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August 2014 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

Three Content Marketing Tips to Fuel Successful PR

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, August 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Ever since Twitter took off in 2007-2008, the PR industry - with its traditional cold calls and media coverage - had to shift objectives and adapt to the fast-changing market and technology. And because of the great impact of content marketing, the role of PR has become even more vital to brands.

We should all know by now that PR isn't just about earning media coverage. It’s also about finding the right audience and building and maintaining meaningful relationships with them.

To accomplish these objectives, PR professionals deliver content to a specific audience. They don’t simply send press releases into the online void; they send them to news outlets with an interest in the product or service. They don’t advertise to everyone, either. Instead, they promote their brand to the right audience - those who care about it.

Content marketing tips for successful PR

Here are three content marketing optimization tips, as listed on PRWeb:

1. Research.
This includes news outlets, bloggers and journalists, and target audience. Create a detailed profile of each. Researching one channel can feed another; for example, knowing where your target audience spends time also helps you identify outlets to pitch.

2. Analyze.
What’s the preferred channel of your target audience to receive content? The media likes to receive information in a different manner than potential customers do. While journalists prefer to receive pitches via email or on Twitter, potential customers only want to see emails and tweets they've opted to receive.

3. Maintain.
Maintain your relationships. News outlets, bloggers, and reporters - they all come and go, and the audience doesn't suddenly disappear, but that doesn't mean you should neglect them. Create content that’s tailored to your target audience personas to increase engagement and awareness.

Keep in mind that PR success does not happen overnight. It’s a repetitive process of creating content and optimizing it for the right audience at the right time and place.

How to Use Hashtags to Enhance Your Brand

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Hashtag usage is about the most common practice on the Internet these days. So common that even musician Justin Timberlake and host Jimmy Fallon made a spoof entirely dedicated to the #hashtag. Today’s modern entrepreneurs and businesses integrate hashtags into commercials, window displays, and websites. Consumers use hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to filter searches relevant to their interests, and to share their #TBTs (Throwback Thursday photos) and #FBFs (Flashback Friday).

Hashtags are popular because they allow you to find relevant content online in real time. When you search a specific hashtag, you find recent results. And these results can be refreshed and updated minute-by-minute. This is what differentiates hashtags from keyword terms on a search engine, where results could be several years old.

For businesses on social media, hashtags allow you to track conversations around your brand and what’s being said about your industry. Sure, they come with a pretty straightforward functionality, but hashtags can also be leveraged in other ways besides doing a simple search.

Hashtag strategies for your business

To use hashtags effectively for your business or start-up, check out these three key hashtag strategies:

1. Virtually attend and participate by using the event’s hashtag.
If you find yourself unable to attend an industry event due to insufficient budget or simply because you don’t have the time do so, you can always virtually participate by using the conference’s hashtag. You’ll be able to keep tabs on the event in the comfort of your own home or office, with no airfare or conference fees needed.

And you don’t even have to wait until the day of the event to get started! Conference and event planners usually share their specific hashtags well in advance to help attendees connect and network beforehand. Use the conference hashtag to keep up with industry trends and connect with the speakers.

You can start by searching the conference’s hashtag results on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram on the days preceding the event. This also helps you determine who is speaking and when. On the day of the event, tune in to the conference livestream, decide which platform you’ll engage the most on, and introduce yourself. Don’t forget to include the hashtag in your tweets and posts so your messages will show up in the search results. Also, search the hashtag stream that day to see the topics being discussed and what the attendees have to say. You can retweet comments, favorite tweets, and share your own thoughts, too.

The best practice is to set a goal. Are you participating to expand your network of like-minded individuals or to connect with strategic alliances? Tweet at least three attendees. Want to keep current on industry trends? Read conference recaps and blog posts from the media in attendance.

2. Establish further credibility through hashtags.
To boost your online presence and establish credibility, first choose a few Twitter chats to participate in and share your expertise. While doing so, also observe how the hashtag can be used for engagement and tracking online impressions. Twitter chats typically last for an hour and are focused on a specific topic and often have a Q and A format. The chat’s designated hashtag allows for conversations among moderators and participants to be organized.

After some practice, you may host your own Twitter chat using a custom hashtag you've created. This ensures further credibility and promotes awareness of your brand, and provides you the opportunity to connect directly with consumers and influencers.

3. Reach the right audience with geotargeted hashtags.
In addition to advertising or using general hashtags that reach consumers worldwide, whittle down and use hashtags that geotarget users in a specific community. Search your city’s hashtag then "like", comment, and join relevant conversations to let consumers know you exist. Make sure to hashtag your own content with your location, too.

Of course, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. So if you have a hashtag strategy that hasn't been mentioned above, we’d love to hear from you! As the saying goes, #SharingIsCaring.


