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Archive for November, 2016

How to Turn Anonymous Visitors into Successful Customers?

November 29th, 2016 Comments off

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Marketing has evolved. Though, one of the biggest challenges in the marketing of converting a visitor to a customer and then a loyal customer is still prevalent. Studies show that almost 98% of website visitors are anonymous. Online businesses have the aim of converting of every visitor to a customer and urging them to come back again. However, achieving this objective is not a onetime activity.

For any kind of product, you will come across hundreds of competitors. Moreover, the prices don’t vary much, making it much more difficult for customers to make a choice. Everyone is competing on the same lines, even the media industry for increasing their readers’ base. Today, almost most of the content is free and pooled widely across social media platforms making it a struggling battle for publishing and media houses to earn profits.

With the evolution of marketing, it has become important for brands to understand their target audience and create personalized messages accordingly to turn visitors into customers. Here comes the tricky part when marketing professionals have to create content knowing nothing about their visitors. However, there are certain ways in which brands can increase the probabilities of converting a visitor to a loyal customer or maybe register for a mailing list or subscribe for newsletters. Data is the starting line

Create unknown User Profiles Based on Past Behavior

It is important for marketing professionals to understand their customers completely for personalized online interactions. Though, it is very difficult to do that as a brand knows very little about the user visiting the website. Worry not. There are some ways for the same.

First thing is to use the data that is already at disposal in the organization utilizing data management platforms. DMPs usually gain data from the brand’s digital platforms like websites, applications, CRM systems etc. CRM tools are of great help determining quickly whether a particular visitor has visited the website earlier or not. Data related to which page a particular visitor visited, did they purchase, for how much time he was on the website etc. help marketing professionals understand how to create content or reach to the visitor.

Even if a visitor has not visited, DMPs can help in collecting data from second and third party websites and tools. This comprises of data from partners, social media, subscriptions, ERP software, CMS and some other analytics tools.

These tools and combined data enable marketing professionals to understand which product is trending among a specific group of consumers or which products are consumed the most etc. Using such data points they can form a basic assumption of the anonymous visitor.

Examine Visitor’s behavior real-time

When visitors are spending time on the website, marketing professionals are getting real time data in plenty helping them to understand the interests of the visitors. After visitors have spent some time on the website, check the history and their behavior in order to calculate their intent. DMP helps in collecting the data in real time to give more personalized content to users. You need to prepare a set of questions like what pages visitors are visiting, on which page they are spending more time etc.

This method helps in delivering relevant content and advertisements to users. This helps in killing two birds with one stone wherein this will also help you in examining teaser campaigns showing visitors what they could gain if they are paying for a particular product or a service pushing them more down the conversion funnel.

Real-time Personalized Experience

You can create real-time personalized experience with such rich data sets. This helps in increasing user engagement. However, having data is just not enough. It is important to analyze and then take appropriate actions or form strategies accordingly. Not every brand can analyze data and take further steps. Personalizing users’ experiences is important as it serves the purpose of data collection. Combining the two will enable marketing professionals to get a clear picture of what the users are interested in. They can develop relationships with their users making them feel more close to the brand.

Data is the first step in converting a user to a loyal customer. With data, marketing professionals can create a customer journey customized as per the users’ interests. Combination of both first party and second party/third party data can help marketing professionals to customize every visit irrespective of the number of times a user is visiting. To be precise, it is all about developing an all-round view of a prospect creating a personalized journey wherein they are encouraged to purchase and come back again.

How IoT Technology will Impact Online Marketing

November 21st, 2016 Comments off

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With the rise of Internet, many technological developments have taken place competing against each other. Virtual and augmented are fierce contenders, however, a bigger phenomenon is Internet of Things. With IoT, users are now having internet connected devices from refrigerators to thermostats.

