What’s An Infographic?

We all do it, we sit on our laptops or tablets and browse the internet for hours. But do we ever take a second to think about the content were absorbing, and if we enjoying doing it?  We know that conducting research for a specific topic can be timely and visually unappealing, which usually means researching is considered more of a chore rather than something enjoyable to do. I’m not saying that all forms of content published on the internet is a struggle to get through, but why not make it fun?! Infographics can do just that.

For those of you who aren’t sure of what an infographic is, essentially the term is applied to information, data, or knowledge. This content is then presented in graphic visual form, which presents a rich message that’s clear and straight to the point. Now doesn’t that seem like it would be just a wee bit more enjoyable? I think so. The image displayed blow is a great infographic example of money spent on social media advertisement.

Social Media network Advertising Spending, money spent on social media ads, worldwide social advertising spending

Social Media network Advertising Spending

The idea is simple, just read the words. Informational graphics. Simple, right? And it makes sense! These creative eye catching pieces are used to deliver information of all caliber’s, in a quick attention grabbing manor. It grabs your attention long enough to deliver the key message, and teach you something at the same time.

Why do Infographics make great marketing tools?

Infographics are a great and effective way to transform and display complex content as well as allow marketers to demonstrate their expertise on a topic. It stands out significantly more than other forms of content which are presents in less visually interesting formats. Did you know? –

90% of information enters your brain visually

Infographics are a great way of explaining statistics; this assists the viewer for an easier understanding of the numbers and words they are reading. Infographics are not only extremely effective in conveying information, and efficient in doing so, but they are trending and dominating the social scene at the moment. Unbounce states that within the past 2 years there has been an 800% increase in Google searches for infographics. With that being said, you also have the opportunity to embed outbound links on your infographic to other social sites you would want to direct your viewer to.

Lastly, creating an infographic is so simple, anyone can do it! If you are confident in your graphic design skills, go ahead and create your own from scratch using Photoshop, Illutrator, Indesign or any other Adobe Software. Don’t stress! For those of you who are helpless in that area, there are many infographic creation websites you can turn to such as Infogram. You simply pick a style; input your data, throw bin some images and charts and you’re good to go. for additional information from infographic experts, click here!

Summit Session: The Social Combo

I recently listened in on a podcast discussion from White Paper Source composed by instructor Lee Odden. The theme of this podcast discussion was on how to integrate your social media marketing with all of your marketing strengths.

Essentially with digital marketing, you want to incorporate social media with other Internet channels such as your webpages or blogging page. Lee makes a point that in today’s social world of digital marketing, we have been given the ability to create, consume, publish and interact 24 hours 7 days a week. And he’s right. Everyone and anyone can create and publish digital content, but how can we control and sift through the content we consume? Were looking for quality, not quality.

Data Overload

Data Overload

Odden also makes a point stating that:

90% of all data in the world has been created within the past 2 years.

WHAT!? Yes. It’s true. Were bombarded with information overload on a daily basis, that’s why as marketers we need to establish this key point: as a brand, how can our content be of value to customers, especially against all of the information out there?? Odden discusses that we need to start thinking of social media as experiences and outcomes, rather than just tweets, Info graphics and video posts. He’s right. There needs to be a tactical shift in optimizing customer’s experience.

Content needs to be created to solve THEIR problems and to answer THEIR questions. Have you ever thought what it ‘s like to purchase from your brand? What’s the journey like from a purchaser’s perspective? Social platforms play a huge role, social channels are there for intent to purchase. Recommendations of products and brands happen on social, and from there that’s when the prospective consumer makes their decision.

If you’re a business and have a webpage, make sure you are active on social platforms and make sure they’re integrated into your site. It’s an easy one-stop shop for viewers to go from a viewer to a buyer. Lastly, key note to remember! The type of advertising and marketing you choose to hit your viewers with, should be different depending on what stage of the buying process they’re in.

Stages include:

  • problem recognition
  • information search
  • alternative evaluation
  • purchase decision
  • post purchase behavior

For example, most brands stop consumer engagement and interaction once the purchase is over. If you want your brand to be memorable and your customer to become loyal, think about direct mail incentive strategies to keep to keep YOU in THEIR minds.

Facebook Money-Grabs to Promote

Of course Facebook is amongst the most popular and favourable social media platforms in regard to marketing your business. Why? Well because it’s free, DUH. Facebook allows you to strategically target your market and provide exposure of your brand for zero dollars. Setting up your Facebook account is timeless and the best part is, you’ll be accumulating metrics like page views and “likes” instantly. It’s a tool that’s FREE and effective! Well, what if I told you Facebook just got a little more expensive?

