June 17th, 2013 by Gary
The future of web search is becoming more and more mobile by the second, and your brand needs to be on board. Whether you opt for responsive web design or a standalone mobile offering, here are 3 reasons why mobile optimisation is essential for any modern business…
Tablets now exceed traditional desktop devices for conversion rates
In Q1 of 2013, tablets surpassed conventional desktop devices for conversion rates for the very first time. This demonstrates that consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with the mobile purchasing process – and are more likely to buy from a company that offers it to them!
74% of consumers will wait just 5 seconds for a page to load
Consumers are keen, but they’re also impatient! This research from Gomez shows that a poorly optimised site could lose you up to 74% of your potential customer base if it doesn’t fully load within 5 seconds.
61% of mobile users will leave a mobile-unfriendly site and look elsewhere
In a 2012 Google survey of mobile internet users, 61% of participants agreed, “If I don’t see what I’m looking for right away on a mobile site, I’ll quickly move on to another site”. If your site isn’t optimised for mobile, your customers are unlikely to find the information they’re looking for as quickly as they would like, giving them plenty of ammunition to head straight off to one of your mobile-savvy competitors.
June 14th, 2013 by Gary
New research from Adobe has shown that 62% of consumers find online advertisements annoying, whilst 45% find them “invasive” and 44% “distracting”. Customers in the UK are more receptive to online ads than those in Europe, but it’s clear that marketers still need to work on their online strategy in order to make a connection with their audiences.
So if consumers are turned off by most digital ads, what are they looking for instead?
- 57% of consumers believe that beautiful advertising is more effective
- 29% think that every brand needs a funny viral video, and 67% say a video is worth 1,000 words
- 74% believe that advertisements should tell a unique story, not just try to sell
As Mark Phibbs, the vice president of marketing for EMEA explains, “Some digital advertising is failing to hit the mark. While digital provides great promise, it is not being delivered in an emotionally compelling or targeted way. The ability to tell a story and connect with consumers is as vital as ever.”
The survey feedback indicates that consumers want more attractive, authentic content, designed to engage rather than sell, delivered through mediums like social media, blogging, and video. This type of content allows them to build a stronger connection with the brand.
June 11th, 2013 by Gary
The SEO industry is one that is constantly evolving – thanks, mostly, to Google’s sporadic algorithm updates – but despite its changes, in both practice and reputation, it’s still an essential part of any digital strategy. Research shows that the first result in Google will receive 36.4% of all the clicks, so if you reach the number one spot, you will capture over a third of the potential audience automatically.
However, reaching that coveted position is not always an easy task. The days of excessive backlinks and keyword stuffing are long gone, and have been replaced by a requirement for genuinely helpful, high quality content. Most companies are already using blogging, email marketing, social media, and many other text and image based mediums to provide this – but what many do not realise is that video can help with SEO too.
YouTube is now the second biggest search engine in the world; it has more than 1 billion unique users each month and in 2011, had around 140 views for every person on earth. Google has even started including ‘rich snippets’ – information about videos that are available on particular pages – in their organic search results – and embedding video into your company homepage is therefore, unsurprisingly, a great idea for SEO. In fact, used properly, video can increase your chances of achieving a front-page Google result by a staggering 53x.
If your business is looking for SEO assistance and hasn’t yet considered video, now is a very good time to start!
June 6th, 2013 by Gary
Email marketing may be less “cool” than its younger cousin, social media – yet it’s one of the most powerful weapons in any company’s arsenal, as these three statistics prove:
1) Only 39% of in house marketers rate the performance of their company campaigns as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ (Econsultancy)
You may be wondering why we’ve kicked off with a seemingly negative statistic, and it’s because your company can turn it into a positive. If you invest a little time and effort into creating a good quality email marketing campaign, you can quickly overtake the significant proportion of your competitors who are sending out below par email messages.
2) Click-through rates for email are higher than online advertising (Silverpop)
Still pumping money into online advertising? This Silverpop study suggests that you could get a much better response rate from email – and it’s significantly cheaper than most online ads. Which brings us to our next point …
3) Every £1 spent on email marketing generates up to £40 in return (Direct Marketing Association)
The low-cost, high-impact nature of email marketing is one of its biggest benefits: in fact, we challenge you to name any other sort of marketing with this sort of return on investment!
So, to summarise, email marketing is largely ignored by the competition, gets more clicks than advertising, and pays you up to £40 for every £1 you invest. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us!
June 4th, 2013 by Gary
A new report from InMobi has revealed the power of the multiscreen. Here are three key consumer behaviours on the rise, and what they mean for your business…
1. Mobile devices
Mobile now ranks first in media consumption amongst mobile web users. Users spend an average of 108 minutes consuming media on their mobiles, compared with 93 minutes on their laptops and 37 minutes on their tablets.
The prevalence in mobile consumption highlights the need for an optimised mobile website for your business. If users are now consuming more information through their smartphones than any other device, you need to ensure that your information is readily available on these platforms.
2. Multi-screen activity
62% of mobile web users now indulge in multi-screening activities whilst watching TV – and 48% of these respondents will be plugged into their social media.
If your customers are browsing social sites in their spare time, you need to make sure your brand is there. Engage with them on social platforms and keep your company name fresh in their minds.
3. Acceptance of mobile advertising
When asked about mobile ads, 59% of InMobi’s participants said that they were very to moderately comfortable with their presence and found them useful.
