Mobile Apps for Digital Marketing: 10 Things You MUST Know

1. Only do apps when you need more

Compared to browsing, mobile apps offer a richer level of user interaction allowing more complex graphics, media, and information to be presented. They also provide a more robust and secure environment for user engagement. But, if you can deliver what you are trying to achieve through a browser you will be able to reach far more consumers. –Jeremy Copp, CEO, Rapid Mobile Media

2. Tell people about your app

Don’t just rely on app stores, you can distribute apps via mobile sites, operators, and through multiple ad placements and formats for maximum impact and reach. –Theo Theodorou, EMEA Sales Manager, Mobile Advertising, Microsoft Advertising

3. Think further than the iPhone

The iPhone offers fantastic functionality for developers and users alike, and apps developed for the platform are eminently PR-able, and are often shared virally. It has a fast growing user base, and reaches relatively wealthy 25-44 year olds who actively use mobile media very well; but also developing a Java version, optimised to work over a wide range of handsets including BlackBerry will give you a far greater potential reach. –Mark Angell, Business Development Director, Marvellous

4. Get the balance right

There are 2 fundamental balances to achieve. Firstly, business objectives vs user needs: For the application to be effective, the business needs must carefully consider the user as well as commercial objectives. Secondly, the three E’s (Engagement, Entertainment, and Effectiveness): Functional apps often outlast the usage of entertainment-based apps. –Paul Taylor, Strategist & Planner, COI

5. Know the average app user

There are 8.7 million people who have used a downloaded app in the UK which is 18% of mobile users. 60% of these users are playing games that they have downloaded. The median age of an apps user is 32 years old and 43% are female. 36% of app users own smartphones compared to 15% of the total market. –Alistair Hill, Analyst and Mobile Products, Europe, comScore

6. Brand-building vs sales

Free applications get the most downloads, where as paid-for applications generate revenue. Knowing whether you are branding or selling is a key point when launching your first application. –Ross Butler, Creative, Parrott and Miller

7. Product longevity is essential

Every service needs a roadmap, no matter how basic. Customers will quickly get bored with a uni-functional app which has no new features or capability added over time. By adding functionality as time goes on you can create brand advocacy. –Christian Harris, CEO, Gorilla Box

8. Send them in the right direction

Ads in existing applications are a great place to advertise, but make sure that the destination site is optimised for mobile. If you don’t then you risk low conversion and a poor perception of your brand. –Jonathan Abraham, Brand Sales Director, AdMob

9. Test, test, and test again

If a customer can access it on their handset it needs to work. If it doesn’t it will do more damage than good to your brand. Invite feedback and always read customer reviews (don’t just ask friends to write them!) to ensure you’re meeting the needs of your consumer. –Oliver Newton, Head of Emerging Platforms, i-level

10. Be on brand

Just like with any form of communication ensure that your app is ‘on brand.’ Tone of voice, brand values, message, production values, and brand fit are essential in making a great brand app. –Kieron Matthews, Marketing Director, IAB

IABUK.

5G Mobile Internet on the Horizon?

Mobile Internet is the biggest thing to come along since, well, cell phones and the Internet. Now, before 4G internet is even mainstream, the possibilities of 4.5G and 5G are on the horizon.

Researchers at Rice University have made a breakthrough that could allow wireless companies to double throughput in their networks without adding a single cell phone tower or overhauling existing phone hardware.

“Full duplex” wireless would enable phones and tablets to  “talk” and “listen” on the same frequency, something that requires two frequencies today. In 2010, professor of electrical and computer engineering Ashutosh Sabharwal along with Melissa Duarte and Chris Dick published the first paper showing that full-duplex wireless was possible. That set the worldwide wireless community off on a race to see if it could be implemented on real networks. This summer, Sabharwal and Guarav Patel demonstrated in real-time that it could be done. They set new performance records while they did it, producing signal quality at least 10 times better than any previously published result. All they did was add an extra antenna and pulled a few computing tricks.

All this could mean new wireless standards allowing carriers to upgrade to 5G in just a few years.

“Our solution requires minimal new hardware, both for mobile devices and for networks, which is why we’ve attracted the attention of just about every wireless company in the world,” said Sabharwal.

Sprint Unveils Their First $100 4G Android Phone: The Samsung Conquer 4G

Mobile media development — which includes apps, video, audio, and other interactive media for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, etc. — and SMS marketing are more than just taking off, they’re launching full-out assaults from all sides. The next big weapon to be unleashed is the availability of 4G-capable phones, able to handle more intensive media, at lower and lower prices.

