Category Archives: Online Marketing (General)

How many users are on…?

The last quarter of the year is high time for marketers and business owners.

We thought it is a good time to bring together stats about some of the biggest communities out there and show the potential of reach for businesses in terms of monthly and daily users, around the world and in Mauritius (where it’s relevant). Get ready to be amazed.

how many users are on facebook, whatsapp, youtube and others

Facebook  

In its latest quarterly report ends September 2017, Facebook announced nearly 2.1 billion monthly active users.

Out of these 2 billion, 66% percent, meaning 1.32 billion are using the platform daily.

facebook users july 2017

In Mauritius as of October 2017, across all Facebook platforms, including Instagram, Audience network and others you can reach 720,000 registered users.  On Facebook feeds only the number is slightly lower – 690,000 profiles.

Keep in mind that there is, although low, percentage of fake profiles.

facebook users in mauritius october 2017

YouTube

In June 2017 YouTube announced 1.5 billion users logging in every month.

YouTube Facebook monthly active users 2017

In Mauritius as of October 2017, you can reach estimated 595,000 users. 

youtube reach in mauritius october 2017

WhatsApp

Also owned by Facebook inc., WhatsApp announced in July 2017 1.3 Billion monthly active users and 1 billion daily active users (77%!).

WhatsApp also announced lately that it opens its platform for business communication and that could be very meaningful for businesses.

whatsapp users july 2017

Source: WhatsApp

Facebook Messenger

We’ve already written here about the power of instant messaging and mentioned how Facebook separated Messenger from Facebook into two different apps. That paid off.

Head of messenger at Facebook announced in September 2017 there are 1.3 billion monthly active users on Messenger.

In Mauritius as of October 2017 you can reach 440,000 users on Messenger.

facebook messenger users in mauritius

Instagram

In the same 2nd quarterly report of Facebook (as it owns Instagram) Instagram didn’t report monthly active users rather it reported 250 million daily users on stories, the feature it “borrowed” from Snapchat. Later on however, in September 2017 Instagram announced 800 million users, 500 million (62%) of them are using the platform daily.

In Mauritius as of October 2017 there are 190,000 Instagram profiles.

Instagram users in mauritius october 2017

LinkedIn

In April 2017 LinkedIn announced 500 million professionals on the network. It didn’t announce however how many of them are logged in every day. That’s no coincidence. The last time LinkedIn announced DAUs (daily active users) and MAUs (monthly active users) the picture wasn’t bright. Only 22% of the total registered users were active. Now, by all means we don’t underestimate that number (back then it was 106 million) however when you compare it to other networks, it seems as if LinkedIn fails to create the hooks that bring back users day after day to the other platforms.

linkedin users april 2017

Source: LinkedIn’s official blog

In Mauritius as of October 2017 more than 210,000 professionals are registered to LinkedIn.

Linkedin users in mauritius (1)

Twitter

328 million monthly active users – that’s the last update from Twitter in its results for second quarter of 2017. This number stayed flat compared to the previous quarter.

Twitter, similarly to LinkedIn, doesn’t share amount of daily users.

twitter monthly active users

Source: Twitter

It’s been a while that we’ve been trying to get a hold of statistics of users on Twitter in Mauritius however it seems unreachable data. According to some research and estimations we did, we assume there are a few dozens of thousands of registered Twitter accounts in Mauritius however it’s unclear how many are active.

When you try to target Mauritius on Twitter ads, the system can’t find the location (funny enough, it does find Reunion island but without any available number of users). The only “indian ocean” related location is “British Indian Ocean Territory” which retrieves unavailable number of users (not a surprise considering it’s water territory).

users on twitter in mauritius

Musical.ly

Still scratching your head because you’re not sure what musical.ly is? That means you clearly don’t read our blog enough 🙂 As of May 2017 Musical.ly has 200 million app downloads. As it’s not a public company (yet), it doesn’t release much information about usage of users on the platform.

Musical.ly still doesn’t have a solid monetization model and therefore it’s hard to find data about users per region.

Pinterest

If your target audience is American women among others and haven’t used Pinterest yet, we hope this will be your wake up call. With outstanding conversion rates on the platform, Pinterest announced 200 million users on the platform in September 2017.

On Pinterest there are very few countries (as of October 2017) you can target – Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and US. So needless to say – we couldn’t find any reliable information about users stats in Mauritius but we assume that it’s one magnitude lower than Twitter estimation.

pinterest users in mauritius

Pinterest and Musical.ly each has 200 million MAUs. Two other online services with impressive amount of users are Viber and Skype

Pinterest and Musical.ly each has 200 million MAUs. Two other online services with impressive amount of users are Viber (800M) and Skype (300M)

Snap (AKA Snapchat)

In its 2nd quarterly report announcement, August 2017, Snap announced 173 million active users daily. According to past ratio, that makes 184 million monthly active users.

Snapchat doesn’t even let us access its ads page so we couldn’t get data about Mauritius.

snapchat daily active users 2017

Source: Snap Inc.