Side note
I remember one day back in August 2013 when my thirteen year old brother asked me to borrow my credit card. Uh… yeah right. Too bad my heart is putty in his hands anytime he asks me for a favour, and that favour in this case was money. So I walked into his room and he told me he wanted 10 dollars to purchase token things, or whatever, for Farmville. He explained to me that it was a Facebook game and in order for him to proceed within the game he needed money. Real money. I thought to myself, what a sucker money grab Facebook is for luring children into spending their parents, or in my case, siblings hard earned moula for useful Farmville “cash” and “coins”.

Promotional tools for Facebook, sponsored links, status visibility, promoting your Facebook status, increase Facebook likes, increase Facebook viewers

Payed Promotional Tools for Facebook

Although I found Facebook’s Farmville to be a bust, it seems as though the social media network is beginning to provide an ROI for viewers who chose to put money into the site.

Would you pay to promote your Facebook status?

“Promote Your Pages” is a feature that was introduced to the site less than a year ago. Essentially it’s a pay to post option for owners of fan or business pages. The objective of this tool is to expose and promote your content via news feed. You can pay anywhere between 5-200 dollars to increase exposure of your post, to either just your current fans, or you fans and their friends as well. Click this link to find more insights from Cara Pring from Ignite social media on how to increase your Facebook page visibility in 20 ways.

 
We know that not everybody who likes your “page” on Facebook will see all of your status updates, and that’s why users now have the opportunity for their content posts to appear on their friends news feed as a sponsored link. The more money you pay, the more significant your reach will be. Smart thinking Facebook.

Remember, nothing in this world is free.

Change Your Traffic Into Buyers With Mobile Marketing

Alright, so I know I recently did a post about mobile marketing, but I’m about to do it again. Why? “Well why not!” is a better question. There are so many altitudes in regards to mobile, such an array of topics to be discussed. Last week’s bog focused on curating reasons as to why mobile marketing is vital to marketers. This post is going to give you insights on how to turn your VIEWERS into BUYERS. I guess you could call it magic! …or something like that.

Mobile marketing is a very effective and resourceful digital asset, wouldn’t you say?  When done correctly, mobile marketing applications and web pages acquire value and desire from the mobile owner. Websites and apps become a recourse that is available to make the beholders life simpler, and at the same time gains monetary bliss for the businesses and brands. Ultimately It’s a win -win situation and everyone is happy.

Nearly 90% of Gas & Convenience Mobile Searches Result in Purchase

Here is a great example of how a mobile app can provide great convenience for the user, but also converts traffic into buyers! This Shoppers Drug Mart on the go mobile card allowing customers to “shop smarter”. It’s perfect if you forget your card at home. You can scan, collect, view and redeem optimum points all with the touch of your cell phone.

Shoppers Drug Mart New Mobile App Is Easy to Use

Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Card On The Go

Money is a pretty awesome thing; everybody wants it and lots of it. Who Wouldn’t? People say money can’t buy happiness… but who are they kidding. Women are purchasing purses that cost a thousand dollars, while the homeless man sitting out of Holt Renfrew is begging for a dollar. It’s a piece of “plastic” that makes the world go round, and that is why making money is vital in life, and especially for businesses.

We carry our mobile device around with us not only for means of getting a hold of people, but because it drives us to action. Andy Ching who is the director of mobile for Bing stated that

70% of mobile searches are followed up by a consumer action within an hour.

Example being that you’re on your lunch break in 30 minutes, and you want to try out a new Thai place on Bloor Street. You pull out your smartphone, type and search. You as the business want to be in the top three listings on the SERPS page, but that all has to do with SEO which is also very essential.

Thai Food Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing Rich Media

As a marketer it is important to make sure your mobile webpages are easy to read, navigate and provides valuable and accessible content.  Mobile reading is fast paced and is usually done while doing something else, therefore you need to ensure that the information you’re providing is exactly what your viewer is looking for. (Click the linked text above for great information on what mobile buyers are REALLY doing). If you want their business, which you do, make sure you direct  the user exactly where they want to go whether it’s a phone number or directions or even rich media (yummy photos of your most popular dishes!) to add appeal and desire which will  drive them into your doorway. Don’t forget your call to action! This is extreeemly important. This is where you’re allowed to be bossy!