Consumer acceptance of mobile ads is great news for business! Whether you opt for paid ads or free marketing via platforms like social media, ensuring that your business has a strong mobile presence is essential for 2013 and beyond.
May 30th, 2013 by Gary
Social Media Examiner has released its 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, and confirmed what many of us already knew – that almost all marketers are now using social media to promote their business. 97% of the 3,000 marketing professionals surveyed said they were using social media as part of their marketing strategies, and 86% considered the medium to be an important part of their digital marketing efforts – up from 83% in 2012.
Facebook and LinkedIn were shown to be the most popular social platforms – 49% considered the former to be their most vital network, while 16% opted for the latter. YouTube was deemed to show the most promise for the future, with 69% planning on increasing their usage of the video platform throughout 2013.
However, despite the increasing usage of social media marketing, only 26% of participants in the survey felt that they were able to measure their return on investment. 89% agreed that social media benefited them by providing increased exposure, and 75% said they’d experienced an increase in traffic, but had found it difficult to track specific leads and sales.
The good news is that more than half of marketers who had been using social media for at least three years reported an overall increase in sales – so if you invest the time and effort, social media marketing can pay off! If you’d like to find out how you can use social media to benefit your business, check out NS Design’s social media masterclasses.
May 29th, 2013 by Gary
The Chief Technology Officer of the campaign to re-elect Barack Obama to the US Presidency recently hit headlines by announcing that digital marketers need to drop their jargon and focus on communicating in a simpler, more straightforward manner if they want to boost their engagement – both with their fellow marketers, and prospective clients.
“We need to drop the ‘e’ from ‘e-marketing,” Harper Reed explained at the Direct Marketing Association’s Technology Summit in London. “When me and my team joined the campaign [to re-elect Obama] we were seen as outsiders and we had to do a lot to dissolve the deficit between us and the regular campaigners.”
Reed’s call to action comes just a few short months after research leaders Forrester declared that ‘digital marketing’ should simply be referred to as ‘marketing’, as “all marketers’ output will become inherently digital.” Indeed, there are a number of studies which prove that digital marketing now outstrips more traditional marketing methods – a survey from Aquent and the American Marketing Association (AMA) from earlier this year showed that mobile media, social media, SEO and blogging looked to be the most essential aspects of marketing campaigns for the months ahead.
What is essential is that, however you choose to refer to it, digital approaches should remain integral to your overall marketing campaign because, as the AMA survey suggests, they really are likely to become the principle marketing methods of the future.
May 23rd, 2013 by Gary
Google’s attempts at breaking into social media have not always been successful – does anyone remember Buzz or Wave? – but its Google+ platform at last seems to be gaining some traction. It now has a base of loyal users (190 million, in case you were wondering) and has just updated the mobile interface to make it more user-friendly.
Posts now appear as ‘cards’ in the stream, making it easier than ever for users to read, +1, and share content. Profiles and pages now have cover photos and larger ‘tap targets’ for people using touchscreen devices. The overall experience is now much more streamlined and visually stimulating across all screen sizes.
There are two lessons to be learned from Google+ makeover. The first is that Google is doing everything it can to make the site a success, so you should certainly sign your business up and take advantage of its features if you haven’t already.
The second is the importance of optimisation for mobile devices. We all know that the mobile web is becoming increasingly important, thanks to the ever increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets, and as we’ve said before, your business website must be optimised for mobile if you want to reach the widest possible range of customers.
May 20th, 2013 by Gary
A new study, ‘The Impact of Social Media on Sales Quota and Corporate Revenue’, has shown that 72.5% of marketers who use social media sites frequently outsell their competitors. More than 40% of participants said that they’d closed between two and five deals thanks to their social media campaigns, and 10% confirmed that “it directly contributes to my closes”. Social media users also exceeded their quota by 10% more than their offline counterparts – clearly exemplifying the difference that social media marketing can make when it comes to sales.
The research also looked at the success rates of different platforms. The top social selling sites were shown to be, from first to last:
6. Other (Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, etc.)
Fortunately, although it may seem overwhelming to manage multiple sites simultaneously, 50.1% of sales people said that they spent less than 10% of their selling time managing social media – which implies a pretty good return on investment when you consider the rise in their sales figures. Ultimately, Keenan’s research shows that businesses of all sizes can benefit from social media – and those who aren’t already using it are missing out.
NS Design offers a range of social media masterclasses designed to help you seize social media opportunities – find out more here.
May 16th, 2013 by Gary
The new Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Census has revealed that more than half of UK businesses attribute as many as 10% of their sales to their email marketing campaigns. Even more impressively, 18% said that email accounted for more than 30% of sales – showing that although email is an older digital marketing method than its contemporary cousins such as social media, it still plays a significant role for many businesses when it comes to sales.
Mike Brownlow, the Email Marketing Report publisher, explained, “Email’s true role in generating sales is often underestimated, because many responses don’t involve a click (or even an open). Ignoring the positive impact of branding/awareness for the moment, we know that marketing emails can trigger, for example, a relevant Google search, a type-in visit to the sender’s website or a visit to the sender’s offline store.”
If your company isn’t yet harnessing the power of email marketing, now would be a good time to start! It’s significantly cheaper to carry out than physical counterparts like direct marketing, and 66% of the marketers surveyed agreed that email marketing delivered an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ return on investment. Just a simple message reminding your customers that you’re still there and have some great products and services to offer can have a serious impact – why not give it a try today?