Improving Healthcare Efficiency with Outsourcing

Highlights of a study called "Enabling Healthcare Providers to Focus on Outcomes", done by Allscripts, were recently posted at HealthITOutcomes.com. The white paper stated that outsourcing, particularly of IT processes, is integrated by healthcare providers so they can delegate human and capital resources more efficiently.     

The IT divisions of healthcare providers face several challenges everyday. They are expected to address the high demands of the industry where they are predisposed to manage with the available resources, which are often limited. Of course, they would also have to work with a tight budget to achieve their strategic goals.

Technology Business Research, Inc. found that 20 percent of US healthcare providers have partnered with IT services vendors for their end-to-end IT service operations. On the other hand, 80 percent outsource only some parts of their IT needs.

Healthcare providers have a lot on their plate because not only are they anticipated to focus on and deliver healthcare services that result in improved outcomes for patients, they also have to strive to comply with the industry changes particularly with the risk-based payment models such as EHRs, HIEs, and ICD-10. Providers are also confronted with IT talent shortage.

The fast-paced shifts in healthcare IT can be seen in the hardware and software innovations that are constantly being introduced in the market. Though there are complexities such as privacy and data governance that come along with these technological advancements, these widely contribute to the providers’ operations to meet their goals. Providers should also be up-to-date with the changes in the regulations.

Managed IT services are proven to help healthcare providers to meet these challenges while staying focused on their core objective. IT service vendors are known to ensure that IT-related talent and capital investments are utilized properly. They also need to streamline processes and most importantly, help healthcare organizations focus on the welfare of patients.  

5 Website Tweaks that could Increase Sales

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, August 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Website Improvments to Boost Sales

In today’s Internet-driven economy, almost every company has its own website. It’s using these websites to their full potential that most companies have yet to master. Often a major investment in terms of time and money, websites need a lot of work to keep updated. And you risk missing out on sales if you aren't maximizing the return on investment of your site.
Only a few relatively simple website tweaks are needed for a significant impact on customer attraction and retention, sales, revenues, and long-term brand loyalty. Fortunately, these steps won’t cost you a great deal of money and can be implemented by small companies and multinational corporations alike.
Take a look at the five common areas that, when improved, can potentially boost revenues:
1. Video Content
Because our brains process visual information faster than text, it would be more beneficial for you to remove those long product descriptions and instead opt for dynamic video content that visitors can engage with on your website. Videos on your landing page can result to up to 86% increase in sales, and 44% of customers purchase more products that provide informational videos.
Also, customers tend to stay longer on sites with videos - and return. To help increase conversions, add engaging product videos, client testimonials, and walk-through videos of your work space.
2. Translations and Cultural Norms
If the global economic potential of online communication totals $45 trillion and your site only offers content in English, then you’re missing out on two-thirds of that market potential. To reach a wider audience, go multilingual by integrating a translation management system into your site. Manual translations are time-consuming. There are new translation tools that make it easy to roll out and maintain translated websites for a long time.
Other than translations, it’s just as important to be sensitive to the different cultural standards of your markets. Pepsi alienated an entire market of consumers with its light-blue branding because to them, the color was associated with death. Try to avoid blunders like that.
3. Downtime
Try to minimize downtime issues especially when you’re in the middle of a launch. Furthermore, a website that doesn't load fast enough will only drive customers away before they even get to view your content and products or services. As a matter of fact, 57% of visitors abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Make sure your website is resilient and capable of meeting demand, because 24% of consumers cite downtime as the reason they discarded their shopping carts.
Improve your site’s scalability to prevent slow load times and downtime, and to keep more customers on your website and drive more purchases. Build your website on an elastic cloud platform that maintains your content and application quality, even on major traffic surges. You can test your page speed on Google.
4. Responsive Design
Majority of consumers access websites from multiple devices, so it’s best to implement responsive design to provide consistent visitor experience no matter where they are accessing your content. Twenty-nine percent of all e-commerce transactions are expected to take place on mobile this year. Responsive design lets you take advantage of those sales, and also lightens your back-end site management and raises your SEO.
5. Customer Reviews or Client Testimonials
An important piece of content on your website is the customer reviews section. Remember that people mostly rely on their friends’ and neighbors’ recommendations - 70% of the time, while ads are trusted only 10% of the time.
These adjustments can yield huge results if you’re willing to test them out. Of course, there are other factors to consider - like your industry and location, but overall, it’s essential to make your content more engaging and your site as accessible as possible to increase sales and improve revenues.

Content Marketing and PR Success

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

3 Basic types of Content Marketing

The days of building content and simply waiting for people to come are long gone. Today, for businesses to achieve measurable outcomes, they need to pair great content with great promotion.
In addition to creating content, most brands hire stakeholders to attain greater awareness, engagement, and media coverage. Although the content itself is considered owned media, the invitations to view it likely fall into one of two vehicles: earned or paid.
  1. Owned media is almost equivalent to content marketing. It consists of content created for your website and other properties that are pitched to news outlets. An ideal way to drive audience interest and website traffic is by posting clever infographics or thought leadership articles on third-party websites, such as news outlets or blogs.
  2. Earned media, also known as "third-party mentions" and "word-of-mouth", is a crucial factor to your brand’s longevity. People trust journalists, friends, family, and people they look up to more than they do branded messages.
  3. Paid media can be tremendously successful if targeted. Setting up ads without targeting them is like throwing money out the window. Targeting your ads by demographics, location, and time can bring greater return on investment (ROI).
To be successful with content marketing and PR, don’t forget to invite people to your content.

