Optimizing the Optimizers: New Tools for SEO Success

Optimizing the Optimizers: New Tools for SEO Success

Sometimes it can seem like there’s not enough time in the day, or coffee in the pot, to let digital marketers do all they need to do. No two days are the same, no two campaigns are identical, and no one product or initiative has the same requirements as its predecessor. Given the changing digital marketplace and the ever-growing importance of digital marketing, it’s no wonder that marketers are so busy: They have one job title, but innumerable job responsibilities. Worse, all too often the tools that should guarantee their success instead hold them back, resulting in wasted hours, lost opportunities, and a few gray hairs.

 Good digital marketers spend much of their days performing repetitive but necessary work.

Because every good Marketing campaign is a bespoke creation, good digital marketers spend much of their days performing repetitive but necessary work. Before they can develop a strategy or provide recommendations, they must devote hours to routine tasks, juggling several independent apps or programs and reconciling data from multiple sources. The final product may be clean and elegant, but the path to it is a slog. Too often, Search Engine Optimization is not itself optimized for agility and adaptability.

Read More: Why SEO Shouldn’t Be an Afterthought

Processes essential to improved SEO requiring multiple applications and tools can make things difficult, to begin with; what’s more, is that SEO can go beyond the provinces of more than one person or team in an organization. Even when there’s a single stated point of contact for SEO, that person must work with accounts payable, with marketing and publicity teams, with R&D and with Sales. A single campaign may generate hundreds of emails, Slack direct messages, and texts, all because there’s no central collaborative space for contributors. If there’s outsourcing to consider, the process grows exponentially more complicated.

One of our goals at Conductor is to ameliorate the pain and frustration of processes like these. Our Orchestra platform provides a central clearinghouse for content briefs, and for every other step of the SEO process, from identifying underperforming keywords to judging campaign success and liaising with our suite of Content Strategists. And through Conductor’s Marketplace, users can browse, request, receive and share strategic service offerings from the Orchestra team.

Marketplace’s offerings allow SEO teams to expand their team power on an ad hoc, case-by-case basis: If a crunch project, tight deadline, or especially large project needs more hands, Marketplace can provide them completed projects at a fraction of the cost and at a greater speed than traditional channels.

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The work of SEO is never done: Trends change, new products appear, and new websites launch. New tools, however, can make that work easier and more efficient. The Conductor platform and Orchestra strategic services and support team allow search engine optimizers to refocus on high-level priorities. Conductor puts all the necessities for SEO on a single Cloud-based platform, while Orchestra lets search professionals bring in additional assistance for major projects, new initiatives, and reporting. Putting everything in a single place saves time and improves results, and it doesn’t entail the financial strain of hiring a separate agency for SEO.

The SEO community has done a fine job responding to changes in the online environment; whenever Google or another search engine propagates a major change to its algorithm, the experts are on the case, determining its ramifications for the field in general and for their clients in particular. However, the same dedication to best practices has not extended to the daily operations of SEO professionals. In 2020 and beyond, it’s imperative that we optimize the lives of SEO experts.

Read More: What Do Businesses Need to Know When Google Changes Their Algorithm?

Aventi Group Announces New Partner to Support Clients’ Growing Social Media Needs

Aventi Group Announces New Partner to Support Clients' Growing Social Media Needs

Aventi Group LLC, the world’s first on-demand product marketing agency, is pleased to announce the addition of Avery Horzewski as a partner. Avery joins Aventi as Partner effective December 18, 2019, to help further fuel the agency’s growth and transformation.

“Our clients are investing in social media and digital campaigns now more than ever, as tech buyers prefer to engage online well before any interaction with sales professionals. Avery has been a pioneer and leading voice in social media and content strategy a decade before its current popularity. We are excited Avery is bringing her proven expertise, methodologies and her many leadership qualities as our newest partner in the agency,” stated Jeff Thompson, President.

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Avery began her marketing career at Hitachi Data Systems where she became Director, Web Content and Design, and was responsible for creative direction, overall site strategy, and day-to-day management of the corporate website.  For the past 21 years, Avery has worked as a senior marketing consultant helping companies of all sizes develop compelling, persuasive, and effective customer communication strategies and marcom deliverables. Over the last 10 years, she’s had a strong focus on social media, working with several organizations to develop and execute their social media strategies, including SAP Analytics, one of SAP’s longest-running and most successful set of product social channels. Avery also shares her social media expertise as an instructor at Cal State East Bay, and previously at San Francisco State, and has become a leading voice in social media marketing strategy and execution that delivers superior results.

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“As a consultant, I’ve had the privilege of working with top brands in planning and executing their communication, social media, and digital content investments,” says Avery. “I’ve also been lucky to collaborate with Aventi Group leaders on many projects over the past 10 years and love our alignment on core values as well as the synergy between what I bring to the agency and their high growth as an on-demand product marketing agency.”

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Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Sales by Successfully Leveraging Content

Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Sales by Successfully Leveraging Content

You can have all the content planned in your calendar. You can have your best Salespeople working with the most profitable prospects. However, none of those strategies will work if your Marketing and Sales teams are out of alignment, working in silos.

According to a study, only 10% of Marketing and Salespeople all over the world believe that there is perfect alignment between the two teams. Also, 25% of the respondents believe that this lack of alignment leads to lost opportunities for closing deals. Sales and Marketing team alignment is the glue that binds your content strategy together and makes it successful.

Read more: Why Your Business Needs a Digital Content Strategy

How to Achieve Rapid Business Growth Through Content Marketing?

