How to use Pinterest to drive high-volume traffic on auto-pilot


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Written by Pooja Mehra
on June 9, 2018

Though Pinterest is mostly ignored by SEOs and content marketers, contributor Jessica Foster recommends using it for traffic and content promotion before your competitors find out and get in on the action.

“Isn’t Pinterest just for bloggers?”

I hear this question all the time when I mention Pinterest marketing, typically from digital marketers, search engine optimization (SEO) experts and your typical horde of haters.

And my usual response is usually along the lines of…

“Maybe. So?”

After all, nearly every website out there has a blog in some form or another, and putting out consistent content is often the cornerstone of a lot of businesses SEO strategies. If Pinterest really is “just” for bloggers, and nearly every business has a blog, why wouldn’t they want a piece of that Pinterest pie?

Pinterest as a content marketing tool

Having digitally “grown up” in the blogging community, I saw firsthand the success bloggers achieved through Pinterest marketing.

It is a hot topic in Facebook groups and forums when it comes to running a successful blog. Pinterest often ties (and even surpasses) SEO as one of the leading sources of traffic for bloggers.

So how big is Pinterest? Let’s look at the numbers.

According to Pinterest, in 2017 there were 175 million active Pinterest users around the world and 75 billion ideas “pinned.”

Ninety-three percent of Pinners (i.e., Pinterest users) use Pinterest to decide what to buy online, and 67 percent have said they discovered new products because of what they’ve seen on Pinterest.

Over 14 million articles are pinned each day, and 80 percent of Pinners use the Pinterest mobile app to find what they’re looking for.

Pinterest has an undeniable amount influence, particularly when it comes to female users — though about 50 percent of new Pinterest sign-ups were men in 2017.

Amidst all of that, what is really impressive is the sheer volume of content and traffic circulating through Pinterest and how bloggers have harnessed this as a content marketing tool. Here’s a case study to help drive home that point.

Case study: Pinterest in action

I am a big fan of Pinterest now, but initially, I was skeptical. I’m nothing if not a data nerd so, I decided to jump in and take a closer look at Pinterest for a case study, since I kept hearing all these great things about it.

In November of 2016, I published a piece of content for a travel-related site and circulated it on Pinterest through the travel site’s Pinterest account. The traffic and engagement results were impressive! The single blog post got 5,000+ impressions, 3,000+ repins and drove 1,500+ visitors to the website in three months’ time.

This website stopped publishing content and running marketing campaigns in February 2017. Even without further Pinterest marketing, this site continued to receive 600+ users last month (April 2018, surpassing organic traffic) from Pinterest alone, and the account itself gets 3,900+ impressions per day.

This case study is far from the most impressive of examples, while the success of blog post circulation is typically measured in visits to the website, brands can get the added benefit of brand awareness through visual circulation.

Those 5,000+ impressions could very well translate into customers being driven directly to the source, even without a link.

My case study told me even a novice can see real results from Pinterest marketing.

Why haven’t more SEOs and content marketers jumped on the Pinterest wagon?

Good question. Pinterest may be lagging due to a perception that it is for mommy bloggers, arts-and-crafters and people who want to DIY their wedding. If you wander over to Pinterest.com, you’ll see that the majority of the content falls into those categories.

But I think Pinterest is more than that. I believe it’s a search engine.

Although the front page may be full of Mason jars, fall outfits and pictures of kittens, what’s behind the front page and the search box is a different story.

Pinterest displays a broad range of industries and is a source of content for people looking for anything from auto parts to zebra-print rugs. This product diversity attracts all kinds of folks and satisfies queries for a wide range of topics, products and niches.

As a marketing platform, Pinterest doesn’t come naturally to marketers. They are familiar with Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn for content circulation, but Pinterest is uncharted territory. Which is even more reason to get the jump on this strategy before it really takes off in the content marketing space.

How to use Pinterest as a high-volume traffic tool

The “secret” of Pinterest marketing isn’t really a secret at all, as the numbers speak for themselves. The real secret behind it is that bloggers have long been using Pinterest as a source of traffic, while it has been all but ignored by SEOs and content marketers.

If you are serious about driving relatively passive, inexpensive traffic to your sites or your clients’ sites, then this guide is for you.

We’ll dive deep into my content strategy for Pinterest success, and also how to make the most of Pinterest marketing to drive high-volume traffic on autopilot (even long after the campaign has ended).

1. Know if your niche is a good fit for Pinterest

How do you know if your website is a good fit for Pinterest marketing? Look at what’s already there.

Though Pinterest doesn’t have the data to show search volume, you can do a bit of keyword research on your own.

First, go to the Explore feature to see the most popular categories on Pinterest. If your business falls into one of these categories, it’s a safe bet that people are looking for content around that topic.

Second, type your topic into the search box and see what content is displayed. If it is in line with the content you plan to put out, this is further confirmation that sites in your niche are circulating content on Pinterest.

Finally, you will also see topic suggestions underneath the search box. These are listed in descending order so the terms on the left are the most popular topics. These terms will aid your Pinterest SEO strategy.

If all three of these steps bring up a high volume of content related to your niche, you can move forward confidently. knowing your site is in line with what users are searching for.

The key is just to get YOUR content in front of the eyes of Pinterest users before your competitors do the same.

2. Write great content & optimize for Pinterest

As with any content marketing strategy, the success of your campaign depends on the content itself.

Before you jump into Pinterest marketing, be sure that your content is engaging and set up for SEO success.

In particular, your post or page titles and meta descriptions should be SEO-friendly and eye-catching. These elements will be pulled into your Pins, so having them optimized will increase circulation and click-through rate (CTR).

After the Pin graphic, the title and description are what users will see to determine whether they are interested in your content or not — so it must be in line with what they are searching for and match what the Pin is about. Understand what really matters in SEO content so that you can set your Pins up for success.

3. Create a business Pinterest account

The next step is to create a business Pinterest account for the website you are running the campaign for. This will allow you to access analytics on your account.

Having one account per website is preferred, rather than circulating content for several clients through your own Pinterest account. Pinterest has its own algorithm as well, and circulating content from a variety of niches will dilute your strategy and result in less engagement overall.

Be sure to include a link to your website, your location (if applicable), and add an attractive profile image and cover photo to your profile while you’re at it.

4. Enable ‘Rich Pins’

You will then enable Rich Pins for your website. This is what allows Pinterest to pull in your optimized titles and meta descriptions. Setting this up is relatively easy, and Pinterest also allows for different Pin formats depending on your niche. This step is essential!

5. Optimize your Pinterest profile for SEO

Optimizing your Pinterest account is perhaps the most involved part of this process, so let’s break it down into a few simple steps here.

First, go back to the keyword research you did in step 1. Note the most popular categories and topics for your niche, and you may also want to look at competitor Pinterest accounts to see what keywords they are targeting.

If you are skilled in keyword research, those same principles apply here as well.

