Web Design Trends For Content Marketing

web design trends 2013Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Mobile applications. These are all new technologies that can be used to benefit your business. From a content marketing perspective, how do you keep up with these ever evolving trends in content and web development?

Content will always be the glue that holds your marketing success together and should be well written, entertaining and engaging, but incorporating some of the latest web trends can push you ahead of the competition and help you stand out.

Whether it requires redesigning your website or making a few tweaks, it needs to be user-friendly. Consumers are using tablets and cell phones more often to access the Internet, your business’ website better be easy to view no matter what size the screen. Creating a responsive website design will only provide your business with more visibility and exposure.

Minimalism is a professional, clean presentation and is gaining much popularity among web designers. It allows the business to focus on the important information the consumer needs and reduces clutter. Adopting a minimalist design will keep the purpose of your site clear and concise, allowing consumers to get the information they need quickly and easily.

It might be beneficial to incorporate special effects and videos into your site as well. These top web design trends create a positive visual effect and help keep your audience engaged. Interactive buttons, sliding visual elements, embedded videos are all great additions for successful marketing.

The final growing trend in web design is one that won’t be disappearing anytime soon: social media integration. While incorporating a ‘share’ button on your site is the minimum when it comes to using social media, it is necessary. This allows your business to be talked about and seen across multiple platforms while allowing your site to remain the center of information.

Incorporating all these trends into your web content marketing strategy will create loyalty among your customers and help your business stand out while presenting an attractive, accessible website.

The Essentials of Content Marketing

The Essentials of Content MarketingHow a company markets its product is almost as important as the product itself. If you can’t connect to your audience and give them all the information they need to be interested in your product and to stay loyal to your business, then you need to re-evaluate your content marketing plan. It might even be time to hire a content marketing specialist.

Whether you decide to bring in an outside source or do the work yourself, there are several important traits of an excellent content marketer. Ideally, this person should possess the skills in journalism, public relations, marketing, business and web design. Although it seems like an extensive list, all these areas factor into properly marketing your business.

Communication is the first must-have when looking for a content marketer. It goes without saying that you want an enthusiastic, imaginative writer who can capture your audiences attention and create informative, well written copy. But content marketing is about more than just writing, the perfect candidate should be willing and able to respond to customers by engaging in conversation, answering questions or just acknowledging and piquing their interest. Using visuals have been proven as successful marketing tools, so your content marketer should be able to tell a story through pictures, graphics and videos as well.

They should also be able to act as a spokesperson for the company and network with potential clients and customers. I would go as far as saying that the content marketer should be a brand ambassador. Being a brand ambassador goes hand in hand with marketing and public relations, two more skills essential to content marketing. In fact, content marketing has been called the new PR. Aside from creating the content, its important to know how to get that content into the right hands so its seen across multiple platforms. Now-a-days much of this can be done through technology, so you’ll want to add social media to the list. Its more than just using Facebook and Twitter, everyone can use Facebook and Twitter. Its about interacting and using social media to benefit your business without sounding like an advertisement or a commercial. Entertaining and engaging the audience through social media will create real connections and build trust.

Aside from social media, a general understanding of the web as a whole is important. Knowing formats and user interfaces can help determine how you should structure your content. Knowing how to utilize keywords, meta descriptions and back-links are the essence of search engine optimization and are necessary for understanding internet marketing.

The final skill to building the perfect content marketing strategy is analytics. Understanding return on investments (ROI), benchmarks, testing and, most importantly, how to drive business. How can someone build an audience without knowing how the business functions?

Building your resume to include these skills or hiring someone who already possesses them will help you build your content marketing strategy and create a loyal, invested consumer base.

Re-Purposing Your Content

content marketing - mogul mediaCreating engaging, thought-provoking content is the essence of content marketing, hence the name, but creating this content can be time consuming and overwhelming. This is where content re-use comes in. Repurposing existing content or creating content with the purpose of using it on multiple platforms is an easy way to save time, increase the quality and expand your business’s reach.

In order to successfully re-use content, you need to create a strategy. Consider each platform’s audience and the interests, concerns and traits of that audience. Also develop a clear understanding of what you want to achieve overall and within these campaigns.

After developing a strategy its time to take a look at your existing content, if you have any. Develop a spreadsheet to organize your content audit and determine whether the content is reusable, how it can be reused and identify any changes that need to be made to fit the new format. You can make all these decisions by answering a few questions about each piece: Who the target audience was? Has the content been re-used before? Does the content support your goals? your audience’s goals? Was it successful in its first use? By asking yourself these questions for each piece of content, you can determine if pre-existing content is reusable.