“More leads mean more business and higher revenue” — It’s a deceptively simplistic growth hack that many marketers tend to follow wrongly. A business that generates fewer leads than you can still generate more profit and revenue by collecting highly qualified leads.

Your Marketing team’s lead generation strategy needs to focus on getting a higher number of qualified leads to the Sales team. To get more of your leads to buy from your business, they should be closer to making a purchase decision.

Generally speaking, the closer someone is to purchase, the more keywords and topics they search will indicate their buying intent. For example, if someone wants to hire a lawyer for legal advice, their search would include phrases like “find a lawyer” or “consult a lawyer”. Someone who is not ready to buy would try to understand the specific parts of the law itself. They may not be ready to consult immediately.

The Hockey Stick growth strategy exploits this basic fact to present a bottom-up approach to Content Marketing. It starts by finding the Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) keywords, for which you will create landing pages for products/services on your website.

To send people to these buying pages, write content for Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) keywords and strategically place links to your landing pages within these articles. Publish these articles on your own blog and on high-authority publications within the niche.

What Changes Can Help You Achieve Alignment Between the Marketing and Sales Teams?

“As Marketing converges with Customer Service and Sales, Marketing today is more about helping and less about hyping.” – Joel Book, Former Spokesperson for Salesforce and Keynote Speaker on Digital Marketing

This statement shows the evolving role that marketers play in modern organizations. They must help inform and educate prospective customers about their solutions and help the Sales team close their deals.

Set Sales-Oriented Goals to Make Content Marketing More Effective

A viral blog post does have a good branding value. But the Sales team is not concerned with the branding value it generates. Their immediate goal is to bring you more Sales, better revenue, and higher profits. Their day-to-day job is not to create content. They may lack the perspective to understand the content creation efforts of your Marketing team.

Content Marketing metrics translated using Sales-oriented goals can help evaluate and demonstrate the value of Content Marketing.

Therefore, Content Marketing goals must be in sync with your Sales team’s targets. These goals will direct your Marketing efforts toward conversion and revenue. A Digital Marketing strategy that focuses on conversions rather than just lead generation is naturally better positioned to bring in quantifiable ROI.

If a blog post generates high traffic, the questions you should ask is:

  • How many of those visitors came around to inquire about your products/services?
  • How many of them booked a Sales call?
  • How many of them bought your products?

Connect Sales and Marketing Teams to Enrich Customer Personas

Marketers use several tools to create more effective content. A customer persona is one such tool. The Sales team is more directly in touch with prospects. They have a greater awareness of the main problems facing them and their expected solutions. Knowing this, marketers can create more personalized content to qualify prospects and move them down the funnel quickly.

Through discussions with the Sales team, marketers can enrich their customer personas with more granular insights. The better these insights are, the more personalized is the content that the Marketing team can generate.

For example, instead of making assumptions about the prospects, the Sales team can give them data to confirm or refute these assumptions. In the long-run, data-driven personalizations will always provide more confident Sales predictions.

Let the Sales Team Provide Inputs to Optimize Your Content Marketing Calendar

To generate value in every content piece that the Marketing team creates, they need to be aware of the prospect’s needs, pain points, motivations, and expectations. A sales-enriched customer persona should allow them to do just that.

Moreover, the Sales team updates itself regularly on current market conditions. They can also suggest when to release such content for maximum lead qualification effect.

For example, the Sales team are aware of major industry events and conferences. They can help the Marketing team to plan content to release just before the event. This precisely timed content helps create a larger impact with their presence at the event.

Create Sales Enablement Content to Make the Job of Sales Team Easier

B2C segments serve hyper-personalized content and market through multiple channels. Such techniques have colored the expectations of B2B buyers as well. They come to your Sales team after a few rounds of due diligence by their own decision-making team. Sales teams now understand the value of creating content that helps influence prospects during this due-diligence phase.

The Marketing team will create bottom-of-the-funnel content with the intention to empower the sales team’s processes. They will create different types of content such as case studies for the Sales team to showcase company success with a similar client. A colorful infographic can also help nurture leads before or after they connect with the Sales team.

The Marketing team can also create a large how-to guide showcasing every problem your product solves for the customer. Such a guide often proves to be a game-changer in influencing prospects in the final stages of decision-making.

Using principles of Account-based Marketing (ABM), Sales and Marketing teams can collaborate to create personalized content. it helps target each member of the prospect’s decision-making team and increase the chances of conversion.

Regularly Share Knowledge Between the Two Teams to Build Trust in the Long-Term

Formal communication often is often limited to only certain agenda points. This tends to limit cross-team communication instead of facilitating it.

For proactive coordination between both the teams, a wider range of issues may need discussion. Simply asking them to communicate openly may not be enough. You need to set up processes in place to ensure this happens.

Get the members of the Sales and Marketing teams together for combined brainstorming sessions. These meetings should focus on proving how Content Marketing efforts contribute to Sales results. The Marketing team can also assist the Sales team with other content-related tasks to move the leads through the Sales pipeline.

Eventually, this meeting stops being a trust-building exercise and becomes a place for proactive and progressive business discussions.

Final Words

Sales and Marketing teams tend to stay misaligned because they are working in silos with little trust between them. To help break these silos, the Marketing team can create different types of content to assist the Sales team in lead nurturing as well as late-stage Sales Enablement tasks.

As this alignment increases, the general discord between the two teams reduces. This gradually leads to higher quality leads and higher deal closing rates.

