Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
CarLock has created an app to connect car owners to their vehicles 24/7.
This info is from the CarLock team – sounds like a great gadget!
The technology is plugged into the diagnostic port, and via a mobile app vehicle owners can track their cars and monitor security remotely.
- Find your car – if you can’t remember where you parked it in a large car park or an unknown city, the CarLock app will navigate to your vehicle.
- Theft attempt notification – get an instant subtle notification if anything happens in your vehicle while you’re away from it. The device will tell you exactly what was attempted or achieved – engine started, car moved etc.
- Battery updates – monitor the health of your car battery, and get notified if it’s running low.
- Crash Help – If you are involved in a crash, the app will send messages to your chosen contacts and inform them. If someone else is driving your car and crashes it, you’ll receive urgent notification.
- The smart mobile phone notifications mean you are discreetly kept informed of your vehicle’s whereabouts and security without waking the whole neighbourhood.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
I'm often asked about useful tools in marketing, so here's a round-up of free tools that marketing managers can use whether conducting a digital audit or developing their digital marketing strategy and finalising the digital marketing plan.
Digital Marketing Audit phase – useful tools
The audit phase should include a review of your business and your competitors. This underpins the strategy so it's essential that it is a robust review. Click here for a checklist of what to include in the audit.
- 4 tools to measure website effectiveness
- 5 tools for analysing social profiles
- 10 free online marketing tools that every “hands-on” marketer should use
- Tools for emerging trends in marketing
Digital Marketing Strategy phase – useful tools
The strategy is the future direction of the business. Where are you going? What's the offer? These are helpful tools as a starting point. You may need some expertise to help formulate the strategy.
- Top 4 KPI Measurement Tools
- Digital Tools To Acquire New Customers
- Digital Tools to Retain New Customers
Digital Marketing Planning phase – useful tools
The plan is all about the detail. Who will do what, when and how, to achieve the strategy and your objectives? These tools are more focused on managing the plan, when it's in place.
If there are tools missing, please add to the comments section!
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Google+ has been a topic of conversation for a while, back in 2012 we discussed the reasons why Google+ is good for business use and looked at the benefits is can bring for businesses. Yet many business owners still do not fully understand the benefits of using Google+ to market their business and there have been contradicting reports debating its relevance within the digital marketing mix. Some marketers have claimed that the social media website is a ghost town with little use for business marketing; however, here some great reasons to use Google+ to promote your business.
Improved search results
SEO experts often emphasise the importance of Google+ as it is a Google product and ties in with its search engine and other products. Social signals are becoming a key feature of algorithms used by many search engines and Google will pay particular attention to engagement on its own social networking website.
Google+ content also has the ability to appear in search results as each post is given its own unique URL. Every time a Google+ post attracts attention in the form of comments, +1’s or shares it increases the likelihood of this post being given a higher ranking in search engine results.
When a web user searches Google for a specific hashtag, recent Google+ posts that have incorporated the hashtag are given a high priority within the search pages.
Google+ offers two essential features to use when creating and distributing your own content as part of your marketing strategy. The Google+ authorship and publisher features enable its users to take ownership of their original content wherever it appears on the internet.
Google+ pages and personal profiles can be connected to webpages, blog posts and articles showing who the author of the content is. This allows users to claim ownership of the content and demonstrate their expertise in their field, becoming a thought leader within their industry.
Google+ publisher allows its users to gain ownership of their earned content including customer reviews. The publisher feature connects your Google+ local page to your website and displays an ‘information graph’ of relevant items when your business name or other brand signals are searched for using the search engine. This information includes the number of followers on your Google+ page, your recent posts and even reviews of your business from other Google+ users.
Integration with other platforms
Google+ integrates with many other platforms and social applications and there are usually options to +1 or share content on most websites. Creating all of your Google networks with the same username and account will also increase the transparency of your business and gain the trust of your audience.
Google’s ownership of Youtube is also important to note here, as it is the second biggest search engine in the world and users now need to have a Google account to create a Youtube channel.
Google+ is a great tool for communicating and engaging with your customers. The circles function was designed with business marketing in mind and allows you to segment and target your audience with content specifically created for each section.
Google+ hangouts are also an innovative way of interacting with your audience and can be used for a variety of activities. For example, businesses can unveil new products, conduct interviews or hold live Q&A sessions with followers using the video streaming feature.
Using Google+ for your business
Like any social network, when using a Google+ page to promote your business and engage with your audience, you should develop a regular posting schedule of fresh and relevant content. Also, where possible, use hashtags in your posts so that people can easily search for and find your content.
