Saturday, June 23, 2018

Blockchain | SEO

How will blockchain impact SEO?

Cryptocurrencies are making headlines on a daily basis. Spectacular twists and turns of this decentralized market have brought to the limelight not only the problems of inherent volatility, but also the underpinning blockchain technology. When it comes to this topic, buying and selling digital coins is only the surface level. Possible applications are much more far-reaching than those we observe on a financial market.

Namely, this underlying infrastructure is nothing short of a revolutionary, disruptive influence that sends ripples across industry sectors, including digital marketing and SEO. Some hail it as the biggest innovation since the introduction of the internet back in 1990. Skeptics are leery of even entertaining the notion of getting involved in it. But, we want to focus on what really blockchain is and how it affects the already tumultuous SEO world.  

A true game changer

Blockchain lays the groundwork for the whole cryptocurrency ecosystem to exist, function, and grow. It allows users to conduct transactions without any sort of middleman getting involved in the process. But, what exactly it is at its core? Well, in a nutshell, it represents an incorruptible and transparent digital ledger of economic transactions. Pieces of data, called blocks, are transmitted across the network, after which a process of confirmation commences. Once the nodes validate data, the money can be moved.

You might be wondering what this has to do with SEO. Well, the key thing to note here is that blockchain can be programmed to record any type of data, not just cryptocurrency transactions. Think of it as Google Docs spreadsheets that are tamper-proof and easy to share with the public. The main difference with the great outdoors of the internet is that there is no central authority such as Google calling the shots and manipulating the data.

Artificial Intelligence | Machine Learning | Marketing

How Artificial Intelligence will make marketing more creative and effective

Artificial Intelligence can decide whether a picture is a fit or not by analysing its content. It can further be used to offer hyper-personalised ranking and selection filters based on unique requirements of each user.

All of us have heard about driverless cars, automated machines, bots and virtual assistants, even if we don’t fully understand what these terms mean. All of these are manifestations of self-learning algorithms, smart technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). The application of these technologies is no longer just limited to sci-fi movies and erudite research papers. Directed by data-driven insights from these powerful technologies, traditional decision-making by experienced professionals is slowly being transformed. Let’s take a look, then, at this metamorphosis that AI is ushering in across business functions such as marketing.

How is AI changing marketing?

Today, we have more marketing channels than ever before—retail, online, social, mobile, flash sales, etc. Marketing decisions need to be faster and out-of-the-box. So far, all the focus and excitement has been about how ML or AI can help marketers connect better with their customers. There hasn’t been much discussion about how the fundamental rules of marketing will change with the advent of big data, digitization and AI and their integration across all facets of marketing. There has been a high dependency on analytics to understand, extract insights and develop strategies aligned to the customer journey and to measure the impact of various marketing actions. But, ML and AI are upgrading the game by automating all tasks to unlock the highest levels of efficiency. Since Deep Learning and AI can work much like the human brain, they can also be put to work in the creative aspects of marketing.

SEO - Brand Building For Google Search

Why Your SEO Focus Should Be Brand Building

Google has always given brands preferential treatment.

They get better rankings with fewer links. They get “penalized” for improper conduct, only to resurface a few weeks later.

Small brands, on the other hand?

Never get the benefit of the doubt. Need to earn twice as many links. And never resurface. Ever.

And this is only accelerating. It’s only getting more pronounced.

So much so, that there’s virtually nothing else you should focus on in 2018, besides building a brand. 

Big brands will get showcased in the SERPs. And small companies will be left in the dust.

Here’s why.

SERPs Are Changing Dramatically

Google is known for tinkering. Thousands of times a year.

But it isn’t just the algorithm updates we should pay attention to. The cause and effect of layout adjustments also changes user behavior.

For example, featured snippets have been on the rise.

Secret to Success - Gary Vaynerchuk | Video

SEO Guide 2018 - Video

Local SEO | Business Tips

6 Signs That Your Company Needs Local SEO Services

If your business has physical locations, then you more than likely already know the importance of attaining and maintaining prominent visibility in the local search engines. Nearly half of all web searches have a local intent, using queries such as “[keyword] [city] [state]” to find products and services specifically in locations where you do business.

