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Marketing Strategies

Podcasts and internet marketing: Are you missing the boat?

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30-second summary:

  • The drive to be more productive, the thirst to learn something new – these are the primary reasons behind the rising popularity of podcasts.
  • One in every four Americans over the age of 12 listens to podcasts religiously. 
  • Podcasts’ share of the ear is projected to increase by 120% in the next few years, with the total number of listeners exceeding 100 million by 2021.
  • But how exactly can you use podcasts to boost your internet marketing campaign?
  • How can you ensure that creating audio content is a rewarding investment for your particular business? 
  • Internet marketing specialist, Nasirabadi Reza, decode the answers to a lot of these key questions. Hop on!

Not so long ago, commuting was my favorite part of the day. Driving and traffic jams aside, it was the time when I could relax my mind. With music blasting on the car’s audio system (which I had specially upgraded – just so you know), I would zone out and temporarily free myself from thinking about all the workload/household chores waiting for me at the end of the journey.

But then that wave of boosting productivity, managing time, and whatnot hit. And I found myself trading my playlist for podcasts.

Make no mistake, commuting is still my favorite part of the day, but not because the idleness is a welcome change.  

I now love the commute because it’s the most enriching part of my day. Every day is a new learning experience as I tune in to a marketing podcast and get deeper insights into my line of work. If I am not in the mood for that, I just switch to a radio drama or a talk show instead and get entertained on the go. 

People in innumerable quantities all around the world are showing a similar change in preferences.  

And for marketers, this presents the next growth opportunity as podcasting promises to open the door to the future. 

Podcasts paving the path to the future of internet marketing

The drive to be more productive, the thirst to learn something new – these are the primary reasons behind the rising popularity of podcasts. Of course, their convenience and accessibility, and the fact that podcasts present the info in easily digestible pieces, make them all the more crowd-pleasing.  

In the U.S. alone, there were reported to be around 75 million podcast listeners during the last year. One in every four Americans over the age of 12 listens to podcasts religiously. And the trend has only started to pick up pace.  

Based on statistical analysis, podcasts’ share of the ear is projected to increase by 120% in the next few years, with the total number of listeners exceeding 100 million by 2021.

But how exactly can you use podcasts to boost your marketing campaign? How can you leverage these findings in your favor? And how can you ensure that creating audio content is a rewarding investment for your particular business? 

These were the main questions that came up in a discussion with a few of my fellow workers when we sat down to reconsider our branding strategies. One of them held the staunch belief that podcasting works for media brands only.  

When a logical explanation couldn’t convince him, that’s when I had to pull out my phone and show him various non-media brands that have successfully integrated podcast marketing into their internet marketing campaigns. 

If you share a similar viewpoint or are still confused about how podcasting can benefit your brand, consider the following businesses that continue to gain popularity amongst the masses by jumping onto the podcasting bandwagon. 

Examples of brands using podcast marketing

1. General Electric

If you aren’t already aware of ‘The Message’ and ‘Life After’, you must be thinking, “wait, an electric company promoting machines and tech-solutions through podcasts?”

As absurd as it may sound, that’s still happening nonetheless.  

‘The Message’ and ‘Life After’ are two series of a science fiction podcast that follows a journalistic style. The first series follows the work of scientists trying to decode extraterrestrial messages using high-end technology developed by- yes you guessed it – General Electric.

Talk about marketers whose creativity knows no bounds.

The second podcast series has a different storyline, but the same method for bringing GE’s products into the public eye. 

This is an incredible technique to create brand awareness not just among the products’ direct buyers, but way beyond. 

The use of podcasting to promote your business is limited only by your imagination. And these audio dramas created by General Electric are the ultimate proof of this statement. 

2. McDonald’s

McDonald’s podcast marketing serves as a great example for companies that might fall prey to public relations (PR) problems.

Remember the saga of the Szechuan sauce? The special sauce was being sold at McDonald’s outlets for a limited time period when things went out of control. People started fighting with each other to get their share of the popular sauce eventually creating a bad image for the retail chain for poor management and not creating a sufficiently large batch in the first place. 

McDonald’s took an ingenious approach to address the issue and restoring the damage done to its brand image.  

The highly popular yet super-limited Szechuan sauce became the subject of an investigative podcast called ‘The Sauce.’ 

Consisting of just three parts, the series might have been short, but it effectively used the power of audio content to rebuild the brand image in no time. 

Keep in mind this brilliant marketing hack from McDonald’s for times when a seemingly minor customer complaint starts to wreak havoc for your business by going viral. 

3. Sephora collection

Sephora launched a podcast titled #LIPSTORIES in partnership with Girlboss Radio. The main aim was to celebrate the company’s line of lipsticks.  

Each episode of the series revolved around women who either served as an inspiration behind the product or other influential female workers who were inspired by the product itself.  