The technology of having connected devices everywhere is pretty exciting. Let’s see how this technology will have an impact on the world of digital marketing

Search on conversational queries

Now, searches have become conversational queries rather than one or two specifically selected keywords. Users now are asking long form questions. With the development of digital assistants the acceptation and interpretation is through vocally- input user queries.

Soon keyboard entries will almost disappear with the IoT technology becoming more common in homes. Steadily users will get used to this method of search and keyword based queries will get vanished practically. This will lead to an enhancement in conversational engagements.

A fall in organic click through rates

With the increase in conversational engagement, organic click through rate will decline. Users will be dependent on IoT technology for the functioning of almost everything in their daily lives wherein the conversations and orders can be placed without the need of visiting the website. If we go deep, this can be a bad thing. Users won’t be visiting your website so often. However, a middle step of the process can be eliminated if it is played right. You will optimize your website to be found by IoT searches and not for click through rates in search engines.

SERPs will disappear or transform

Considering the above two points, it is possible that SERP will vanish or transform as Google and other search engines will integrate themselves with the new online experience and thus causing users to no longer visit the website. There are certain points to be considered like previewing a product before the final purchase or going through some information. This information can be provided directly by Google’s Knowledge Graph and existing digital assistants.

Google might not be the primary focus

Till today, Google plays a dominant role in search engines. It is predicted that this dominancy will continue even if the traditional methods of SERPs and search change. However, you will not worry about only Google. Users will use IoT to find information, products and videos which means that the user will have to adapt to a variety of different technologies.

A complete shift to personalization

Personalization is the new trend. Social media experiences and online searches are evolving to become more personalized. Users wish for personalized experiences to prevent the feeling of mass-marketed and to get more relevant content and information. With the growth of IoT, personalization will be more feasible. The potential of personalization is beyond present conception and it is going to play a huge role in search results in near future.

The growth of residential marketing

When more homes shift to smart homes, purchases and searches will be more for residential purposes. It will be of utmost importance to get the products and information in front of residential consumers. This should also go beyond the potential for search optimization. If you are making your products and information available through some IoT technology, it becomes essential to advertise the same. If you are catering to a particular niche target audience, it is important to know how your target audience is using IoT in their homes.

6 Possibilities for The Future of Social Media Marketing

November 19th, 2016 Comments off

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Today, social media is a part of our everyday lives and we are growing with it. In less than a decade few social media platforms have emerged as giants connecting the majority of the world’s population. These developments will continue to exist. However, they will constantly keep on changing keeping the core value same.

Social media platforms will evolve and marketing professionals should be ready to adapt to the changes and form strategies around it. Let’s review some of the predictions about social media platforms in the coming years.

Monopolization

Some years before, one platform dominating the social media landscape was Google search engine. Now, if we talk then it is of course Facebook. Earlier Facebook was alone an entity but now it has WhatsApp and now Instagram. Coming years down the line, more acquisitions can be done by Facebook. There is a possibility that all these platforms will merge into a single platform giving all in one social experience. However, this will take years to happen with minimal user disruption.

Pay-only visibility

Social media platforms are focusing on content that comes from users and not on organic prominence of corporations and brands. Though, Facebook has made this in order to improve the news feed for individual user. Here, brands will have to pay more to continue achieving the same level of social reach. Ultimately, paid advertising is the only way to increase reach as organic visibility will cut down drastically.

Individualization

Personalization and customizability have become the main objective of social media platforms due to its increasing demand. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. are giving more control to users for thr type of content they want in their news feed. They even have the freedom to change the operations of news feed.

In future, things will go next level where users will have the power of creating their own systems of content delivery or even providing real time what users want.

Niche Segmentation

This aspect becomes a complete contrast to monopolization scenario. There is a possibility that there can be a high level of niche segmentation. Snapchat is a perfect example. Only specific niche crowd will go for it.

However, with time Snapchat has revolved and is a top favorite for almost everyone. So such niche social platforms can increase desirability providing unique experiences compared to its competitors.

