Many companies know that social media is a major factor for businesses to achieve success in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, and in 2014 a lot of companies who embraced the social media revolution are now reaping benefits from their investment in time and resources, producing a high number of fans/followers, high Google rankings, successful conversions and great influence factors
If you have been using Google over recent weeks then you may have noticed that the Search Engine giant has been testing various proposed layouts in the hope of making the appearance of the search results interface easier to read. They have done this by increasing the font size and removing the underlines for some of hyperlinked content.
As the New Year progresses most companies a busy rethinking their digital marketing strategies for the year, as marketers read through article and article trying to figure out the latest or biggest trends for 2014. We must still focus on the main objective, Advertising.
There are three big trends to online advertising this year and we at granite have taken a detailed look into what we think will have the most effect and produce the most conversions for clients in 2014.
1. Native Advertising / Sponsored Advertising
Native advertising is the ability to tuck a brand message into the editorial experience in a seamless and responsible way, creating a story and target audience research is crucial for success. By working with influential and highly skilled individuals you can find, and sponsor content to promote your brand and product.
Native Advertising is probably the hardest style of advertising to master and it takes a lot of imagination and creativity,
To create good Native Advertising there are techniques and pointers to consider before creating a campaign –
- Find influencers that lead not follow. There are thousands of bloggers and media personnel that don’t start the conversation, they follow it. By listening, following you gain a good understanding of what the current topics of targeted audiences are thus allowing to create your own opinion/spin on relevant subjects.You want to work with people that start the conversation not just people who amplify it. They will guide you towards connecting with their readers.
- Create an experience. It’s not just the content. It’s about creating a user experience to draw someone in, piece with video, music, HTML 5, parallax effects, are all features to create a story and experience for the user. By creating a piece with well crafted edits, stunning images, immersive video with text overlay and innovative design to create a magical digital experience. Suddenly it’s hard not to get pulled in and feel something – in a whole new way.
- Don’t compromise quality. Many companies clutter up space and ruin design with too much advertising thinking quantity creates higher conversion rates but this can be the complete opposite and can actually harm conversion rates, quality not quantity wins over in the Native advertising stakes and compromising quality is just as bad. Multimedia skills are what shine in this area a cross platform is essential to create that great user experience, Doesn’t your brand equity get damaged by sponsoring lame content?
- Be transparent – and have fun with it. Work closely with you Native Ad content creator weather it be in-house or external. By fully understanding the goals quality will be produced and if it’s a great experience for the reader, everybody wins.
2. Contextual Advertising
Contextual Advertising is more of a direct root to the source so to say, there are different theories of exactly what contextual Advertising is some say Contextual advertising is designed to align with the media property in which it appears i.e. if you are browsing for cars then the user will see adverts for tyres, oil, crash repair garages content that is related to the page. Another theory is that contextual advertising refers to user behavioural targeting, if a user browsed for a product then went onto facebook that products advert will show up in the users facebook feed.
But there is a down side to contextual advertising and it all depends on the user and what they are doing at the current time
- If the user is in search mode then Contextual Advertising has a positive effect and will provide the user the Answer, solution or product that they are searching for.
- If the user is in browse mode then directing paid adverts at them will not return any conversions and will simple be over looked
Ad words Re-marketing is an action taken by marketers to reintroduce a product or service that a user desired but didn’t take any action at the time. Re-marketing has been steadily growing over the last 12 months and is surprisingly cost effective when compared to other forms of marketing it relies heavily on cookies so be warned Whether you are already doing re-marketing or are looking to start, you need to ensure that you are compliant with the cookie law. When a user views a website or product the user is tracked by cookies as the user continues to browse adverts for the product will be directed to follow the user. This is a very good way to get undecided conversions but re-marketing must be tracked in its self, if your campaign has acquired a conversion that intended user must stop being tracked to avoid irritation with the brand and wasted promotion expenditure.
- All site visitors – Basic re-marketing to increase brand awareness, increase traffic all pages of a website.
- Undecided / Almosts – Physically clicked through or placed items into shopping cart but didn’t convert, here your re-marketing efforts should be aimed at shopping cart / landing pages
- Members – Some websites have log in areas to find out more information on products or services, targeting re-marketing on these pages the user is guaranteed to view adverts of interest.
Cork Independent recently announced that The Deputy Mayor of Cork is pushing for a .cork Domain to help promote local businesses and online sales.
Current Online spending in Ireland is a staggering 4bn a year, but the issue with this is that 75% of it goes to overseas companies and venders. Companies with .com .co.uk, and even .ie can be from abroad, where as .cork if properly regulated can be used to assure the customer the origin of the purchase and the locality of the service.
A domain such as .com is officially known as a gTLD generic Top Level Domain. As domain names have become scarce over the years, a new way of naming domains had to be created. There are currently 22 gTLD’s such as .com .net .gov .ie .eu. ICANN’s (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) aim is to promote competition, branding, consumer choice, localisation, Digital marketing and innovation while ensuring the security and stability of the Domain name system (DNS) with the new plan for gTLD’s and people wanting to register a unique domain will have to go through an application process.
The application window recently opened on Jan 2012 and a total 1,930 applications for new gTLD’s have been received. By March 2013 we saw the initial results of the process and in Aug 2013 the public saw the new gTDL’s that were deemed “eligible”.
So what are the benefits of unique domains?
The .cork domain will greatly benefit local retail and web development business’s within the Cork area and it will improve on more specific search results. New gTDL’s will also offer the following benefits –
- Entrepreneurship. Create your own business model and establish accessibility policies for your TLD. If your customers want tighter security, make your TLD a high-security zone.
- Increased control. You set the rules and the price for those registering your TLD.
- Innovative marketing opportunity. Build better brand definition, brand awareness, brand loyalty and trust by having full control over your own TLD.
- Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs). Increase market reach by making the Internet completely accessible to users whose local languages use non-Latin characters.
- Engage your community. Create a rallying point for supporters of your cause, community or culture to unite with a community-based TLD.
- Bring together your geographic area. Celebrate your local citizens, commerce, activities, and culture with a geographic TLD.
Overall the theory of a .cork is good within itself, but you really have to ask the questions is this just clever P.R to grab the headlines of being on the pulse of web technologies or has this been planned out and will be a serious proposition to localise, unify and benefit the people and city of Cork.
Another “Google Bomb” has hit an American President, this time associating Barack Obama with the word ‘failure’.
Google took action in early 2007 to change the results page, when one of the first high profile Google bombs returned George Bush’s official Whitehouse page as the first result for searches for “miserable failure”.
A Google bomb is defined as an attempt to raise the ranking of a given page in results from a Google search, “often with humorous or political intentions.”
Using Search engine optimisation techniques and a steely determination, the Google algorithm can be fooled temporarily into prominently ranking such high profile pages for terms that have nothing to do with them. Such pages will already have a very high pagerank based on their high profile content and are ranked quickly for unrelated terms by being associated with the Google bomber’s chosen search term in the anchor text of links to the site.
The image below shows Barack Obama’s official Whitehouse page ranking at #1 for “wh0 is failure”. While Google took steps to remove the Presidential page from “failure” searches, it appears that some variations of the search are still getting through the filter. In Obama’s defence, it is possible that, as the incumbent, he has inherited the ranking from the previous Google bombing of George Bush depending on how it was targeted rather than being the target of a new campaign.