Other online platforms that might interest you are:

  • Reddit, the social news platform where you can share, vote and discuss, brings estimated 250 million users around the world together every month.
  • Quora, the question-and-answer massive website (that you should really pay attention to!) brings 200 million monthly users.
  • Medium, the online publishing platform brings 60 million unique readers every month.
  • Tumblr, the micro-blogging and social network owned by Yahoo! announced 550 million registered users however it’s not clear how many are active daily as Tumblr doesn’t release information about this (very important) subject.
  • Google+ – Google’s attempt to build a social network that will compete with Facebook has a surprising number of 500 million registered users. Not so surprising when you realize that Google automatically creates profiles for users who signed up to other services it offers (Gmail, YouTube, etc). Either way, this method doesn’t seem to pay off as significantly less users actually use the platform (estimations are in the several millions that are active regularly).

China

Chinese websites are completely in the run for the above vast numbers. And similarly to outside of China, the 3 largest communities online – are owned by the same company (Facebook Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd respectively).

WeChat – not only instant messaging but far beyond, WeChat’s community consists of 938 million monthly active users.

QQ – owned by the same company as WeChat however 13 years younger (started in 2011 whereas WeChat started in 1998), QQ is a similar in concept instant messaging app that serves 861 million monthly active users.

QZone – largest social network in China with 632 million MAUs.

Leading online communities in China

Leading online communities in China

The numbers above are all taken from Tencent Holding’s website and are as of first quarter of 2017.

SinaWeiba – a micro-blogging social network (Twitter alike) with 361 monthly active users as of second quarter of 2017.

Baidu Tieba – although 1.5 billion registered users, there are estimated 300 million monthly active users using the Chinese social network platform owned by the giant Chinese search engine Baidu.

And some (last!) others that might interest you to know about:

Two other communities that are worth mentioning are both instant messaging apps (no coincidence here, read all about it in this article):

LINE with 217 million MAUs and Telegram with 100 million MAUs.

In Russia and its surroundings, the two websites you should know are VK, the most popular social network with over 400 million registered accounts and Yandex which is not only the largest search engine in the area but also, similarly to Google, offers many other related Internet services that create vast communities around it.

At the tip of your fingers

Your head might spin with the numbers and their size however we suggest to take the contrary approach, if anything, this proves that any brand today can reach dozens and hundreds of millions of people around the world in so many different ways. And that, without a doubt, creates unprecedented opportunities for businesses today.

 

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[How to] Design Online Ads That People Care About

Let’s start with the facts – I’m not a designer or anything that is remotely close to having a good taste. Really. Even if the most brilliant design in the world will hit me in the face I will probably not notice it.

I’m 100% marketer – online marketer to be precise and not, well… a designer with a natural instinct for visuals (unfortunately!). And as I know a thing or two about online marketing – an environment where brands need to create massive amount of artworks and visuals for many different marketing channels – I’ve gained much knowledge about designing successfully for online.

In this article I’m going to share with you some of these insights and hopefully help out with understanding better the user behind the screen.

Quantum_How-to(Blog) (1)

“The user”

Because everything we do – on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, Email… reaches users and we can know how many of them saw our ads, clicked on it, converted, we tend to forget that these users are not just numbers displayed on a monthly report. They’re REAL PEOPLE.

I realize that the last sentence sounds obvious but the truth is that it isn’t.

If it was, the same artwork that was designed for print, wouldn’t simply be re-sized once for Facebook and then resized 10 more times as banners for the Google Display Network.

If it was obvious, you wouldn’t see as many elements and as much text as it appears on a full-page ad transformed into an Instagram post.

If it was obvious, you wouldn’t see food menus (complete menus!), brochures and flyers that were designed for print on your Facebook feed.

Real people get annoyed with having to zoom in on your image to understand what it’s all about. They get annoyed if they can’t read what’s written on the artwork. Real people use their mobile more than any other device – and what is good for desktop or tablet isn’t good for their beloved small screen.

And when users, i.e. people get annoyed, they simply aren’t interested with your content anymore. They move on to the next best thing – and as there are so many other options out there – it’s not so hard to move on.

Quantum_How to design for digital marketing

The “users” are real people, who use the small screen more than anything.

When you design for online, you design for people, who use different devices, in different times of the day, on different platforms.

The platforms

Another common behavior is to take the same design and use it across platforms.

People come to different platforms for different reasons. The reason people login to Instagram is to see beautiful images. The reason people login to Facebook is to be kept updated. So, whereas on Facebook a tagline on an image would work excellent, on Instagram it might not be necessary. LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the Internet. People login to it to connect with other professionals, find a job and generate leads for their business. A “fun-cute-social-joke” design for Facebook isn’t relevant for LinkedIn. Don’t get me wrong – you might get some likes, but is it coherent with the platform you’re communicating on?

Would you go to the beach with your gown dress or your tie suit and vice versa – would you go to a business meeting with your swimsuit?

If you do choose to use the same artwork (which sometimes can work!) – make sure to re-size it in the right dimensions – what’s visible properly on Facebook won’t fit LinkedIn and definitely won’t be well seen on your newsletter.

Don't mix between different platforms and the reason people login to them.

Don’t mix between different platforms and the reason people login to them.

It matters. When you design for a specific platform, you must think in the context of it – why do people login to it? Why do people open a promotional email? What brought them to read your blog article?

