigns better. Try them out for your business. They might just get more customers for you.

 

References:

Mobilisation Lab

Capulet.com

Strategy Works

Earthjustice Facebook Page

UN.org

Customer Service in Social Media

How Online Customer Service is Good for Your Business

You’ve successfully created social media pages and attracted a lot of followers. One day, you signed in and saw some inquiries from a customer about a faulty product. As you do not know what to do, you ignored the questions and turned to the contact center to solve the problem. Days passed and the customer felt neglected. This made the customer complain about bad service, which further worsened the issue.

If you were the boss, how would you have solved this matter?

Customer service is not just served face-to-face or over the phone anymore. It can be delivered through your social media pages, too. For example, look at how Cathay Pacific, an airline, handled an inquiry and two issues:Notice when the customer shout-outs were entertained? The replies are prompt and phrased in a polite manner. This helps appease boiling tempers. Figuring out solutions and advising customers online is more convenient than speaking to customers on the phone. A few taps on the keyboard and a mouse click, and you’ve managed to respond to your customer.

This is why you need to train your customer service staff in responding to inquiries and complaints using social media. There’s a sense of urgency when a customer complains on a social network, and quick replies can smoothen out a potentially harmful situation. This damage control method is more effective than contacting a customer days after an inquiry. It diminishes the destructive effects and the nightmarish PR efforts needed for entrepreneurs to neutralize a sensitive issue.

If you provide good customer service online, satisfied customers would……spend more and tell at 42 online about the satisfying customer service they received. This results in huge returns for your business if you start engaging customers online, instead of relying only on traditional means. Making your customers feel cared for will encourage them to do business with you. Additionally, this makes them feel comfortable dealing with you because you assured them that you would serve their requests in a timely and courteous manner.

Cultivating good customer relations online earns you a good reputation among your followers. They will be further encouraged to write positive reviews about you. Once other people see these reviews, they will be more likely to buy your products and services. Companies with a good image online drive more traffic to their website and promote further customer engagement. Customers are more content and businesses earn more profit; a win-win situation, all around.

Customer service has long moved on from sending letters to the manager and irate messages to the contact center. Now, social media gives customers a more effective way to reach entrepreneurs. Business owners who ignore this development will earn a bad reputation for not responding to customer inquiries, complaints and other concerns. You have to perform extensive reparations if you don’t keep providing good customer service through the social networks. You can prevent these problems if you promptly and politely reply to your customers’ questions.

From Offline to Online: Brands Moving to the Internet

How a Brand can Gain Popularity and Earn More Customers on the Web

Brands and social media are like milk and cereal; they go together. It is the same with brand representatives or product endorsers. They create attractive brand images customers love. Popular brand representatives like the models we see in television commercials for certain products or services use social networks. They strive to make their endorsements popular for the masses. From shampoos and vacuum cleaners to clothing and houses, brand representatives can influence people to like what they’re promoting.

Lee Seung Gi, a famous actor in South Korea, became Pizza Hut’s endorser for the South Korean market. His popularity helped makePizza Hut a well-known name for ordering pizza in Seoul and other SoKor cities.

Brand representatives use the elements of social media in marketing products. Actors like Lee Seung Gi are good looking, talented, charismatic, and have large fan bases to boot. We’ll see the following points if we compare Lee Seung Gi’s qualities as a brand representative with an entrepreneur’s tendency to attract customers:

Brand representatives must earn fans’ loyalty through their achievements. This is the same with entrepreneurs. They must impress customers with the fine quality of their products and the level of their service. Using social media to promote this image takes much work and effort. When creating social network accounts for your company, you must encourage satisfied customers to follow or like your pages. Ask them to recommend your page to people they know. This way, you acquire followers whom you can engage with relevant and interesting content.

Effective brand awareness campaigns attract more customers. It pays to have your own product endorser who promotes your merchandise in a way that charms your target demographic. You must choose someone with a compelling character, quick wits, and good looks to represent your product. Choosing brand representatives like Lee Seung Gi who make your target market want to try out certain goods will be good for your branding campaigns.

