In the age of social media where we are dealing with shortened attention spans, marketers are vying to have their content noticed against a sea of options. The use of pictures in marketing has become the primary force online. Images bring out emotions, and the right picture has a powerful pull on us.
If you haven’t considered how images on the web can strengthen your content strategy and contribute to your bottom line, here are four reasons why you should include them in your content marketing efforts:
1. Photos get more traffic.
Not only do articles with images get 94% more views than those that don’t, they also receive more blog comments and reader engagement. Images that are appropriately tagged and optimized can also help drive traffic and new audiences to your brand through search.
2. Visual storytelling strengthens your brand.
People want candid and compelling narratives. Establish authenticity and form a connection with your viewers by using photos that represent the ideals, people, and experiences behind your brand. The fact that the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text makes it easier to compete with other sources of information and takes you less time to build trust.
3. Images convince journalists to cover your story.
It’s rare for newspapers, magazines, and blogs to run features without images. Photos save the journalist time and show credibility. It is, however, important to note that many journalists prefer not to receive unsolicited photo attachments via email. It would be wise to pitch first then let the journalist know that you have photos available via shared drive or request.
4. Images motivate your audience to act.
If you’re looking to build loyalty or convert customers, include visuals in your presentations. This is effective in driving an audience toward your desired course of action.
by: Karen Cayamanda
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 | Comments (0)
Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends
According to the Information Services Group (ISG), the global outsourcing industry posted an annual contract value of $5.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, a 27-percent increase compared to 2013's ACV. This double-digit growth made a great ending to one of the best years for outsourcing and was driven by a buyer's market in the Americas, as well as an increase in mega relationships and deal restructuring.
Based on the ISG Outsourcing Index that covers outsourcing deals with ACV of $5 million or more, the number of contracts also increased by six percent. In 2014, the total ACV was up by 16 percent with $23.1 billion, and the number of contracts reached 1,218.
ISG partner and President John Keppel said the double-digit growth was seen through all regions, but was particularly strong in the Americas. Clients took advantage of getting more services at lower costs. They also looked for more flexible deals and lower unit costs.
Information technology outsourcing (ITO) ended 2014 with $17.3 billion, a 19-percent growth for the year and 13 percent for the fourth quarter. On the other hand, business process outsourcing (BPO) posted a strong 4Q to end the year with $5.8 billion. Financial services posted an all-time high with an ACV of $2.1 billion.
EMEA, considered as the largest outsourcing market in the world, had a 19-percent increase in ACV in the last quarter and seven percent in 2014, closing out the year with $11.9 billion. As for Asia-Pacific, it posted a 21-percent increase in ACV in the fourth quarter, and the number of contracts grew by 11 percent.
ISG expects strong activity this year, though it is predicted that the first half will be flat compared to the strong first half of last year. According to Keppel, with digitization and strong growth expected in applications, the industry has huge growth potential.
A post at NetworkAsia.net indicated the recent findings and predictions of CIO.com on the global outsourcing industry. It includes the forecasts of outsourcing onlookers and industry specialists who believe that the IT outsourcing industry will be more business-centric, decision-making processes will be largely anchored on results, and RFPs are restructured, as customers become more open to standardization and changes.
1. Results will be the backbone of everything.
Decisions, strategies, and even pricing will be based on the results that the buyer wants for his/her company, which largely involve an outcomes-based pricing. More market-facing process solutions for marketing, campaign management, and inside sales will be seen this year as providers are aiming to align compensations and incentives with the overall strategy of a campaign.
2. Autonomics and cloud technology will merge.
This year, the cloud will be reinforced as autonomics, also known as “smart bots”. These will pave the way for the ‘labor-as-a-service’ approach. Buyers, as well as providers, see this opportunity since it can be easily hosted on cloud platforms, and can be flexible.
3. First came the cloud, everything else followed.
Since everyone is getting more acquainted with cloud technology, people are starting to realize its benefits such as virtualization, increased efficiency, reduced support costs. With the convergence of utility computing and virtualization, a new IT outsourcing operating model will soon level out the playing field once again.
4. Companies will renegotiate deals.
As more companies want IT processes to be standardized, they will look for several options involving cloud brokerage software that can enable them to understand analytics and automation better.
5. Buyers will pay more attention to IT supplier risk.
Buyers will be seen preparing for risks in advance since they are trying to avoid unnecessary slowdown in operations. In fact, some are making simulations of what could possibly go wrong with their IT suppliers so they will be equipped should mishaps happen in the future.
6. Multi-sourcing amongst buyers will increase.
Software-as-a-Service will grow - creating a domino effect in the type of deals buyers and providers will encounter. Multi-sourcing will become more commoditized which will result to more renegotiations and an augmented governance requirements. For renegotiations, decisions will be widely based on integration - how cloud is applied to the process and the entire organization.
7. IT services will surpass trendy tech gadgets.
Buyers will look beyond hot ticket items that can be supplemented to their current IT structure. Instead, they will be more eager to see what services can help further their operations.
8. RFPs will be a thing of the past.
Since technology is a fast-paced element, RFPs will just weigh the process down instead of expediting it. Anything can change with a blink of an eye, and having to wait for a proposal just won’t do. Every day, the story is bound to change in the world of IT, and it certainly won’t stop a provider to present their offerings, or a client to make a decision.
9. Cloud will be more comprehensible.
Companies will be more careful when purchasing cloud-provided infrastructure and solutions since the trial and testing period is over. They are now more confident in making cloud decisions because more information and feedback have been released since it gained traction last year.