These searchers are generally deep in the purchase funnel and are ready to spend money. If they don’t find your location listed on page one of the SERPs, they will find your competitors.

There are several tell-tale signs when a company should consider professional local SEO services. Let’s dig deeper and discover whether your business is covered or if you need additional support.

Customer Engagement | Marketing Strategy

11 Ways To Engage Customers In Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing can sometimes feel like a hamster wheel with all the work that goes into it to get results. It can even feel inauthentic if customers aren't directly involved in the process. But there are ways to change that -- marketers are moving toward marketing efforts that take the customer into account. This strategy helps customers become more enthusiastic about what your company has to offer.

1. Let the results speak for themselves.
If you are doing a good job supporting your clients or customers, they will become your best marketing resource. Potential clients and customers are much more likely to listen to a testimonial or look at results from a case study than they are to hear your sales pitch. Do good work and your clients will advocate on your behalf. - Charlie 

2. Engage with transmedia storytelling.
A great way of engaging customers in content creation/marketing efforts is through transmedia storytelling. By creating a game-like experience within which customers and prospects enter at multiple points, you can evaluate which of your channels is the best for reaching a particular audience. Because transmedia is dependent upon a choose-your-own-adventure method of storytelling, you can engage your audience through the most successful channels by having them vote on new storylines, new characters and new types of media. - Crystal WhiteLaunch Interactive, LLC 

3. Market your customers.
We love seeing the amazing images that our customers post of our products, and we make sure to share them back out whenever we can on our social networks and website. Not only do we recognize their appreciation, we also help market their businesses through our channels. When other customers see that, it motivates them to post their own images, creating broader marketing for us. - Sarah NunesVistaprint 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Marketing Strategies For Startups

Five Essential Marketing Strategies For Any Startup

Since marketing for startups is such a unique case, this guide should give founders a good place to start. As your business grows and expands its presence, it may attract customers through word of mouth. Until that happens, though, you should prioritize the following marketing strategies to spread the word about your startup.

1. Send Emails

Email marketing is an essential strategy for attracting customers to your startup for little or no cost. Once you have a prospect or customer's email address, you can send him or her emails to promote your startup.

To take advantage of this marketing strategy, you must first collect prospects' email addresses. If you have a website for your startup, consider placing a newsletter signup form on it. Alternatively, you can ask customers directly for their email addresses. The key thing to remember is that you must diversify your emails with non-commercial content like guides, how-to articles, videos and infographics. If you only send advertorial emails, subscribers will probably opt out of receiving your newsletter.

2. Start A Blog

Blogging is a powerful strategy that can help your startup generate the exposure it needs. One report found that businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than their competitors without blogs. With a blog, you can position your startup as a leading source while also attracting organic search traffic to your site.

The secret to creating an effective business blog is to publish content that your audience wants to read. If it's valuable and worth reading, search engines will reward your hard work by ranking your blog at the top of the search results. And when your blog ranks high, it will attract more visitors -- meaning more people will learn about your startup.


Video Apps | Social Media

5 Video Apps to Revolutionize Your Social Media Posts

In the early days of social media, it was enough to post regularly about interesting and relevant material. As various social media platforms became more crowded, it became necessary to create more visually appealing content to ensure people would stop scrolling long enough to see what you had to say. This could be accomplished with great images or inspiring quotes on an attractive static background.

Unfortunately, neither of these tactics are enough to garner the kind of interest and engagement now needed to captivate the attention of the algorithms that determine how many people will actually see the post you've worked so hard to create. According to most social media marketing experts, video is one of the best tools to take your business to the next level.

Fortunately, many businesses have developed apps to make creating compelling video and animation accessible to all business owners.


Blockchain Technology | Social Media Marketing

Blockchain Technology Trend: Will it Affect the Future of Social Media Marketing?

