Email still tops social media for online marketing

Over the past couple of years, in a world drenched with talk about the communicative power of social networks, one can be forgiven for thinking email is as passe as phone booths. Yet, a new study finds that email continues to trump social media channels for reaching online customers and markets.

Good old-fashioned email — a medium tainted and polluted with all manner of online pharmacy scams, Nigerian oil fortune hoaxes, and phishing galore; considered a daily time sink — is still providing the biggest bang for the buck for organizations seeking to reach and maintain high-value customers.  That’s the finding of a new study from Custora, which estimates that customer acquisition via email has quadrupled over the last four years:

See full article Email still tops social media for online marketing, study says | SmartPlanet.

also see

E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot.

via Email still tops social media for online marketing.

Adding PayPal buttons to your WordPress Blog

Adding a PayPal button to your WordPress website is really useful but can be tricky so here is how it is done.

  1. Log into Paypal
  2. go to this link https://www.paypal.com/uk/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_button-management
  3. “Create new button” on the right.
  4. Fill in step 1 only
  5. Do NOT customise the button
  6. Click “Create” at the bottom
  7. On the “You are viewing your button code” page select the “Email”  option. Copy that code and use it as the link to the buy option on you page.
What I usually do is add a text box widget somewhere on the site and then do something like this

Code looks like this

<b>Full Price Tickets</b>
<a href=”https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=X7B7W7E5YT324&#8243; target=”_blank”><img alt=”” src=”https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_GB/i/btn/btn_cart_LG.gif&#8221; border=”0″ /></a>
<b>Concession Tickets</b> <a href=”https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=E3PLJF65D58DJ&#8221; target=”_blank”><img alt=”” src=”https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_GB/i/btn/btn_cart_LG.gif&#8221; border=”0″ /></a>

paypalbuttonexample

Best Times to Post on Social Media and an INFOGRAPHIC

Social media is 24/7. Someone is always tweeting, posting on Facebook, or uploading a new picture to Instagram. However, for social media managers and businesses alike, this can be quite of a challenge. We obviously can’t be online all day, even for those of us who are social media managers or strategist. But how do you know when to best reach your audience? There are a couple different ways to determine when your audience is online:

Best Times to Post on Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC] | Social Media Today.

Making the most of the web content you already have

Too many of us do not make the most of the content we already have on out website and blogs. In my experience this is a mistake so there are some quick tips that could really help.

Look at your analytics and see which of your posts are the most popular – take the top 10 – and then do the following

  1. Run a quick topic analysis to see what is more popular.
  2. Look at any calls to action (CTA) on these pages and make sure they work and are up to date.
  3. Cross link from these pages to other relevant or popular content so that the users starts a discovery path.
  4. Make sure the content on these pages is up to date and correct. Correct this page do not write a new entry.
  5. Ensure the page is optimised correctly – if you change the title make sure the URL does not change. Optimisation may require just adding in a few more keywords (see The trade off between SEO and Website Usability)

You might as well get the content you already have working harder for you.

What does your business need? To develop Mobile Web or Native Mobile App?

Here are some key considerations when choosing to develop either for mobile web or a native mobile app:

  • Platform Integration: Does your content need to be integrated with other native mobile apps on the device—such as email, cameras, contact lists or other hardware controls? – Then you need a native mobile app.
  • Usage Location: Does data in your app needs to be accessed without Internet access? Then you need a native mobile app.
  • Cost and Availability of Resources: Do you have a small budget?
    Mobile web app requires standard web technologies.
    Native mobile apps require greater expertise in various SDKs and specialized languages.
  • Speed to Market: How quickly are you trying to launch your app?
    Mobile Web apps can be launched without delay; bugs can be fixed instantly; data can be provided as required.
    Native mobile apps require a review process, which can take weeks and there can be content issues imposed by the  App stores. Bugs also take longer to fix and update.
  • Does your target market have access to app devices?: To launch and app you need to develop for iPhone and Android and of course this leaves Blackberry and all those older mobiles that will not have access.

The choice comes down to your company’s business objectives and how you want your customers to engage with your company and its content. Don’t forget your customer is the most important target—not the device comes next.

Smartphones pass 50% market penetration – what does this mean to your business on the web?

Take a look at your web stats and see if people are coming to your site from mobile device – on Google analytics this is very easy.

