Your user-generated weapon

Regardless if you’re booking a Christmas holiday, upgrading your car or even trying out a new restaurant, your Path to Purchase always stays the same. You become aware, you deliberate your options, make a decision and then evaluate your decision.

The path to purchase model is a staple of Marketing 101 that is used to track and intercept consumer processes. Traditionally, this model was highly influenced by business-to-consumer communication. However, the emergence of review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and other online forums has caused a digital disruption, shifting communication to consumers.

 

In fact, more than 90% of consumers rely on peer-based reviews to make both large and small purchases. This means that consumer-to-consumer discussion has become an integral aspect of the decision-making process.

 

Whilst the consumer-to-consumer communication appears to remove retailers from the conversation completely, you aren’t necessarily powerless.

 

So, how can you use user-generated content for your business?

 

In terms of SEO, user-generated content allows for a continual stream of content linking to your site, opens opportunities for new keywords and provides both website and social media content.

 

Featuring and utilising user-generated content provides an opportunity for advertising, SEO and increasing conversions but it also re-kindles brand-to-consumer communication.

Top 3 mistakes marketers make when investing in influencers

 The rise of the ‘influencer’ has been significant in the past few years as bloggers, Instagrammers and Youtubers are becoming increasingly popular vehicles for brand advertisement. These influencers are not models or actors but rather everyday people who have gained a following on their respective platform based on specialised skills or expertise knowledge.

 

Influencers have become popular amongst brands as they are able to both promote a brand and create their own content, therefore reducing costs of hiring a third party photographer, editor and advertisement team.

 

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and assume that all brands will benefit from a social media influencer. However, we’ve compiled a list of the top mistakes that marketers make when making this investment.

 

 

  1. Being fooled by the follower count/reach

 

Many marketers fail to understand that a large follower count does not necessarily translate to a large influence. Due to the financial benefits that influencers can gain, many social media users have falsely inflated their following count in order to cash-in on this new occupation.

 

To prevent being fooled by this, observe the follower to likes/engagement ratio. A large follower count but minimal audience engagement indicates a false and inflated reach. Therefore this particular influencer is not a sound investment, as they cannot provide appropriate advertisement for your brand.

 

 

  1. Not understanding the market

 

As mentioned earlier, influencers gain popularity through a certain skillset or niche, this means that not all influencers are created equal. Be aware of the different target audiences that influencers cater to and from this, make an informed decision.

 

For example, you would not employ a luxury brand influencer to promote a mid to low price range brand. This is because the influencer does not have the reach for this particular target market, not because of the brand itself, therefore rendering a potential investment ineffective.

 

 

  1. Working without the influencer

 

Many marketers and brands are under the impression that providing a script for their influencers is the most effective form of advertisement, however, this can prove to be detrimental.

 

Influencers are not a traditional advertising platform. As a result the marketing approach should not be traditional. Rather than providing your influencer with an exact script in which they are to follow, instead provide a guide or checklist of advertising points you wish to cover.

 

The popularity of influencers as marketing tools largely stems from their ability to relate to the audience, this relationship can be damaged from obvious and direct advertisement techniques.

 

Another mistake is the opposite of the spectrum. Do not allow your influencer too much creative freedom as this can result in important brand messages being miscommunicated.

 

 

Influencers are a useful marketing tool and can result in excellent returns on investment. Before you take this plunge, make sure that you and your business are aware of mistakes and pitfalls that can prove damaging to your success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Katreena Pevec

What to expect when you’re not expecting: SEO Edition 2017

Top SEO predictions of 2017

Whether you love it or hate it, SEO is one of those things that will keep changing – for some it keeps life interesting and for others it’s a struggle to stay ahead. There are constant updates, developments and new trends.

 

Of course there are the usuals, user experience, mobile use and updates but in an attempt to get ahead for the New Year, we’re going to run you through a few of 2017 SEO predictions that are a bit outside the box.

 

  1. SEO is far from being over…

 

Okay, so this one isn’t the mind blowing or head scratching prediction you expected but it’s an important one to start with. Over the past few years, there are always sceptics who declare that the industry is dwindling and every year it is nowhere close to happening. This is because every year that passes, technology and the digital world become more important and more complex.

 

We’ve covered a few statistics last year that highlighted the growth of e-commerce and the significance this holds for businesses and their SEO rankings. This is just one trend of many that requires professional and specialised SEO to get the best and most competitive results possible.

 

 

  1. A Google crackdown is on the way

 

Because of the rise of the SEO and digital-sphere, there are more and more people utilising SEO, whether it is self-taught or through an agency. Sometimes, users intentionally or not use techniques that incur penalties.

 

From the looks of things, the crackdown has only begun. There is no doubt that Google will be enforcing more stringent criteria to ensure the quality of content on the search engine.

 

The best way to avoid the wrath of Google is to invest in an ethical and experienced SEO agency such as SEO Premier to ensure that all industry guidelines are being adhered to and that your site avoids potentially long-term setbacks from penalties.