Three Ways to Achieve Strong Click-through Rates

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Friday, August 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Click-through rate, or CTR, is one of the metrics used for measuring the performance and effectiveness of an online advertising campaign for a particular website. Search engines use CTR to determine which ads get shown and which ones don’t. Search marketers have only a vague understanding of how CTR increases as an ad moves higher up on the search results page. The whole concept is wrapped in mystery.

Why does CTR matter? Click-through rate measures the amount of traffic a particular ad, or campaign as a whole, is driving to your website. For this reason alone, CTR deserves your attention. Furthermore, it directly affects your quality score - Google's rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and ads - and a high quality score allows you to improve or maintain ad position for a lower cost.

Tips to improve CTR on your ads

Entrepreneur shares three simple steps to improve clicks on your ads:

1. Improve the position of your ads. An important principle in conversion optimization is that what is seen immediately once the page loads is more likely to grab the user’s attention, whereas page elements that the user needs to scroll to see are less likely to receive attention.

Same goes for the search engine results page and how the position of your ads determines your click-through rate - the higher an ad appears, the more clicks it will receive. Because users spend more time reading ads at the top of the page, you’ll want to get a premium ad placement - the investment could be worth it.

2. Keep your ad copy and keyword phrases alike. Although search marketers are aware that the closer the similarity of an ad copy to the searcher’s keyword phrase, the higher the click-through rate, only a few realize the important role an ad copy plays. In premium positions, an optimized ad copy’s CTR can go up as much as 160% - and this increase applies to ads at the bottom of the search engine results page as well, with CTR as much as three times higher.

3. Select low-competition keyword phrases. An underappreciated factor that affects click-through rate is the degree of competitive bidding for the search phrase. This is measured in a number of ways:

  • Actual number of advertisers bidding on the phrase
  • The estimated cost per click for the top ad position
  • The competition level as presented by the search engines
  • The number of words in the phrase

It would be wise to target a large number of specific search phrases in your campaigns instead of just a handful of broad terms. There will be less competition, and as a result, a bigger bite of the cherry. Also, this kind of niche keyword targeting benefits advertisers appearing in low positions more. So for those who can’t afford to bid as much as your competitors, it’s essential that you find less competitive keywords to target.

As of late, several activities have been spotted in the realm of outsourcing. First, there’s the growing number of smaller deals, then short-term arrangements, and the overwhelming volume of niche providers armed with attractive outsourcing packages. This means several things for service providers as well because they can now cast a wide net and gain access to distinguished clients, which in turn can position them better in the aggressive marketplace.

How to take advantage of the evolving marketplace as a service provider

ISG-One.com shares five solutions that can help providers make the most out of the dynamic and cut-throat marketplace.

1. Match deals with capabilities.
Providers should avoid hoarding deals to one-up one another because the number of clients does not automatically equate to success. Instead, they should sift through the sea of clients first and analyze if they can accommodate their requests using existing resources. Providers that go after quality rather than quantity usually come out on top.

2. Select the best of the best.
If providers want to catch the attention of potential clients, they should consider putting together a team composed of only the best from each department. This will enable them to get through complex subject matters faster, and come up with innovative solutions that will blow potential clients away. Get one foot in the door, and once that’s done, send in the closers or the "A Team" to finish the deal.

3. Break away from the mold.
It’s hard to stand out when you are fighting tooth and nail in such an aggressive industry. As more players come in, the playing field is getting more diluted with promising price points and innovative business solutions. So, how does one exactly stand out in an environment like this? Vendors that specialize in specific niches have found that being able to back the things that you say is the best leverage in getting customers to close the deal because nothing beats credibility. Remember, clients today do not appreciate being subjected to strategies, business solutions, and plans that are yet to be proven.

4. Build relationships.
Know your clients and build relationships with them. This way, you will be able to see and understand what they really want instead of pushing pre-fabricated solutions that they don’t want, and in the end are not the right solutions for their business. It also helps that you will at least get to be on the other side with them, and then leverage the information you got to help them while helping your own as well.

5. Have a clear and actionable reputation management strategy.
Whether we like it or not, the industry has been having troubles with its image in the marketplace. It has come across issues that have not been shaken even with thousands of press releases from leaders both from the provider side and client side. Being hands-on in reputation management strategies and putting these first before you even begin the transactions will help minimize, if not completely eliminate, the negative perceptions.

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