Read more: Why CMOs Should Add Visual Interactive Sales and Marketing to Their MarTech Stacks

Top 5 Best Pay Per Click Marketing Services in Dubai

Top 5 Best Pay Per Click Marketing Services in Dubai

Pay per click (PPC) Marketing can help your business make the most of your online presence and reap big rewards on the internet. In today’s digital age, Marketing on the internet is important to gain an edge over the competition. If your company is based in Dubai and you’re looking to hire a quality Digital Marketing agency, we can help you. This article lists the top pay per click services in Dubai and the features and solutions they offer.

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5 Leading Pay Per Click Companies in Dubai

1. ParamInfo

ParamInfo concentrates on developing your firm’s PPC plan from scratch. They provide PPC and AdWords management services that can help you improve your ROI. Their PPC strategies can help you engage your consumers as they wade through the purchasing process online. ParamInfo is one of the top PPC services in Dubai because they collaborate closely with clients to produce content that attracts high-value prospects and customers.

ParamInfo’s PPC tools track objectives and present quantitative data on the rise in both quantity and quality of visitors to your site. They monitor your campaign to check its progress on pre-defined goals. As one of the top PPC companies in Dubai, ParamInfo’s services can enable your firm to improve brand awareness, develop targeted visitor volumes, increase inquiries, leads, sales, and online engagement, build a database of subscribers, coordinate with advertising campaigns like TV, enhance the website experience of users, and track lead, engagement, and sales accurately.

Depending on your product, competition, campaign goals, and budget, ParamInfo will recommend pertinent types of campaigns for your goals such as AdWords remarketing, AdWords display, AdWords search, Facebook, LinkedIn, Bing ads, and YouTube ads.

2. E Direct

E Direct is another of the top pay per click services in Dubai and they adopt a design-led creation and user-centric method to digital. This innovative and bespoke approach to Digital Marketing has helped the firm grow leaps and bounds in Dubai as well as globally. E Direct has been delivering PPC, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), web design, and branding services and solutions since 2001. The company’s clients include over 2,000 local, national, and international businesses.

E Direct employs more than 50 staff members in four offices. They help their clients with digital content strategy, influencer and outreach marketing, Google Shopping and AdWords, brand development, digital design, website, and mobile app development, social media strategy, hosting, support and maintenance, and more.

3. BeOnTop

BeOnTop has carved a niche for itself as one of the notable pay per click companies in Dubai because it offers effective digital marketing services such as Social Media Marketing, AdWords management, SEO, etc. Plus, the company is a Google partner in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

BeOnTop’s Digital Marketing functions include branding, custom website design and creation, social media marketing on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, PPC management (Yandex Direct and Google AdWords), and SEO for Google, Yahoo, Yandex, and Bing. The company’s experts assess search engine algorithms to learn which criteria are effective. They provide efficient software and tools to help their clients get the desired results.

4. Bruce Clay Inc.

Bruce Clay Inc. serves businesses in Dubai and other places across the world with integrated Digital Marketing solutions including PPC management, SEO, content development and strategy, SEO learning courses, and the feature-packed SEO Tool Set. The company’s creator Bruce Clay is one of the pioneers of search engine marketing and had devised numerous SEO strategies even before Google was founded.

Bruce Clay has authored many books and guides on SEO practices, Content Marketing tactics, and Digital Marketing strategies to improve a company’s organic search efforts. These guides assist digital marketers to build effective online relationships with clients and generate sales. In addition, thousands of learners globally have been trained on SEO methodology by this Digital Marketing agency through their SEO learning courses.

5. EDS FZE

EDS FZE is a leading Lead Generation and Social Media Marketing firm in Dubai. Their squad of social media specialists provides top-notch digital and social media marketing services to enterprises in Dubai and across the world. These solutions include PPC, online communications, content generation, SEO, web development, Google AdWords, push notifications, email marketing, and SMS marketing. A highlight is they give you a free audit of your firm’s web presence to help your business get started with Digital Marketing.

Conclusion

ParamInfo stands out among the pack of pay per click services in Dubai for its high-quality PPC, SEO, and Digital Marketing solutions. Contact us today to kick-start your online marketing campaign and reap the rewards of our expertise and experience in this industry.

Read More: Leveraging Your Finance Team for More Effective Marketing Campaigns

Breaking the Silos: Marrying UX, SEO and Content

Breaking the Silos: Marrying UX, SEO and Content

Boston Digital logo I like to imagine every website as a container—it’s the keeper of your content and the bearer of your brand. And this container holds a whole lot of power. In fact, 75% of consumers admit to judging a company’s credibility based on their website; while  88% of consumers are unlikely to return to a website after a poor experience. This means that providing a top-tier digital experience is vital to forging lasting relationships with consumers.

As marketers, it’s our job to fill websites with content that drives engagement and incites action. But in order to do this, you’ll need a 360-degree view of the brand’s digital ecosystem. How are people finding the website? What is it encouraging them to do? How do users flow from one page to the next? What’s the ultimate goal?

These questions have complex answers that can’t be fully defined by one person or department. Instead, a joint effort is required from UX, SEO and Content specialists to obtain a holistic approach.

The Siloed System

The problem is that today’s Marketing teams, whether in-house or digital agencies are often siloed. It’s as if each specialty has walls built around it—allowing each expert to focus on their work to the detriment of collaboration. Typically, the UX team conducts user research to develop the sitemap. The SEO team does its own digging, recommending technical tweaks that’ll boost rankings. And the content team fills the website pages with a copy.