And when the context is clear – then you can start creating your artworks.

Artworks

The word artwork includes a very powerful word in it – art. And designers are indeed, artists.

But whereas they can design a brochure for a month, and it will serve their client for 1-2 years, in online the picture is completely different. An average post lives on social media for a few days in the best case scenario and 24-48 hours in the most common scenario. An email campaign will be opened maybe once and then probably never again.

That should make a difference – not, by any means – in the quality of the work you do but definitely in the efforts you put into it. If we go a few paragraphs back – probably the reason why so many brands simply resize their print ad (without “breaking” the layout) is that they worked so hard on this one layout that to completely break it and start from scratch for the 5-6 other channels it needs to go on, can be a very frustrating experience.

Different screens, ad types and online platforms demand different artworks.

Different screens, ad types and online platforms demand different artworks.

Keep in mind that your artworks are (very) temporary in the online context when coming to design for online and work around that. One of the ways to not only be coherent online, which is a “must-do” in itself, but also to be more efficient in the efforts you put in is to create themes for your digital channels. These themes should have design templates to come along with them.

Templates

Going back to the person behind the screen to understand what kind of templates you should build – here is one fact to consider:

(1) Most people consume the information from the feed and not from your brand’s page.

That means that the place they see your ad is very noisy and busy.

On top of that, you probably already know that our attention span is decreasing with the years and nowadays it’s measured to a few seconds only.

Don’t believe me? Think how do you react when you see a video on the feed and you realize it’s 11 minutes – “11 minutes!!!” you say to yourself – “that’s forever and I don’t have forever for this – I need to keep scrolling the feed to feed my addiction and stay updated with as many people and pages as possible!”

Ok. Maybe you don’t say that last part exactly like I phrased it but you probably have an idea what I’m talking about.

As our attention span is so short – you have hundredths of seconds to grab the person’s attention. If you didn’t do that, well, she/he scrolled down…

Here is a second fact to consider:

(2) Most people who scroll, don’t read text, they look at the visual first. Sounds obvious but most people I meet in work context assume the logic thing – people read from top to bottom therefore you first read the text and then you look at the visual on the feed.

Understanding it’s exactly the opposite can be a game changer for your designs.

Use tricks in your artworks to draw attention on disrupted feeds.

Use tricks in your artworks to draw attention on disrupted feeds.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Place a super strong message/tease the reader – on the artwork itself.
  • Place a (short!) tagline on your visual.
  • Create visuals with movement.
  • Use “tricks” to draw attention – for example – if the artwork includes a person on the image (which is recommended, if it’s relevant for your brand guidelines) – place your tagline or an important object you don’t want the users to miss in the place the person on the image is looking at.
  • Design artworks that will be coherent with the context.

The context

Further to the fact there are many online platforms your brand operates on, each platform has its own rules for the different type of ads it enables.

Post ad, the simplest form of an ad is an easy one to manage.

But there are some other forms of ads.

  • Link ad: an ad that transfers the user to an external link once he/she clicks on it (v/s once clicking on the image it simply opens the image in bigger dimension). This type of ad is usually smaller on the height and therefore enables even less space for elements and text. It also includes text in the link and can make the tagline redundant at times.
  • Carousel ad: a type of ad that sends to multiple links. Each part of the carousel can and should be designed differently – whether you design multiple square artworks or crop one long horizontal image to create a nice continuous visual effect.
  • Lead generation ad: this type is quite different from a “simple” brand awareness ad. The objective is conversions and as such, the design should be adjusted to send out a strong call to action.
  • And some others – like photo albums, GIFs, 360° images and let’s not forget one of the most important ad types – videos. As it’s not really the subject of this article, I’ll have to skip it this time.

Whereas in offline once you send your artwork it goes to print and there’s no turning back, in the online environment you can experiment to understand what works best with your audience. 

Experiments

Finally, my best advice for any brand out there is to experiment. A/B testing is among the most important tools that online enables. Here are a few ideas:

  • Create different artworks with the same marketing message in 2-3 design directions and check what’s working best. Some of the platforms (Facebook for example) have a built-in tool for A/B testing.
  • If one theme worked well so far but lately started to drive far less engagement, make a small change and see the impact.
  • Create 2-3 layouts for the same email campaign and check which one made users click more.

The reality is that you have access to your results at any given time and that gives you much control – over your budget, human resources and time.

And in a disrupted world like we live in – is there anything more valuable than these?

 

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Fast, popular and bigger than social media

Think for a second about the apps on your phone. Take another second to think about the apps you use on your phone. We bet that one of the (very few) apps you’re using is an Instant Messaging one (IM or simply messaging app).

Most probably, it’s one of the apps you use the most, more than your social media apps (How many times a day do you open WhatsApp vs. how many times for Facebook?).

Quantum_Blog_Fast_Popular1

WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and QQ (China), LINE (Japan), KakakoTalk (South Korea), Kik and Telegram are all popular IM dedicated apps. But the phenomenon of instant messaging is alive and kicking on other platforms as well – Snapchat’s chat, Twitter’s DM (Direct Messaging) and Instagram’s Direct. Viber, Slack, Google Hangout and Skype are used to send and receive direct messages by hundreds of millions around the world every day.

