Many people consider blogging as a crucial part of their online marketing strategy. That is good and all, but focusing on blogs alone is a short-sighted take on increasing a brandís online presence - and actually decreases your businessí ability to tap potential customers.
The crucial fact is, whatever form of content your company has scheduled for publishing, it should be informative and engaging. You also have to consider the technical side of your content.
How will search engines treat and respond to your content? How your content is processed, how it is shared amongst users, and your siteís ability to attract natural links are all considered as signals by search engines.
A post at Business2Community.com
shares three creative ways to attract ideal customers without blogging:1. Create killer infographics.
Creative infographics have been proven to attract ideal customers since these are not in text format. An infographic is a refreshing way of expressing your brandís message, and sometimes even data to users. However, it takes time to produce an infographic. It can also rack up a hefty bill for designers if you donít have an in-house graphic designer. One of the best ways to gather data for content is through surveys. 2. Create videos.
Videos, if done tastefully, can leave viewers itching for more information, a great way to engage with your potential customers especially if you are still in the introduction part of your campaign. Videos can be easily shared across different social media channels, and can be a jump-off point for traffic to your website. One popular topic for a video is giving customers a solution. This could be done through a how-to video, or a video with a storyline that revolves around tips and tricks.3. Know what the offline world has to offer.
As business owners, you should not forget to align your online initiatives with the offline world. One of the best ways to do this is by attending or participating in forums and workshops. You can likewise disseminate information about your website through TV, radio, and newspapers.
Choosing a qualified social media marketing agency can be a difficult task. Here are five qualities you need to look for to make sure that you will end up with a good social media marketing agency:
1. Has experience working with companies in your industry
Because each industry is different, a social campaign that is successful in one field may not have the same results in another. It is for that reason that you should look for a social media agency that had experiences with your industry and helped the companies achieve their business objectives.
2. Has an in-house creative design team
A qualified social media agency is one that has its own team of creative designers. Otherwise, they will have to outsource the visual designs to another agency or to a freelancer, making it difficult for you to communicate with different stakeholders.
3. Delivers measurable results
A qualified social media agency should be able to deliver measurable results. By measurable, we mean quantifiable results and not just "a lot of people are talking about your brand on Twitter". And "your post has received a lot of shares lately" doesnít measure up, either. An example of a measurable result would be that a social media contest generated x number of retweets, increased the number of Twitter followers by x%, drove x number of visitors to the company website. Without measurable results, you wonít be able to determine the return of the social media campaign and whether the agency is performing favorably.
4. Accountable for the outcome of the campaign
A qualified agency should always have a contingency plan in case the objective isnít met. For example, if an agency had a goal of increasing your Twitter followers by 15% in three months through a series of contests but failed to do so, the agency should have other social media campaign ideas available for achieving the goal.
5. Has existing relationships with bloggers
Having existing relationships with bloggers increases the agencyís chance of recruiting them to take part in the social media campaign. Instead of spending time reaching out to hundreds or even thousands of bloggers and ending up convincing only a few to share your campaign on their websites or social networks, an agency with existing relationships with bloggers can persuade them more easily to promote the social contest on their blogs or social channels. When used as a way to assess the quality of a social media agency, these five qualities can help you select an agency that can deliver the results that you want.
This generation lives most of its life on social media that itís no surprise that even recruitment managers are growing savvier, thereby making social recruiting a norm. The fierce competition in the labor market has compelled recruiters to engage candidates like a marketer would engage customers. Although traditional recruiting methods have not been completely discarded, the targeting options social media offers have enabled recruiters to find quality hires. According to Jobviteís 2014 Social Recruiting Survey Results, 93% of hiring managers will review a candidateís social profile before making a hiring decision. Also, 55% have actually reconsidered a candidate because of what they find, with 61% of those double-takes being negative.
Recruiters take social media profiles very seriously when evaluating candidates, which is why it is important for job hunters to keep clean social media profiles. This, however, does not let existing employees off the hook - a single tweet could ruin your relationship with your boss - or worse, get you fired.
Here are top 10 social media mistakes that could cost you your next - or current - job:
- Making references to illegal drugs. In case this isn't common sense, know that 83% of recruiters say doing so is a strong turn-off.
- Seventy percent of social recruiters will count sexual over-sharing against you as this demonstrates very poor judgment.
- Two-thirds of recruiters told Jobvite that posts including profanity reflected poorly.
- Over half found posts about guns an obvious no-no.
- Drinking in a photo, holding an alcoholic beverage, talking about how many units of alcohol you have consumed or are about to consume - basically any signs of alcoholism, 44% found concerning.
- You might want to review what you've written, because 66% of hiring managers hold poor spelling and grammar against candidates.
- Recruiters also see posting about your political affiliation as a potential negative, so consider keeping this to yourself.
- Complaining about your job. Or talking smack about a job even before you've accepted it.
- Posting while youíre supposed to be working.
- Making fun of your boss, team, or clients.
Take the time to review and revise your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles before recruiters seek you out. Be vigilant: donít post anything you wouldn't want your employer or potential employer to see. Check your privacy settings, but donít rely on them because theyíre known to change frequently, especially Facebook. And remember that just because your social media posts havenít hurt you yet, doesn't mean they wonít.