Virtual and augmented reality

VR and AR are mere buzzwords today. However, ten years down the line it will play a very important role in social media platforms. Augmented reality will help social media to reach a place delivering more real world benefits and immediacy. Whereas virtual reality will deliver new ways to experience the world. Communication with each other will be revolutionized by feedback loops.

Streamlining

 Digital interaction will get streamlined. Facebook has already started this by integrating features like digital assistants, instant articles and even having a very strong search option in its app so that users don’t leave the platform.

Ultimately, many social applications have started diversifying its services and features they offer. However, this would take a lot of time but will be of huge value to the platforms themselves.

To say, it is not essential that the above mentioned points will necessarily take place but maybe some things will take place in the same direction. With so many variables into consideration, maybe one of the points will manifest and change the way of marketing to our clients.

How to Avoid Copyright Infringement for Images

November 17th, 2016 Comments off

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The use of images on websites has increased drastically. Today, having good images is very important for effective Internet Marketing. Images for SEO purposes come later; initially images are necessary to accompany your content for your audience. Although to find good photos which go in sync with your content is also difficult.

It is important to consider copyright laws and regulations as well while picking photos online. If you violate copyright laws and regulations, you are subjected to hefty fines, lawsuits etc. Let’s review some points where we can add good images without getting into the troubles of copyright issues

Get Royalty free images

You will come across many websites proclaiming that they provide royalty free images. However, these websites do not put in extra efforts to check whether they photos are actually royalty free or the users who upload the photos have the rights. With Google Image search you can find images which are free to use. Wikipedia Commons is also a great source of high quality, free photos but with a disclaimer stating “Wikimedia Commons cannot grant any rights to use any otherwise protected materials. Your use of any such or similar incorporeal property is at your own risk.” To be precise, it is not that you cannot use the image just because it is appearing on the website.

It is important to note that royalty free image does not signify that it is free. It signifies that the images are not “rights-managed.” There are some popular sources of images like Getty Images; AP images etc. sell rights managed images wherein the user can purchase a license for using photo just once in the manner as specified by the license

You can get royalty free images from

Conducting a background search

There are various tools online where one can find where the particular image is used somewhere else. It is known as reverse image search. These searches don’t give you much information however; such searches can sometimes help you to gain knowledge about an image’s copyright status.

TinEye is the best reverse search image tool. Other than that you can go for Google Image Search.

Your own photos are the best source

One of the best ways to not get involved in copyright issues is creating your own photos and own the copyright. This comes with its own set of challenges following model releases and obeying particular privacy laws.

Nowadays, smartphones have the latest technology for clicking high-quality photos. So, you don’t need a professional camera. You also get the advantage that the photos are unique.

It is important to know that some photos that you click can be subjected to trademark law. If you are not sure about photograph infringes on the intellectual property of another person or entity, then it is better to consult an attorney knowledgeable in IP law before uploading the photo on your website.

While searching for any image, do not spend a lot of time in finding the perfect image but don’t neglect the due diligence part to ensure the rights for using the image which you ultimately select.

Four Phases of Cloud Security

November 16th, 2016 Comments off

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A captivating business model is offered by Iaas (Infrastructure as a Service) and that is why its adoption is increasing in all kinds of organizations. While implementing IaaS, whether it a hybrid cloud or public cloud strategy, one should comprehend the security challenges that can be encountered which can help them to overcome hurdles associated with protection of cloud-based operations and business.

Along with the advantages that IaaS offers, it is also a web of challenges as organization’s resources are stored in shared public data centers which are remotely accessible on unsecured networks. Nowadays, hackers are making use of cloud occurrences to make an attempt of malicious attacks. A fact that can’t be ignored is if businesses don’t have concrete security infrastructures, the cloud environment is vulnerable to many numbers of threats and attacks.