Latest quarterly report from Facebook - 1.2 billion MAUs on Messenger and 1.2 Billion on WhatsApp

Latest quarterly report from Facebook – 1.2 billion MAUs on Messenger and 1.2 Billion on WhatsApp. Photo credit: Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook account

Bigger than social media

In 2015 IM apps caught up on the amount of monthly active users (MAUs) with social networks. The gap is growing since then and although our intuition might imply something else, there are more users on IM apps than on social. The numbers, according to Business Insider (see below image) show 3 billion MAUs on the 4 most popular messaging apps vs. 2.5 billion MAUs on the 4 most popular social networks.

Business Insider

One to One communication

The answer to the question in the title could’ve been email*, and no doubt that email is still huge (and will be for a while…). However, it seems that IM is going to take over in the next few years. It’s enough to observe young people and their relationship with emails vs. direct messaging to understand.

*In general, what is called “dark social”, the category which to both direct messaging and direct emails belong is an interesting part of digital which we’d love to get into, but unfortunately, not in this article 🙂

One of the major differences between IM and communicating via a feed to a large audience is that IM is a completely direct communication, where you have the user’s full attention. Further more, as it’s private and personal, you can adjust your marketing messages according to the user viewing your message. 

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 6.57.50 PM

Exponential growth in message traffic Source: statista.com

Bigger than text

The messaging apps’ foundations started with SMS – plain text messages but they evolved into so much more than that: audio, files, links, images, GIFs, contacts and videos all form part of what people send to each other every day via these apps.

If you spend some time with kids, you probably recognize the different pattern of the way they use messaging apps. WhatsApp for them is an actual social network. They’re members of many big groups and transferring huge amount of information among each other, whereas the rest of us manage their communication mainly via private conversations (one person) or small family/friends groups.

If you want a hint into the future of messaging apps, you don’t need a time machine, simply check out what WeChat can do – ordering food, recommending a service and paying online are a quick view into the app’s massive capabilities.

What it means for businesses

The trendiest word in the past 12 months or so, since Facebook opened its messenger app to chatbots is, well… bots. We talked a bit about bots and their 2017 context here but if to bring it into the messaging context: it’s not only about opening an easy way for clients/potential clients to communicate with the business. It’s also about enabling easy and fast financial transactions, improving customer satisfaction and increase sales by having a machine that solves problems, “knows” how to talk to users in a human way and can work nonstop.

You don’t need an app for this – one of the biggest advantages of chatbots is that they’re an added service. They can be integrated into existing platforms, saving the need in another (unused) app.

Further more – where there are users – there’s attention and where the attention is – there are ads. No more busy feeds, instead – direct and personal message. You’d probably be able to customize your personal message according to past interaction, interest and engagement. Client retention will be easily achieved, as it’s a one-on-one conversation and it’s saved on your chat inbox.

Direct messaging is definitely going to be one of the main ways to communicate with clients and as it’s a new territory from a business perspective – should be learnt, tested and then tested again, optimized and then optimized again… until the next best thing will come.

We’re curious to know where it all takes us.

 

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How we spread (online) magic + 7 bonus tips

Another wonderful edition of the Brand Magic Summit by Mind Initiatives is behind us!

The Brand Magic Summit, in 25 words, is a big annual brand event, that gathers some of the sharpest international minds in the branding world and brings them all under one roof, in Mauritius!

Quantum_How_To_Spread

This year, we were honoured to work on the online marketing of the summit for the third consecutive year. We learnt and improved from the years before, so here is how we spread the magic, the 2017 version.

Search for some winning marketing tips within the article.

Bringing excellent international speakers year by year. 2017 panel.

Bringing excellent international speakers year by year. 2017 panel. Photo credit: logos publicity

Website Re-launch

As all marketing mediums should drive traffic to the website, we were much depended on its re-launching. That happened around mid March, so we went straight into pumping the messages across several digital channels: Google search, display, display remarketing, Facebook, LinkedIn… (And Twitter, but in another way so wait for it and read on!).

Google

Search: Similarly to last year, we ran with a search campaign that was targeting search phrases such as “marketing summit” or “branding conference mauritius”. We also created some new ad groups for searches that include the keyword 2017 and of course, any search related to the “brand magic summit”. The intention of the users while searching these is a marketing opportunity one shouldn’t miss.

Tip #1: Add a remarketing search campaign to your AdWords account. It reduces the cost + nothing like showing how strong you are on Google to past visitors.

Display: this year we planned it so that the display campaign was booming close to the summit, but not too close, as there’s a registration deadline dictated by the HRDC. At the peak of the campaign it reached nearly 143,000 impressions in one day.

The peak of the display campaign

The peak of the display campaign

Tip #2: check placements performance on your display campaigns, you might want to prevent your ads from appearing on mobile apps.

Display Remarketing: if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know by now what a firm believers we are in remarketing. So this year we were able to add a remarketing display campaign, dedicated to those who visited the website. Unfortunately, a technical issue caused it to not reach its full potential, but the audience we did accumulate was retargeted and well aware of the summit 🙂

Tip #3: Google’s remarketing tag can save information up to 540 days so If you’re launching a website, even if you’re not planning to create Google campaigns soon, implement your pixel and start accumulating information about your website’s visitors in your Google AdWords account.

