Author Archive

Subject Lines in Email Marketing

How important are subject lines to your email campaign? How much time do you spend on deciding an appropriate subject line for your email campaign? How do we go about analysing how effective subject lines are?

email-subject-lines

You may regard your email content for your campaign as the one that matters and the most important, however, if your subject line is not effective then there’s a chance that your email won’t be even read. In today’s fast paced world where people receive hundreds of emails, it is imperative to have an attention grabbing subject line so as to get the users to make that all important decision to open the email. A good subject line is essential for Email Marketing. So what makes a good subject line?

Short and clear- Studies show that the best performing subject lines tell people what they want to know in few words. The ones attracting the most opens and clicks are generally less than 50 characters.

Uniqueness- Having subject lines with a unique hook will persuade users to open the email. Subject lines with common words or clichés will most likely get no attention from recipients. On the other hand subject lines which poses a question or which has a humorous content to it, will entice recipients to learn more by opening the email.

Value Proposition- A good subject line will offer value to the recipient. You need to let them know that by opening your email, they will be able to find out matter that interests them.

Personalization- Personalizing subject lines with recipient’s first or last name will help improve open rates.

Credibility– Spelling and grammar mistakes in your email subject line will harm your credibility. Such mistakes could result your email to end up in the trash bin before it is even read.

There is lot of time spent on creating dynamic email content for marketing your emails, so don’t let an ineffective subject line ruin your chances of getting them read. An innovative subject line will go a long way in increasing your open and click through rates.

Defining success of a subject line is another key question. Many marketers consider open rate as the most important metric to consider while rating a subject line, however focusing only on open rates for subject line tests would be a mistake. The overall objective of the campaign needs to be considered before making decisions based on the metric. The following metrics can be leveraged to define success of a subject line:

  • Open Rate: This metric is considered when the intention of campaigns is to raise awareness. Open rates is an ideal metric for maximising subscriber impressions. Unique opens indicates the overall reach of a campaign whereas total opens gives perspective on whether recipients are opening the email more than once.
  • Click Rate: Focus on click rate when the goal of the campaign is to drive traffic to the destination pages. Unique clicks indicates the recipient’s exposure to the website and landing pages whereas total clicks gives a good indication of how engaged the subscriber is.
  • Click to Open Rate: This metric determines whether the traffic coming into the email was qualified and engaged. High rates indicate that well qualified subscribers are engaged.
  • Conversion Rate: A high conversion rate for a subject line indicates driving high quality traffic to the website. Testing for conversion rate ensures the right subscribers are engaging with the email.

The Goal of all subject lines is to drive subscriber engagement, but one needs to also review metrics that indicates subscriber dissatisfaction. For example subject lines which drive more opens but also contribute in having a high number of unsubscribes may strain relations with both the subscribers and ISPs. These problems should be carefully reviewed to avoid long lasting and detrimental effects for email campaigns.

Jose Stevenson

Business Analyst

Kenscio Digital

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Training on the New & Improved Teradata DMC (Now Mapp Digital Marketing Platform)

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We invite you to an insightful training session with Ms. Sandra Curry on the latest aspects of eCircle. (Mapp Digital Marketing Platform)

Discover the latest features of Teradata DMC (Now Mapp Digital Marketing Platform) and learn how you can make the most of your Email Marketing Campaigns. The following topics will be covered:

  • Segmentation Builder
  • Automation Whiteboard
  • CMS (drag & drop)
Come, join us tomorrow at our Bangalore office from 10 am to 5 pm.
Venue: 4th Floor, Innovation, No. 101,
Amar Jyothi HBCS Layout
Domlur, Bangalore

 

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Immortal Emails for long-lasting customer Engagement

How to make Emails Immortal?

Have you even wondered if it is possible to make a promotional mailer informative enough to such an extent that the subscribers can simply check the Email/Inbox to check a latest hourly deal/offer rather than visiting the website? Being contextual to subscribers for a long duration (if not forever) is no more an impossibility.

And most of the email marketers send emails every day with different content without knowing whether the subscribers are really reading the emails. By the time the subscribers open the email, most of the emails are outdated and become irrelevant and obsolete. Most of the time content doesn’t provide any meaningful information to them. Sometimes, thereafter, it’s just a matter of a single click to stop further communication (unsubscribe).

the-contextual-inbox

How a brand delivers a seamless experience to subscribers through real-time updated email communications is a matter of great importance to email marketers. While Social Media, Web and Mobile based technologies have innovatively developed real-time content delivery and integration features, email communication often fall flat as far as contextual communication is concerned. Putting it simply, for an example, is it possible to send an email to your subscribers containing real-time Foreign Exchange rates/currency rates that represent actual value based on the time a subscriber opens the email?