If you are new to keyword research, I recommend subscribing to a keyword tool such as SEMRush or Ahrefs to get started.

Second, incorporate these keywords into your profile name and description. Make it readable, and avoid keyword stuffing, just as you would with other social media profiles. (It is best to avoid an account name that is very clearly a brand or marketing account.) Rather than naming your account “Best SEO Business, Seattle,” you may want to name it “Blog Boss | Blogging Tips & SEO Hacks.”

This will have a wider appeal while being SEO-friendly.

Third, create boards related to your niche. For example, create a “best of” board for your content and then at least 10 other boards for repinning content (I’ll talk more about this later).

Each board should be named according to the topics you aim to cover.

For example, if your account is going to share content about digital marketing, you may have boards for “social media tips,” “graphic design ideas” and “marketing hacks.”

Include keywords for each topic in the title and description of each board (It is OK to add a couple of keywords to the description in this case).

Add 20 or so topic-related Pins to each board (ignoring your “best of” board for now) to fill your boards. This helps Pinterest’s algorithm see what kind of content you are interested in and will be sharing over time.

Finally, it is recommended that you set cover images for each board, similar to the way I did it on the account above. This makes your account more appealing and easier for users to determine what your content is about.

It is likely that your Pinterest SEO strategy will evolve over time as you receive more data on the success of your Pins. Rework your profile to match the queries of your target audience.

6. Create a Tailwind account

Ready to drive traffic to your site on autopilot? Tailwind is the key to making all of this a reality!

Note that I am NOT an affiliate or associated with this app in any way, but I am a huge fan because this is what brings this strategy all together!

Much like Hootsuite or Buffer, Tailwind allows you to schedule your content (ie Pins) to different boards. Unlike other apps though, it is partnered exclusively with Pinterest, so that the two work together seamlessly.

The most amazing part of this app is that it can run continuously AND optimize posting times for you. It is also where you will find “Tailwind Tribes” to share your content to groups for wider reach.

7. Design attention-grabbing Pin graphics

The graphics you create for your Pins are some of the most, if not the most, important factors when it comes to people actually repinning your content. You simply won’t get the level of engagement you want if your Pin graphics do not entice users.

Even if you fall into a “boring” niche, there are plenty of things you can do to make your graphics interesting.

For example, if your post is “The Top 30 Money Saving Travel Sites,” a good graphic could be an interesting stock photo and bright text overlay. You may even want to add your site logo and uniform resource locator (URL) at the bottom for branding.

Guidelines for Pinterest graphics

Here are some basic guidelines to help you create graphics for your content:

  1. Make graphics long and vertical, preferably 735 x 1102 px.
  2. Make graphics bright and eye-catching.
  3. Include the title of your post or page in the graphic.
  4. Keep branding/colors consistent.
  5. Avoid too-obvious branding, like large logos or company name.
  6. Create two or more graphics per Pin to allow for testing.

For DIYers, I recommend using Canva.com to create your graphics. It has Pin templates you can use. If you are doing this for a client, I strongly suggest hiring a graphic designer to make eye-catching and professional-looking graphics.

Oftentimes, designers will make two or three templates for you to use and edit each time you publish a new Pin. Just swap in a new image and title and you are good to go!

Note that having multiple graphics per Pin allows you to test the effectiveness of Pins over time. You will see which graphics are performing best (in your Pinterest Analytics dashboard) and can revise your templates accordingly.

Once you have created graphics for your Pins, you can add them to your content as the featured image or within the content itself.  The important thing is that, once shared, the Pin comes up with your newly created graphics.

8. Join group boards and Tailwind Tribes

By joining group boards on Pinterest and Tailwind Tribes within the app, you are expanding your reach to other accounts in your niche.

Similar to Instagram’s algorithm for showing content to users that are related to accounts they follow, group boards encourage other accounts to share your content with their audiences and the accounts that follow them.

In fact, the number of followers your account has matters far less than how many eyes you get your content in front of on a regular basis through group sharing.

There are many resources online that outline how to identify and join group boards, but my preferred site is PinGroupie or within Pinterest itself.

To find group boards on Pinterest, you will have to do some digging by looking at the boards of other accounts in your niche. If the board has multiple users associated with the board, this is likely a group board. To join, click on the board description and follow their specific instructions for joining.

You will be sharing your own content here and repinning the content of other accounts in your niche.

Joining Tailwind Tribes is a similar process; you can use the “Find a Tribe” feature to find them. You will want to find groups that appear active — that is, they are pinning and repinning daily.

Once you find a Tribe, take note of their guidelines for posting, as some of them may ask you repin a certain number of Pins per day, for example. The fewer restrictions and requirements, the better.

These group boards will come into play once you start scheduling your Pins via Tailwind.

9. Schedule your Pins (content)

Once your post or page is published, it is time to schedule it via your Tailwind app. You can do this either via Tailwinds Chrome extension or within the desktop app itself.

Tailwind will give you the option to select what boards you want to schedule your content to and when. You can add time slots, schedule multiple Pins at once and schedule Pins from other accounts.

You will want to pin your own content first to your “Best of” board, then to every board that is related to that topic, including the group boards you are in.

As a general rule, 80 percent of the content you pin should be from other accounts, and 20 percent should be your own content. I recommend scheduling at least 30 Pins for each day.

The Tailwind app will circulate your content according to the schedule you set but will also offer suggestions for optimal sharing times. The goal is to be continuously pinning your content to have it appear in front of as many users as possible

10. Keep track of your analytics

Your Pinterest Analytics dashboard will tell you how many impressions your Pins are getting, how many saves, repins, clicks, and more. Knowing the impressions data will help you see what content is performing well and will inform on your future content strategy.

If you have Google Analytics enabled on your site, you will also be able to see how much traffic the source “Pinterest” is sending to your site. This will confirm the success of your campaign.

Beyond the data, it is always beneficial to look at what your competitors are doing on Pinterest. If you see that certain kinds of content are getting a lot of repins and comments, that’s a good indication that you may want to create content that is similar. You may also get insight into their keyword strategy and what style of graphics they are using.

Summary

Pinterest is one of the most robust and affordable content marketing tools out there, though it has been all but ignored by SEOs and digital marketers alike. Bloggers have been using Pinterest for years to drive high-volume traffic to their websites and know with the help of apps like Tailwind, a content strategy can almost run on autopilot.

The key to implementing this strategy successfully is being consistent. Schedule your content regularly, stay on top of the data, and continue putting out high-quality content. Before long, I have no doubt that Pinterest will become one of your favorite content circulation tools for you and your clients.

View the article at MarketingLand Here
Thank you to Marketing Land for this article.

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Google dedicates engineering team to accelerate development of WordPress ecosystem


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Written by Pooja Mehra
on May 18, 2018

Google’s partnership with WordPress aims to jump-start the platform’s support of the latest web technologies — particularly those involving performance & mobile experience.