Social media can help your brand representatives encourage people to engage your business. Social media campaigns can turn loyal fans into devoted customers who love your products. You’ve got it made if you can get an influential celebrity or an ordinary person with a potential to become famous to effectively promote your brand. Your brand will be memorable to people who encounter your social media campaigns. They’ll become enamored of your product endorser and your merchandise, too.

Why don’t you try this branding strategy for your own business? This might just be the key to make your business popular online.

 

Photo Credit:

AllKPop.com 1

AllKPop.com 2

From Computer to Cellphone

How Online Businesses Should Start Subscribing to the Rising Mobile Internet Trend

With increasing numbers of smartphone users and internet data plan subscribers, businesses are starting to see the potential of earning new customers through mobile Internet campaigns. Plans are made whether to optimize their websites for cellphone browsing or develop an app for their business. They consider both and get confused which one to choose.

Here’s an infographic to help you select which option is better for your mobile marketing needs:

Both mobile website optimization and app developed have pros and cons. Customers, especially those transacting with you for the first time, might choose to access your store’s mobile website instead of downloading your app. They also might not want to add more apps on their cellphone as it’s overloaded with apps. Consequently, they might also be more liable to suggest that other people access the website rather than download that app. In my opinion, loyal and repeat customers are more likely to get the app instead of using your mobile website.

So, if you’re just starting your business, work on getting your website optimized for mobile users first. This will be more cost-efficient than investing on app development. Once you’re able to cultivate and maintain a strong customer base, then an app will be absolutely necessary. If planned and designed well, this app will also help your business gain more referrals. Satisfied app users will say to friends, “If you want something for your _______ problem, maybe this business app can help you.”

Mobile apps help businesses achieve customer satisfaction through easy-to-use features accessible even without Internet connection. For example, P.F. Chang’s Restaurant offers these features in an app:

  • P.F. Chang locations
  • Make reservations
  • Browse the menu
  • Place a takeout order
    • Start a new order
    • Select a previous order
    • Join Warrior Rewards and view  other available incentives
    • Discover your Dish of Destiny based on the Chinese zodiac
    • Create your own Words of Wisdom with the fortune cookie generator
    • Share your favorite dishes and fortunes on social networks like Facebook and Twitter
    • Learn about restaurant news, events and promotions
    • Free to download*

If we apply these features to the Time Usage picture above, we will understand how app users are more liable to spend more time using this app more than the website. The mobile app is more interactive and can be used offline. In addition, there are games like the Dish of Destiny and fortune cookie quote generator. More opportunities to connect socially are also available. Patrons of P.F. Chang’s restaurant can immediately post their gastronomic comments and reactions for each dish they had. Example images from P.F. Chang’s mobile app are:

Notice how the graphics are well-done? The sharpness of the images? The fine color and detailed pages of this mobile app certainly makes up for the expense P.F. Chang must have incurred for this. Let’s compare these images to those of the restaurant’s mobile site.As we can see, the mobile website is way simpler in design compared to the mobile app. Simple designs like these enable faster loading speed yet can prevent the user from lingering at your website more. It might be better to spice up the graphics and put some images to the mobile site. These will improve the plain appearance and attract more visitors to your mobile site.

As customers are more likely to visit a mobile website than download the app, it is only natural that the website gets more impressions (i.e. number of times a user accessed a website), visits and unique visitors. All these data does not automatically mean that users are more engaged with mobile websites than app users. According to the infographic snip above, “app users consume 2.4 times more impressions on average.” I believe this came about because only users who are regular customers of a business will actually download its app. They would naturally be the ones to access the app more than a random viewer or one-time customer will.

This is the same case with content. Although the content usage results are equal for both mobile websites and apps, the latter spark more customer engagement. This is due to the amount of habitual transactions that a regular customer makes.