The answer is ‘Yes’. Interestingly, it can be done in the email forever. If the email is opened exactly on this date of the year 2017, the value will be the exact rate prevailing in this time of the year 2017. Such emails are Immortal.

Kenscio developed this innovative email marketing solution based on the years of experience and wisdom garnered from servicing of 100 (+) clients across the globe. Some of their clients like Axis Securities, have taken their mortal campaigns to almost being immortal.

If you look at their emails, you will find the mailers providing real-time tips on how to invest in the volatile stock market that keeps changing every second in a day. Axis Direct emailers are immortal for the subscribers providing the content that are most relevant, Sensex indices, up-to-date market news, which stocks to watch, what are the new stock gainers/losers etc. Thus, the investors always have the latest information in the inbox. Even if you open the emailers sent one-month back today, the content will be valid at this point of time.

The dynamic email marketing solution pulls in information various sources like website, back-end CRM, ERP platforms, social streaming, RSS Feed, News Feed etc. and you can compute a lot of stuffs and show it through emails making them dynamic. As the complete process it automated, one needn’t invest too much time on creating the mailer, testing it, putting the right content, proofing, sending it across etc. and saving tons of a time. Marketers can now more focus on how to get the right stuffs in front of customers and help them better strategizing and helping the customers in getting what they need and not just about content gathering, building and communicating.

Such innovative solutions for marketers put them in a different league compared to the marketers sending mortal emails which dry up every day. Give the subscribers an opportunity to see what is in this dynamic world by directly reaching out to them with real-time information content, fresh messaged for every open.  Give them an opportunity whereas they can see an email in real-time and provide engagement elements that are as fresh as these are the social media and websites.

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Dummies’ guide to social media strategy

Diving into social media with the right strategy is like a never-ending road trip. Here are some tips

Put simply, every action you take on social networks should be a part of a larger social media marketing strategy. That means every like, tweet, reply, share and comment should all be guided by a plan and driving towards pre-determined goals.

To create a social media marketing plan from scratch, the first step is to create social media objectives and goals. As social media channels continue their meteoric rise, the push for organisations to adopt social technology increases as well.

Kenscio Social Media Service providers

Be SMART about it

Here are some common examples of goals and objectives for an organisation’s social engagement plans and how these can be tied together with its marketing plan in 2016. These objectives are S.M.A.R.T., i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Oriented.

Goal 1: Increase market share of voice, increase reach of thought leadership content. Goal 2: Enhance brand reputation, increase engagement and brand awareness by exposing the brand to new people. Goal 3: Improve business intelligence (knowledge of prospects and clients, competitors, technology and trends). Goal 4: Improve return on marketing investment (ROMI)

The next step is to choose and prioritise your social network channels. When it comes to choosing the social media channel or platform you should utilise, follow the principle of choosing wisely. To begin, frame your evaluation of each channel or platform with the following questions: What is the unique purpose of this channel or platform? Does the channel or platform relate to my business needs? Which target audience does this channel or platform serve? How much time on this network is necessary to have the best impact?

You can also judge the value of a social network based on how well it fits your content and strategy. Here’s a helpful way of looking at it. Encourages dialogue, conversation networks: Twitter and Facebook; Business-focused networks: LinkedIn; Image-based networks: Pinterest, Instagram; Video networks: YouTube; SEO and authorship networks: Google+; Location-based networks: Foursquare

Remember to fill out your profiles completely. One of the great benefits of having a fully filled-out social media profile is that visitors know that you are serious about engaging with them. Before you publicise your presence, one must have minimum 15 to 20 posts. This helps visitors to know what type of content you’ll be posting and shows them that you’re established and invested on the channel already.

Keep talking

One must also aim for consistent posting and talk about trending topics. Respond to conversations and keep them going by responding in a way that your audience is excited to talk more, interact more. Keep it consistent and moving. Perhaps the most vital reason for participating in social media is that you get exposure to consumers, clients, prospects, industry leaders and competitors. It actually implies that there’s a wealth of information already available to you which you can incorporate into your social media marketing strategy. This is your baby step to know and explore your path wisely.