You can also use Google+ to engage with other users by adding a +1 to their posts and sharing/commenting on them. This will encourage others to do the same with your content!
Promoting your Google+ presence on your website and across other social media platforms will also alert your customers to your page. Give them an incentive to follow you on the network by posting original and engaging content.
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Developing a Conversion Rate Optimisation Strategy
Once you have calculated your website’s conversion rate it is then best to analyse it using an initial set of metrics. Firstly, begin by looking at the bounce rate of your site – how many people leave after visiting just one page? Secondly, take a look at the exit rate and determine which page most people leave your site on and the average amount of time they spend browsing your website. If there are certain pages that keep cropping up when determining the exit rate of your website, this can act as a red flag to warn you of potential user issues on these pages.
A good conversion rate optimisation strategy will also aim to improve the overall user experience of your website. To lay the foundations for this there are a number of areas you should examine, such as general usability and the conversion funnel. The conversion funnel is simply the path that a user takes on your website to achieve the conversion, or goal, you want to measure. So, if you want your visitors to make a purchase, how many pages and clicks does it take for them to reach the checkout page? The conversion funnel should be made as simple as possible so that users do not become frustrated and abandon their journey.
When optimising your website for conversions you should also use A/B testing techniques and user testing to make sure its usability is as easy as possible. Ensure that the website’s graphics are clear and do not obstruct any important information, ensure that your calls to action are suitably placed and easy to see and if operating an ecommerce website, establish whether the checkout process is easy to follow.
Once you have identified any problems users may be encountering on your website you can then begin to rectify these issues, making the site easier and more enjoyable to use. Using Google Analytics you can also set up goals and funnels metrics to monitor the success of your CRO strategy. A Google analytics goal measures the time it takes for users to complete a specific action on your website, whilst the funnel tracks the pages and clicks they made in order to achieve this goal.
Simplify your conversion rate optimisation
There are a number of online resources and software packages available to help you develop and execute your conversion rate optimisation strategy. Software programs such as Crazy Egg show you a detailed ‘Heat map’ which highlights the most active areas of your website in terms of clicks and engagement. This then allows you to see areas of the site that may be under performing, or calls to action that are being missed or ignored.
Whilst software applications such as Wingify provide an easy way to perform A/B testing in order to “Tweak, optimize & personalize your website and apps with minimal IT help.” With full statistical reports, heat maps and user insights Wingify is a great starting place for those who are new to conversion rate optimisation.
Monday, 18 August 2014
Content marketing focuses on owning media and becoming a source of relevant, valuable information for your target audience. The content that a business creates and shares should emphasise its expertise in the area of business and establish the firm as a thought leader.
Creating a content marketing strategy
Developing a plan
Like any other form of marketing, you should begin your content marketing efforts with a plan or strategy. Key points to consider include; the purpose of your marketing campaigns- what do you want to achieve? Identify your unique selling points of your product or service so you can promote these through your content.
Identify the core messages and values of your business and ensure that these are promoted through the content created and curated.
It is also advisable to create a content calendar so you can schedule content creation and identify particular times at which your content will be most useful to your audience. A calendar will also allow you to take advantage of specific dates and events throughout the year.
Identifying your audience
Having a clear target audience in mind when developing a content marketing strategy is crucial. Spend time developing personas and then ask yourself what each of the segments want from your business. What questions do they want you to answer, which products are most suitable for them and what types of content (ie. Blog post, video, images, inforgraphics) will appeal to them most.
Choosing the right channels
Your content strategy should dictate the channels you use to communicate with your audience, not the other way around. Whether its social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ or a blog on your website or even a Youtube channel, there a multiple ways to communicate with your audience.
Consider the best times to post on each channel and the types of content that will work well. For example many businesses find that images attract a lot of engagement on Facebook and have built this into their content strategy.
Developing the content process
From content creation through to engaging with followers and fans, a well-planned out process with ensure that you keep on top of your content marketing strategy.
Start by creating content that is informative and engaging and optimise it so that it is easily found and appears in search results. Then find some trusted sources with valuable content that you can aggregate through your channels.
Finally, build in some time to interact and communicate with your audience. It is important to create a dialogue with your prospects and customers instead of simply talking at them. Listen to their feedback and incorporate this into your content plan.
Measure and Analyse
Like any marketing activity, it is important to measure the results of you content marketing campaign. Most channels have analytical tools allowing you to measure the impact of your efforts. Websites and blogs can be tracked using Google Analytics, Facebook has its own insights feature and other platforms can be measured by monitoring the number of followers and how they interact with your posts.