Highlights of the recent Outsourcing Index organized and published by technology consultancy firm Information Services Group (ISG) were recently posted in MarketWatch.com
. The report stated that despite a slow third quarter, the global outsourcing industry is poised to achieve double-digit growth for 2014.
The Outsourcing Index covered the activity of commercial outsourcing contracts with an annual contract value (ACV) of $5 million or more. It found that year-to-date, ACV climbed 13 percent to $17.1 billion in various segments such as regions, contract types and sizes, and service areas. Also, the contract volume increased by four percent.
As for this yearís third quarter, ACV weakened by double digits in almost every location and segment, as the market took a step back from an aggressive first half where ACV for the first and second quarter was $6 billion. When compared to the ACV of 2013ís third quarter, the difference is 21 percent and only valued at $4.6 billion. The number of closed deals for Q3 2014 is also 32 percent lower to just 239.
According to John Keppel, ISG Partner and President, recent years showed that third quarters are becoming stronger, but this year, it went back to the normal and weaker pace and is the weakest for 2014 so far. The strong performance of the industry from January up to now keeps the industry on target and could even lead to a strong finish.
Changes in ACV scope and activity affected the performance of the third quarter. The number of mega-relationships which are $100 million and over, as well as small-time deals, is also found to have declined.
If viewed from each segment, information technology outsourcing (ITO) decreased by 23 percent from 2013 due to the slowdown of new-scope awards. Activity in the business process outsourcing (BPO) space also declined, but increased in terms of new-scope awards particularly in the Americas. The report also pointed out that the BPO market is no longer strictly focused on horizontal back office process, but is now more on facilities management, industry-specific work, and voice operations.
In the Americas, ACV is up by 11 percent from last yearís third quarter, and is now $1.9 billion driven by large contracts in Canada and Brazil. However, the volume of deals decreased by 30 percent. On the aspect of year-to-date, ACV is 18 percent higher. Meanwhile, ITO contracts rose by 20 percent and BPO contracts are up by 17 percent. ITO contracts are at its highest from January to September which could mean more contracts amidst an increase in multi-sourcing activity.
Act like small companies, marketing veteran and CEO Rob Schuham advises big brands. Be nimble, be creative, be agile, he tells them, take a risk and act like a start-up. Big clients on his list have listened to Schumanís counsel and have launched some ground-breaking campaigns that are helpful not only for their fellow Fortune 100 companies, but to small businesses as well. Because big brands have scale, they can be a "beta test" for innovative marketing. Small companies can then find helpful data points and adapt some of those tactics for their own use.
A-list marketers have been launching experiential marketing programs that are accessible and engaging, blending digital and social media with live events without overly commercializing them. The campaigns are about storytelling and building communities, and a lot of start-ups take cues from that.
shares the best tactics start-ups should be mimicking from the big guys:
1. Bring your brand to life by giving consumers an experience.
Major brands invest in sponsorships and live events as part of their marketing mix. For an event or stunt to make a huge impression on social media, it should be well-executed and have a significant impact on consumers. Itís not just about the event, itís about the amplification. Small businesses can compete in experiential marketing by connecting with consumers emotionally and giving them an experience they would want to talk about and share with their networks. You could run contests focusing on your fansí creativity or offer other experiences aligned with what your business does.
2. Use real-time marketing.
Take part in pop culture and current events by linking your own messages with national events, competitions or news of the day. Participating in these conversations helps grow your exposure without having to pay for anything. This approach doesn't necessarily require a big investment, so thereís no reason for the small guys not to do it, too.
3. Create original, compelling content.
Just as major brands have done for several years, small businesses are now committed to creating their own content. Invest wisely and hire professional journalists for content marketing and for aggregating interesting and relevant content. Tell your customers what they need to know.
4. Use technology well and often.
Thanks to analytics tools that cost far less now than it did a few years ago, small companies are finding it easier to collect and analyze data. Small businesses now have access to easier and less expensive technology, which makes them more sophisticated in their marketing automation.
5. Build communities.
Build social communities around certain time periods using throwback campaigns. Doing so will draw in consumers who are not only passionate about that time period, but eager to be part of the community as well.
6. Replace clawing for ideas of the week with brand building and strategic brainstorming.
Be more intentional about what youíre doing and focus on strategy, demographic targets, differentiating yourself - take it from the big guys.
Revenues and employment levels in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector of the Philippines are said to have increased 10 times in the past decade.
According to the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the BPO sector of the country will continue to grow even after it attained a one million-strong workforce, from the 930,000 posted during the first three months of 2014. IBPAP President Jose Mari Mercado said if September figures were published, the employment target would have reached 1.04 million.
As the country gains more of the global BPO market, international competitors such as India are starting to see the effects of losing business to the Philippines. However, challenges are still anticipated to strain the growth of destinations as the global outsourcing industry is seen evolving from voice services into a multi-channel delivery model. This means companies will have a hard time finding the right candidate for complex processes, and a substantial contract to support long-term growth prospects.