Consumers can also offer social media inspiration. How? Simply see how they respond to your promotions, notice what they like, share, tweet and why. Never forget, consumers, clients, prospects buy from those they know, like, and trust. Social media is a way to add value, boost your credibility, and build trust with ideally matched contacts. Always put relationships first because that is the basis of social media marketing. Smart selection of plans based on what your competitors are doing with their social media platforms can also play a pivotal role in your social media strategy. Do get inspired by industry leaders if you feel blank on what lies in the future of your social media strategy.

Above all, any strategy that focuses on providing value, boosting credibility and building trust can bring a paradigm transformation in terms of business excellence. Create a content plan and editorial calendar, create a content strategy. Creating a buzz around your content is essential to expanding social media reach and engagement. Your content marketing plan on social media should focus around these points. What type(s) of content do you intend to post and promote via social media, this year? How often will you post the content? Whom do you wish to target for each type of content? How will you promote the content?

A safe strategy to follow is the social media rule of thirds. One-third of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, generates profit. One-third of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses and one-third of your social content should be based on personal interactions and build your personal brand.

A social media content calendar should organise the way you curate and create content, and help develop your editorial strategy. You should also keep in mind that not all content has to be created fresh, you can get a lot of value from repurposing old content. Perhaps you have articles on your website, case studies, whitepapers, or other forms of content which can be shared using social technology.

Finally, test, evaluate and adjust your social media marketing plan. The most important thing to understand about your social media marketing plan is that it should be constantly changing. As new channels emerge, you may want to add them to your plan. As you attain goals, you may need to adjust them or find new goals for each channel.

As you scale your business, you might need to grow your social presence for different branches or countries. Rewrite your strategy to reflect your latest insight. This is a plan that is meant to change, so be flexible. As you move forward, you may discover that some tactics are not working as well as you thought they would. Try to adapt quickly and introduce the new changes to your overall strategy. An intelligent approach to apply new-edge social media tactics and an emotional approach to know what your consumers want can drive a brand, resulting in social media excellence.

KG Manjunatha is Chairman and CEO,

Kenscio Digital

The original article appeared on The Hindu Business Line.

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10 important future aspects of e-mail marketing

In a survey conducted by Kenscio, marketers’ second highest priority as a reliable marketing tool went to Email Marketing (59%), and preceded by Social Media (76%). Interestingly, Social Media Marketing has achieved overwhelming response globally within just a couple of years in contrast to more than two decades of existence since email technology was developed in early 90s. Social Media Marketing in the last couple of years has grown like no other, easily drawing the lion’s share of every marketing campaign; such has been its impact in so less time. However, it’s not that Email Marketing is lagging behind. As a matter of fact, ‘Email’ has become an integral part of day-to-day life and is too common to talk about.

Kenscio - Email Marketing Company

 

The evolution of Email Marketing is slow but it’s steady so far. But with increasing competition at a time when an active subscriber is bombarded with thousands of promotional emails in a month, the future of email marketing in terms of its usability and deliverability will depend on several aspects of its logical and technological architecture. A few important aspects demonstrate what will shape the future of email marketing.

1) Personalization: Personalization imparts a sense of purpose and warmth to Email Communications. A well personalized Email responds to subscribers based on individual behavioral attributes. The gist of ‘one-to-one communication’ in Email marketing actually lies in successful implementation of personalization tactics in emails.

2) Dynamic Content: Based on individual subscribers, email messages can be variant. This variation can be used to create dynamic content to target subscribers based on their online behaviors, past purchase behavior, email open behavior etc. Innovative approach to create dynamic content in emails can provide marketers tremendous business value in terms of reaching out right customers with right offers.

3) In-email Transactions: Email transactions by clicking in the embedded hyperlinks and re-directing subscribers to external landing page might become a history in near future. Quick transactions for special offers, purchase, form etc. can be enabled in the email body itself which will cut down the process time drastically and will make transactions hassle-free.

4) Automation and Integration with other channels: Innovative approach to integrate with newer channels/versions of platforms is one key issue faced by email marketers. The ability to work seamlessly with multiple channels can increase reliability of email marketing platforms to a great extent.

5) Open-time based customization: Intuitive approach to understand “email behavior’ can help in multiplying email effectiveness. Email open time, clicking behavior, subject lines impact etc. are essential benchmarks for marketers. They provide whole lot of informative understanding of email subscribers and their behavior. If a consumer gets a promotional email at the moment of opening the inbox in the morning, it can have a better impact than hundreds of other promotional mails remaining unread. To make it technologically viable, a data-driven approach to deploy email is the only way out. Innovation can give the further ride to success.