At the end of this fragmented process, you have a weak website. Your sitemap doesn’t align with lucrative keywords, your SEO strategy has no meat behind it, and your content lacks impact. This is the problem with the siloed system—and it’s why we need to break it.

Read More: The State of Programmatic Advertising: Why Mobile In-App Programmatic will be Really Different in 2020

Marrying UX, SEO, and Content

A successful marriage of UX, SEO, and content require strategic collaboration. It’s not about holding hands, but it’s not about silos either. Instead, it’s a healthy balance between the two. First, each expert must maintain a clear understanding of the project KPIs. Whether it be increasing lead generation or building thought leadership, ensuring that everyone is on the same page is key to success.

From there, your UXers, SEO specialists and Content strategists should branch off to work their own individual magic, continuously converging at key milestones to share their learnings and agree on the next steps. So what are those key moments for collaboration?

Competitive Analysis

During our discovery process, we use a scorecard approach to assess our clients’ websites against those of their competitors. We grade them based on their unique brand goals—and they can get pretty granular. (Think criteria such as approachable tone on the homepage, showcasing process as a differentiator, etc.). This helps all three teams—UX, SEO, and content—to understand where they should be focusing their attention to drive the client to success.

Stakeholder Interviews

SEO and Content experts must attend UX’s stakeholder and customer interviews. Sitting in on these meetings allows them to hear feedback through their own lenses, rather than that of a UXer. This leads to greater insight and a more holistic view of digital opportunities, such as keyword prioritization, content formatting, and web page topics.

Sitemap Solidification

Once UX has drafted the first pass at the sitemap and the SEO specialist has conducted thorough keyword research, they converge to solidify the sitemap.

The UXer will have everything bucketed from a usability perspective, while the SEO expert will have data on how people are searching for related keywords. There’s often tension between the two teams at this point, but it’s necessary tension. By melding differing points of view, you can develop sitemaps that are fluid and impactful.

Content Strategy

Now that the sitemap is complete, it’s time for the SEO and Content experts to collaborate on a content strategy. By working together to define tone, topics, and structure, you’ll be sure to infuse the right keywords into your website copy and drive the right users to your site. In this way, your website will act as a magnet, drawing visitors through your funnel to conversion.

Synergy Over Silos

The digital landscape is becoming more crowded every day. In fact, there are nearly 2 billion websites on the web today. As the numbers continue to grow, it becomes increasingly difficult for brands to stand out online.

In order to compete, you must make sure all aspects of your website are working in unison to achieve the same goals. The deliverables of this synergistic process are an SEO-rich sitemap and an SEO- and brand-driven content strategy. It’s there—within that cohesive experience—that you create a deliberate and impactful digital presence capable of moving bottom lines.

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Optimize Your Brand for Generation Z with the Four C’s of Content

Optimize Your Brand for Generation Z with the Four C's of Content

Conversation, Community, Change and Culture

Fuse released new data on how to reach Generation Z. According to Forbes, Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers by next year. As marketers, it’s important to understand these consumers’ habits, interests, and behaviors to create a successful and targeted content strategy. Our study this month of 1,000 Gen Zers can help brands to optimize their content to reach teens and young adults.

CONVERSATION: Capturing attention through headlines

Headlines are important. According to Inc., brands have only about three seconds to capture the attention of Gen Z at the beginning of a video or article. Newswhip recently noted a trend of successful headlines that target Gen Z as being “conversational;” they cited Elite Daily’s top articles of the year, where headlines contained additional context, slang, or advice.

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Fuse’s survey indicates that Gen Z consumers are most drawn to “best of” headlines, followed by language such as, “why x people do x…”

Gen Z’s Favorite Headlines

28%

“The “Best of…”

i.e. The Best Movies of 2018

21%

“Why x People Do x…”

i.e. Why Smart People Get Up Before 7am

20%

“The “Scientific Fact”

i.e. Pets are Good for Your Health, and We Have the Studies to Prove it.

13%

“The Listicle”

i.e. 38 Things You Did in Elementary School You Completely Forgot About

10%

The “Open Ended Question”

i.e. So You Think You Know the Best Places to Eat in Cancun?

8%

The “Promise”

i.e. Alien Sci-Fi Films You’re Sure to Love

COMMUNITY: Desire to see real people, even if they are paid influencers

As reported by AdAge, Oracle’s Moat measured audiences and engagement for influencer campaigns and found that videos created by influencers averaged more than triple the level of viewership (7.5 seconds) than brand content (under 2 seconds). On that note, Nike was referenced in Mavrk‘s recent benchmark report, stating that the brand’s successful influencer-generated content serves as a seamless extension of the brand by incorporating emotion-driven in-moment activations.

Fuse’s survey also pointed to Nike as one of the best in utilizing authentic influencers in their 2018 marketing content.

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Brands That Are Best at Utilizing Influencers According to Gen Z

1

Nike

2

Apple

3

Pepsi

4

Amazon

5

Coke

6

Google

7

Adidas

8

Walmart

9

Target

10

Microsoft

CHANGE: Turn a moment into a movement

According to Pew Research Center, Gen Z is the most educated generation to date and as they move into adulthood, their attitudes toward emerging trends are often driven by social change. Our survey found that nearly half of Gen Z actively supported at least one or more social causes in 2018. While it carries some risk, marketers should consider creating content that conveys support of causes young people most care about.