At the end of August Sprint unveiled its 25th 4G-capable phone, but the Samsung Conquer 4G is the first of its kind with its starting price of just under $100 with a new 2-year contract. Sprint’s other 4G-capable phones start at the $200 mark.

The phone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box, and its low-res front-facing shooter clocks in at 1.3 megapixels. This is where the specs start reflecting the lower price: the processor is a single-core 1GHz and the 3.5-inch touchscreen resolution only stands at 320×480, though many recent reviews point out that it’s plenty bright enough to read clearly. Other specs include 3.2 rear-facing shooter (with flash and zoom in tow) and Sprint ID. So the Samsung Conquer is no beast by any means, but the draw of 4G for that kind of price will no doubt be huge for consumers. For media producers and marketers, this means a growing audience of users increasingly ready to consume bigger, better, brighter media from them.

 

Bing: 4 Reasons You Want Links

Bing’s Duane Forrester has posted about how Bing evaluates content quality and how it looks at links. He says you want links for a few reasons:

  1. Because they alert us to your website when it’s new or has new content
  2. Because they are a vote of confidence in your site – quality websites tend to link to other quality websites
  3. Because those links can send you direct traffic
  4. Because, over time, they can help establish a footprint that points to your authority on a topic (think guest blogging)

The main point is pretty much: Links are not everything when it comes to ranking in search engines. Nothing new there. Still, it never hurts to listen to the policies as they’re explained by the search engines themselves.

Duane Forrester says: You love links. We love links. Build for the right reasons.

How Many Links Do You Need?

On how many links you need, Forrester says, “Not as many as you may think. Again, as with so many other areas of search optimization, there’s no exact number here.  On popular phrases with lots of query volume, to rank well will require more links from trusted, quality websites to boost your rankings.  Less popular phrases can often require many less links pointed at your site to see the same lift in rankings.  This is where a targeted link building approach can pay off for you.”

The take-aways of the post, Forrester says, are: Don’t buy links, great content builds links, prove to users you’re a trusted authority (and links will follow), and social media can help grow links.

mashable

Ten Things to Avoid When Running an SEO Campaign

Even if you’re using the skills and expertise of an SEO firm, it is still important that you at least know the basics of SEO so that you can work with the company to make the results even better.

There are loads of things that you need to be doing within an SEO campaign, but there are also some things that you REALLY must avoid, and we take a look at some of these below with our top ten things to avoid when running an SEO campaign.

1. Waiting Too Long – One of the biggest mistakes most people make is waiting too long to even begin an SEO campaign. If you have a website you should be running some kind of SEO, no matter how young the site is, because a good campaign can help to get a higher ranking in the early days.

2. Targeting Competitive Keywords – If you sell houses then the chances of you getting to the top of Google for the keyword “houses” are going to be slim, to say the least. If you are working in an extremely competitive market, then you need to look outside of the box and start looking at easier keywords that you can rank for, because realistically, it is going to take a lot of time, effort, and a little bit of luck to top the charts for the most competitive search terms.

3. Ignoring Long tail Keywords – Many people think that they should always go for the most popular keywords, but these often tend to be the most competitive, so you need to look at the long tail keywords. If you targeted 5 long tail keywords that all attracted 200 searches a month but were less competitive than one that attracted 1000 searches a month, you stand more chance of getting the traffic you want in a much shorter time.

4. Writing Rubbish ContentContent is king for Google and the search engine is so advanced and sophisticated these days that it can easily spot duplicate content and also poor quality content. The main aim is to write high quality content that is useful, informative, and offers the user a good experience; or else you will just be wasting your time and hindering your progress.

5. Publishing Poor Articles – Content on your own site is very powerful, but you should also look at writing articles and releasing them on some of the more powerful article directories like EzineArticles. If you are going to do this, then make sure you only publish good quality articles, otherwise they will be rejected and, once again, you will have wasted your time.

6. Spammy Blog Comments – Although blog commenting can be a good way to get relevant links back to your site, if you go around adding poor and unrelated comments, then this is only going to backfire on you in the long run. If you are going to comment on blogs, then make sure that you post quality comments on quality
sites and check out the link follow status and the page rank / authority before you even begin.

7. Reciprocal Linking – Swapping links used to be one of the methods used for acquiring links until, like most link practices, it was abused and Google started to shy away from the weight it carried in rankings. Although it can be a good idea to swap links with local businesses or related businesses, do not waste your time swapping links and also limit the number of outbound links you have on your site.