Facebook

The first actions on the Brand Magic Summit’s page were refreshing the overall look: profile photo, cover photo, descriptions and others. We also removed the word “Mauritius” from the page’s name and user name as it reached a strong positioning. We launched the activity with one small teaser (as time was pressing) that appeared in the print as well.

The teaser ad on Facebook. Same artwork was published in print. Artwork credit: FCB Cread

The teaser ad on Facebook. Same artwork was published in print. Artwork credit: FCB Cread

The main messaging on the page was as every year, the opportunity the summit opens up for branding, marketing, advertising and business people to meet international speakers in Mauritius. We used the speakers’ YouTube videos to promote this messaging even stronger.

On the day of the summit, we went live during the morning and for exclusive first interviews with the speakers. This year, we had more time to prepare and therefore we set up our tripod in a quite room where we could broadcast better videos. We also broadcasted the big announcement of the top brands and shared with the world the top Mauritian brand awards live!

“Mauritius is the hope for humanity” – one of the live videos we conducted during the day. 

Tip #4: if you want to promote live videos while they’re broadcasting, schedule in advance a sponsored campaign that will send to your page to watch the live video.

“Page Likes” Campaign – if you are a regular reader of this blog (#2), you know how much, to say the least, we’re not encouraging to put a budget (given it’s limited), on a “like” campaign. Exceptionally, we did run this type of campaign and the main reason was the live videos. We wanted to reach as many people as possible with our live videos during the summit itself and as followers get a notification about these, it’s effective to have large database of followers. 

Big followers database increases the buzz around live video.  

Tip #5: when creating a Like campaign (and any other…), try to run A/B test to see what brings better results. For example, you’d be surprised how small change to an images or text can generate far better results.

LinkedIn

As LinkedIn is a professional oriented network, a “company page” for an event is less relevant. We promoted the Brand Magic Summit on Mind Initiatives’ LinkedIn’s company page.

LinkedIn’s sponsored campaigns are relatively limited so all of our campaigns were running in a specific type of objective (unlike Facebook where we ran several types of campaigns, each aiming to achieve specific objective).

LinkedIn's professional targeting possibilities are excellent because of the amount of information users provide about their professional background

LinkedIn’s professional targeting possibilities are excellent because of all the information users provide about their professional background

The communication was coherent with Facebook and the main advantage in LinkedIn is the information the users provide about their professional background and as a result, better work/studies related targeting for marketers. In the case of the Brand Magic Summit, we targeted mainly according to seniority and job industry. 

Tip #6: LinkedIn’s default CPC is much higher than other platforms, try different bids and follow the results.

Twitter

Oh Twitter, Twitter… our cautious-love relationship continues.

We mentioned before that it seems like Twitter is not catching up on the competition with other social networks in terms of user growth and revenue. Although there aren’t simply enough users on Twitter in Mauritius in general and in the sectors we’re looking into in particular, there is a big user database worldwide. So that’s what we were aiming for the years before as well as this year, therefore the use in Twitter was almost solely during the day itself.

Linzi Boyd, one of the super stars speakers encouraged the audience to engage on Twitter (note the "Keep Your Phones Turned On")

Linzi Boyd, one of the super stars speakers encouraged the audience to engage on Twitter (note the “Keep Your Phones Turned On!!!”) Photo credit: logos publicity

This year, we had by far the most engaging experience so far. Much of the credit goes to the speakers. Not only we had the hounour of hosting Twitter’s jAPAC director of brand strategy, the two times Emmy award winner, Steven Kalifowitz but also all other speakers were highly engaging during the summit and encouraged the audience to do so as well.

Steven Kalifowitz of Twitter and Quantum's Chen Hindi, head of digital

Steven Kalifowitz of Twitter and Quantum’s Chen Hindi, head of digital Photo credit: logos publicity

We couldn’t ignore the peak in engagement so we tweeted and re-tweeted more during the day and reached nearly 300 tweets this year, double than last year and 2015.

Tip #7: If you’re going to use/want to test a platform for your business you’re not usually engaging with, try it yourself. Do some trial postings and engage with others to understand the platform better.

Quantum's team at the Brand Magic Summit. Note the live screen showing the tweet live feed Photo credit: logos publicity

Quantum’s team at the Brand Magic Summit. Note the live feed of the Twitter account
Photo credit: logos publicity

Until next time

If you ask us to summarize this entire experience on a professional level, we’ll say we had a lot of fun, as usual and learnt more, as usual. As for the results – we don’t think we’re objective to testify so we’ll just say that we hope to write a similar article in 2018 🙂

Have any questions about the marketing of the summit? Please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below and we’ll reply right back!

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What Should You (Digitally) Expect In 2017

That’s it, Santa has left the building, all the firecrackers on the island were used, and now it’s time to think more seriously about 2017, your business, its marketing plan and how it all connects.

So here’s what you should expect (and put your marketing focus on accordingly) in 2017.