Top Gen Z Social Causes in 2018

  • Gun Control
  • #MeToo
  • Black Lives Matter
  • LGBTQ Rights
  • Climate Change
  • Fight Against Cancer
  • Women’s Rights / Gender equality
  • Animal Rights
  • Hunger
  • Immigration

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CULTURE: Speak to Gen Z’s love of pop culture

Fulfilling Gen Z’s love of anything pop culture through light-hearted, humorous, and eccentric content is always a good strategy. This can be in the form of stories, memes, GIFs, or videos. According to freelancewriting.com, the top ten topics to pitch to teenage magazines include: celebrities, latest teen styles, music, reviews, top 10 lists, makeovers, love life, beauty, college life and parties.

According to our survey, in addition to pop culture, Gen Z has a broad spectrum of other interests.

Gen Z Content Preferences

%

Do not
Prefer

Prefer
Slightly

Prefer a
moderate
amount

Prefer a lot

Prefer a great
deal

Pop Culture Trends

21%

19%

19%

20%

22%

Political News

19%

23%

20%

19%

19%

Environmental Education

21%

20%

20%

21%

20%

Social Activision

19%

19%

20%

20%

20%

Human Interest

20%

19%

21%

20%

19%

How to Make Video a Better Part of Your Content Strategy

How to Make Video a Better Part of Your Content Strategy

contentlyBy all accounts, video is the future of content marketing. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, it will account for 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2019. But just because video is popular doesn’t mean brands know how to do it well. Branded video can only be as great as the strategy behind it.

Video content is simply one tactic that has to be part of a wider marketing strategy. Regardless of what tactics you choose, a strong strategy starts with your audience. Do you want to reach people in a particular industry? A certain title? Does geography matter? Your team should also grapple with audience data including surfing habits, time spent on-site and preferred devices, long before anyone takes the lens cap off a camera. When brands reach that point, then video can be an effective way to engage people through emotion and narrative.

Read More: What Type of Content is Best for Lead Generation?

As a tool, video is optimal for specific objectives like brand awareness and lead generation. These goals translate well to quick explainer videos and short interviews or profiles. But the format does have several weaknesses. For example, it’s not an ideal tool for conveying a lot of complex or detailed information, especially in technical B2B fields.

As long as your strategy is balanced, that’s OK. It’s become commonplace for companies to “pivot” to video at the expense of all other content programs, but a valuable idea can live across different formats. A finance company can create a top-of-funnel video about people saving for retirement and then drill down on different retirement options in a more detailed e-book. That approach will also prevent Sc

ope Creep from draining time and talent away from the rest of your marketing content.

Read More: For Brands, It’s Time To Start Paying Attention…To Attention

Once an audience is defined and a strategy has been designed, marketers can turn to distribution. If you’re going to spend a considerable amount of money and dozens of hours on a creative video project, you can’t just post it on your blog and expect everyone to find it. Video has started to dominate social platforms and mobile engagement. Per comScore, the average user watches more than 40 minutes of YouTube videos a day on mobile devices. So, whether you’re using Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter or a combination, there’s a growing audience for your clips. The trick is that each platform draws different people with different desires and expectations. You have to study the algorithms to learn what kind of videos get prioritized.

Finally, if you want to stay one step ahead for the future of video, revisit that audience you outlined in your original strategy. The way we consume content is moving more and more toward video, GIFs, animation, motion graphics and audio. The growing sophistication of technologies like virtual reality, voice recognition, and artificial intelligence means we will soon interact with screens very differently than we once did. For marketers to keep being successful with video content, they must continue to adapt to the changing landscape.

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TechBytes with Basil Shikin, VP, Engineering, AppLovin

TechBytes with Basil Shikin, VP, Engineering, AppLovin

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”63147″ img_size=”200×200″][vc_column_text]

Basil Shikin
VP, Engineering, AppLovin

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]In July, AppLovin had announced the launch of Lion Studios, a media division that works with independent mobile developers to publish and promote their apps. Basil Shikin, VP, Engineering, AppLovin tells about the core tenets of their mobile app advertising engineering and the impact of contemporary gaming platforms on app discovery.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text]Tell us about your role at AppLovin and the team/technology you handle.

I was one of the first engineers at AppLovin. As the team grew, my role and responsibilities increased, and now I’m the VP of Engineering for a team of about 25 people.

AppLovin’s engineering team handles more than 60 billion requests a day, and we use a variety of technologies to deal with that volume. The platforms we use include Spark, Aerospike and Vertica.

How do you help customers with mobile app advertising and discovery?

AppLovin offers a comprehensive platform that connects mobile game developers of all sizes to billions of global users each month so they can get discovered.

There are hundreds of thousands of mobile game developers, and each year it gets harder for them to secure the resources they need to create good games. They need help with publishing, user acquisition, creative services, and monetization. With AppLovin, mobile game developers can do it all: publish great games, leverage high-value creative services, acquire customers, and expand their revenue base.

How do you see trends in mobile app monetization influencing adoption of mobile-only technologies for marketing?

Strategies for mobile monetization and marketing work hand-in-hand. Because developers and gaming studios need to reach larger audiences to build user bases, there has become an increasingly large need to identify platforms that promote app discovery before monetization tools can start to be effective. In-app marketing offers more detailed analytics and anonymous tracking across the user journey, and that dataset allows marketers to optimize marketing spend. Keep in mind that more users don’t equate to more revenue; a base of high quality, engaged users is more important than focusing purely on the number of downloads.

What are the core tenets of your mobile app advertising engineering?