8. Bad Link Neighbourhoods – Always avoid linking to or getting links from “bad neighborhoods” – sites like gambling, adult and other sites that might be considered a little bit risque. If you are found to have loads of links on these types of sites, then you are going to be in trouble, so always make sure you are careful about where links are added to your site.

9. Ignoring Your Own Website – SEO begins at home because if your website is rubbish, any extra traffic you generate will be a waste of time. Add to this the fact that if your meta titles and content are really poor, you are also going to lose out on ranking because two of the biggest factors when it comes to onsite SEO are meta titles and quality content.

10. Running Out Of Patience – SEO takes time – fact! You cannot expect to start an SEO campaign and get overnight results; it will take weeks, if not months, before you really start to get the results that you deserve if you run a good campaign. SEO should be an ongoing thing, running for as long as you decide to keep your website alive, because SEO is one of those things that goes on forever and is a constant effort.

Ian D. Spencer

Bing's Perspective on Quality Content

contentSince the Google Panda Update first launched back in February (and really for some time before that), there has been a lot of discussion about search quality throughout the industry – the quality of the content that search engines are returning in their results.

This is the whole reason the Panda update exists. It’s all about improving the quality of results. Some will dispute the success of that, but it is the reason for better or for worse.

But what about Bing? It doesn’t command nearly the search market share that Google does but, as it powers Yahoo search, it’s really the only major competitor in town.

Whereas Google had a list of questions one could ask themselves to asses the quality of their site, Bing has published a list of things to avoid, which reads as follows:

  • Duplicate content – don’t use articles or content that appears in other places.  Produce your own unique content.
  • Thin content – don’t produce pages with little relevant content on them – go deep when producing content – think “authority” when building your pages.  Ask yourself if this page of content would be considered an authority on the topic.
  • All text/All images – work to find a balance here, including images to help explain the content, or using text to fill in details about images on the page.  Remember that text held inside an image isn’t readable by the crawlers.
  • Being lonely – enable ways for visitors to share your content through social media.
  • Translation tools – rarely does a machine translation tool leave you with content that reads properly and that actually captures the original sentiment.  Avoid simply using a tool to translate content from one language to the next and posting that content online.
  • Skipping proofreading – when you are finished producing content, take the time to check for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and for the overall flow when reading.  Does it sound like you’re repeating words too frequently?  Remove them.  Don’t be afraid to rewrite the content, either.
  • Long videos – If you produce video content, keep it easily consumable.  Even a short 3 – 4 minute video can be packed with useful content, so running a video out to 20 minutes is poor form in most instances.  It increases download times and leads to visitor dissatisfaction at having to wait for the video to load.  Plus, if you are adding a transcription of your video, even a short video can produce a lengthy transcription.
  • Excessively long pages – if your content runs long, move it to a second page.  Readers need a break, so be careful here to balance the length of your pages.  Make sure your pagination solution doesn’t cause other issues for your search optimization efforts, though.
  • Content for content’s sake – if you are producing content, be sure its valuable.  Don’t just add text to every page to create a deeper page.  Be sure the text, images or videos are all relevant to the content of the page.

If you’re living up to Google’s definition of quality, you probably won’t be doing too bad in Bing either, and if you’re doing well in Google, you’re probably getting a lot more search referrals from Google than you could ever get from Bing anyway, but it’s still helpful to get a look into Bing’s own thinking on this issue.

 

Thanks to Chris Crum of Web Pro News

Make The Most of YouTube Marketing

youtube marketingThe most recent statistics on online video and YouTube are mind-blowing: Nielsen reported that Americans streamed 15 billion videos in the most recently recorded month (May 2011). While traditional TV viewing was up only 0.2% over last year, Internet video viewing was up 35% and mobile video viewing went up 20%.

Before you throw all your marketing dollars into YouTube, however, you might want to consider this other statistic: 35 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube… every minute. In the time it takes you to read this article, about two weeks of fresh content will be posted. Watch the video below and add another three days.

In other words, there’s a lot of competition for those eyeballs. So, how do you maximize your YouTube marketing results?

  •  Create compelling videos.
  • Use YouTube Ads.

  • Make your video findable.
  • Brand your YouTube channel.
  • Post a bulletin and alert your friends and subscribers.

  • Review YouTube Insights for good insights.

  • Leverage other social media platforms.

 

Why It Makes Business Sense To Blog

internet marketing 

Intelligent Blogging Can Be A Fantastic Addition to An Internet Marketing Strategy 

Consider that a successful and viable company is built on:

  • good ideas
  • a great product
  • visibility
  • a hard-working team

Blogs are an effective way of marketing all of those things in one fell swoop, and for bringing in the most important ingredient of success: customers.