6) Micro-segmentation: Micro-segmentation has contributed immensely to e-commerce brands in terms of devising an appropriate targeting strategy. Different theoretical models such as Clustering, RFM Analysis, Predictive Analysis, CLV Analysis etc. play pivotal role in sharpening targeting of consumers with right messages. It will be worth-watching how email marketers take competitive advantage through synchronic Micro-segmentation and Email Marketing strategy.

7) Email Triggers: Email triggers are response based automation’s of the recipient.  Building recipient communication and engagement based workflows in an automated way creates an expected and compelling relation between the brand and the customer. By personalizing emails, the content of transactional messages can deliver greater value to customers by being contextual in communication. Optimization of images/creatives of emails based on highest clicks is one example of such email triggers. How cutting edge technology can imbibe theoretical aspect of modern day marketing like urgency and social proofing in email marketing through technological advancement in future is going to be the key to competitive advantage.

8) Mobile based approach to email marketing: Email Marketing in the last couple of decades has come a long way. Mobile has already overtaken Desktop in terms of most widely used devices to open emails. Adding to this, mobile application based approach to deliver value to customers is ubiquitous now. Synchronizing emails with such Apps is going to change the way of email interaction in mobile. Not many days are left when social buttons will include WhatsApp like button (if the email is opened in mobile) for interacting with a brand through WhatsApp.

9) Responsive Design: Besides desktop, there are dozens of different devices for opening emails. Being adaptable to each and every kind of device specific resolution is very essential to avoid distortion of designs/content of emails.

10) Innovate, Innovate and Innovate: This is the basic framework of all the points mentioned above. Email is the most reliable tool for reaching out to customers with latest news/offers/deals for a marketer. Innovation will keep email marketers moving up the learning curve. All new technologies become redundant after one point of time (we get used to it). An email marketer’s ability to keep an email fresh, live and new every time it arrives in your inbox will define whether you will open the email or not.

With these evolving advancements in context to email technology, email marketing is here to stay. Undoubtedly, innovation is key to its survival considering the increasing marketing and socializing platforms.  If wrapped by the right technology and for the right market at the right time, email marketing will continue to create ripples among the marketing fraternity and shall be regarded as one of the topmost effective means of marketing.

 

About Author:

Mr. Manjunatha KG
Founder & CEO,
Kenscio Digital Marketing Pvt. Ltd.

 

The original article appeared on dqindia.

 

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What would be the Major Internet Marketing Trends for 2016?

We must begin looking towards the trends we can expect to see in the coming calendar year.

Here are few forecasts for the ruling search engines like google, changes in mobile traffic, as well as the forecast trends for social networks such as Instagram and YouTube.

Kenscio - Digital Marketing company

Search Engines:

As of October 2015, Google led the explicit core search market with 63.9 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 20.8 percent and Yahoo Sites with 12.5 percent of all search engine traffic. Ask Network accounted for 1.7 percent of explicit core searches. With no surprise to anyone, Google should continue to rule the search engine competition in 2016, and in the years to come, unless another search engine rolls out a game-changing strategy that none of us were able to see coming.

Mobile vs. Desktop Traffic:

Mobile now represents an impressive amount of online traffic. In 2015, mobile traffic surpassed the quantity of visits from the desktop, marking the turning point on the way to mobile dominance for Google. The algorithm update that Google rolled out this year that penalizes sites that aren’t optimized for mobile will only cause this trend to increase. This mobile trend will only dominate more of the online activity of consumers, who are using their tablets and smartphones.

Social Networking:

Social media platforms are eating every other traffic source’s lunch. Formerly, organic search (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) made up the lion’s share of overall visits to sites. So, it became the lovechild of the World Wide Web. Overall, 73 percent of internet users had, at least, one social networking profile in 2015, which is a huge increase from the 48 percent of users that had a profile on 2010. The power of social networking is such that, the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 2.5 billion by 2018.

Facebook:

Facebook currently dominates social network usage with 45.4 percent of the social networking market share. Facebook traffic is expected to hold a similar percentage of the market share in 2016 in North America, but will continue to gain users in new regions, especially if they are able to break into the Chinese market as expected.

YouTube:

Social media marketing veterans have three top predictions for 2016: video, video and video. Next year will see a greater emphasis on video marketing, streaming video. YouTube currently holds 22.2 percent of the social networking market share, which is a share they may struggle to maintain with all the new video based social networking options that have rolled out in the last few years. One of the ways they are hoping to increase the number of visitors is through YouTube Red, which is a new paid version of YouTube. There has been some scepticism as to whether YouTube users will be willing to pay for a service they have been using for so many years for free, but YouTube is betting on the increased quality of videos, as well as expanded options such as downloading videos, to entice users to buy the service.