Because we’re running a large engineering operation, we keep a few core principles close to our hearts. Those include:

  • Continuous A/B testing: We test most of the ideas that engineers or the business side have, so we can identify the best ideas and technology.
  • Push to production every day: We’re constantly looking for ways to create a better user experience or improve the solution and move the product forward every day.
  • Monitoring the landscape: we’re always on the lookout for solutions that will improve our product. We have a rigorous selection process for identifying and choosing third-party platforms and try to commit to solutions that provide a minimum of tenfold improvement for any given metric.

How do you work with video and live content technology?

AppLovin supports several types of ad formats for our partners’ needs, including a variety of video ads such as playable, native, interstitial and banner. Our vision is to help our partners implement personalized and tailored content for their audiences so that users have the best gameplay experience and developers see higher return from monetization tools.

Why is programmatic still not as bullish on mobile as other tech platforms?

Mobile actually offers one of the best mediums for programmatic, because of high rates of user engagement with mobile devices, but the tech has been catching up on mobile.

We’re especially bullish on in-app header bidding, which is done through a direct programmatic auction. It allows buyers to bid simultaneously on inventory in a unified auction and gives equal opportunity to buyers and better monetization to sellers. We think this kind of technology will be incredibly important to our industry.

How AppLovin enables better app discovery for both larger and indie developers?

AppLovin’s comprehensive platform is really a growth platform for large mobile game companies and indie developers alike.

In July, we announced the launch of Lion Studios, a media division of AppLovin that works with independent mobile developers to publish and promote their apps. Lion Studios is designed to fuel the growth of the independent app developer ecosystem by empowering developers around the world to publish their apps and help those apps get discovered via cost-effective user acquisition.

Lion Studios has already driven hundreds of millions of app downloads and helped drive four #1 overall free apps in the App Store, 13 that ranked in the top 10 overall, and 16 that ranked in the top 20. Some of these titles include puzzle games Love Balls and Weave the Line, hyper-casual game Draw In, and money-clicker game Cash, Inc. which was a recent recipient of Google’s Android Excellence Award 2018.

Thanks for chatting with us, Basil.

Stay tuned for more insights on marketing technologies. To participate in our Tech Bytes program, email us at news@martechseries.com[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Pressboard Launches Pressboard University to Educate Brands and Marketers on How to Create Great Content and Storytelling

Pressboard Launches Pressboard University To Educate Marketers

Pressboard Will Use This Knowledge to Develop a Concrete Curriculum on Branded Content

Pressboard, the world’s number one platform for buying branded content, announces the launch of Pressboard University. Through this new educational platform, Pressboard aims to improve the quality of branded content across the industry by providing brands and marketers with the expertise and tools they need to tell better stories.

Pressboard also announces that Fara Warner, the former Global Content Director at WSJ. Custom Studios, will be joining as the Strategic Advisor of Pressboard University.

Pressboard works with hundreds of advertisers — including Ford, GE and Spotify — to develop sponsored content for dozens of influential media publications, such as Entrepreneur, Inc. and The Wall Street Journal. Its new self-serve platform allows advertisers to place their content on the premium publications of their choosing to drive brand awareness among a targeted audience.

Now, Pressboard University provides these brands and marketers with the knowledge needed to improve the success of their branded content. The educational platform includes courses covering topics such as content strategy, publisher placement (where to reach your target audience and how to connect with them), and amplification and distribution (how to improve ROI). Pressboard’s core course will consist of six modules and will be free for all users.

Also Read: SimpleReach Launches First All-in-One Digital Video Measurement Platform

One-off courses and masterclasses in brand journalism, multimedia and more will also be on offer as Pressboard University further expands. All participants of the courses will become PBU (Pressboard University) Certified upon completion.

Warner will act as ambassador and Strategic Advisor for Pressboard University, and will assist in curating courses for the university curriculum. As a former Global Content Director at WSJ. Custom Studios and former VP of Custom Content for Dow Jones, Fara’s extensive expertise in content marketing will help create engaging and relevant lessons for brands and marketers at Pressboard University.

“Working with Pressboard as an advisor gives me the opportunity to work with a company that is at the leading edge of branded content with both technology and creativity,” said Warner. “Our collaboration gives us the opportunity to help marketers create branded content that will resonate with audiences and help them work with publishers and creatives in new ways to create stories instead of ads.”

“We’re thrilled to have Fara join the Pressboard team as an advisor to help build out Pressboard University. Her work building the Wall Street Journal Custom Studios into one of the world’s most respected branded content studios demonstrates a unique understanding of the role branded content plays in both the publishing and advertising ecosystems,” said Jerrid Grimm, co-founder and CEO of Pressboard.

Recommended Read: Full Circle Insights Rolls Out Marketing Analyst Service to Accelerate Value Delivery

TechBytes with Jeff Cheal, Director, Personalization, Campaign and Analytics Strategy, Episerver

Jeff Cheal

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”53610″ img_size=”200×200″][vc_column_text]

Jeff Cheal
Director,Personalization, Campaign and Analytics Strategy, Episerver

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Content creation practices are under a constant pressure to perform and deliver to meet sales expectations. The biggest factor to achieve ROI is — Content Personalization. Earlier this year, Episerver had announced the launch of Episerver Advance to help organizations deliver individualized content to visitors everywhere they digitally engage. To better understand how marketers can align their ducks to create ‘content that turns head’, we spoke to Jeff Cheal, Director, Personalization, Campaign and Analytics Strategy, Episerver.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text]What is the state of Content Marketing in 2018?

Eighty-nine percent of the most successful B2B organizations are extremely/very committed to content marketing, and it is no surprise that 62 percent of those successful B2B companies have a documented content marketing strategy.