Thank you to Author Michelle Robbins from Search Engine Land

Google has invested heavily in shaping the architecture of the web, working with developers, the open-source community and the SEO community to ensure adoption of technologies and practicesas part of its mission “to contribute to the prevalence of a healthy, flourishing, and vibrant web.”

Most recently, Google has partnered with open-source content management system (CMS) WordPress, arguably the largest, with market share nearing 59 percent and an estimated 1/3 of all web content published through the platform — including our three publications.

Speed, mobile-first and WordPress

Google has been focusing on speedspeed, and then also speed, for eight years now. It formally announced a Speed Update that will roll out in July 2018, using mobile page speed as a ranking factor in mobile search results.

It has also announced that the mobile-first index has begun rolling out — meaning that Google has started indexing and using for ranking in SERPs, the mobile version of a website. The emphasis on mobile and speed is driven by data that demonstrates most searches are now performed on mobile devices. Slow, poorly performing sites result in a bad user experience and negatively impact site engagement, as well as conversions.

With the goal of assisting site owners in improving page load time for mobile visitors, Google launched the AMP project in 2015. Google has been aggressive in pushing adoption via the open-source community, working with platform plugin developers as well as providing large brand sites with developer resources to implement the technology. Even so, adoption of this mobile-friendly framework across the web has been slow: It’s estimated that fewer than .1 percent of all websites are using the markup language.

With its 59 percent CMS market share equating to 29 percent of all websites running WordPress, a partnership with the platform makes perfect sense for Google to advance its goals of a stronger, better, faster web.

Google participated this past December at WordCamp US, the largest of the WordPress developer events that happen around the country. From an article by Alberto Medina, Developer Advocate in the Content Ecosystems Team at Google: “Our goal was to engage with the WordPress community and start a discussion around the performance of the WordPress ecosystem.” At the event, Google shared data in a presentation that demonstrates a fundamental problem of the CMS: its poor performance on measures of speed and page load as benchmarked against non-WordPress-based sites.

To anyone who has developed or worked on WordPress-based websites, it’s no secret that the open-source platform has struggled throughout the years with code bloat, security and performance challenges. The past couple of years have seen significant improvements in the core code, but as the data below demonstrate, WordPress pages still lag behind non-WordPress webpages on most performance indicators.

Source: Alberto Medina – WordCamp US 2017 Presentation

Google + WordPress = ?

In a second article posted on his personal blog, Medina wrote this past week about the expansion of the team at Google that’s dedicated to advancing the WordPress platform (you can find the official job posting here). In addition to improving performance, the collaboration is focused on bringing the platform’s ecosystem up to current web experience standards more rapidly — via technologies such as Progressive Web Apps (PWA).

From that article:

Our WordPress vision covers a lot of exciting work across the full breadth of the WordPress ecosystem: collaborating on WP core, developing themes, plugins, and WP-tailored tools and infrastructure, and engaging with the broader WordPress community of publishers.

This vision squares with the sentiments heard from many who actively work on sites on the WordPress platform. I spoke about the partnership with Senior SEO Analyst at CBS Interactive Jon Henshaw, who noted, “I’ve been waiting for someone to tackle PWA-related features/plugins for WordPress for a while. Most attempts I’ve seen, including one from Mozilla, have fallen short. The additions I would most like to see are service workers and low-bandwidth/offline content built into the CMS.”

While Medina’s post specifically calls out “Expanding capabilities of the AMP Plugin to enable delightful user experiences,” one could speculate that the long-term roadmap includes rolling AMP (or an AMP-like functionality) into the WordPress core. We’ve reached out to Google to comment on this specifically and will update with any additional information when we have it.

View the article at Search Engine Land Here

Thank you to Search Engine Land for this article.

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Marketers: Never forget that we are at war


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Written by Pooja Mehra
on May 11, 2018

Contributor David Rodnitzky from Marketingland urges agencies and brands to stay alert and aggressive, to avoid being “Blockbustered.”

by Marketingland author   May 1, 2018

Blockbuster is often cited as the poster child of companies that got blindsided by a new rival. In just six years, Blockbuster went from $6 billion of revenue to bankruptcy, while Netflix went from a few hundred million to $2.2 billion.

Blockbuster no doubt made a lot of mistakes on the way to their bankruptcy, and I’m sure that many a business case study has covered these in great detail. My summary of Blockbuster’s folly is that they forgot one simple rule of business: Businesses operate in a state of perpetual warfare.

The more successful a business, the more likely it is that hungry competitors are working relentlessly to take away its clients. This can be accomplished by selling the same product for less, providing better service, taking advantage of economies of scale, making a better product, hiring a better sales team and so on.

Businesses that don’t act like they are constantly under attack from the competition won’t be prepared to defend their business when the attack comes. And it will come!

In this article, I’ll talk about two frustrating examples where marketing teams underestimate the seriousness of the threat. First, I’ll show how this manifests itself with in-house marketing teams, and second, within agencies themselves.

In-house marketing teams: No, thanks, we can fight alone

About the most frustrating experience for an agency is to do amazing work for a client, exceed every goal imaginable, provide great strategy, and then have the client announce that they have decided to fire the agency and bring everything in-house.

In most instances, when pressed for the reason for this decision, it usually comes down to a “feeling” or “belief” that “we just need to run this piece of marketing in-house.”

Imagine if Winston Churchill had told Roosevelt in 1943 that American help with World War II was no longer needed because he just had a feeling that the Brits were going to be able to handle everything on their own. We might be speaking German in London today!

Churchill, like all great leaders, sought every advantage he could, understanding that the battle against Nazi Germany was literally an existential fight.

I’m not suggesting that in-house teams should never replace agencies with in-house teams; my point is that in a war, leaders shouldn’t make cavalier decisions based on gut, nor should leaders replace a strength with an unknown — at least not without a lot of data and analysis.

Again, imagine that an agency is achieving 3x the expected performance for a marketing campaign. Replacing that agency with the in-house team without any “bake-off,” or testing of the in-house team’s performance vis-à-vis the agency, is a huge risk for the company. If the 3x performance disappears, the company’s competitors may get the boost they need to win.

There is no room for “feeling” or “politics” or “empire-building” in war. Companies that allow these qualitative factors to cloud their decision-making will not lead their armies to victory.

Agencies: I’m too busy to look for better weapons

Time management is a major struggle for agency employees. Most employees work with numerous clients — all of whom deservedly expect to be treated like the most important client — in addition to internal management, cross-functional teams and vendors. As a result, there’s a strong urge to say no to any new idea/software/partner that gets introduced to the agency, simply because the agency teams just don’t want to deal with something new when they already feel overwhelmed.

Imagine an air battle where one side is using single-prop fighters a la World War II and the other has F16s. Which side do you think will prevail? If the general with the prop planes is called in front of his country’s leader and remarks, “We just didn’t have time to consider alternatives to the single-prop planes,” what’s the likelihood that he or she still has a job after that meeting?