Blogging helps you talk directly to people who are interested in what you have to say. There is no guessing game here. If you’re a designer talking about design ideas, people who are interested in design will come back repeatedly. People can mean more than just customers. Industry professionals, other bloggers who may source your content (and therefore increase your ranking), or journalists can all help to publicize your  business.

Blogs also carry a lot of weight with the search engine algorithms when it comes to SEO.

Each individual blog post has the potential to generate a surge in back links and add to your search ranking. They are proven to get better positions for most keywords in search engine results. Simply put, it makes business sense to blog. Humanize your company and reap the benefits of that personal touch. Blogging intelligently will help produce greater results and effectiveness in your internet marketing efforts.

4 Awesome Reasons to Have Contests to Fuel Social Engagement

social engagement

1. Contests Are a Great Tool for Getting Fans

Whether you are beginning with 10 or 10,000 fans or followers, contests offer an exceptional way to increase your fan base. We have seen clients go from 50 to 1,000 and from 15,000 to 30,000 Likes in a matter of days or weeks when running a contest. Of course, this is not the only metric to think about, but it is one measure of the power of a promotion. A basic sweepstakes with a lower barrier to entry often provides the best option for those just starting out with social media contests.


2. Contests Allow You To Engage Your Audience

In addition to increasing the sheer number of people who interact with your brand, a contest provides a conduit to deepen the connection as well. A user-generated content (UGC) promotion such as a photo or video contest is a great way to do just that. UGC contests tap in to the human drive to compete, and they provide an opportunity for everyone to experience their 15 minutes of fame. Most importantly, when participants upload their personal content (e.g., a photo or story) to your promotion, they are naturally vested in your brand.


3. Contests Are an Amazing Source of Data

With the lure of a prize, many people are ready to share criteria with you as part of the entry process. You don’t want to introduce too many barriers, but don’t miss the opportunity to learn a bit more about your consumers (i.e., how they heard about your promotion, what their favorite product of yours is, etc.). Remember that what you ask should be relative what you offer in return. In addition to collecting data as part of the entry process, you can also learn a great deal from the interaction and conversation that takes place around your contest.


4. Contests Allow Consumers To Do Your Marketing

How would you like to have hundreds or thousands of your fans helping to spread the word about your campaign? It is important to have a promotion plan that encompasses multiple marketing channels, but thanks to sharing via social media, contests today enable an exponential amplifying of your marketing message that was never available before the Internet.

If your contest includes a voting aspect, participants will be inclined to share through their social graph, asking friends and family to support their entry. Some good rules to follow in voting competitions: You are likely to see ten voters for every entry (often many more) as well as ten clicks for every shared link. These numbers represent a significant multiplier of traffic to your contest site or application as a result of consumers marketing to other consumers.

Like other tools, contests can be extremely effective when used as part of an objective social media strategy. Any consumer organization, as well as many business-to-business enterprises, can take advantage of contests to realize the four benefits shown above.

Before you start a contest, though, be sure to familiarize yourself with local regulations. Every state has its own contest laws — and some can be dicey — so do some research to make sure your promotion is legal.

sourcing:  Mashable

10 Biggest Internet Marketing Myths Exposed

internet marketingBy David Jackson (c) 2011

Merriam-Webster defines a myth as “a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon.”

It’s been said all myths are based in fact. Whether or not that’s true is debatable. What isn’t debatable, however, is like society, Internet Marketing also has its myths. This article exposes what I consider to be the 10 biggest Internet Marketing myths.

1. You Don’t Need Any Money to Do Business on the Internet

You wouldn’t expect to advertise on TV, radio, in newspapers, magazines, or any other media for free would you? Yet, for some strange reason, people think they can just come online and not spend any money, and advertise their business for free. To me, that shows an utter lack of respect for the single most important communication medium since television.

And while it’s true, there are plenty of free advertising opportunities available on the Internet, the fact remains, you still need money to effectively do business on the Internet.

2. Anyone Can Succeed at Internet Marketing

One of my favorite TV shows is Forensic Files. I am absolutely fascinated at how scientists are able to solve crimes with DNA evidence, animal hairs and insect larvae. It’s nothing short of brilliant. But I couldn’t ever be a forensic scientist. I simply don’t have the mental aptitude for it. Forensic scientists have to excel at math and chemistry and science, and quite frankly, those are the subjects I’m weakest at.

The same can be said about Internet Marketing. Despite how easy the slick sales letters and e-books make IM sound, not everybody has the mental aptitude for marketing. And while that may be a hard pill to swallow for many of you reading this, it’s also a fact. Not everybody has what it takes mentally to succeed at Internet Marketing. That’s why people hire marketing consultants like me. (Sorry, I’m not accepting any new clients).