This is a powerful example for businesses trying to upsell their goods or services while establishing a positive image among their customers at the same time.  

Podcasts that you definitely need to listen

If you are unsure how to get started on podcast marketing, consider tuning in to the following channels to let the tricks of the trade:  

1. IdeaCast by HBR

Who wouldn’t be interested in reading Harvard Business Review? But it can be hard to find the time. If that’s the case, you can explore new ideas and actionable advice on innovation and market leadership by signing up at IdeaCast – HBR’s official podcasting channel. These informative podcasts are based on interviews with renowned entities such as Eric Schmidt and focus on bringing something new in every episode. 

2. Outside In

The Outside In podcast aims to reveal the secrets behind some of the world’s most renowned brands. It discusses their customer-centered approach and gives listeners deep insight into how they can implement those strategies on their own. 

Blogging might still be the favored technique for content marketing. But you cannot simply deny the fact that podcasting is climbing the charts incredibly fast. It is a viable marketing channel that you can easily leverage in your business’s favor.  

Nasirabadi Reza is an internet marketing specialist with a passion for writing and sharing valuable insights gained through years of experience in the industry. He manages the content delivery hub at Zigma and is dedicated to creating smart strategies for clients who want to take their business to the next level. Reza can be found at @MarketingZigma.

The post Podcasts and internet marketing: Are you missing the boat? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.



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Marketing Strategies

Generating The Spark For Memorable Virtual Experiences

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/

/Now more than ever, marketers are competing for customers’ attention. With many professionals working from home, not only are you up against the internet, but you are angling for time in the midst of your customers’ workloads, emails, children, pets, laundry and whatever else is going on in their lives.

 The potential for distraction is everywhere. So the primary goal needs to be getting and keeping your customer engaged, with limited time to achieve that.

I call this sustained engagement goal as “generating the spark” — creating an experience for a user that will ignite a lasting memory. But how do we transform traditional sales models into truly engaging, digital, interactive experiences that create a spark? Here are a few tips.

Brevity Is Your Friend

Traditionally, B2B companies focus on lots of details. In a first engagement, especially a digital one, the visitor needs to be able to connect very quickly to the value you provide. It’s critical to start with the digestibility of the message — an easy-to-understand story that shows logical progression. Don’t get caught up in the particulars at first. Remember that the minutia, which you may find important, probably doesn’t apply in your first interaction. Your goal is to get customers to return, so they can ask more detailed questions during the second engagement in their buyer journey. 

Find Your Inner B2C

When we think of a virtual “connection,” we think of connecting with other people, not with content. But we make emotional connections with content, as well. The key ingredient to establishing a connection with content is creativity. 

Traditionally, B2B marketers are on the conservative side when it comes to their content and customer engagement strategies. B2B buyers want to be entertained in the same way they are by consumer-focused marketing. B2B organizations can set themselves apart from the competition by embracing bold expression over the same old, conservative methods.

Bring Your Customer Into Virtual Environments 

If you want your product to be remembered, you need to bring your buyer somewhere that will evoke emotion and feelings of connection. I like to categorize a virtual experience into three scenarios:

  1. Real, but impossible: Take your audience somewhere that exists in the real world but is not accessible because of physics. For example, if you are talking to the power of a processor or technical product specifications, you could drop your guest onto a motherboard or the working mechanism of a complicated device. This change of perspective transforms their perception of the products you sell, demonstrating unique value to the customer.  
  2. The real world: You can recreate any place, but you have to know why you’re recreating it. The sky’s the limit in the virtual world and you can create a space that is widely inaccessible to the average person like an oil rig or medical laboratory.
  3. It’s OK to be abstract: Sometimes the value of a product or service can be conceptual, and that’s fine. This is an opportunity to place a user in a more creative or artistic space. If we can create a visually appealing environment — one that uses color, shape and captivating user interfaces in dynamic ways — the experience can elicit a visceral reaction, one that will create a lasting impression. 

Creating the application environment is just the beginning of “generating the spark” for a buyer. As we move forward in this crazy new world, it will get increasingly more important to relate to users in creative and meaningful ways.


 As Associate Director of Creative Services / Mixed Reality Experience Strategist at Kaon Interactive, Howard’s role is to innovate user interaction and engagement for applications for Fortune 500 companies. Howard’s passion for interactivity has helped Kaon’s customers tell complex stories while creating emotional connections and exciting their audiences.