Twitter:

Twitter is 10 years old along the way, it has grown and evolved. Twitter has rolled out a lot of major changes this year, including the curated Moments, Native Video Ads, and Embedded Grid, feed, tweet collections, and polls. In spite of these moves, Twitter’s growth was slow in 2015, with only a rise of 11 %, for an overall market share of 4.8 %. Twitter is likely to continue to try new ways to increase their market share in 2016 with new features such as allowing tweets to be edited, offering new emoji tools, enhanced engagement options for events (such as customized emoji’s), and continuing to encourage those with customer service questions to turn to Twitter as opposed to reaching out to companies via other avenues.

Reddit:

The famous online community Reddit, which was launched in 2005, has around 200 million active users each month. Reddit currently accounts for 4.45% of social networking traffic, making it the third most popular social networking site behind YouTube.  Reddit is currently making preparations for a mobile website by testing a beta version of an Android app. It is the first step before the official launch of the app at the beginning of 2016.

Pinterest:

Pinterest had the 2nd largest driver of traffic from social media sites with a 31 % usage rate, but only accounts for 1.34 percent of the market share. When it comes to referral traffic from social networks, there’s Facebook and Pinterest – and then there’s everyone else”. According to a new study by Piqora, a pin generates an average of 78 cents in sales. Acknowledge the fact that a majority of (nearly 80%) Pinterest users are women and 92% of pins are also made by them.  As of the second quarter of 2015, U.S. consumers were more satisfied with Pinterest than any other social networking site, which bodes well for its growth in 2016.

LinkedIn:

The world’s largest professional network on the Internet – LinkedIn holding 1.34 percent of market share, as there is no real competitor in the business networking space. LinkedIn is expected to roll out better ways for recruiters to utilize their data in 2016, which could possibly slightly increase the number of people using LinkedIn to search for employment.

Instagram:

Instagram seeing the fastest year-over-year growth of all the platforms. Experts’ estimate 89 % of marketers will use social networks to increase the visibility of their brands and products by the end of next year. It currently has 1.32 percent of the market share, although that may drop slightly as Instagram rolls out more ads in 2016.

Overall, it looks like there shouldn’t be a big shake-up in market share across search engines or social networking sites, although there are a lot of new features rolling out which could prove to be big game changers.

 

Nikhita

SEO Lead,

Kenscio Digital

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FoMO: You may be a FoMO addict!

“FOMO is experienced as a clearly fearful attitude towards the possibility of failing to exhaust available opportunities and missing the expected joy associated with succeeding in doing so. Simply put, it is concentration of attention on the empty half of the glass.” as defined by Dr. Dan Herman who first identified and named FOMO

Decision making in humans is fairly complicated. Thanks to the attribution of 9 factors viz. Money, Love, Pride, Lust, Aspirations, Family, Communities, Faith, Religion etc., unlike animals where it’s mainly Survival, Food & Family. This might seem to be untrue but, we have always in some way or the other, displayed the FOMO syndrome.

Kenscio-Email Marketing Company

Brands and Marketers have also paid attention to the moral aspects of FOMO to capitalize on this trait of human behaviour. FOMO helps marketers to use those 9 key factors as key selling points in their marketing communication.

Technology and The Internet have also built a new trait into its Netizens called “Social & Communities”. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, social media has fundamentally changed our culture. This is clearly visible in the way people share and consume content. Citizens of the internet don’t want to miss anything and are constantly try to impress others with their ability to stay up to date with evolving stories and trends. Researchers and behavioural psychologists believe this cultural desire to be relevant is tied to a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). As marketers, it’s important to understand how FOMO can be leveraged for maximum results.

Let’s look at a routine day of a 30-year-old married Investment Banker, Vinod. His wife Supriya, loves Ranveer Singh and is keen to watch the new movie “Bajirao Mastani”. Vinod receives an email from his favourite movie ticketing portal on the day of the release of the movie showing live ticket availability of the new movie “Bajirao Mastani” in his favourite theatre. The email shows the 10:30 pm show as “Filling Fast” and he chooses to book the tickets immediately. This is a FOMO at play!!

Another classic example is the discount offered by the Cable Television for renewing his subscription before the due date, a saving of Rs.350/- on a yearly Rs.5500/- package. That’s a sweet deal, isn’t it?