Government-driven programs have also fuelled the BPO sector. For instance, the Philippine Development Plan (2011-2016) cited BPO as one of the 10 segments that should be prioritized. Also, the Training for Work Scholarship Program has enabled the IT sector to come up with training programs for BPO candidates. There are also the tax benefits for foreign investors and lenient employment policies for foreign nationals.
The outsourcing industry of the Philippines is a major growth industry with an average yearly growth of 20 percent. Back in 2012, it only accounted for two percent of the countryís employment rate. However, it has helped drive other segments such as retail, telecom, and real estate. Export revenues have also increased from $1.3bn in 2004 to $13.3bn last year. For 2014, it is anticipated to reach $18 billion and $25 billion in 2016.
Over the years, the Philippines has been identified as Indiaís number one competitor as the global outsourcing destination. In fact, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) reported that 50 percent of Indiaís BPO business has moved to the Philippines, costing them $25 billion.
What makes the Philippines the preferred hub is its 30 percent of employable graduates, whereas India only has 10 percent. The neutral accent that Filipino graduates have is another advantage. In fact, large providers like Accenture and Convergys have call center operations in the country.
The entrepreneursí objective as they tap into Facebook is more than just to get likes and shares - itís to do sales. And it is for this reason alone that every post should have a clear purpose: what is the goal of the post and how does it align with your business goals?
A common practice for testing your audience and for finding out if there is a market for your product or service is to post engaging questions. When done right, Facebook marketing holds great potential for your business, seeing as B2B and B2C companies alike have acquired customers from it. Make sure youíre using Facebook effectively with these 10 marketing tips:
1. Integrate Facebook into your marketing strategy.
Your marketing strategy should have clear objectives and include Facebookís role in helping you achieve them. For example, if your goal is to generate 10 new leads a month with five of them coming through social media marketing, know how Facebook will support that goal and how you can attract leads from your fan base. Keep in mind that the entry point into your sales funnel is your fan base. Your Facebook posts are the digital breadcrumbs that draw your audience into the funnel and down a trail toward an important piece of content they can download after filling out a form. Have a solid plan to attract the right audience, engage current fans, and draw them into your sales funnel using posts.
2. Have a clear value proposition.
Not having a clear value proposition is one of the biggest marketing mistakes. Your message should be clear as soon as a visitor hits your homepage. See to it that you are communicating how you solve a problem, the benefits you offer, and what makes you different from the competition. Then make sure that the same message is communicated across your marketing channels.
3. Set up your company page.
Create your company page on Facebook using your personal account. The "About" section of your Facebook page should be properly filled out with searchable information. Take advantage of the About page to pull fans into your sales funnel. Provide readers with a clear value proposition, an overview of what your business has to offer, and a link to your website. If you want your ratings to appear, include your address details and add any products or services with links to relevant pages on your website.
4. Build an audience.
Invite relevant people already in your network to like your page. Upload a list of best customers so you can send them an email. This can be done from the "Build Audience" section. These are the fans who will build the initial foundation and set the tone of conversation on your page.You can also use your website, blog, or email newsletter to keep growing your audience, but be careful not to over utilize these channels and annoy people. Facebook has various social plugins to get people to like your page without having to leave the page theyíre on.
5. Have a goal for every post.
Having already set up everything, youíre now ready to start posting. Make sure that you have a goal for every post and that the type of content you post is aligned with that goal. Here are the three main post types and the corresponding effect of each:
- Status Updates = Comments
- Link = Click-through
- Photo and Video = Likes and Shares
6. Have a call-to-action.
You may already be communicating with your readers in your posts, but are you asking them to take any action? Avoid creating dead-ends for your visitors. Tell your fans what to do next, or else theyíre just going to surf away. If you have an event, invite your fans to register by clicking the register here button.
7. Use Facebook Insights.
Facebook has its own analytics tool called Insights. It helps you measure and analyze the performance of your Facebook pages. This tool allows you to measure the success of your posts and, based on the data provided, make decisions on how to improve your marketing to achieve the results youíre looking for.
8. Get your posting time and frequency right.
This part is tricky due to a lot of information out there on the best time to post on Facebook and other social media channels. And the truth is, there are too many variables for this information to be accurate. Establish when most of your fans are on Facebook. Thankfully, Insights shows the time of highest fan engagement on your page. This should be your ideal time of posting, bearing in mind that a post reaches 50% of its potential in the first 30 minutes.
9. Use analytics data wisely.
To help you avoid wasting time tracking irrelevant numbers, here is a four-step formula to make sure youíre getting the most out of your analytics:
- Set aside a block of time (30 minutes) to go through your analytics.
- Learn which metrics are relevant to your business, how they work, and what they mean.
- Ignore the metrics that aren't important to your business and marketing goals.
- Use the data to make business and marketing decisions.
10. Never stop experimenting.
Marketing today is all about experimenting and testing new ideas, thatís why itís important to set goals for all of your marketing initiatives. Have a clear goal for every post, analyze its performance, and if youíre not getting the results you want then experiment with a different strategy. Donít be afraid to try something new, just donít deceive or mislead people.