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Instant messaging has taken over the world, but this is just the beginning

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30-second summary:

  • Chatbots will soon be ubiquitous in written business communication, and they present a paradox that flips everything consumers think they know about automation on its head.
  • Customer input to a company is valuable information, and using messaging apps, customer feedback can also become actionable. By interacting with a bot, a customer is leaving an eternal record of their input, whatever it is, in a system that can read, analyze, and internalize the information.
  • Furthermore, instant messaging apps and VoIP present the possibility of integrating video or phone calls into your communication. The combination of fluid written conversation and video has opened the door to digital transmission in many fields traditionally reserved for face-to-face interactions.
  • Instant messaging has a fluidity that resembles that of spoken conversation. This fluidity is coming to good use now, especially for small businesses, which operate by one-on-one interactions, for which investments in big and bulky IT-systems are beyond superfluous.

The conversation surrounding the digitization of society has sounded in classrooms, newsrooms, and marketing departments for decades. During the pandemic, the process was accelerated as instant messaging came to the rescue, earning much-justified praise for helping people maintain connections even at a distance.

If there is one thing the process has taught us, it’s that the future has a way of sneaking up on us. So what will messaging look like, before we even know it?

The value of chatbots

Chatbots will soon be ubiquitous in written business communication, and they present a paradox that flips everything consumers think they know about automation on its head.

Generally, many people think the bots reflect over-automation and less-personalized service. Yet regular, human employees at corporations usually have very standardized, canned responses as well, offering only a veneer of personal service.

Chatbots reveal that the truly important part of the communication between a business and its customers is what the customers have to say, and bots’ role will become increasingly important.

Customer input to a company is valuable information, and using messaging apps, customer feedback can also become actionable. By interacting with a bot, a customer is leaving an eternal record of their input, whatever it is, in a system that can read, analyze, and internalize the information.

Instant messaging apps and VoIP provide an added layer of personalization

Furthermore, instant messaging apps and VoIP present the possibility of integrating video or phone calls into your communication. The combination of fluid written conversation and video has opened the door to digital transmission in many fields traditionally reserved for face-to-face interactions.

Tele-health, yoga-classes, and education are but a few examples of services ready to adapt, and they quickly managed to deploy instant messaging.

Experiences resembling one-on-one interactions, but still taking place at a distance, are essential and more useful than ever before. This will remain true well after COVID, as businesses and individuals alike become accustomed to the efficiency and effectiveness of such interactions.

Until now, messaging has mostly involved replicating real-world communication in the virtual world as seamlessly as possible.

But what if virtual communication were actually an improvement of physical communication? Imagine having a live call with someone across the globe who speaks a different language.

In real-time, the software can recognize the speech, anachronistically translate it, intelligently adjust for tone, prevent misunderstanding, or warn you that you might be stumbling into a cross-cultural faux pas.

The software could be intelligent and integrate with your calendar. As soon as you agree to meet someone for dinner, automatically, a reservation is made at your favorite restaurant and the event is added to your calendars.

This technology will be made available sooner than we think, and messaging apps will be the ones to implement them.

Instant messaging to play a major role in the evolution of communication

Messaging services will become the bridge between impersonal email and human touch. There is a reason messaging apps consume the most significant part of people’s internet use.

Whether consumers use social media platforms, dating apps, or office communication systems, it’s the messaging that gets people hooked.

Instant messaging has a fluidity that resembles that of spoken conversation. This fluidity is coming to good use now, especially for small businesses, which operate by one-on-one interactions, for which investments in big and bulky IT-systems are beyond superfluous.

Though it might not seem like it, society is still new to digital communications. The technology is in its infancy, and companies and individuals alike are still figuring out how to harness it in the best way.

By expanding its functionality and integrating instant messenger services to more facets of society, we improve the quality of the conversation between people, businesses, and institutions—one more step along the path to enhancing society with digital technologies.

Djamel Agaoua is the CEO of Rakuten Viber, one of the world’s largest mobile applications with 800+ million users worldwide, offering a range of features such as one-on-one chats, video calls, group messaging, social shopping, and updates. A veteran executive with a track record of growing innovative global techs, Djamel is a private investor and sought-after board member, advisor, and speaker.

The post Instant messaging has taken over the world, but this is just the beginning appeared first on ClickZ.



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Want media coverage? Make sure your content is emotional

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30-second summary:

  • Emotion is a pivotal component of great content.
  • If you have an opportunity to create emotional content, you’re much more likely to be successful. 
  • A new Fractl study reveals what emotions are most common in highly-linked-to content in each industry.
  • You should explore what emotions are already prevalent in your industry to gain new ideas and understand what already resonates with your audience.
  • When pitching content to writers, highlight the key emotional takeaways so reporters glean them quickly.

Yes, content should be useful. In fact, nine times out of 10, it must be useful in order to make an impact. But emotion is pivotal too. Emotion can form a sense of connection between a reader and a story — between a reader and their place in the world. For this reason, emotion can sometimes carry an entire piece of content because it taps into our common humanity. How do you hit the right chords with emotional content? Here are tips on how to do that.

Sure, it sounds corny. But that doesn’t make it any less true. Emotion matters, and if you have an opportunity to create emotional content, you’re much more likely to be successful. 