If you don’t have any existing content, you can create a plan for re-use before you even start writing. Consider the target audience and other content marketing articles this audience might be reading. Decide what you would need to change to use the content in other marketing articles and if the piece can be released simultaneously or if it should wait before re-use.

Creating a plan, understanding your goals and answering these questions can save you time and allow you to re-use quality content on multiple platforms.

5 Email Marketing Tips

5 Tips for Getting to the Inbox

5 Email Marketing TipsCompanies have long used email for the purposes of marketing and public outreach. But with most campaigns that utilize email, the majority of messages are relegated to spam filters. When emails actually do reach inboxes, they will often be marked as spam and subsequently filtered – typically by recipients who don’t even recognize the companies in question.

In order for a bulk set of emails to reach an intended audience, each message must be identifiable and personified for those on the receiving end. With the following tips, you’ll become more effective at using email as marketing tool.

1. Identify Yourself  in the Subject Line

One thing that distinguishes a company email from its inbox surroundings is an identifiable name in the header. In this sense, the header serves as free advertising for the company in question. With an actual name in mind, a recipient is more likely to be curious about the contents of the message. While most headers simply announce things like “HUGE SAVINGS,” your company could benefit exponentially by identifying its name within the subject line.

2. Place Your Logo in the Message Body

The first thing that a reader should see when opening a commercial email is the logo of the company in question. As with a company name in the header, logos in the body serve as free advertising for businesses. Logos should also contain links to company websites so that readers can easily proceed to the products or services on offer. In addition to drawing the attention of readers, a logo serves to better imprint the name of a given company onto the minds of its intended consumer base.

3. Add Content to the Body of the Message

Company emails should always contain more than just the bare bone facts about sales and offers; there should also be information regarding the brands and products. Without any details of the items or company, a sale is rendered anonymous in the minds of many readers. Simply put, consumers are hesitant about sinking money into the products or services of faceless entities.

4. Place Links within the Contents of the Message

Email messages serve the twofold purpose of promoting products and luring sales. In order for readers to act upon their interest, each message should contain links to a company blog or website. Whether a reader is seeking more info or looking to make a purchase, the opportunity must present itself with a simple click of a mouse.

5. Offer Recipients the Choice of Opting Out

Even when a reader likes a product or company, he or she might not wish to be kept abreast of things via email. By offering the choice to opt out of an email list, a company shows that it truly cares about the feelings of its readers. With the added reassurance that readers are welcome back at any given time, opt-out features are another way for companies to gain respect amongst customers.  Keep in mind, you should only be marketing to subscribers who have opted into your list.

As a business expands, the duties of email should be handled by a professional marketing service. When it comes to email campaigns, Mogul Media offers the best services in the internet marketing industry. Tailoring headers and contents specifically for your exclusive niche, Mogul Media will generate persuasive messages that turn readers into customers. Contact our marketing specialists to learn more about our unique and powerful email marketing services.

 

Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Social Media Marketing continues to evolve rapidly and provides you with a great platform to communicate with your target audience. With that said, here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Using a “one-size-fits all” Approach. This doesn’t work. Think about the varying degrees of interest people may have in your business. Do you have products or services targeting certain customers but not others?  A more effective approach is to segment your audience and speak to them at their level of interest and involvement. This way you can provide more relevant and specific content to each subcategory of interest.
  1. Failure to Promote. It’s common for businesses to set up social media profiles and do nothing with them. Creating them is the first step. Providing timely, relevant content for your followers is the 2nd step.  The 3rd step requires some creativity and planning.  Attracting visitors with contests, surveys, promotions and anything else people are likely to engage in, which in turn, builds your community and extends your branding.
  1. Poor Management.  Managing Social Media properly for your brand means understanding your business. It also means committing a resource or two internally who take ownership of the project.  If you’re not prepared to do that, outsource it to an expert who can professionally manage your campaigns and the voice of your company.
  1. Managing Negative Exposure.  How do you manage negative reviews?  Do you have a policy in place?  Is your goal to bury or resolve?  If you care about your brand, and more importantly your customers, you should be proactively using social media to engage negative reviews and offer resolution or at least a support channel.  Show them you’re listening.  Clearly state a path to resolution.  People expect bad reviews in this day and age.  They ultimately base their perception of you by your responses.  Or in some cases, lack of responses.
  1. Failing to Analyze your Social Data.  Social media marketing creates a lot of data that is open for analysis. History predicts the future. Analyze your data, find out what’s working and build on it.  Pay attention to content that created heavy interaction. Figure out what drives traffic back to your website.  Dive deeper and pinpoint how much of that traffic converted and why.