Whether you are a social media marketer offering services to businesses or a B2B or B2C entrepreneur using social media to reach clients, the blockchain technology is a trend which is set to rewrite the rules of the game.

How Blockchain Technology Has Transformed Social Media Marketing

As blockchain technology is disrupting a lot of industries, social media marketing is one among many sectors to feel the ramifications of this. Companies used to building brands on social media platforms should now realise bitcoin technology has changed the platform and how people network as well as how businesses and consumers use social media.

#1 Verified Online Identities

Now, social media channels are increasingly turning to new avenues for verifying online identities. With massive bot issues on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, marketing ROI is impacted negatively. Connecting with customers whose identities have been verified through blockchain technology and smart contracts is extremely useful for business owners who don’t want to carry out tone deaf social media campaigns based on fraudulent PPC ad impressions.

#2 Verified Marketplaces

Much like verified identities influence the future of blockchain enabled social media, verified marketplaces are changing the social media marketing scene too. Marketplaces are addressing specific needs and as blockchain technology becomes mainstream, business owners realise this technology’s immense potential.

#3 Leading the Way For the Future of Social Platforms

Combinations of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-enabled social media networks serve as a future of social platforms. Decentralised platforms will become commonplace, as social media users can choose which platform to network on. A crypto enabled social media platform that rewards you for making posts is one such platform.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain collectables are also influencing the future of social media. Significant interest in the crypto collectable sector is arising, with early movers raising millions.


Social Media Marketing Strategy

10 Steps to the Perfect Social Media Marketing Strategy

Step 1: Define your mission

Before you can work on your overarching plan of action, you first have to define what exactly it is that you want to get out of your social media strategy.

Your mission statement should be broad, and relate to what you want to achieve after implementing this strategy. An easy way to figure out your mission statement is to answer this simple question: “Why do you want to use social media for your business?”

Remember that your answer should relate to your marketing strategy. Your answer might be, for example, to raise awareness about your brand, to generate new leads or to direct more traffic to your website.

Once you’ve got your social media mission defined, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Outline your goals

Your goals should outline exactly how you plan to complete your defined mission.

Start by listing the steps that you need to take in order to achieve your mission. You’ll need three or four steps that are ‘SMART’ – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive.

For example, if your mission is to get more people to learn about the culture of your brand, one of your goals could be to increase the reach of your Facebook videos to 2 000 views per post within the next six months.

With your SMART goals in place, you can start considering who it is you want to reach out to.

Step 3: Consider your target audience

So, now you know exactly what you want to achieve and how you’re planning to achieve it. The next step is figuring out exactly who you want to reach.

A simple way to identify your audience is to create basic buyer personas. These are fictional characters that have the same traits as your typical clients.

amaSocial gives this example: “A take-away food brand might list their target audience as women in Gauteng between ages 18 and 30 who want healthy, fresh food on-the-go and men in Gauteng between the ages of 18 and 35 that need healthy, high-protein take-away food.”


Local SEO Tips For Small Businesses

How Local Businesses Can Implement SEO

Add Title Tags

The title tag is the link that you can click on in your web browser tab and each individual page should be unique as they all carry a lot of weight. They will also need to contain the relevant keywords to that page and there should be a consistent format across the website. Separate keywords from your brand name using a hyphen or vertical bar and ensure that the copy does not exceed 55 characters as it will become too long to display.

URL Structure

Another way to highlight your keywords to a search engine is through your URL. Keywords should be included after the domain name or after the ‘/’. When doing this, you should use hyphens to separate the words and use all lowercase letters.


As search engines cannot see images, they need to use the coding on the image to understand what it is showing. Ensure there is a brief explanation of the image in the alt tag text, the image title should be a caption of the image and ensure that the image is saved as something descriptive and not just ‘image5432.’

Add Meta Descriptions

On search engines, you will see two lines of text under websites and this is known as the meta description. When you don’t provide this information, random text from your website will appear instead and this probably won’t make any sense to the user. While they won’t help increase your search engine rankings, they will encourage potential customers to visit your website.