06-01-2017-digital2017

Social networks

Which is fast growing, are they all here to stay and which you should REALLY pay attention to.

Quite obvious, Facebook is not going anywhere anytime soon. Here are directions to put the focus on:

  • Video. Facebook will keep growing its video content in general and live video in particular. Here is what we suggest, very simply put: include video in your 2017 marketing plan. It’s a necessity.
  • E-commerce. Facebook also added during the course of 2016 a dedicated area for businesses to showcase their goods – the “shop” tab. This is another sign of a very clear trend – as Facebook doesn’t want users to leave the platform – it improves the Pages more and more to become like websites. How does it serve you? Well, if you don’t have a website the shop section is a great place to create a catalogue of your products, present the prices, sizes, availability and any other information you’d like to provide to clients and potential clients. By adding the shop section, Facebook made another step towards the e-commerce world and we wouldn’t be surprised if users will be able to purchase goods directly on your page very soon.
  • VR. Virtual reality will become a game changer in the next few years. As Facebook owns Oculus Rift, we wouldn’t be surprised once again if this year it will integrate it in the platform one way or another (imagine for example, that you can offer a virtual reality tour in your hotel to potential clients. Remember it’s not the same as a simple virtual tour, as in VR the user is an actual “player” in the scene). As we write these lines, the options with VR are already quite impressive (see a glimpse of it in the video below) and it will only get better in 2017.

YouTube. It is not a 100% social media network but YouTube does have many of the characteristics. Social network or not, YouTube has over a billion users who generate billions of views every day. We keep bringing it up as a major part of your marketing strategy so as the #1 video platform online (really competing Facebook only), YouTube is not a channel you can ignore in 2017.

Musical.ly. If you’re targeting pre-teens and teens, you should pay extra attention to Musical.ly and its latest platform Live.ly (which is not surprisingly, about video – broadcast live video and talk on video group chat) this year. Whether you like it or not, understand the platform or not, this is where they’re spending their time these days. If things keep going well for musical.ly, it will explode in 2017.

Snapchat. 2016 was a significant year for Snapchat, also known in its new name (that also happened last year) – Snap. It launched its spectacles, introduced Memories, the very much needed feature in the platform and continued growing its user database, age and number wise. Predictions say that in 2017 it’s going for an IPO and it will be one of the biggest ever seen. With that said, the expectations for revenue growth will also be high, and that in turn, will create more space for marketers to showcase their brand and reach the massive audience on the platform.

Instagram. Facebook, the owner of Instagram, made some very good decisions lately about the app. Not only it developed its profiles for businesses and improved the feed significantly (“who to follow” suggestions for example, the ability to zoom in and so on), but also opened the sponsored ads platform to all marketers. Knowing that Snapchat is a big-fast-growing thing, Instagram also introduced “stories” – temporary updates, an identical concept (and name!) to Snapchat’s main feature. Further more, it started to include filters/drawing the user can add on the photo and by that, copied Snapchat again. Instagram is definitely a social network you should (if not already) start paying attention to in 2017.

LinkedIn. LinkedIn made a big move in April last year by launching ProFinder and entering the freelance for hire world. But later on in June is what really happened to LinkedIn. In a surprising move, the giant tech, Microsoft, bought it for more than $26 billion. The merge will have many implications, but in the context of marketing what’s important to understand is that the two are within the corporate world and their activities can be complementary. We can hope for the merge to accelerate LinkedIn’s growth and create more opportunities for marketers (for example – growing LinkedIn’s user database via the office 365).

Twitter. Funny enough, the acquisition of LinkedIn made Twitter’s share price increase. That’s obviously no coincidence – the hopes in the market were and still are that Twitter will be bought out. Twitter is losing its height for a while now and can’t keep up with the savage competition of other social networks. Only this year it closed Vine, its short video social platform that it bought in 2012 before it launched. Thus, Twitter’s future doesn’t look too bright so we’ll just say that if you are thinking of going into Twitter, make sure your target audience is really there and active on the platform.

Augmented reality

Virtual reality and augmented reality are both ways to experience situations, whereas augmented reality is when you experience the world around you as it is but with additional elements on your screen that combine into the “real picture” you see. One of the biggest phenomenon of 2016 was Pokemon Go. The AR location based app broke records in days and was one of the most popular apps in 2016. Marketers used the app to drive foot traffic to their locations. This was probably only the preview for what the future holds for us in terms of this technology.

Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep learning

Ok, these big words shouldn’t scare you. As we already mentioned in previous article, AI is a technology that is used around us constantly – FB’s face recognition algorithm (you know how Facebook offers you to tag someone and it recognizes their face?), speech recognition (read further), personal assistants like Siri and more. Machine Learning and deep learning are “sub” subjects within AI. Simple to understand examples: you show the computer many malwares codes until it can recognize computer viruses; you show the machine many dog images until it can recognize a dog. AI has become a “hot” topic so much that Mark Zuckerberg’s challenge of 2016 was to build “Jarvis”, his home AI assistance. We expect AI will become an important keyword in 2017. 

Voice search

Google has launched the voice search a while back but like any new habit, especially when it comes to something so common and regular like typing for searches on Google, it is taking time until it becomes the norm. In 2017 we will be seeing more and more people talking to their search engine rather than typing into it. It will be very interesting to see how the voice search will impact the organic as well as sponsored search results in search engines.