Agencies (or agency staff) that say no to new ideas because they just want to push things off their plate — or are followers of the “Not Invented Here” philosophy — don’t understand that other agencies will embrace innovation and overtake them.

Exponential consequences

Companies that embrace constant warfare don’t just make decisions based on data and maximum leverage; they also seek out agencies that continually push them to improve. This creates a multiplier effect because the company is benefiting from both internal smart decision-making and a cutting-edge agency.

Thus, there are four potential combinations of companies and agencies. “At Peace” in this instance is a euphemism for “Lazy or Undisciplined.”

  • “At Peace” Company + “At Peace” Agency: Neither party is particularly motivated to improve performance. In some cases, the company fires the agency and brings the business in-house based on “gut”; in others, the company keeps the agency despite lackluster performance. The company and the agency eventually get crushed by the competition and die.
  • “At Peace” Company + “At War” Agency: The agency pushes the company to change and innovate, but the gatekeepers at the company just see the agency as a nuisance and either fire or marginalize the agency. The company eventually gets crushed by the competition and dies; the agency finds better clients and flourishes.
  • “At War” Company + “At Peace” Agency: The company asks the agency to constantly justify its fees by showing quantitative evidence that the agency is driving maximum performance. The agency sees this as annoying and too much work and either resigns the account or gets fired. The company finds a better agency and does well, and the agency eventually gets crushed by the competition and dies.
  • “At War” Company + “At War” Agency: The company and the agency push each other to get better and better. Decisions are made based on data and careful analysis, which means that over time, the company and agency find the right balance of in-house and agency support. The company and the agency crush their competition.

This all seems so obvious, doesn’t it? And yet, companies and agencies that relentlessly seek measurable improvement without gatekeepers, politics and gut are the exceptions to the rule, even in Silicon Valley.

Just 50 years ago, companies could easily defend a geographic territory or use branding to sell commodity products. Those days are over. Friendster gave way to MySpace and MySpace gave way to Facebook — in about five years. The cemeteries are filled with indispensable men, companies and agencies. We are always at war!

View the article at MarketingLand Here.

Thank you to Marketing Land for this article.

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Marketers, What You Need to Know About Facebook’s Updated Business Tool Terms


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Written by Pooja Mehra
on April 18, 2018

The updates are largely guided by GDPR and go into effect May 25, 2018.

Written By  on April 12, 2018

As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced Senate and House committees in Washington, DC, this week, the platform introduced new terms around the use of customer data, tracking and measurement. Zuckerberg reiterated to lawmakers that Facebook will, in effect, apply the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards to its business globally. Not surprisingly, the Terms changes are timed to go into effect on May 25, 2018, the same date the GDPR’s sweeping set of rules governing the handling of consumer data will go into effect.

A new “Facebook Business Tools Terms” consolidates the “Conversion Tracking, Custom Audiences From Your Website, and Custom Audiences From Your Mobile App Terms” and “Offline Conversion Terms,” and the Custom Audience Terms have been updated. Here’s a rundown of the key changes to the terms that apply to any website owner, publisher, developer, advertiser, business partner (and their customers) and any other entity that integrates with, uses and exchanges information with Facebook. Note that Facebook Business Tools encompass a lot: APIs and SDKs, the Facebook Pixel, social plugins such as the Like and Share buttons, Facebook Login and Account Kit, as well as other platform integrations, plugins, code, specifications, documentation, technology and services.

New terms for GDPR compliance

In section 5.1 of the Facebook Business Tools Terms, a note to EU and Swiss data controllers specifically on GDPR states:

To the extent the Customer Data contain personal data which you process subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (the “GDPR”), the parties acknowledge and agree that for purposes of providing matching, measurement, and analytics services described in Paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 above, that you are the data controller in respect of such personal data, and you have instructed Facebook Ireland Limited to process such personal data on your behalf as your data processor pursuant to these terms and Facebook’s Data Processing Terms, which are incorporated herein by reference. “Personal data,” “data controller,” and “data processor” in this paragraph have the meanings set out in the Data Processing Terms.

What this means: This section clarifies that the Facebook Marketers are considered data controllers from a GDPR standpoint and Facebook the data processor. A third-party data processor is an entity that processes personally identifiable information (PII) on behalf of a controller. A controller is defined by the GDPR as an entity that determines how that data will be processed and for what reason. Both controllers and processors must comply with the EU regulation.

The Terms for using Facebook Pixels and SDKs have also been updated for GDPR. Section 3.3 states:

In jurisdictions that require informed consent for the storing and accessing of cookies or other information on an end user’s device (such as but not limited to the European Union), you must ensure, in a verifiable manner, that an end user provides the necessary consent before you use Facebook Business Tools to enable us to store and access cookies or other information on the end user’s device. (For suggestions on implementing consent mechanisms, visit Facebook’s Cookie Consent Guide for Sites and Apps.)

What this means: Site and app owners must obtain and manage user consent for Facebook to access, gather and store their data. This is a critical piece of GDPR that pertains to any company controlling or processing data on EU citizens, regardless of where they reside.

Requirement to notify Facebook of any actual or ‘threatened’ complaints about personal data

Another important change in the terms that marketers need to be aware of is in section 1.5. The provision states:

You will notify us promptly in writing of any actual or threatened complaint or challenge related to the use of personal data under these Business Tools Terms and will cooperate with us in responding to such complaint or challenge.

What this means: Advertisers must take any user’s complaint (even threatened) about the use of personal data seriously. You must be prepared to report to Facebook, in writing, any suggestion of a complaint or challenge over the handling or use of personal data when you’re made aware of it.

Keep reporting internal

Want to share a case study about your Facebook ad campaign? Think again. Section 2.2.2 of the Facebook Business Tools Terms explicitly states that advertisers are not allowed to share Campaign Reports or Analytics unless they have Facebook’s written consent:

We grant to you a non-exclusive and non-transferable license to use the Campaign Reports and Analytics for your internal business purposes only and solely on an aggregated and anonymous basis for measurement purposes. You will not disclose the Campaign Reports or Analytics, or any portion thereof, to any third party, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by us. We will not disclose the Campaign Reports or Analytics, or any portion thereof, to any third party without your permission, unless (i) they have been combined with Campaigns Reports and Analytics from numerous other third parties and (ii) your identifying information is removed from the combined Campaign Reports and Analytics.

What this means: All Campaign Reports and Analytics need to stay internal and include only anonymized, aggregated data. Keep screen shots and charts out of presentations, case studies and social media unless you have permission from Facebook. However, Facebook retains the right to use your unidentified reporting data when aggregated with that of other advertisers

No pixel sharing

This is a change. Section 3.1 of the Facebook Business Tools Terms states:

You (or partners acting on your behalf) may not place pixels associated with your business manager or ad account on websites that you do not own without our written permission

What this meansYou may not gather data for ad targeting or measurement by placing your or your clients’ pixels on other sites you may have access to or any other site unless Facebook OKs it. This has been a not-so-secret Facebook marketing tactic for some time. If you currently have pixels on other sites, it’s time to revisit those placements and either get Facebook’s permission or remove them to stay in compliance with the Terms.