Many security measures and tools are available in the market but security needs vary with different organizations. There are 4 stages of cloud security ranging from simple to complex which should be deployed by every organization. Let us review the challenges that organizations face in each stage of cloud complexity.

Stage 1 – Security Best Practice in Cloud

Organizations which are into the first stage of cloud complexity are using IaaS on a somewhat low scale in a single, simple data center alignment. Cloud infrastructure strategy giving access to a specific cloud infrastructure which was earlier available only to large companies is deployed by organizations to diminish computing costs and thereby improve efficiency. But such organizations lack in-house IT security expertise and thus cannot address the requirements of security required on their own. Such companies can avail solutions that bundle the best security practices. Best security practices include identity-based access policies, secure remote access, firewall etc.). Such solutions should be offered as a service.

Stage 2 –Automate Security & Scale

In this stage of complexity, organizations which have pretty good experience in the cloud as well as have good in-house security proficiencies fit here. Such organizations adopting security solution externally is not because they lack in-house knowledge or skills but because you require more than just a manual configuration. A manual configuration does not scale up in the same stride as cloud computing power scales. In such situations, automating security helps the on-premise team with enormous and dynamic cloud usage.

The company should be able to respond in situations when a number of virtual servers fluctuate. E-commerce portals are best examples. During holidays and seasonal peaks, there is traffic spike whereby the company should be able to add servers without worrying about the downtime. Manually doing such tasks can have human errors or in worst cases, resources will fall short at peak times causing loss of sales and revenues. In order to protect organization’s network, automated security scaling should be deployed irrespective of the number of servers used at any specific time.

Remote secure access is another point of concern which organizations at this level of security have to deal with. If organization’s employees are working somewhere remotely and want access to cloud servers, requirements should be established properly ensuring the identity is verified, secured connections are established and no risk is associated with data in motion.

Stage 3 – Multi-location, Multi-Cloud Deployments

This stage of complexity comprises of companies that are too much dependent on the cloud. Several data centers are deployed by such companies, sometimes on more than one cloud or a hybrid environment is deployed maximizing potential of the cloud. Securing multi-location environments while reaping the benefits of the cloud gives rise to another layer of complexity.

For small enterprises, how can they securely connect cloud computational resources on more than one data centers? For effective deployments, it is inevitable for data to travel across several data centers than resources being accessible. Data is traveling around everywhere, though its organization’s responsibility to secure the path. Nonetheless, even if automation is deployed, in such complex scenarios and levels the risk of blunders is quite high.

Organizations should consider multiple locations, diverse infrastructures with diverse security configurations for data traveling across. It is necessary for a security layer to be implemented defining and implementing network-wide policies across different infrastructures.  Organizations can then configure security policies as per network-wide policies across various data centers and deployments irrespective of the number of locations and physical locations.

Stage 4 – Compliance with Security Regulations

Companies which have to comply with regulations of external security like PCI compliance for enterprises taking care of credit card information so far in this 4th level of complexity. It is necessary for such organizations to comply with such regulations. In a failure to comply, various civil penalties can be levied upon, inclusive of exorbitant fines and chances of imprisonment.

Note that fully compliant infrastructure services are not provided by any of the public cloud service providers. In this stage, the companies have to meet the government rules and regulations for implementing additional security. Some of the compliances are:

  • File and configuration integrity checks
  • Encryption of data-in-motion
  • Complete access logs for servers holding sensitive data
  • Identity-based access management and control

Organizations coming under all four stages have to deploy the extra layer of security with the basic infrastructure bridging the gap between in-house capabilities and network security needs. One of the important aspects of any security infrastructure which has the capability to scale as and when the business expands. The first three stages can be treated as a natural evolution of growth and development. A right security solution is one which evolves naturally through the three steps without any distraction. Moreover, a security solution should allow a company to go beyond a single data center enabling deployment across multiple data centers, various infrastructures and across several clouds. And at the end, right security features should be in accordance with the level of data sensitivity and regulations a company holds.