Don’t Worry, Be Content

The evolution of marketing has made its streak in society over the past decades. We’ve watched business advertise their brands through traditional mediums including print, TV and radio. Although these channels are being used by businesses today, do readers and viewers still find these sources as stimulating as they used to? Unfortunately not.

Digital Marketing holds the crown in terms of how products and services are being promoted in today’s industry. Although there are many online features and platforms for a business to promote their products through, the most important aspect to digital marketing is in fact the CONTENT, that is being published. You can have heaps of content regarding your topic, but at the end of the day how valuable is your content to the person sitting on the other side of the screen? Is it going to spark interest and perhaps enable conversation? Is the information you’re publishing going to help the reader solve an issue they have? There are so many things content can deliver! You’re conveying a story if done correctly, and the objective is to entice the reader with rich information and build a relationship. You want them coming back for more, right? Exactly!

Valuable content, content marketing, digital content, consumber behaviour, social media, social development, content curation

The Importance of Valuable Content

When you provide effective content you build a relationship with your audience. You’re both there for the same reason, getting to know each other on a personal level. Whether you’re the one looking for a solution, or the one providing it, you both share that passion for the product or service at hand. All businesses want profits, but it’s most important to understand what the customer or prospective customer wants, and it’s your job to establish the best tactic and strategies to meet those needs.

Quality Content, Creation and Distribution

There are many ways in which intriguing content can be created.  Always remember that the primary purpose of creating content is to provoke and engage in conversation with your customer. There is an array of possibilities to choose from when you’re creating content. Think about topic and information pieces that provide room for questions and responses from the viewers. Like I mentioned before, you want to build a relationship with the viewer, you want them coming back for more.  An article from Webs 9 states that ultimately, it goes beyond just providing your viewer with a positive experience and content that informs, entertains and makes their lives better. Whether it’s a product or service you’re providing information about, or just providing your own personal opinions, the viewer wants to know and feel like you care about them.

Content curation is fantastic, but you as a writer are going to want fresh context, opinions, insights and perspectives! I came across this info graphic which provides great ways to create compelling content when, well… you don’t even have a clue! Some of these Include:

  • Interview People such as luminaries
  • Ask your readers about their thoughts
  • Share your success and failures
  • Converse within your online community
  • Monitor social trends
  • Host an event

Context is great, but in today’s content marketing and advertising society that isn’t enough. You need to add more simulating and captivating content to attract and retain the viewer’s attention and extract a response, tweet, share or any type of involvement action. So besides contextualizing and distributing content for your target audience, what other valuable digital assets could be added to your social sites? Take rich media for example.  People like real-time photos, videos and action. It creates a sense of trust between a viewer and the product or service. Instead of just writing about it, why don’t you show them! Take your blog for example. When you publish content, context isn’t the only thing on your page, right? Right. You include photos, videos, twitter feed and in bound and out bound links to other webpages for example. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and they’re right. Take a look at this web page I recent read about social media and the effect of visual content. Ekaterina Walker mentions that a study was conducted in 2012. ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it’s the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most.

44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media.

Photos and videos have become one of our default modes of sorting and understanding the vast amounts of information we are exposed to every day. On a daily basis, people don’t have time to sit around and write 1000 word blogs, there for we compensate lengthy context with tweets, posts, likes, sharing, re-tweeting and uploading to our social platforms.  We love in a society where we are bombarded with content overload, therefore publishers need to make sure the content they posted via Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Pinterest or whatever the social site may be, holds value. Every word, every sentence, every photo. And depending on what social channel you are publishing content to, determines what type and the amount of content that will be distributed.

Social media channels, blogs, facebook, twitter, linkedin, brand integration, web marketing, digital content, valuable content is important

Social Media Channels

Content on social platforms is like picking out the right purse for the day. As a woman, we have many to choose from in our closet. Just as we do social sites. But for the most part, they all serve the same purpose. Like how valuable content entices interest, engages in conversation and communication with the viewers. We wouldn’t use the same purse for a day of shopping at the Eaton’s Center as we would if we were going out for dinner. When shopping, we would want to bring a large purse so we can fill it with larger purchases, like a blog post and its larger amounts of information. If we were going out for dinner, we would bring a small purse only large enough to hold lip gloss, gum and credit cards.  Similar as posting a Tweet.

 

Marketing On The Go

If you haven’t already taken notice, mobile marketing is a hot trend at the moment and I doubt the fire’s going out anytime soon. Cheesy… I know, but it’s true.

