Analytics

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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Why adoption of Big Data Analytics is important more than ever in 2014

Big Data Analytics 2014

It’s nearly impossible to write a 2014 forecast on e-commerce without mentioning “big data”. While the term might be overused, its importance to e-commerce cannot be overstated.

Big Data and Analytics will evolve beyond segmentation for email lists. E-commerce merchants will collect and analyze data to discern shopping patterns that have predictive value and to understand consumer experiences in digital and physical contexts. Their users benefit from the digitally enhanced experience, and the data they create also provides usage insights that inform product design and e-commerce strategy.

The underlying tools for the management of this data will only grow smarter, faster and more affordable as companies catch up with an overabundance of data. Big Data Analytics should emerge in 2014 as not just a buzzy trend, but a core business practice that e-commerce firms use to understand their business and their customers in fundamentally new ways.

Big Data usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time. Big data sizes are a constantly moving target, as of 2012 ranging from a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data in a single data set. This data is generated by any activity like page visit, login, transaction a customer does when he/she comes across your business. This data is gone already beyond our imaginations and the rate at which it’s growing will be huge challenge to handle.

Taming Big Data:

Big Data includes data sets whose size and type make them impractical to process and analyze traditional database technologies. The amount of data being generated is almost impossible to handle, therefore we need tools those can condense the data and intelligently present only what is relevant and contextual.

If we look at the numbers at which data is being generated, 2.7 Zetabytes of data exist in the digital universe today. Facebook stores, accesses, and analyzes 30+ Petabytes of user generated data. The rapid growth of unstructured data like YouTube users uploading 48 hours of new video every minute, roughly 175 million tweets every day on Twitter etc. may lead us to many questions about managing the big data and analyzing it.

According to the reports, Poor data across businesses and the government costs the U.S. economy $3.1 trillion dollars a year. Survey also reveals that poor data management or lack of data quality cited as main reason for overrunning project costs.

Key Facts about Big Data:

Despite industry hype, most organizations are yet to develop, implement or execute a Big Data strategy. The survey found that 12 percent of organizations are currently implementing or executing a big data strategy while 40% of them are still considering / exploring Big Data.

 

Fig 1 (Source – sas.com): Which of the following best describes your organization’s stage in using external big data to help make business decisions?

Capturing and Storing Is Only the Beginning

It’s true that big data has great potential for creating a more detailed model of the business, such as tracing a customer’s path through a store and analyzing post-sale sentiments expressed in social media to create better offers. But to date, there have been lots of talk about how it can be stored and captured and very little about the practical ways businesses can exploit it.

But storing and capturing big data won’t make it valuable. Additional tools are needed to explore and analyze it. As it turns out, the simplicity of Hadoop stops with capturing data. The real promise of big data is that it contains information that isn’t part of the typical well-structured view of the business world. It’s all about “not knowing what you don’t know.”

Making Big Data Relevant for Business Orders:

Measuring consumer sentiment, optimizing supply chains, detecting fraud – Big Data is powerful. But to harness that power, organizations must hire data scientists, craft complex algorithms, and make massive investments in infrastructure and software. That leaves business leaders and the IT professionals supporting them wondering: Is it possible to make Big Data useful for business users?

Data’s value can be unleashed for business users by condensing it and intelligently presenting only what is relevant and contextual to the problem at hand. For example, an executive might be interested in summary data across the company’s product lines, while a manager of a specific product or geography might need more detail, but only for the areas that he or she oversees.

More analytics, fewer Gut feelings:

Ecommerce companies will grow increasingly, focusing on data and willing to apply analytics-derived insights to key business operations. Intuitive decision-making will diminish somewhat as companies infuse analytics into everything that customer touch. Data analytics will be the driver for capturing more customers, upselling to existing customers and retaining them for the long term.

The need for automated tools will become increasingly critical.

It seems that the more data we have, the more we want“. But as data volumes increase, the need for pattern matching, simulation, and predictive analytics technologies become more crucial. Engines that can automatically sift through the growing mass of data, identify issues or opportunities, and even take automated action to capitalize on those findings will be a necessity.

An often overlooked benefit is an increase in the volume of analysis. After the process is automated, employees find out how easy it is to analyze the data. So they start doing it more frequently. Where before it was only done when absolutely necessary (if at all), now it becomes a routine part of their Jobs.

Offer Personalization and Customization:

Challenge your business to finally begin offering personalization and customization to both onsite and marketing creative. Work to apply analytics & segment marketing campaigns so that they address customers by name and with relevant products and offers that are based on an individual’s or group of shoppers’ stated preferences or on-site behavior.

Taking on this challenge means that the retailer’s marketing department will need to collect meaningful information about what interest shoppers and organize separate, custom campaigns around those interests.

Personalization and customization could be a significant competitive advantage in 2014.

Summary

Big data made substantial progress in 2013, especially with respect to business stakeholder engagement in the topic. But we have yet to drive widespread adoption of big data, especially from a business transformation perspective. 2014 seems like the right time to make that happen.

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