Facebook Business Tools Terms

Some of the terminology has also changed with this update. As of May 25, 2018:

  • “Sales Data” now is called “Customer Data.”
  • “User Information” now means “Contact Information.”
  • “Sales Transaction Data” now is “Event Data.”
  • “Matched Data” now means Event Data that is combined with Matched User IDs.
  • “Unmatched Data” now means Event Data that is not combined with Matched User IDs.
  • “Reports” is now “Campaign Reports.”
  • “OC” is now referred to as “Offline Conversions.”

Those are the main takeaways that we pulled from the updated terms. There are other changes, but they don’t appear to impact the day-to-day of marketers as much as the above. If you have any other items that stood out, please let us know on social media.

Important note: I am not a lawyer. This article is meant to uncover various changes from the perspective of a marketer. Please take the time to read through the updated product terms for yourself.

Thank you to Greg Finn and Marketing Land for this article

View the Article at Marketing Land Here:

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17*24? Ask this from your Website’s Visitor & You have Cooked A Recipe to Lose a Customer.


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Written by Pooja Mehra
on February 13, 2018

17*24?
Ask this from your website’s visitor & you have cooked a recipe to lose a customer.
Confused. Read below.

Think about answering 17*24.

No matter how good you are in math, still you will feel some mental strain while thinking about the answer. Unless there is a clearly declared incentive for you to answer this, you will ignore to do this simple math.

Amount of strain that your mind felt just now while answering 17*24, is the maximum amount of mental strain that your website’s visitor is willing to suffer to find & read an information on your website.

That’s why, most Consumer Behavior experts say, keep it simple. But then question is, How Simple?

Now try not to answer: 2 + 2.

What I said, try not to answer. But the answer to this question is so simple and you have done it so many times, no matter how hard you control your brain, you can’t resist answering it in your mind.

As per Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate’s research on how humans take decisions, this is how simple your website or ad copy should be. Make it so simple for the target market that it becomes hard not to engage with it.

This is why, good marketers do lot of research on your target market to create your customer’s profiles. If you speak in your customer’s language, they won’t be able to resist and will engage with your brand & hence your brand awareness increases.

For Accountant, day to day accounting terms is 2+2 & “Strategic Marketing Objectives” is 24*17.
For Lawyers, term “new case files” term is 2+2 & “Inbound Marketing” is 17*24.
For Contractors, “new job lead” is 2+2 & “Google Adwords phrase campaign” is 17*24.
For Sales Person, “hot leads” is 2+2. & so forth…

Talk to your potential customers in their 2+2 language and not in 17*24 language.

Oh, by the way, we will give you a closure. 17*24 is 408.

Message us now to discuss how Ismoip experts can help you reach more customers.

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1,000+ leads worth $1.2 million in value for Insurance Broker


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Written by Harman Bajwa
on February 5, 2018

1,000+ leads worth $1.2 million in value for Insurance Broker & on road to achieve target of 10,000 leads much faster than original timelines.

We are sharing 5 valuable insights from this digital marketing success.

Read time for this post: approx. 4 mins.


Why are we sharing this success story?

It was one of our online meeting with Google’s Agency Representative that prompted us to share this success story.

In Google’s Agency Representative’s own words:

Your campaign account is very well done. Your conversions are really good. I don’t think I can give any tips on this campaign”. No doubt this statement made us feel good once again like many times before.

Having worked with more than 500 clients we know that marketing agency’s growth is all about trust and results. If we keep producing results, our clients will scale their budgets and hence we don’t need to worry about sharing our strategies in open.

If you can benefit from our strategies, that will make us happy.


Here is a bit of background on our client.

One Plus Insurance is an Insurance Brokerage by brokers with 30+ years of experience. All these years they never proactively tried to grow their business with active online marketing. Thanks to our Business Development Manager, we convinced them to do a small trial campaign and hence One Plus Insurance was born. Results didn’t only beat client’s expectations but they surpassed our internal expectations too.


In Numbers:

  • 31% conversion rate.
  • 1,000+ genuine and hot leads already in the bag.
  • After success of Home Insurance campaign, we launched Commercial insurance campaign, which is also off to a mouth watering start.
  • Client seeing the results, is now investing to scale his online systems & take the campaign to whole new level. From 1 province, we are now seriously discussing nationwide strategy with goal of generating 10,000 ready to buy leads in given time frame & keep going further.

Now let’s get into what we believe led to this success. These points can help you in your own marketing efforts too.

1. It all starts from what value you can offer to your customers.


We analyzed One Plus’s offerings and figured out
a) They have very competitive insurance rates for certain types of homeowners. Almost every 3rd Insurance quote they do is much below what customer was paying previously. b) They provide personalized service. i.e Customers get their own Insurance Support Manager & whenever they call the customer service, they will be connected to their dedicated Insurance Support Manager.

In the world of machines, this personalized human touch and familiarity is gold from customer service perspective. We built our campaigns around these values.

Takeaway:
Every company has its strengths and limitations. Find your strengths and weaknesses with proper SWOT analysis and then build the campaign around your strengths.

 

2. Big brands are elephants, they will be super slow to adapt to change.


Don’t be scared to compete with big brands.
One Plus Insurance’s competitors who spend Millions of Dollars on online ad campaigns are large multi billion dollar corporations. Royal Bank of Canada, TD Insurance, BCAA are the ones we were going to compete with. We looked at their landing pages & how their campaigns were structured. Hardly anything to worry about. We get lots of leads from people who previously had Home Insurance with these brands and conversion rate in fact is 34% for such leads.

Takeaway:
People may know large brands but they are not married to them for life. While they are negotiating their insurance, if they find better offer, they will take it. So we made sure that our campaign reaches out to insurance customers of large brands. We reached and we won.

 

3. Target the right audience but don’t get carried away.


When campaign budgets are much smaller compared to competitors, you need to target the right audience: Low hanging fruits.
But in doing so, don’t squeeze yourself to such a small niche that your economies of scale benefits goes out of the window.

We targeted the niche, defined the most relevant audience but still pushed our boundaries to open up the unlocked potential. We structured campaign on 80:20 rule. 80% of budget is spent on very specific target market where we are certain to generate high conversion leads & 20% budget is spent in slightly untested waters. This is how campaign expansion happened from Home to Commercial Insurance. We are generating leads not only from Google but also from Facebook & display network.

Takeaway:
Push your comfort zones and don’t limit to just 1 channel of marketing.

 

4. Don’t reinvent the wheel when its rolling well.


From day 1, we told One Plus Insurance exactly what we should be doing on their website’s landing pages and how we should project their value prepositions. Our team has collective experience of 8,000+ hours.
Last year itself we generated more than 150,000 hot leads for our clients ranging from lawyers, chimney repair experts, medical professionals, lawyers, b2b companies, fashion, consulting, loans and what not. So we understand how the psychology of online service buyer works. What type of content works best and what should be your call to actions. Client agreed to our recommendations. Results are there to see. If we would have reinvented the wheel and would have tried to do something fancy, end results may not have been so good.