10. Analytics will lead sourcing operations and strategies.
Sourcing will become a challenge to organizations since everyone is looking for the next best opportunity. This is where a deeper dive into analytics will come in handy because companies will have the necessary data to make the next move. In addition to that, enterprises will look for better deals that are clear as day so that the integration of management processes and multi-sourced operations will be done properly.
This year, PR professionals are dedicated to creating more content, whether they are blog posts, press releases, white papers, or social media updates.
For more effective and shareable content, make sure you have these items covered.
1. Do you know your audience?
Your content won’t have an impact if you can’t appeal to your target audience. Learn about the behavior of the people you want to reach. Choose topics that cover their interests and that speak to their demographics.
2. Are you using an editorial calendar?
Not only does an editorial calendar help you avoid writer’s block and repeating themes, it also instills a publishing frequency. Produce content regularly and your audience will keep coming back.
3. Is your content SEO-friendly?
If you want people to find your content organically in search, using keywords and clear headlines will help. SEO-friendly content is more shareable on the social web.
4. Does your content include a call to action?
It doesn't matter whether you’re asking your followers to leave a comment or enter a contest, as long as you are engaging your audience. Make sure you have an idea of where you’d like to funnel your readers for your content to serve your business objectives.
5. Have you proofread your content?
Delivering flawless content is important. Make sure your stories are free of errors so that people will see your content as reputable, thereby increasing chances of them sharing it across their networks.
According to US-based JSH&A Communications, last year’s biggest challenges faced by chief management officers were creating fresh, timely content, followed by reaching consumers across digital channels, finding a steady stream of relevant content, and using social media for content marketing.
Here are the top marketing trends predicted to take place this year within the social media industry.
Real-time marketing redefined
Instead of real time, marketers will now focus more on right time. This means that the priority will be less about having a swift response at the ready, and more about sharing the right content with the right audience at the right time.
Increased social media ad spending
There will be a shift to an always-on paid social strategy, what with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms forcing marketers to opt for boosting their posts to ensure their content reaches their fans.
Growth of content marketing
Content creation and budgets are on the rise. Marketers will be placing greater emphasis on measuring ROI and the effectiveness of their content.
Video isn't just about YouTube anymore. Last year, Facebook beat YouTube in terms of desktop video views for the first time - delivering nearly a billion more views. Marketers need to identify how video can work across their social channels and not stick to a one-size-fits-all solution.
The takeover of the visual web
Brands with the Facebook-first approach need to think twice, because Facebook is no longer king of engagement. In just two years, post engagement on Instagram went up 416%. Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram each gained more than 10M visitors in 2014. As the social media landscape continues to break and niche social networks appear, marketers need to accept that Facebook will not always be the most impactful or effective channel to build a social presence and engage with fans.
2014 saw a rise in content marketing, whereas 2015 will focus more on sharing the right content with the right audience at the right time, the communications agency states in its most recent infographic. Marketers will head towards a pay-only strategy to ensure content is reaching their target audience.
PR success in 2015 isn't unattainable - you just need to have the right planning and implementation strategies in place.
Here are five tips to consider in your PR team’s quest to take over this year:
Determine your business objectives.
Setting clear business objectives is prerequisite to strategizing or choosing tactics.
Develop strategies and tactics.
Once your goals have been set, you can then proceed to developing strategies and tactics that will steer you toward what you want to accomplish.
Consider your key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure against them.
Choose segments and target numbers.
Your strategies and tactics are intended for certain channels or segments, and they are meant to bring forth quantifiable outcome. Qualitative information about your metrics is provided by segments; your successes and areas that need improvement are revealed by targets.
Maintain and refine.
Use the data you acquire to assess your strategies, tactics, and metrics. Data helps you make informed decisions that have a real impact on your audiences, stakeholders, and efforts.
by: Finella Kristle Panlilio
Monday, December 22, 2014 | Comments (0)
Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends
Social media, albeit not rocket science, is difficult to master, especially when used for business purposes. It is, therefore, normal for businesses to commit social media blunders occasionally. Fortunately, these mistakes can be turned into opportunities - learning from them and at the same time teaching others how to avoid the same ones.
Entrepreneur passes on some social media wisdom on the most common social media mistakes and how to correct them.
1. Focusing too much on yourself
Be liberal in sharing profound content, but make sure your material is relevant to your audience and educates and informs them. When it comes to engagement, keep it proportionate to the amount of followers you have per social network. That means retweeting and sharing at a rate that is balanced with the size of your following on Twitter - and when most of your audience is online, so as not to barrage the stream. If you have more audiences on Instagram, Facebook, and Google+, then continue your conversations on those platforms.
If you think that other people’s work would be helpful to your followers, don’t be afraid to share it. Retweet them a few times or post a few comments on their posts as a way of saying hi. On a side note, avoid sending e-mails and direct messages about your campaign or asking for favors before you have properly introduced yourself. Get to know each other first, then consider whether what you’re about to ask might be burdensome and whether you know each other well enough already to expect favors. Before proposing something to collaborate on, make sure that it benefits both parties.
2. Focusing on numbers and popularity rather than relationships
Before focusing on sales and the number of followers you have, work on building real and lasting relationships first. The ROI will come once you have a solid foundation of relationships in place. Be humble, kind, and genuinely helpful. The key here is to treat people as friends - nurture virtual relationships as you would real-life relationships.
3. Using too many hashtags that are not relevant to your brand
It’s important to be considerate and sensible in hashtag usage. Prior to an event you will be working at (one that will benefit your fans and is aligned with what you are going to endorse), be selective and judicious and avoid oversharing. Just choose one or two hashtags exclusive to the occasion. And before you chat at events, don’t forget to contribute and give mutual respect and honest appreciation to get others’ attention. Show genuine interest in people, instead of what people can do for you.