This technological revolution has become popular within the past few years, with businesses and brands jumping on the bandwagon ever since its initial entrance.

So why should marketers care about mobile marketing?

The times are changing and it’s evident that technology is as well, particularly mobile devices! With the innovation of software and equipment design, new mobile devices are being introduced to the market annually. Take Apple for example, the brand provides users with software updates and technology upgrades at least twice a year! But that’s not the key reason I’m getting at here. Once again, why should marketers care about mobile marketing?

Mobile marketing, socialmedia, apps, Apple, iphone, smartphone, marketing, facebook advertising, twiter marketing

Mobile Marketing Is Trending!

Let’s figure it out. Do you leave your house without your smartphone? How many of you out there DO NOT, have a data package on your mobile plan? How about apps. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, you name it. More than likely, you have it. (Well, most of us!). We’re almost there… okay, so what does this mean? Think about it. How much more personal can a piece of technology get to a person other than their cell phone?? Mobile marketing is the closest way a brand can get to its consumer! Genius, right? Not really, but it really does make sense!

I checked out an article from Fobres online magazine which stated that Americans spend 2.7 hours per day socializing on their mobile devices. Yes, I am Canadian, but I figured this statistic was relevant either way. So, what better way to market and connect your brand to consumers other than via mobile device. Not only can you connect with the user on a more personal level, but you can use your brand as a captivating tool. This can be done through specialty applications, games, contests and such. If done correctly, the user will be enticed to seek further interaction with your brand which could lead them to other social platforms your brand may be active on.

Here’s what Starbucks did for Valentines day last year which was brilliant! Notice the heart-decorated cups.

This augmented reality program from Starbucks demonstrates the continuing commitment they have to mobile marketing. If you are an owner of an iPhone or Android device, you can download the Starbucks holiday app right to your phone. Although this app is free of charge, in order to send loved ones and friends a video of the “love” scene, you need to have a Starbucks heart cup… which means you need to purchase a beverage. Smart. But they, it’s engaging and enjoyable so why not. This mobile marketing strategy definitely seemed to work for the popular brand with sales rising 16% and profits were up 10%.

So, who do they have to thank? I think you can answer that one for yourself!

Who’s Your Biggest Influence When Shopping? Well, I Can Tell You It’s Not Your Mom

With the inter-web world aggressively progressing by the minute, there is a constant increase in the evolution of social media platforms. Do you remember when social media didn’t exist to the degree it does today? Or when the hottest form of online communication was a messaging system called MSN? How about when “Tweeting” wasn’t an action, and blogging certainly did not have the insights and worldwide interaction it does today? Well, that has most definitely changed.

What's Next?

What’s Next?

Whether we know it or not, social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Blogs all have such a significant influence on society’s consumers.

Did you know that..

Social Networks Influence 74% of Consumers’ Buying Decisions

Not only am I speaking for myself, but also for the other 74% of society, when I say that social media content influences a hefty chunk of judgement whether to buy a certain product or service. Money is valuable, and when I’m going to buy something other than an everyday item, I want to have facts and opinions! I want information from users of the product or service themselves. I’m tired of fabricated content from companies, because in all honesty, we all know the objective is to sell and make money, right? Right. Therefore it doesn’t matter if the product or service being sold is in fact, going to provide you with the results the ads claim they do. That’s when you hit up social sites to see what other people have to say!

For Example, I was in Shoppers Drug Mart the other day trying to find a shampoo and conditioner that will solve my problem of dead ends and breakage. The thing is, after scanning the bottles lined up brand after brand, I started to realize that a majority of the products offered all stated the same things… So here I am debating on which brand to choose from. How am I supposed to know if L’Oreal would be better than Head & Shoulders? I don’t. Problem solver: Google about it, find a discussion group or blog post because trust me, I highly doubt I am the only girl who has experienced this contemplating brand problem… thing.

Jennifer Beese from Sprout Insights states that on Twitter 53% of consumers recommend companies or products through their tweets, and 48% of those follow through with the intent to purchase that product or service. This is a great way for people to find information regarding certain brands they have an interest in. In further detail, in terms of listening, businesses are using consumer insights in 80% of sales and merchandising decisions. So in other words, the businesses that you tweet, blog or post about care about YOUR opinion! Who better to critique better than a consumer.

Jenniffer Beese also mentions that as consumers increasingly turn to the internet to search and review products, ODM Group believes that by 2014, 53% of total retail sales will be affected by the internet. That’s clearly more than 50% of the population! Clearly social media is doing something right.