3. You Can Get Rích Quick on the Internet

We’ve all heard the sensationalistic stories about individuals who came online and made a lot money very quickly. Well, sensationalism notwithstanding, those individuals are the exceptions rather than the rule. The fact of the matter is, far more people fail at Internet Marketing than succeed.

Contrary to popular belief, the Internet is not some kind of magic bullet. Besides, it’s not the medium that makes people successful, it’s the individuals themselves. And the people who succeed at the highest level online or offline are generally talented, hard working, organized, focused and determined.

4. People Don’t Read Long Copy on the Internet

If people don’t read long copy on the Internet, who in the heck is reading all those e-books out there in the marketplace? While this myth was disproven years ago, like birtherism, it still persists in the face of overwhelming and irrefutable evidence to the contrary. So, I’m going to attempt to lay it to rest, once and for all.

Research has shown that long copy generally outperforms short copy – provided the copy is compelling, well-written and interesting. And in addition to reading e-books, people regularly read long newspaper and magazine articles online. Bottom line: People WILL read long copy IF the subject matter is interesting to them.

5. All Traffic is Good Traffic

This myth is about as nonsensical as the tooth fairy. Here are the facts: If your traffic is originating from traffic exchanges or guarantéed traffic programs, it’s garbage traffic, plain and simple. And as the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out!”

If you are advertising on websites, or in publications that have zero relevance to your site, you are pretty much spinning your wheels. And if you’re exchanging links with websites that have absolutely nothing in common with your site, your efforts are going to be futile because that traffic is not going to convert. All traffic is not created equal. Quality and relevance matters!

6. E-mail Marketing is Dead

With the advent of mega-popular social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, alarmists have all but declared e-mail marketing dead and buried. Well, I don’t believe in erroneous declarations. I believe in facts. And here are the facts according to Nielsen…

U.S. consumers are spending more and more of their Internet time on their mobile devices. In fact, e-mail activity on mobile devices increased from 37.4% to 41.6% of U.S. mobile Internet time. And when you consider the fact smartphones now comprise 25% of a gigantic U.S. mobile phone market, there can only be one conclusion… E-mail marketing isn’t dead, its gone mobile!

7. Article Marketing Isn’t as Effective as It Used to Be

That is absolute nonsense! I’m personally experiencing more success with article marketing than I ever have. So too are many of my colleagues. And while it’s true, there are many more people involved in article marketing these days, it’s also true, there are many more bad or poorly written articles permeating the Internet. This has the unintended and beneficial consequence of making well-written, quality articles stand out in the crowd. And trust me, quality publishers do notice.

8. You Need to Be on the First Page of Google to Be Successful

Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, Google is far and away the most popular search engine on the planet. No sane person would dispute that. But Google only has ten spots available on the first page. So, not only is it unrealistic, it’s impossible for everyboody to achieve first page status.

But even if it were possible for everybody to achieve first page status, you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in Google’s basket anyway. You’ve seen what can happen when Google has one of its many algorithm changes. First page today, not even indexed tomorrow. That’s why you should strive to have a multi-pronged marketing approach. Utilize a variety of methods to generate traffic.

For example, blogging, newsletters, social networking, article marketing, forum marketing, online and offline advertising, guest blogging, question and answer sites, etc. Diversify.

9. Saturated Niches are No Longer Profitable

This is only true if you don’t know what you’re doing. Let me ask you a question: Have you ever wondered why a particular niche is saturated? It’s because that’s where all the customers are. You see, contrary to popular belief, it really doesn’t matter how saturated or over-crowded a niche is if you’re a professional.

If you know what you’re doing, and execute your marketing strategy properly, there are plenty of customers to go around. You see, it’s how well you position yourself within a particular niche that will determine your success or failure. It’s all about differentiating yourself from your competitors. That’s Marketing 101.

You have to clearly explain to people what makes you different and/or better than your competitors. Then, you have to exploit those differences consistently. So, don’t run away from a crowded niche, embrace it. The Internet Marketing pie is plenty big enough for everybody.

10. If You Build It, They Will Come

Do you know what happens if you build a website and don’t tell anyone about it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing will happen.

Unfortunately, far too many marketers think all they have to do is build a website and customers will somehow magically appear at their doorstep. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way. Building a website is only the first step. You also have to advertise your website to the world – and not just with free advertising methods either. That will only take you so far. You also have to be willing to spend money on paid advertising.

So yes, if you build it, they will come. But only if they know about you!

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