If you need assistance creating, managing, or analyzing your social media efforts, drop us a line at support@mogulmedia.com and someone from our staff will get in touch with you.  You can also learn more about our services here.  

 

Optimizing Content for Mobile Users

Mobile users expect quick results. Smartphone and tablet users are making up a larger percentage of Internet browsing and they expect content to load quickly. 60% of mobile users expect pages to load in less than 3 seconds, according to the results of Keynote Competitive Research conducted in 2012.

Website optimization is a key factor for attracting mobile users. Everything needs to be user-friendly in a whole new way. Pages need to translate nicely into various devices without compromising the look or feel of the site. The shopping experience should be simple and pleasant for mobile users.

Eliminate landing page errors and dead links. Mobile users spend very little time searching for what they want. If they can’t access your page, they will quickly move onto the next result to find the information.

Next look at your content. One area to pay close attention to is your social media strategy. Are your posts brief, time-sensitive or have a local appeal? Are they catchy or entertaining? Think about how mobile users operate. Either they’re browsing when bored, or are looking for something specific in a hurry, like a business listing for example.

Use QR codes to draw in customers and increase brand loyalty. QR codes are inexpensive. They also provide a direct and fast link to your company. Include a coupon and now you give them a tangible reason for scanning your QR code.

As you plan and assess your mobile media content, consider the best ways to captivate mobile users during their brief visits and turn them into paying customers.

Using Email Marketing to Attract More Customers in 2013

The trend for 2013 is indicating that email marketing is more prominent than ever and continues to be a useful tool for attracting more customers. One reason for the resurgence of email marketing is the frequent use of mobile devices.

How Mobile Devices Fit Into Email Marketing

In the past, people were restricted to their time in from of the computer to access their email. Checking email once or twice a day was once the norm. Mobile has changed all that.  We now have access to email 24/7 and we depend on it socially as much as we do for work.  This has opened the door to local, time sensitive offers converting well, with 40% of emails being open by a mobile device.

Target your information accordingly by using a simple format that is easy to read regardless of which type of device it is accessed from.  Also be sure to add an email sign up forms on all your social media platforms and any landing pages that you create

Adjust the Focus of Your Email Marketing Strategy

Ditch the hard sales pitch. As you focus your email marketing strategy, consider what works and what drives people away. People get annoyed when they are bombarded with numerous emails pitching sales.  Take a look at what “email fatigue” has done to the daily deal industry.  Instead, turn your focus to providing interesting content that is designed to inform and educate potential customers. You need to get your foot in the door first before pitching your products.

Emerging Content Marketing Trends in 2013

Before launching a major content marketing campaign in 2013, it’s important to understand the difference between what worked in the past and what’s going to work in the future.

Content is still king in 2013, but keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. This overused tactic has been killed off and it isn’t an effective marketing tool. While it worked historically to trick search engines in exchange for higher rankings, it isn’t going to provide results long-term.

When Google rolled out the Panda algorithm in February 2011 it was the ultimate demise of this strategy. Drastic changes occurred as sites with little or duplicate content that just focused on keywords were penalized harshly.  This trend will continue.

Focus on promoting your brand through your voice and by consistently publishing content directly related to your niche. Do your research and build trust with more in-depth articles.

Lastly, connect with your audience. Define your target audience, figure out what they value and work to provide content that gives them value.

Creating enough content to continually engage visitors may be the biggest hurdle for content marketers in 2013. It’s no longer about keyword density or placement, and generating quality content is not cheap.

There are no shortcuts in SEO folks.  Produce engaging on-page content, socialize and invest in building your community.  The backlinks will come.

Prepaid Press Expo – Las Vegas

I’ll be traveling to Las Vegas this weekend to speak at the Prepaid Press Expo which kicks off Monday at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. The Prepaid Press Expo will bring together the three sectors of prepaid products, including calling cards, wireless, and gift cards/alternative payments and is the only event offering professionals involved in the production or selling of prepaid cards the opportunity to access all sectors of the prepaid services industry.

I’ll be covering the following three topics at the event:

Retailers Taking the Reins on the Group Buying Model: What retailers are learning and applying from the deal dynamics of social commerce initially applied by Groupon and Livingsocial. How retailers can actively market prepayments without discounting every customer.

History of Daily Deals & Prepayment: How daily deals mainstreamed digitized prepayments, socialized e-commerce & paved the road for the current “Social Commerce Revolution” we see today.

The Role of Daily Deals in the Future of Social Commerce: The various places, techniques and methods we can expect to see the daily deals and the group buying model make use of as the industry advances to 2013.

For those interested in more information about the event can learn more here.