Takeaway:
If you are convinced with your strategies, be bold enough to convince your client. Take the responsibility.

 

5. Work with a client who gets the point about long term vision.

 
Marketing is first physcology of understanding consumer behaviour and then tactics. This is how we work. So if we get a new client who may be right but is thinking too short term, its better to say no. No point in working only to make few quick bucks. Work on projects where clients share your vision and both sides work together passionately to generate long term value. For us, marketing campaigns are not just work and money is by product of our efforts which anyways will come. We make sure that we enjoy working and so does our client. That’s where the magic happens.

Takeaway (last but not the least):
Magic in marketing happens when agency and client work together with a vision.

There were many more details we wanted to share but post was getting too long. Hence we will conclude for now but will be back with another experience-sharing story.

Hope we triggered some thoughts in your mind. Do not hesitate to share in comments below.

Message us right now to discuss your marketing challenge & see how we can help.

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Revisiting Sun Tzu’s – THE ART OF WAR to compile 10 Digital Marketing Lessons


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Written by Pooja Mehra
on January 15, 2018

Imagine the motivation of a famished army, combating on its last legs in the midst of fire and ashes, hollering vengeful battle cries that sends shivers down the spines of their enemies, a couple of millenniums ago (that’s when this book was written).

Sun Tzu’s classic has not only inspired dynasties, military generals, strategists, tacticians, business leaders, politicians, sports persons and managers (fighting boardroom battles everyday)  across the globe, but has also lent them inspiration to surge ahead despite any circumstances.

Here’s a collection of 10 invaluable gems from The Art of War, from a Digital marketing standpoint-:

1) When Able, Feign Inability …

“ The Way of War is A way of deception
When Able,
Feign Inability,

When Deploying troops
Appear Not to be. ”

Inference : In digital marketing, the best way to market is by not appearing to market at all. Engage with your audience in the most natural manner. When you seem most ordinary, should be the time when you really engage in subtle marketing techniques.

2) If Victory is slow, Men tire, Morale sags

“ In War
Victory should be Swift.
If Victory is slow,
Men tire, Morale sags,
Sieges exhaust strength;
Protracted campaigns strain the public treasury.”


Image Credit : https://www.flickr.com/photos/richardofengland/6788829651

Inference :In digital marketing targets must be achieved in a definite time frame. Because morale, like sand, will slip out of your hands unless you achieve your goal in time. Take quantifiable steps in the beginning, like email marketing campaigns, vigorous online advertising and PPC campaigns, assess the results.

Be quick in diversifying. Save protracted techniques for later use; your procrastinations will only make your competitors stronger.

3) The highest form of warfare Is to attack Strategy itself

“ Ultimate Excellence lies
Not in winning every battle
But in defeating the enemy
Without ever fighting.
The highest form of warfare
Is to attack
Strategy itself  ”

Inference :  Sometimes just the trailer of a movie can sell out tickets for the entire show.  Likewise, on a Digital marketing turf start with giving your potential clients a flavor of what you can do for them. If you’re convincing enough, half the battle is won. Aggressive branding techniques via social media advertising and display advertising will come in handy. When they arrive at your site, give them something free, like an ebook/how-to guide, et.al.

4) Five essentials for Victory

“Know when to fight
And when not to fight;
Understand how to deploy
Large and small Numbers;

Have officers and men who share a single will;
Be ready for the unexpected

Have a capable general,
Unhampered by his sovereign.”

Image Credit  https://www.flickr.com/photos/thecosmopolitan/

Inference : Apart from what—when, when not to and how, should be the questions on your mind while crafting a strategy. Choose your target audience wisely. Your whole team should be on the same page with you. A campaign can hit the bull’s eye or can turn into an eyesore, be ready for surprises. As a leader, you’re expected to use your diligence. Cut your teammates and your strategies some slack at times. Breaks can make it blossom!

5) Difference between the victorious and the defeated army…

“ The victorious army
Is victorious first
And seeks battle later;
The defeated army
Does battle first
And seeks victory later. ”

Inference :  To be in winners shoes, do what winners do. Devise a foolproof digital strategy first (work out all the permutations and combinations), so there are no chances of faltering. Be ready with your arsenal of Online Marketing Campaigns, Online Advertising, PPC, Display Advertising Services, Social Media Advertising, Email Marketing, Conversion. Success is a mindset, achieve it before going into the battle. It helps to foresee.

6) The warrior skilled in Indirect warfare is Infinite…

In the 5th chapter ‘Potential Energy’, Master Sun says

“ The warrior skilled In indirect warfare
Is infinite As Heaven and Earth
Inexhaustible As river and sea,
He ends and begins again Like Sun and Moon,
Dies and is born again
Like the Four Seasons ”

Inference :  Digital marketing and branding exercises, pursued indirectly (not so blatantly) and at irregular intervals by deploying diverse tactics is the best way to go about it. For instance, concentrating on Paid Ads, followed by a lull, then a bombardment of highly targeted Email marketing campaign can take your consumers by surprise.
It’s like a Guerrilla warfare—your power and strength will remain infinite, if you concentrate on the diversity w.r.t time and techniques.

7) Skillfully deployed soldiers are like round boulders Rolling down A mighty mountain… 


“ The Skillful Warrior

Exploits The potential energy;
He does not hold his men Responsible

He deploys his men To their best
But Relies on The potential energy.

He sends his men into battle like a man Rolling logs or boulders.
Skillfully deployed soldiers are like round boulders
Rolling down A mighty mountain ” 

Inference: More than the strategy, it’s the timing and positioning that determines your success. In digital marketing, unleashing your efforts at the opportune moment from a strategic standpoint can bring you the right gains.

For instance, if your firm’s already an established brand. To gain further lead over your competitors you may become a thought leader in your field, especially if you’re running a professional practice, selling a pioneering product et.al. It could be done with effective Content marketing, Infographics, etc.

8) There are roads not to take. There are armies Not to attack…

“ There are-
Roads Not to Take
Armies, Not to attack
Towns Not to besiege
Terrains Not to contest
Orders Not to obey ”

Inference: Not every strategy or tactic is meant for you. It might serve your competitors beautifully, but be futile for you.
Someone might need PPC, more than content marketing, since their biggest concern is to get more and more leads. Different strokes for different folks!
In fact, indulging in ineffective activities will not only make you squander your resources, but risk your service or product’s future.