 

  1. Algorithims

 

We’ve already seen changes to the Google algorithms in the past year from the wonderful Penguin update to Panda becoming a core rank algorithm. The next year shouldn’t be any different with more developments to come. This is especially true considering the growth of SEO and the digital sphere, meaning there will be more aspects to improve and refine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge 71% intend to increase digital spend

 

New year, new you, new budget. Not only is the New Year a chance to start that new hobby or lose that 2kg but it is also an opportunity to reboot and re-evaluate your business. Whether it’s a new workspace or investing in endeavours that will benefit your business both long and short term, it’s the perfect opportunity to start fresh. And this is exactly what people intend to do. A recent survey has indicated that 71% of individuals wish to increase their digital spend, while only 14% wish to spend less and 15% intend to maintain their current expenditure.

 

Because the digital sphere is so broad, it can sometimes be difficult to choose which branches of the industry to specifically invest in. Some of our top picks for the biggest digital activities to invest in for 2017 include:

 

  1. Social Media Marketing

 

Social media is one of those platforms that continue to grow, change and develop as they become more and more popular.

 

Each social media network are developing their own twist on ephemeral content, live video and of course the traditional images and posts have not been forgotten either.

 

It is no longer enough to have a social media account but to actively engage and make use of this medium, so it’s definitely worth the investment this year.

 

  1. SEO

 

SEO is one of digital tools that you will need regardless of annual trends because until search engines are rivalled by another source, your rankings have a large impact on your business.

 

Use SEO to increase traffic to your site, not only for brand awareness but also to increase e-commerce. It’s important to note that SEO is best invested outside your business, in an experience agency to avoid penalties that can incur from lack of knowledge and understanding of the process.

 

  1. Content Marketing

 

Content material is an excellent way to showcase your knowledge and expertise within your industry. It also provides the opportunity to boost your online presence, which as you would know is a critical aspect of owning a business within this technological age.

 

Content includes anything from the content on your website, well-written blogs, lifestyle posts graphics and even guides. It’s easy to assume that because you have the knowledge needed for your content, that you are able to do this yourself, however, this is not always the case.

 

Using an agency such as SEO Premier to professionally write your content for you ensures that your content marketing is superbly written in a manner that is both engaging and easy to understand.

 

Content is only valuable if it can be consumed by the traffic on your site.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Katreena Pevec

E-commerce abandonment issues and your 2017 resolutions with Bing

E-commerce stats that help explain your abandonment issues…

 

Cart abandonment, we’ve all been there – as a shopper we have done the abandoning. Whether it’s the guilty pleasure of adding items you know you won’t buy to the cart, seeing the total amount and backing out or being turned off by obnoxious shipping revealed upon checkout.

 

Do we ever stop to think about the ecommerce retailers that feel the sharp sting of our abandonment? No, we don’t.

 

As a retailer, understanding cart abandonment trends can go a long way in easing the deep, emotional pain of an empty cart. Reading and recognising trends isn’t the only solution though. Developing strategies to combat cart abandonment is key to decreasing its rates.

 

 

  1. Tuesday Doomsday…

 

It turns out that Tuesday has the highest rates of cart abandonment in the whole week whilst there is no surprise that Saturday between 8pm and 9pm have the lowest rates of cart abandonment.

 

Test out free shipping or a storewide discount specifically for Tuesdays to coax customers into clicking that ‘checkout’ button.

 

  1. It’s not me, it’s you…

 

Customers all have different reasons for abandoning their carts – addressing these issues can not only lead to a decrease in cart abandonment but could also lead to an improved consumer-retailer relationship.

 

The highest reported reason that customers abandon their carts at 28% is unexpected shipping costs. Advertising shipping costs clearly or even ensuring that shipping information is accessible reduces this trend as consumers are ultimately turned off by spending more than expected.

 

Creating an account is a time consuming process that is a huge turn off for customers; 23% to be exact. The large appeal of online shopping is the ease and convenience – having to create an online account before a purchase defeats this.

 

  1. Is your sector at risk?

 

Different sectors that offer e-commerce have varying rates of cart abandonment, perhaps due to the nature of the purchases in each sector. Travel has the highest rate of cart abandonment with 80.4%. This can be attributed to hidden tariffs and the additional costs that flight bookings can incur.

 

The close second highest sector at risk is the financial sector with 79.3% abandoning their carts. Financial services purchases are often time consuming, with an arduous application process that can lead to abandonment as consumers lose interest.

 

 

Tackle your cart abandonment issues and maybe your Tuesday won’t be so lonely…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bing helps you stick to your New Year’s resolution

 

New Year’s resolutions very rarely stick, on December 31st you are vowing to go to the gym and eat healthy. Instead it’s January 2nd and you’re convincing yourself that you deserve a cheat day and that your body needs rest.

 

Recent years have seen a rise in importance placed on health and fitness, whether it’s increased research or simply an awareness of adverse affects of poor health. Search engine Bing is honing on this growing trend by including health and fitness specific updates within the search results.

 

This development is aimed to improve user experience and make it easier to locate health information.

 

Are you new to working out? Search ‘exercise’ on Bing and a carousel of at-home or gym workouts appears in the results. These exercises can be filtered based on difficulty, target area and equipment, basically a free workout guide that can be changed at any time.

 

This function also extends to those that are food conscious. Not only can you search specific recipes or dietary requirement recipes but you can also manage your calorie intake. Bing provides an automatic result when the calorie count of a specific amount of a particular food is searched.

 

So if you’re sitting on the couch, unsure of where to start with your new healthy 2017 resolution, jump onto Bing and plan a workout.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Katreena Pevec

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