How to effectively use FOMO in Email:

  • Exclusivity – OnePlus uses an invite-only system to buy its phones, it does narrow down the buyers. But it also enhances aspirations and word of mouth.
  • Live & Dynamic content BookMyShow shows live seat availability in the users’ favourite theatre to drive FOMO.
  • Social – Ease of sharing content on social channels, encouraging customers to share on social media and thus, exposing your offer to newer audiences.
  • Behavioural – Serve the right offer at the right time using analytics and thus, engaging more effectively.

 

Key trends for 2016 and pointers for FOMO – (source – article by Robert Allen in Smartinsights.com)

  • Mobile will be the most popular device for internet access. Smartphones usage for internet access and social media shall increase exponentially along with emerging devices such as Smart TVs, Smart Watches, and Game Consoles etc.
  • Social Media users and usage.
  • Marketing Automation and Behavioural Marketing – Leverage data and customer behaviour to drive highly targeted FOMO campaigns.

 

Hemal Patel

Associate Vice President – Data Services

Kenscio Digital

 

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Email List Hygiene: Email the people who truly want your messages

Good email list hygiene is the best practice for any email marketing program. Active email addresses are necessary for maintaining your relationship with your users and retaining their loyalty. There are always chances to get invalid, non-responsive and duplicate email addresses. I would like to share a few reasons on benefits of a clean email list. With a clean email list, you’ll have fewer bounces, better deliverability, and increased conversions.

Kenscio - Targeted Email Marketing

Reducing Bounce Rates

Determine an appropriate bounce suppression strategy for your email list. Cleaning your email list at frequent intervals will keep SPAM and invalid emails from building up on your list of subscribers and possibly to more conversions. The higher the bounce back, the more risk you run that your campaign could be blacklisted. Kenscio’s Email List Cleanr can clean up to 80% of bad email addresses based on multitude of intuitive checks and significantly helps bring down bounces

Better Deliverability

Regular cleaning of inactive addresses, which have not responded within a year period will help to prevent deliverability issues caused by emotionally unsubscribed recipients. When you shape up your list to valid emails then you will get better deliverability on your mailing activity. Compare each campaign to your past history of delivery percentage to see whether you have a problem and then act on it.

Increasing Conversions

If your list is loaded with bad, duplicate and invalid email ids, your email marketing efforts will be negatively affected because subscribers will not receive your email communication. After all, if your subscribers don’t receive your messages, how will you expect them to convert? The more people that get your email the more people should open and the more opportunity for conversion. Email marketers estimate most of the email revenue derives from targeting to specific segments. If your list contains only active email accounts that can convert into better quality emails being sent out with each campaign that you release. Kenscio’s Email List Cleanr also helps improve ROI, since bad and unyielding email addresses never make it to the final mailing list.

So next time before you deploy your Email Campaigns do ensure that the emails are getting into appropriate inboxes.

Jubin Thomas

Senior Project Manager

Kenscio Digital

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Role of Content in 2016

In January 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay titled “Content is King”, which was published on the Microsoft website. He begins by saying:

“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

“Content is King”, and it is expected to play an even bigger role in 2016 digital marketing. Developments in publishing, creative and targeting technology have made content creation increasingly accessible for all marketers, from small businesses to the large enterprises. When it comes to digital marketing strategies or integrated marketing strategies, Content Marketing just has been crowned King, far surpassing search engine marketing, traditional marketing, public relations and even print, television and radio advertising as the preferred marketing tool for today’s era.

2016 will see content’s expanding role, an increased need for tailored and personal content. Content marketing has the unique ability to allow brands to connect with customers in a helpful and entertaining way.

“Content is the New Ad”

According to Marketing Insider Group, 2016 will be “The Age of Ad Blocking”. As more and more consumers download Ad Blockers on their computers and smartphones, opt-out of telemarketing lists, marketers will be forced to consider creating and publishing content their customers actually want.

Traditional paid advertising still has its place in marketing, but content’s role is demanding. Marketing of your content doesn’t have to necessarily mean paid promotion or advertising, content cuts through ad blockers, offers material that audiences want and drives qualified traffic and conversions.

“Content is the New Creative”
con-tent

Many organizations plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2016, which is leading to an increasing need for superior creative strategies to stand out from the rest of the pack.

Expanding on the role of traditional “creative director”, content directors in 2016 will be tasked with communicating without directly selling, and doing so with converging, targeted media. Content should be educational, entertaining or enriching, rather than a message centred on a direct sales pitch.

Content marketer tasks now include:

  • Re-purposing content
  • Entertaining
  • Finding a new way to say something
  • Finding creative ways of targeting audiences
  • Engaging audiences with content

 

Content marketing will be seen as the art of communicating with customers and prospects without selling, which means, raising the Creative Bar to break through the clutter.