After all, there is little reason to create brand assets – whitepapers, articles, blogs, infographics, videos and the like – if audiences are not defined, goals are not mapped and topics are not based on demand. We think you’ll learn a lot to drive your content marketing to the next level based on generating actual results.

Why is content marketing so popular with businesses?

The decoupling of marketing from other parts of the typical organization has caused silos in business goals. While IT typically has the goal of managing and maintaining a stable online platform, marketing has the goal of creating sales pipeline or generating brand interest. This content is continually pushed to be cutting-edge, relevant and timely. I hear consistently in the market “my team puts out materials weekly because if we don’t we feel like we are falling behind.”

Marketers are fighting for their jobs, and their job is to create relevancy for their brand by creating demand. The problem here is that content groups often don’t have the time or structure to slow down and make sure their content strategy aligns with the rest of the organization.

Do you anticipate content creation by companies to slow down or keep increasing?

This process will continue to get faster and more frantic. The expectations of communication channels like social media and efficient content creation platforms is that our marketing teams can publish as fast as possible. Paired with expectations, marketers will continue to feel the burden of working at the speed of urgency.

What are some missteps that marketers make when creating content for their businesses?

The speed at which marketing organizations work is typically unsustainable. Marketers traditionally think and work in a vacuum because businesses do not have the infrastructure or place the importance on broad network thinking. This devalues the success of the content they create as it lacks the overall strategy component that is essential to organizational success.

More importantly, they are not given the tools to communicate and share insights properly to influence their content practice. Marketers often have their own disconnected set of tools they work with to create content. If my technology is not integrated with the rest of my technology stack, issues can easily arise. I spoke with a financial organization recently who talked about the pains of acquisition in their organization. They told me they use five different marketing automation platforms and CRMs between the 15 marketing teams under their umbrella, as many of the arms of business were brought in as part of mergers. They told horror stories of dead-end landing pages and failed outreach campaigns to unmanaged email lists as the tools have not been synced across the organization due to a lack of commitment to fix this. Their result? “Many pointless emails to our users without much success, and a steady stream of complaints about our strategy externally and internally.”

The traditional organization places the ownership of websites and digital content in the hands of IT. Marketers are tasked with creating stand-alone messaging through their own channels, and this separation creates confusion and misalignment. Imagine if we could centralize these technology decisions by using platforms that integrate the many digital tools into the same solution. The simple cohesion of a technology stack could bring marketing and IT/content publishing to the same table and help them to be on the same page. With so many companies coming out with cloud-based digital marketing hubs that combine CMS with marketing automation and data analytics (such as Episerver), there are no more excuses why these technologies need to be separate.

What is a real-world example of content marketing strategies done right?

A home décor retail company had just relaunched their website on Episerver. They spoke about the internal changes that came along with the rebranding, from empowering their separate divisions into the platform to help with content and marketing alignment. They talked about the simple act of business governance of assets and content publishing that allowed a more centralized flow of syndication through the marketing team from the different divisions. This saving of time allowed them to slow down and think about what they were creating rather than feeling the urgent need to simply “stay ahead.”

What specific elements can marketers look at to see if their content creation practice is effective?

Marketers can help their practice by:

1) Investing and connecting to their different departments through technology to align marketing goals with content publishing tactics.
2) Instituting proper data practices and feedback loops to make sure that learnings and insights from different teams can be shared and applied to messaging practices.

In what ways can marketers prove the ROI of their content practice?

A successful content strategy should focus on producing relevant content, not aiming for critical mass. By synthesizing cross-team communication with effective attributable data practices, teams can do less work and produce more successful results. The ROI here is more time for your team to think critically and make decisions that resonate rather than reacting to deadlines.

Additionally, by investing in technology that syncs your organization, you can eliminate redundant disconnected technologies that might only exist because of legacy decisions. While replatforming and integrations can cost money, this investment needs to be weighed against the value of continued business development and your end goals. How much is your technology costing you to be inefficient and ineffective?

What data can they use to inform their content ideas?

Content creation needs to be driven by smart data practices. Marketing teams and content creators are tasked with telling great stories, but often these stories don’t ask the right question – what does my audience want to hear? Data analytics and customer data platforms provide the tools to give a single source of your customer journey, from offline business steps all the way through in-store purchase. Your content team should be directly linked to these platforms to find key attributable data points to help drive future innovations. Technology organizations will continue to develop machine-learning based platforms (much like Episerver has) that can analyze customer journey trends and even go as far to suggest relevant content to publishers during the creation process based on business goals.

What content trends do you see emerging in 2018?

Technology will no longer be the deterrent to these business practices. Marketing teams will come to the table with IT departments to make investment decisions in platforms that can drive both team’s interests. This will mean the expectations of marketing and content publishers will rise – ease of connection to tools like personalization and access to data platforms will be an expectation rather than on the wish list.

Content expectations will not go away – organizations will continue to work at the speed of information and expect their messaging to fall in line. As teams get better at using data to drive these decisions, innovation and responsiveness will move upward since the tools will empower teams to work faster and smarter.

Thanks for chatting with us, Jeff.
Stay tuned for more insights on marketing technologies. To participate in our Tech Bytes program, email us at news@martechseries.com[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Contently Appoints Marketing Veteran Giuseppe Caltabiano to Head Content Strategy

contently

Caltabiano Is Based out of Contently’s London Office

Contently, the content marketing solution of choice for the world’s most valuable brands, announced the appointment of marketing veteran Giuseppe Caltabiano as Head of Content Strategy for EMEA and APAC. Caltabiano brings more than 20 years of experience as a global marketing and writing expert, which he will utilize as he leads the content strategy service offering that is provided to Contently clients in EMEA.