ChatBots

It could be that you have been talking to one lately but you didn’t know about it. ChatBots are programs that “know” how to manage a dialog. There are two main ways to build them – one is via a set of rules and the other one, more interesting is through an AI machine. You probably encountered a “live chat” on websites where you can talk to a representative online, but what you (maybe) don’t know is that some are operated by virtual assistants. In 2016 Facebook launched a ChatBot API for Messenger and it became extremely popular overnight – some of the biggest companies in the world started using a bot on their page’s messenger to improve their response time, their customer service standard (a bot can serve many people at the same time, doesn’t miss a message and works 24/7 and doesn’t need sleep). It is no surprise – the number of instant messaging users in general, not only Facebook messenger but also WeChat, Line, Viber and of course WhatsApp that is owned by Facebook, are now bigger than social media users. We can only expect that in 2017 the use of ChatBots will grow even more.

Personalized content marketing (and its distribution); Data mining and Marketing automation

We all know the necessity and importance of content creation. We’re at a point where there’s so much content created online that the only way you can win the game in 2017 and onwards is produce real high quality content and know exactly who and where to distribute it to. Creating a general post about “why you should visit Mauritius” and simply sharing it everywhere you can to get potential leads doesn’t work anymore. Creating a blog post of “why many Chinese visited Mauritius in 2016” and promoting it among frequent travellers Chinese users however, will probably be a better strategy. In fact, personalized content can be much more effective if you do data mining to analyze your customers behavior, create segments and use marketing automation to perform an action accordingly. For example – if you learn about purchase habits, preferences and even the time gap between purchases of the shoppers on your website you can plan the content of the sales emails sent to them accordingly. Within your Google campaigns you can increase or decrease bids according to the conversions of a specific keyword, increase budget for a successful Facebook campaign, etc.

Influencers marketing

Many brands are using “brand ambassadors”, the meaning is quite simple – people with many followers promoting specific brands/causes and being paid for it (it is important to say that on Facebook for example, it’s not allowed). As we argued, the internet is flooded with content and that creates a situation where users, meaning people, choose to “buy from”/believe people they know and trust, people whom they chose to follow. These people don’t have to be celebs on the big screen. Many of the influencers became famous/well known via the social networks themselves. You’ll find very easily famous YouTubers, Instagram leaders or Facebook public figures who impact dozens of thousands of people into loving a specific brand and eventually buying it. This trend will only grow bigger with the explosion of content year over year.

Whether Twitter is bought, ChatBots and AIs take over our lives, we’ll be playing with small creatures on our phone’s screen in the street or not – one thing is sure – 2017 is going to be an interesting year!

Have something to add? Please do share in the comments section below!

 

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This Was 2016

We did it in 2014, and then we did it in 2015, now it’s time to summarize 2016.

Every year we bring you some great summaries from the most interesting channels online, in one post. The end of the year is a good time to look back, understand what interested people, what they were searching for, what they cared about and what they were hoping for. This was 2016.

30-12-2016-blog

 

Google – Year In search 2016

Google’s year in search is created from “Google Trends” – a feature that reflects what are the hottest topics people are searching for. The video is moving, saddening, exciting and hopeful, all at the same time.

Facebook year in review

Facebook’s year in review summarizes the biggest moments on the biggest social network in the world. We give you a heads up – while last year’s year in review was more hopeful, the 2016 one is not going to be easy to watch. We certainly hope for the message at the end to become reality.

YouTube Rewind

YouTube’s yearly production to summarize its most viewed videos is simply impressive. YouTube is celebrating in this year in review “the videos, people, music and moves that made 2016”. It’s a lot of fun, so turn on your speakers.

YouTube Ads Leaderboard

YouTube also summarizes the most watched ads on the platform. Here you can find the top 10 most viewed ads on YouTube in 2016, and below you can watch the #1 ad on YouTube in 2016.

Musical.ly – Best Dances And Hashtages

We’ve already mentioned Musical.ly in this blog so we hope you know what it is all about by now. We couldn’t find an official Musical.ly video summary of 2016 but we did notice on Musical.ly’s official page the video below, summarizing the best dances and hashtags on Muscial.ly in 2016. If you’re above 20 years old, you might think it’s silly but if you’re in marketing, no matter the age, hang on there before you ignore one of the fastest growing social networks in the world with 130 million monthly users.

Time

It’s not about marketing nor online marketing, but in 2016 the world has lost some of the greatest public figures. Time Magazine summarized it in one sad video, that unfortunately is not up to date with some of the recent losses of George Michael and the actress Carrie Fisher. We sure hope that 2017 won’t take away as many great talents from the world.

LinkedIn
Perhaps a short video version of LinkedIn’s year, which was very interesting, exists but we couldn’t find it. Instead, LinkedIn summarized 2016 on the platform in a series of articles like “The most memorable articles of 2016” or “The jobs and industries with the biggest bonuses in 2016” as well as “LinkedIn’s top voices of 2016“. And if you’d like, here’s a 55 minutes webcast that was done live, created and broadcasted by LinkedIn and discussed what were the trends of the year on the platform and what should we expect next year.