Content’s magic is that it can be repurposed across many media. For instance, a white paper can become a webinar, an article or a video. There is a growing expectation for multimedia communication. As Content becomes the new Creative, creativity will become ever more important. The content fans use 8 different tactics on average (e.g. social media, e-Newsletters, case studies, blogs, white papers, events, surveys, conferences, perspectives, webinars/webcasts and videos). If you publish compelling unique and timely insights in all the right places, synchronized for maximum impact, it will become part of your brand and establish you as thought leaders in the industry and open the door to the entire market space.

 

“Content is the New SEO”

Google rewards high-quality content and the only way you are going to rank for the keywords you want, is, by providing useful and unique content people want to see and share. Now, how are people going to find you? You have to want to be found! So what does it take to claim your spot? Pair content marketing and SEO. The beauty is that content marketing and SEO are so interdependent that both can be considered as B&M (bricks and mortar).

When SEO (let’s call SEO the mortar here) fills the gaps of your content marketing plan, it is providing that overarching goal for your strategy. Writing and creating with SEO in mind provides plenty of opportunities to tactfully implement SEO best practices into your content, such as:

  • Identical titles and headlines
  • Properly labelled photos
  • Optimized meta-data
  • Article URLs/permalinks that reflect keywords

 

Let’s now switch up the pair. SEO is the bricks and content marketing is the mortar. Google demands certain things from sites if they wish to rank well and therefore, SEO is the practice of knowing and meeting those demands.

  • Google wants consistent, fresh updates? Done.
  • Does Google want to see the keywords on your page? Done.
  • Google wants to see shareable (and shared) content? Done.

 

Content is an SEO machine. It creates shares, keywords, backlinks and consistency just by being a part of your marketing strategy. To truly be effective at content marketing, SEO must be in the foundation of your site, images, posts, and URLs.

 

“Content is the New Social Media”

In recent years, digital marketers have been hearing about how essential social media marketing is in order to achieve success. Now, the buzz is content marketing. It doesn’t necessarily mean content marketing is supposed to replace social media as a major digital marketing strategy. Creating a social media content marketing strategy that resonates with your audience will be the right tact, more than just starting a conversation with the audience randomly. Strengthen the impact of the content you create by following these key parameters.

  • Align content creation with social media metrics and goals
  • Market content with a big-brand mindset on social media channels
  • Increase daily updates
  • Delve into data from social media channels
  • Engage in real interactions
  • Question readers/audience for more engagement
  • Let audience find your content with hashtags
  • Introduce content with infographics
  • Expand your content with relevant tips

 

In conclusion, the main content marketing metrics include:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion

 

The phrase “Content is King” has become a mantra repeated over and over again religiously by digital marketers. It implies that unique, high-quality, interesting and relevant content contributes significantly to the success of companies digitally, should say on the web. Marketers should, therefore, primarily think of great content before they take further measures in their digital marketing strategy. In content marketing, the quality of the content offered will decide the level of your success.

Ambili K Pillai
Group Manager – Client Success, Managed Services
Kenscio Digital

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The CMO Revolution in 2016

Over the past 3 years, than ever before, the role of CMO has been through significant change and 2016 is shaping up to be no less transformative. Marketing professionals will be pressured to deliver measurable business outcomes, driving the need to formalise the customers’ path from digital marketing engagement to purchase. The role of the CMO is changing significantly and how! While a lot has been said and written about the strategic focus required by marketing heads in 2016, here is our immersive view of the same. This reflects the thoughts and opinions of marketing leaders, analysts and industry commentators!

CMO Revolution in 2016 - Kenscio

The 5 key trends predicted to drive the role of CMO to take you through 2016:

1. Get even more tech-savvy or make the CTO your BFF

Experts agree that technical and analytical skills top the most highly needed specialisations for CMOs in 2016. If you can’t do it yourself, make the CTO your most trusted ally!!
A marketing tech officer or specialist will be someone in high demand as CMOs realise the power of tech and how it can play a part in driving forward. One would need to see how to build those technical skills internally within the organisation or recruit them. The role of data-driven marketing, automation and lifecycle programmes and other innovations lean heavily on technology. As a result, to be successful as a CMO, having an analytical and technical background is becoming increasingly important.
The CMO is an important member of the executive board and has to work closely with the CFO, CTO, and CEO. For traditional CMOs, it’s indispensable to prepare to get on top of topics such as performance marketing, business intelligence, marketing automation, and at times even be able to perform basic SQL queries.