1. Understand which emotions resonate in your industry

Before jumping into content creation, it’s good to understand what works well in your particular niche. What content that’s been created has performed well, and why? What emotions are present in some of the most talked-about content?

In a recent Fractl study, we looked at more than 5,000 pieces of content that earned at least 25 backlinks. Then we explored which Facebook reactions were more prevalent in each content niche.

This breakdown provides a great overlook of what emotions are already prominent in your niche’s content. Look at how anger appears in sex/relationship stories while love appears often in travel stories. 

Why do you think these emotions may be associated with your niche? What can you cover that hasn’t already been covered that taps into why people are upset or in awe?

To gain more industry insight, before creating content, I would:

  • Pull out my customer personas. What emotions are tied to what they worry about? Struggle with? Seek out? Can I apply these emotions to content?
  • Read my target publications’ content. Which articles are on the front page? Which got the most engagement? What emotions are featured in them?
  • Check BuzzSumo to see what content is most engaged within my industry. Not only will this highlight certain emotions that are prevalent, but it’ll also let you know if an idea you have has already been covered in depth.

Take a look at some of the highly-engaged-with stories that appear on the BuzzSumo content search for “job interview”.

Buzzsumo search emotional content

Just from this snapshot of stories, you can see multiple emotions: humor/laughter regarding funny anecdotes, fear that the job application process might be totally changed by AI, happiness at the kind gesture from Lyft, and contempt at discrimination taking place at interviews.

Perhaps honing in on one of these emotions can spark an idea. What else might people be afraid of regarding the job application process? What else are they angry about? Happy about?

When all else fails, capitalize on the feeling of surprise. Our research on viral emotions revealed that the most common emotion in viral images is “surprise”. People like to learn something new that’s unexpected. If your data reveals data points like this, make sure to highlight it in the project.

2. Identify which emotions to focus on in your content

When trying to come up with content ideas, ask yourself: What emotions are tied to this concept? What are the different circumstances people can encounter, and how do those circumstances make them feel?

For example, for our client The Interview Guys (a job interview advice portal), we considered the variety of issues that can come up related to work. One such idea that hadn’t been fully addressed, in our opinion, was burnout. 

Burnout in and of itself is an emotional topic. It’s associated with stress, anxiety, and exhaustion. After surveying people about burnout, we earned coverage on Inc., Yahoo Finance AU, and International Business Times.

Example emotional content topic - Burnout

But not every idea will be as emotionally straightforward. Perhaps you have an instinct that analyzing a certain data set would yield interesting results.

Push yourself to identify

What would make those results compelling? What insights might this data help us gain, and what emotions are involved with these insights?

For example, in a separate project for the same client, we thought about identifying jobs that pay well that don’t require years of education. What we’d end up with is a list of jobs and what they’d pay. 

On the surface, this may not seem too emotional. But let’s consider the layers involved here:

  1. Less schooling means less stress, less debt, and less pressure.
  2. The potential to make a good salary provides hope.
  3. Struggling to find a job with little to no experience can give someone a lot of financial and emotional anxiety.
  4. Why would people care about this information in the first place? They’re looking to switch jobs. For whatever reason, they’re dissatisfied.

So you have stress, anxiety, hope, and dissatisfaction as some examples of emotions tied into this list of jobs. It’s not just a list anymore, is it?

Call upon these feelings every time you make a decision about the project. It’ll help keep you focused on the real soul of the story.

3. Pitch the emotional angles

When you can identify these emotional elements, you’ll also know how to better promote the idea. 

We pitched the high-paying-jobs project to publications. Take a look at some of the coverage.

Emotional content for job searchers

Source: Reader’s Digest

Reader’s Digest opens with the dilemma of not being able to find a job because you don’t have enough job experience yet. They’re tapping into a common, shared frustration people have, and by starting the article this way, they’re immediately putting the reader in a frame of mind to connect emotionally with the content.

Example of emotional content

Source: MarketWatch

This headline taps into the hope angle; they’re essentially saying, you don’t have to be the typical tech person to make a lot of money with little experience.

When you pitch writers, make sure to include the emotional data points and angles prominently. Include bullets of the most impactful takeaways so the reporter doesn’t have to dig through the data to understand why it matters and why their audience will care.

And don’t do the same thing for every publisher. Consider their particular audiences and what they care about, and then tailor your data points to speak to those readers.

Conclusion

Data is only as powerful as the story it tells, and all of the best human stories are packed with emotion. In every stage of your content creation process, from ideation to design to promotion, keep the emotional components in mind and center them.

Amanda Milligan is the Marketing Director at Fractl, a prominent growth marketing agency that’s worked with Fortune 500 companies and boutique businesses.

The post Want media coverage? Make sure your content is emotional appeared first on Search Engine Watch.



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