9) In killing an individual, It’s necessary to know him beforehand…

“ In striking an army,
In attacking a city,
In killing an individual
It is necessary to know beforehand
The names of the general,
And of his attendants,
His aides,
His doorkeepers,
His bodyguards.
Our spies must be instructed
To discover all of these
In detail. ”

Inference :  Before you set out to unleash your ultimate marketing missile, it’s best to get acquainted with all its elements (pros and cons) so you’re able to predict your audiences’ response. What would happen if you strike the bulls eye, what would happen if you don’t. You should be aware of every little detail. In digital marketing if you’re considering remarketing campaigns, you should be as accurate as possible in predicting how your audience will respond.

 

10) Attack according to the soldier’s spirit

“ The soldier’s spirit
Is keenest In the morning;
By noon It has dulled;
By evening He has begun To think of home

The skillful Warrior
Avoids the keen spirit,
Attacks the dull
And the homesick;
This is Mastery of spirit ”

Inference : Have a go at your target when he’s most vulnerable, not when he’s most alert and strong, otherwise you’ll end up wasting your resources. Your natural proximity to your target would matter highly. It will allow you time to strike with precision.

For example, if you’re concentrating on social media marketing and the target appears too tough to achieve, no need to go at it hammer and tongs. Wait for the right time.

Wrapping Up

Whether it’s a marketing or digital marketing strategy, a clear understanding between; what’s achievable, what’s not; what’s worth going for, what not; what’s near, what’s far; is indispensable for charting out a victory path.

In the past, strategies have been essential for sieges, now they’re needed for clutching projects and leading in the market. If you’ve understood the above principles, it’s time to implement them. Because just as war, in marketing too you have to offer baits to lure the consumer.

army

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Checklist to see if someone sold you a tactic in the name of a Marketing Strategy!


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Written by Harman Bajwa
on December 20, 2017

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

― Sun Tzu, ‘The Art of War’

Though both strategy and tactics have been pivotal to warfare, it’s the former that encompasses the latter. For instance, a commanding officer may employ guerrilla warfare as a tactical move to distract the enemy and gain control over a territory (a strategic move).

Put differently, a tactic is several chunks of a Plan of Action; whereas ‘strategy’ is the larger framework, that’ll eventually lead you to the desired result.

The rules are no different, be it an administrative work taken up by a city Mayor, a game of chess or a Digital Marketing strategy.

Here’s a 5 point checklist to separate the wheat from the chaff and find someone who can offer you a strategy, not a tactic in Digital marketing.

1)    Is your Strategist paying heed to your Target Audience?

It’s vital that your Digital strategist understands what your target audience wants as lucidly as you do (if not better). You would be surprised to know how similar the first meetings of most strategy providers go with a variety of clients. Even Doctors don’t  prescribe the same medicines to all their patients, especially if they have different illnesses.

If someones suggests you to do what they have advised others (even if that’s shown favorable results), get to the bottom of it. It’s most likely a tactic, as had it been a strategy, no two cases should have been similar. Even if it’s a coincidence; then coincidences don’t occur too often!

Rethink it: If they keep egging you on going for Search Engine Optimization or Google Adwords in the first meeting, chances are that’s what you’d likely get since it preoccupies their minds already. This might work for you in the short term, but that’s  NOT a Customized Strategy for long term gains.

 

2)    Can your Strategist offer your customers a compelling reason to buy your product?

Does your strategist know how to motivate your customers to buy your product? How well do they understand your product? Is it meant for businesses or end users? Can it be promoted as a new infrastructure (in offices, residences), can it fix problems or does it offer a superior value over an existing similar product while having no potential risks. These things have to be clear in your strategist’s mind, as it will serve as the premise behind charting out a communication plan for your potential buyers.

If  your strategy provider understands these things only on the surface, then they won’t be able to go far. Their efforts would be reduced to fostering your existing selling drive, as a tactical move. This can be a big marketing mistake which will eventually affect your bottom line. In contrast, a strategy would be to internalize the want for your product and create a new need for the buyers. Can the strategist do that?

Rethink it: Nobody knows your product like you do, so delve deeper into how they perceive it as a buying option. Put yourself into the shoes of the buyer of your own product, you’ll understand how persuasive their plans are.

3)    Does your Strategist care about your Competitors’marketing strategy?

Is knowing your competitors a priority for your strategist? Understanding them better can offer you a yardstick. It should be a part of your strategist’s research and must be done meticulously. It can also give you peek into your competitors’ market spend, and conversely their budget. If your digital strategy provider urges you to take your competitors seriously, it’s only for you to be at an advantage before you start allocating your millions.

But if a strategy provider stresses a lot over what your competitors are doing, it can be a tactic (to emulate their ways). In contrast, taking it as a starting point and building on it to move ahead could count as a strategy.

Rethink it: If a strategy provider is harping way too much over studying your competitors, it can be because of their shallow understanding of your product or business. You’ll smell the rat when it happens.

4)    Is  your Strategist stressing on revenue on a micro level instead of talking about CSFs , KPIs, metrics, leading up to a larger Goal?

A smart strategist, even before opening a discussion around data or tools, will have a well-defined goal for your digital marketing strategy. If your strategist can’t distinguish  between your Goal, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Critical Success Factors (CSFs) etc., it’s already a botched up affair. Goals for one, are above your commercial metrics or marketing performance indicators. All your effort and use of metrics must ensure you’re inching towards it. An example of a goal could be- to offer the best customer service in your industry.

If your strategist leans towards tools, metrics and data it might be a tactic for offering you a quick ROI, but the longevity of it remains questionable. On the other hand a strategy would be to work around defining your (in a descending order of priority), Vision -> Goals -> Objectives -> CSFs and KPIS -> Metrics and Measures. 

Rethink it: If your strategy provider doesn’t speak to you in the aforesaid language, either they’re deliberately doing so or they’re incapable of it. And both the cases are hazardous for your brand/product. Apart from growing your sales, the idea should be to focus on engagement with your potential customers and creating an awareness for the new visitors. It would all lead to REVENUE only, eventually.

5)    Picking the right Tactics, to build  your strategy, is the real McCoy!

It’s no mean feat to decide upon the tactics your strategy will have. Whether your strategy needs Email marketing, SEO, Display advertisements, Adwords, Video marketing, Social media advertising (on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), or Content marketing.; it would need analysis.  For instance, if you think Television was the best bet to pursue 18-34 year olds in the United States, you might be luckier in reaching them through YouTube.

If your strategist is going hammer and tongs after one (or two) such tactic(s), s/he is only trying to untangle the last part of the puzzle. A strategy, on the contrary will be about engaging your customers in a holistic manner, spreading a good word about you while meeting the surrounding issues head-on.

Rethink it: A digital strategy works best with a top-down approach. If your strategist’s starting points are any of these marketing tactics, they are taking the bottom up approach; which is fundamentally INCORRECT.

Wrapping Up

Look a little deeper, and you’ll realize why a strategist is trying hard to promote one or two tactics. They either hold an expertise in it or they have seen success because of those.

However, it’s nothing short of blatant maneuvering. But it gets worse when those ill chosen tactics starts meddling with the positioning of your brand and underestimating your customers.