Joe Coleman
Joe Coleman

“At Contently, we are committed to helping marketers create engaging and accountable content that allows them to strategically meet and exceed their marketing objectives,” said Joe Coleman, co-founder and CEO of Contently. “As we continue to expand our client base and expand our offerings, we know that adding Giuseppe to our leadership team will only further move the needle for our business. His extensive experience leading content marketing strategy in global enterprises is incredibly valuable for advising top global brands across the financial, technology, industrial, and consumer sectors to produce world-class content and digital marketing strategies. We’re pleased that our clients can now benefit from his years leading global marketing strategy programs in B2B and B2C enterprises.”

Caltabiano is based out of Contently’s London office and will report to SVP of Sales, Marc Schraer.

Also Read: Brightcove Pushes the Envelope with Video Experiences that Increase Customer ROI

Giuseppe Caltabiano
Giuseppe Caltabiano

“In a marketplace oversaturated with content, Contently is the original thought leader and has remained a true pioneer,” said Caltabiano. “The company is globally recognized for its expertise in creating breakthrough content programs for the world’s best brands. I look forward to applying my experience to the next frontier of content marketing with Contently’s unified approach that integrates strategy throughout the ContentlyOne solution.”

Before joining Contently, Caltabiano was Chief Strategist at Scorch Agency, a leading B2B enterprise content marketing agency. He also held executive roles at NewsCred and Schneider Electric. Amongst his accolades, Caltabiano was named to the “Top 25 Masters of Multichannel Marketing,” in 2017 and voted the “Most Influential B2B Marketers” by software company, Traackr, in 2016.

Also Read: MediaAlpha Brings Header Bidding Benefits to Publishers Selling Performance Marketing

Flipboard Launches Self-Service Publisher Program, Embracing Mobile Standards

flipboard

Flipboard launches a new self-service program for publishers: for the first time publishers around the world can easily join Flipboard, have their stories discovered by readers on the platform and build a new channel for traffic to their websites. Flipboard is also rolling out the Reader Enhanced Display (RED) Bolt performance mark to give fast, reader-friendly websites more visibility on the platform.

Every month more than 100 million people are on Flipboard reading and sharing stories they discover, and publishers are seeing that engagement reflected in their traffic. In a post on August 7, 2017Parse.ly reported:  “One key thing to note is that this (Flipboard to publisher) traffic almost exclusively comes from a tablet, phone or other mobile device; 99.4% of Flipboard’s referrals in the first half of June were via mobile. In fact, when we narrow our scope to mobile consumption, Flipboard becomes the fourth most common referrer to sites in our network, right behind Twitter.”

Mike McCue
Mike McCue

“With the bulk of traffic now coming from mobile devices, it’s an important time to invest in fast, quality experiences that readers love. And, with the advancements in design and mobile standards, we are now able to open our platform to millions of sources,” said Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard. “The tools we are rolling out today allow us to welcome new publishers and celebrate great content, which has been a key part of our mission from the beginning.”

The Mobile Web and the RED Bolt
Starting today, the RED Bolt will appear next to articles on Flipboard that have mobile-optimized pages. The first titles that will receive the RED Bolt include world-class publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Verge, Axios, The Economist, People, Esquire, Self, Conde Nast Traveler and Mashable.

Regina Buckley
Regina Buckley

“With Flipboard we’ve been able to develop a new, high-quality channel for web traffic and social discovery of our content that is consistently one of our top referring sources,” said Regina Buckley, Senior Vice President, Digital Operations and Business Development, Time Inc. “Premium mobile products are a priority for Time Inc. and Flipboard’s new RED Bolt program is a great innovation that allows us to benefit from that work.”

To receive the RED Bolt, mobile sites need to load in one second or less, be free from aggressive pop-up ads and not redirect readers to an alternate site. Generally, publishers that have implemented AMP technologies will meet the core requirements for the RED Bolt and AMP optimized sites will be fast-tracked in the process. In the coming months, the RED Bolt will roll out to thousands of publishers on Flipboard and by the end of the year it will be automatically awarded to all sources that meet the user experience standards.

Publisher Self-Service – How It Works
In addition to the RED Bolt recognition, Flipboard is simplifying how publishers join its growing platform with a new publisher sign-up tool that lets them automatically add, edit and organize their content on Flipboard. Starting today, publishers not yet on Flipboard can go to www.flipboard.com/publishers, select “Sign Up,” and follow the steps to submit an RSS feed for review. Once approved, a publisher’s content will be live on Flipboard and articles will be algorithmically indexed and surfaced in related topics and Smart Magazines across Flipboard.

Jenni Ryall
Jenni Ryall

“Mashable’s referral traffic from Flipboard has increased ten-fold in recent months,” said Jenni Ryall, Mashable’s Vice President of Content Strategy. “It’s proving to be one of our top four drivers of traffic, outperforming many other more traditional platforms.”

Existing publishers on Flipboard can log into their accounts on flipboard.com, go to their profiles to add or manage the RSS feeds that power each of their Flipboard Magazines. Publishers can now edit, add and update feeds associated with any of their Flipboard Magazines. This new functionality gives publishers a new interface to control their feeds on Flipboard and ensures fresh stories and important coverage are reaching their audiences on the platform as stories are published.