According to global director of a marketing automation company, CMOs are investing more time and resources into technology, and will soon have larger budgets than CIOs, if they don’t have already.
In 2015 Two-thirds of marketers planned to increase their technology spend and we believe that this perfectly mirrors the expansive marketing technology landscape we envisaged. Investment in technology is reaching new heights every year, and it’s all due to the new ways in which marketing teams are adopting technologies like CRM, CMS, marketing operations automation, data management platforms, search and social measurement tools.

2. Focus on Customer-obsessed growth via a Personalised approach

The next 12 months will see the” CMO working more closely with the Data & Analytics, BI, UX & UI teams together as predictions point to a widening in the customer obsession gap, according to Forrester. Leaders will graduate toward a customer-obsessed operating model, while laggards will aimlessly push forward with flawed digital priorities and disjointed operations.

In the analyst firm’s 2016 marketing predictions report, it claimed CIOs, CMOs and customer experience leaders will rally to achieve customer-obsessed growth by adopting human-centred design and data analytics to deliver exceptional experiences.
The marketer’s nirvana is being able to personalise. Being able to market exactly to the target customer. This would require the unification of data-booth demographic and activity level – around the customer, including social media, transaction activity, website clicks, downloads and more. Unified view of the customer and being able to address the customer-empowered with this knowledge is the path to communication nirvana.

3. The growth of Mobile and Social Channels

While Traditional Digital Channels (yes there are some ! ) continue to evolve alternate channels viz. mobile & social will be far more significant in 2016. Mobile innovations continue to fuel opportunities for greater reach and better customer experiences – mobile first services & solutions are expected to continue into 2016 as customers demand a more seamless fully digital experience. In the face of this fresh mobile wave, CMOs need to have a mobile-first mind-set in order to be nimbler and agiler moving forward. Examples of this are evident in the mobile payments space as digital wallets gain traction.
Moving away from traditional marketing to digital marketing front, marketers need to think about how they start engaging across multi-channels more effectively. Addressing customers’ A-I-D-A on a mobile device alone is a lot harder, so the choice of channel is equally important hence Social Engagement.
In fact – it is advisable to create a communication strategy to be able to optimise conversion across the board and to not treat social networks, emails, SMS, calls, and other channels in an isolated manner. CMOs must get their teams to understand – Cross Device Behaviour, Unify consistent communication across touch points and measure performance as well as efficacy of each channel for each customer thereby aim to communicate with each customer in the way that they would most like to hear from the brand.

4. Evaluate a mixed Click & Brick approach

Access anywhere – anytime is what the customer expects in 2016 and the CMO has to think on those lines. Marketers in the retail space will need to embrace Omni-channel strategies if they want to face the challenges of these new behaviours. As expectations evolve when it comes to delivery – for example, the increasingly popular ‘click and collect’ option, could be an option. Some delivery examples like Tube / Underground Metro routes have been tested and worked very well in 2015.
Using Omni – channel strategies – to meet the demands of the modern consumer – enables the design of ultra-personalised and effective loyalty, as well as targeted promotions that will increase sales. There will be a strong need for marketers in the retail industry to employ substantial omnichannel and cross-channel solutions in order to meet the demands of the modern consumer. CMOs will
need to explore In-store technology & experiences that will create a seamless journey for the customer regardless of how they interact with the brand.

5. Innovate to differentiate

It’s the same target customer that every brand is targeting. How then would the CMO get his dollar to go a longer distance? Not just that. This dollar needs to work harder than and before the other guys’ does.
With all things being equal the only differentiator available is Innovation. The approach could be Disruptive, Tactical, Technical, Immersive, Omni-Channel, Multi-Channel, Traditional + Digital, Global + Local – regardless. The vital ingredient that will differentiate winners from laggards will be Innovation. CMOs need to focus on harnessing technology & channels, knowledge & information to deliver innovation. While the technology is there to complement and support existing marketing efforts, we are seeing the rate at which technology is evolving is also pushing CMOs to think, plan, engage and most importantly innovate with customers in new ways.
Partnering with leading Innovative solution providers recognised innovators and thought leaders is the ideal head start that a CMO can give his/her brands.
The New Year brings 12 months of constant change, 52 weeks of innovation, 366 days of collaboration and strongest bond yet between the Dual helix of Marketing & Technology in the DNA of the CMO. May the force be with us!!

Amit Sarna
Vice President – Client Success & Partnership
Kenscio Digital

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