What if your Digital strategist was a highway motorist whose lone skill is to put the pedal to the metal, with no destination plan, no gas and no time limit to reach―you might surely get somewhere.

Or,would you rather rely on luck or hand over the keys to a DIGITAL MARKETING expert who possesses a foresight?

The ball is in your court!

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Inspire to Inspire your Customers


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Written by Harman Bajwa
on October 29, 2017

With over a million websites operating today, what makes your website different? How do you stand out amongst your competitors?

The technique is to inspire and connect with your users.

At Ismoip, we believe that creativity and innovation is the key to bridge that connect.

Simon Sinek, a renowned leadership expert in one of his sessions said, “All great and inspiring leaders and organizations – whether it is Apple or King Martin Luther or Wright brothers – all think, communicate and act the same way. And it’s the complete opposite to everyone else.”

How?

For instance, Apple believes in challenging the status quo by making products that are beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. But they also inspire us with their passion to roll out with the most innovative products for their customers; Of course they happen to make great computers as well, but their ability to inspire others through their products is what distinguishes them from the rest.

In a similar fashion to attract and retain your customers’ attention on your website, you need to inspire them with an interesting landing page. A complete idea or amalgamation of multiple elements of the site, each has a distinct identity and function that can impact on how your visitor relates to you.

Attractive Headers


Attractive headers are the first thing that comes to your visitors notice. A unique choice of artistic and creative headers will not only capture visitor’s attention but will also impact what you’re trying to achieve. The focus here is not on call-to-action features, rather the motive is to intrigue the visitors and get them to read further. In addition, interactive features such as Carousels can help offer more information in a slide show format on the website.

Highlighting Relevant Sections


Highlighting relevant sections of your services or products on the homepage is another way to entice your visitors. With use of strong colors, call-out boxes, illustrated characters and portfolio screenshots, infographics, all that can talk to your customers.

Social Media Integration

With the exponential growth of users on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and so on, more and more organizations prefer to have social media connectivity integrated on their websites. Designing websites that help visitors connect easily with the organization’s social media initiatives also gives them the power to promote your organization using social media to the outside world.

People like to do business with those who can connect and understand their audience and at Ismoip, we deliver your beliefs through design. So it’s not actually just the website design, we also believe in helping our customers define their approach and offerings in a way that it not only highlights the purpose, belief and cause of the organization, but also rather why the organization exists and what makes it unique.

Simon Sinek in his best seller book “Start With Why” said, “People don’t buy what you do; people buy WHY you do it.” And we can help you identify, understand and execute the WHY element in your product.

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LinkedIn invites you to the club extraordinaire : Be an ‘Influencer’!


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Written by Pooja Mehra
on February 26, 2014

Now LinkedIn intends to catapult all the followers’ into the league of followed, by letting them share the platform with opinion makers like Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Meg Whitman, Sir Richard Branson, etc.

Simply put, LinkedIn is extending the access of its publishing platform to all its existing users.

Having approx. 227 million users (and growing), with 2 new members joining every second, covering a Geographical reach of 200 nations and territories, available in 20 languageswhat LinkedIn’s witnessed is no short of a big bang, in just over a decade’s existence.

And this announcement comes as a defining moment in its evolution.

The Beginnings!

On 29th April, 2010, LinkedIn allowed its users to follow companies’ profiles and receive real-time alerts on their activities; a close replica of following someone on Twitter or becoming someone’s fan on Facebook.

After approximately two years of this, a major development surfaced.

At a time when Google was going hammer and tongs about original content production, admonishing malpractices, imposing penalties on spammers for hoodwinking the average Internet user; LinkedIn cracked the code to a path breaking invention. It got the most renowned thought leaders of the world on its Network to share their ideas and thoughts through long form content, and allowed all the LinkedIn members to follow their posts.

The announcement was made on 2ndOct, 2012 and included the likes of none other than, President Barack Obama, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson, Governor Mitt RomneyDavid Cameron, Bill Gates, etc.This elite category of contributors was christened‘Influencers’.These Influencers then began sharing their exceptional knowledge and insights with LinkedIn members. Initially they were 150 in strength, later on they became 500.

The ANNOUNCEMENT  Now

The phenomenal success of the Influencer program saw an average post receive 80-plus comments, 250 likes and 31,000 views; which egged on LinkedIn to extend the service to 25,000 members for now. It would be extended to all its members in the following weeks and months.

The idea is to disseminate the valuable experiences, knowledge and expertise of all its users that haven’t been captured as yet.

Moreover,  if a member publishes a post on LinkedIn, their unique content would be considered as a part of their professional profile and would be shared within their network.

Likewise, members will receive content according to their interests, profile and their network.

Members will also be allowed to follow those who are not in their network as well as create their own group of followers. This will include, sharing images, posts, videos on Slideshare too.

Ryan Roslansky, the Head of Content Products at LinkedIn told USA Today that,”We want LinkedIn to be a place members come to be more effective and successful, not just when they are looking for a job or looking for people. We believe that content is a way to do that.” 

Yes, there are advantages, Something for EVERYONE

The long form content has been around for quite some time to target niche audiences and drive a high level of engagement.

Google’s Indepth Articles is a case in point. It stresses on the creation of elaborate, content on broader topics.

LinkedIn’s publishing platform is also to do with knowledge sharing, but it has a  different perspective.

1)     Everyone gets to share the stage– By putting a pen in everyone’s hand, LinkedIn has truly empowered all its users to contribute, discuss, share their views on a serious platform (unlike Facebook or Twitter). Here’s an overview to LinkedIn’s Publishing platform.

2)     A shot in the arm for the HR – This one goes without saying. LinkendIn draws 55% of its revenue formTalent solutions. HR leaders throughout the globe can now scrutinize the content produced by their prospective employees’ to comprehend them better. As for LinkedIn, it’ll greatly help in growing its revenue.

3)     A surefire way to reach out – Many a times even after producing the right content, things go awry at the publishing stage, as it fails to reach the right audience.With LinkedIn’s stepping in, serving up the content to the right audience gets addressed due to its various distribution channels.

4)     Access to the Analytics – Move over Google’s analytics, Linkedin’s analytics shows you everything (in the form of charts, graphs, etc.) about your followers, on parameters of industries, seniority, regions et. al. This way you’ll able to see how your content is communicating with your audience, to guide you in the right direction.

Final Thoughts

Having started by roping in the big guns, LinkedIn has undoubtedly positioned itself as a niche content contributor on the web. The content running so far on LinkedIn has got rave reviews primarily because it comes from the crème de la crème, heading Industries (and nations).

On the other hand, there are apprehensions about dilution of this rich quality due to an influx of less useful, low quality, self promotional content; an issue Google is still grappling with. To think that all its 277 million users would provide value sure seems like wishful thinking.

But, LinkedIn seems to have one thing going for itsince the produced content would be attached to the professional identity of every user, it’d inspire the members to bring the best out of them.

“When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.”

—Shakespeare (Richard II)

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