  1. In 2013 Google stated that the majority of their users will access their services through mobile devices.
  2. Mobile searches have increased 200% in 2012.
  3. 75% of mobile users will spend more on your website if it is optimised for mobile users.
  4. £5.8 billion is expected to come from UK mobile retail by 2016 .
  5. A recent survey showed that about  1-in-5 of all website visits were made via smartphones or tablets

Mobile – Smartphone Penetration Crosses 50% Threshold; Apple iOS Gains on Google Android : MarketingProfs Article.

Contact us today to find out what we can do to help your mobile presence.

By Rupert Dick Posted in Mobile

Social Exposure and Social Influence – one follows the other

Social Influence is the measure of the actual number of times your business, brand or product etc is mentioned, viewed, talked about, shared or otherwise interacted with across all your social media channels.

The strength of social media is its ability to increase your total exposure, by for fans and followers activity, without you having to do anything. Once a critical mass of followers is reached, they tend to share and talk about a business spontaneously and this increases your exposure every time a new or existing user interacts with your social media.

So what to measure for exposure?

  • Twitter – evaluate the number of impressions generated from your original content – don’t rely on the number of impressions from outside content as that isn’t exclusively your own.
  • Facebook – take a look at your total reach – this is total reach includes friends of friends and news feed items that show up on the site of friends from your followers.
  • YouTube – track your total channel views.
  • LinkedIn – track the number of times your business has been searched for or displayed

You can’t have influence without exposure and influence is stronger than exposure

When starting your social media campaign a small business has to first focus upon exposure and then look at influence. Influence may be via advocates, other business or even the entire industry. Followers and fans that interact with your business via influence are more likely to buy, share and build a long lasting relationship than those that simply sought you out via exposure alone.

So what to measure for influence?

  • Twitter – examine the monthly number of followers and the followers of those that retweet posts.
  • Facebook – examine the total number of fans and friends of those that engage with your page after having been previously exposed.
  • Google + – examine the total number of followers as well as Followers of those that +1.
  • YouTube – measure the number of channel subscribers and number of embedded videos.
  • LinkedIn – measure the total number of connections and total number of group users.

Best way to use Google Maps while abroad

I have recently come back from three weeks in India and found Google Maps on my iPhone to be invaluable for getting around. When abroad, data roaming costs can be expensive and Google Maps has some features that really help. If you do not have Google Maps for your iPhone then load it now – it is so much better than Apple Maps.

This is the technique I used as we moved around from a local base. When on Wi-Fi locally open Google Maps, get your current location and zoom out to the area you will be covering. The map will now be cached on your iPhone and you can use it when out and about without needing access to the internet. Google will allow you to add one location pointer, which is also cached.

The other trick I used was taking screen snap on the iPhone to save a picture of our current location. To take a screen snap on your iPhone press the home button and sleep at the same time. I used this to save snaps of where our hotel was or a restaurant I saw that I fancied for later.

 

How to organising and structuring your blog content

Topic and Title
As ideas for blog posts pop into your mind, jot them down. You can come back later and expand it into a full title.

Look at products like Content Idea Generator where you can expand a theme and idea

Body Content 
Add some notes about the body content and the key point you want to say. This is especially useful if you have multiple bloggers in your company. It is essential that the content is connected to the title, is concise and to the point. Be engaging and interesting as possible.

Keywords
Suggest what  keyword or key phrases you are targeting with this post. Blogging plays a major role in driving specific web traffic to your website. Integrate the keywords your company is trying to rank for into your blog posts.

Audience
You know who you want to sell to, but you also need to be sure you’re publishing content targeted to them. Try not to post content  for the sake of it. Make sure each post is something that your target audience will want to read and follow through with.

Call to Action 
Make sure there is a clear call to action that encourages the user to move off social media on into your website. Think about what action you would like the user to do when on your website – so the path of the user is clear.

4 Golden rules to maximize the conversion of your landing pages

These rules apply across the online board when coming from email or social media to your website

  1. Take your reader to a page they would expect to see based on the context of the link. If you don’t have a page to take them to then build one or change the message.
  2. Keep the path to checkout as short and as simple as possible. The longer the path (the more clicks and questions) the less likely user is to complete.
  3. Tell a continuous story so that the user is compelled to move forward. A good story answers questions in a timely fashion, keeps the user engaged and minimises resistance to the final call to action.
  4. Lastly do not be tempted to distract the user with other messages and actions – keep your landing page focused.