So, in the end, what should a business choose—a mobile site or an app? There really is no right or wrong answer with this question as it is up to the choice of the business owners. They should choose which method works better for their enterprise. However, according to some experts, if a business has the funds, both mobile website and app should be used. This is to maximize on “both platforms and audience.”

To see the full infographic, click here.

 

References:

*List of features taken from: MarketWatch.com

Mashable

Hello, Vendor! I’m Very Much Pinterested.

How to Perform Pleasing & Popular Pinterest Marketing Campaigns

After gaining popularity since the early months of 2012, Pinterest became the next biggest social network after Facebook and Twitter. Its current demographics show that women remain its top users at 68%. This social networking site acts like a virtual mix of pinboards and scrapbooks where users can like, pin and repin images they find endearing, entertaining and educational. This characteristic makes it a huge attractant for women who want to express themselves through the pictures they love.

How does this relate to businesses? Entrepreneurs can use Pinterest to supplement a meager marketing budget. What they can do is hire a professional photographer and a model to showcase their merchandise. But what if you don’t have enough funds for expert work? You, a family member or a friend savvy in photography can take shots of your products and services. Don’t have the money to look for experienced models? Try people you know or customers satisfied with your products. This lends an authentic feel to your pins and can attract people to browse your selections further.

Pinterest caters mainly to predominantly female pursuits like the following:

Businesses involved in the categories listed above can gain considerable marketing success with Pinterest. The first thing to do before you start your Pinterest campaign is to plan your images carefully. What products are you going to advertise? How are you going to present them in the picture? Should they stand alone in a plain background or a colorful palette? Contrast and balance of colors is important as well as the angle you use when taking the picture. Consider the elements of photography such as:

  1. Lighting – source, amount and direction of light in the photograph. This can come from sunlight, flash bulbs or lamps.
  2. Texture –describes how the object appears to feel to the touch. How light falls on the object and changes its look can also affect its texture.
  3. Focus – sharpness or clarity of the subjects in the picture. Camera manipulation is needed to make blurry, gentle edges or create sharp detail through selective focus.
  4. Angle of View –position from where the photographer shot the image. The mood of a picture can be affected through shifts of angle. Using this technique can also bring about interesting images.
  5. Framing and Composition – how a subject is presented in the image. Photographers determine what to include in the frame. They, then, compose the image to draw the viewer’s attention to how they want the picture to be seen.
  6. Color – can make pictures look alive or subdued. For intense and dramatic moods, photographers use heavily saturated colors. Subjects that need a peaceful look should have muted colors.

Well-taken pictures get more attention than pictures not given enough effort. What further separates them from other boards is good storytelling. For example, if you’re selling baby paraphernalia, you can create a board starting with cute infant shirts, mittens and booties. After that, show pictures of cribs then mobile crib attachments. With this board, you can illustrate what items babies need at different stages of their life.

Another simple way to create boards is like arranging your products in a specific theme, color or type. This would create symmetry and a feel of organization. You can also create boards for each of your most popular products. From the baby product example above, you can start on clothes to accessories then rubber mats, nappies and other baby necessities.

What you also need to do is to involve your customers in your Pinterest marketing campaign. Take pictures of them using your products, whether it’s an appliance, a striking shirt or an eye-catching piece of jewelry. You can either ask them to pose or take candid pictures of them. This would further endear them to your business, as well as make prospective customers curious about your merchandise. See example below:

Looking at those pictures yourself will entice you to try out Elizabeth Daniel’s shirt design.

You’ve managed to hook new customers with your Pinterest campaign. How do you maintain the interest and excitement of your customers? You can do that through staying current with the seasonal trends, holidays and special occasions. Update your boards in advance to keep up with special holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Show off products popular in each and every season of the year from spring to winter. Maybe you can put up birthday and wedding gift ideas. You can also add wedding and baby shower boards, as well. The possibilities are endless!

Go on and release your creative side. Brainstorm with your staff about your Pinterest campaign.

Why not start experimenting with pins today?

 

References:

INC.com

Mashable

Repinly.com

Carter Museum