Twitter’s #ThisHappened and Yahoo

We chose to talk about Twitter and Yahoo in the same breath because in a way, the both seem to be ending up in the same place.

Twitter, a sinking ship that might take a better turn in the upcoming year (especially if Donald Trump keeps using it as he did so far) and Yahoo, the search engine that has been struggling for years and lately was sold to Verizon, perhaps marking its end.

Then again, Twitter and Yahoo, with a user database of 317 million and 1 billion (which might already be out there with hackers…) respectively, we thought you might want to see what they have to say about the year that has passed, so here it is.

Twitter 2016 #ThisHappened

Yahoo – Year In Review Top Searches

To finish, if you’re into looking at this year in photos, Business Insider gathered the 42 most powerful photos of 2016. Enjoy it right here.

Here’s to a digitally creative, challenging, full of many moments that are worth to remember 2017!

happy-new-year-quantum-media-mauritius

 

 

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7 Awesome E-Card Websites For Your Holiday Greetings

16-12-2016-ecards

Holiday season is right around the corner and we’re sure you want to send out a nice, original e-card to your clients, family and friends but have no time to search for them. So we did that for you!

We searched, tried and sent to each other some early e-cards so we can share the best ones here with you. Ready, set, wish…!

  1. JustWink offers you cards that are interactive, completely custom made, funny and creative. You can upload your photo, add your “hand written” signature and many other things that will make your e-card sending completely enjoyable for not only the receiver but also the sender, yourself.
JustWink. Fun and Creative.

JustWink. Fun and Creative.

Have fun with custom made e-cards.

Have fun with custom made e-cards.

  1. If you’re into video this year (and you should be!), JibJab is a well known hilarious video e-cards website. All you have to do is choose the video you like, add a photo where JibJab can recognize your face and create a funny, happy animation with the faces you chose! We at Quantum know the website very well, here it is 🙂
JibJab. Just put your face there and let the fun begin!

JibJab. Just put your face there and let the fun begin!

  1. Punchbowl is an easy to use super simple and user friendly website where you can create your themed card and send it in an envelope to your friends, family and even your contact list. Unlike JustWink the only photo of your own you can add is the “stamp” on your envelope.
Punchball. Send your greetings in an envelope with your own stamp.

Punchball. Send your greetings in an envelope with your own stamp and send it to all your contacts.

  1. It’s probably not the first time you hear about Someecards, as these cards are quite common on your social media feeds. But what you might have not known is that you can create your own (some)ecard with it! You can custom make the colour, the drawing that comes along with it and write your own text. Someecards’ “thing” is that the cards are usually cynical and hilarious at the same time.
Someecards. Choose your drawing, colour, insert your text and voilà!

Someecards. Choose your drawing, colour, insert your text and voilà!

youll-know-im-your-secret-santa-if-you-dont-get-anything-aaj

Cynical and hilarious at the same time. Someecards.

Cynical and hilarious at the same time. Someecards.

  1. We can’t write a blog post without mentioning the most popular forms of images online today – GIFs! Although ChristmasGifs doesn’t enable you all the freedom and customization the previous websites do, it does offer some funny GIFs you can send personally and/or share on Facebook.

ChristmasGifs, animated fun GIFs

  1. Another fun GIFs website is GIPHY. Plenty of GIFs to choose from, share, send and even download. Enjoy and get ready to the addiction.

  1. If you’re into video, but you feel JibJab is too informal, Ojolie is for you. Most of the e-cards on it are paid but you can get the idea of the cards by signing up for the free version. Some of the videos are beautiful and original and we recommend that you try it out. Here as well, you can send your card to all your contacts.

Artistic and beautifully made. Ojolie.

Bonus: if you need to create invitations, Pingg is a website that not only offers a full customization of existing card designs but also include RSVP service, a map and of course the time and venue of your event.

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-8-54-50-pm

Pingg. Not only cards but also invitations you can add maps, RSVP requests and more.

To finish with a smile here’re some inappropriate Christmas cards 🙂 Don’t try that at home!

funny-inappropriate-rude-christmas-cards-dark-humor-80-584825e9aef01__605

Know some great e-card websites? Share them with us in the comments section below.

 

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8 Quick Tools To Test Your Website’s Performance

05-12-2016-performance

A well designed and into-the-details planned website is definitely a good place to start off when building your website. But there’s another important aspect that at times seems to be left aside: the user experience. One of the main issues for example, is how fast your website loads. We won’t elaborate in this post further about the meaning of UX and its consequences when it’s a bad one as we’ve done it several times before. Instead, we wanted to share with you some of the tools we know and use to run tests on website’s performance and its UX.

  1. Google’s PageSpeed insights tools

Google offers a free tool to test your website in terms of loading time, user experience, mobile vs. desktop and more. The tool grades your website on a scale of 1-100 and granted that the higher the grade the better your website is performing. Given that you got a low grade (which is not so rare 🙂 as it’s considered to be one of the most “strict” tests), Google will give you recommendations on how to improve your website on different aspects. The main thing you should remember is that Google also owns Google Analytics, which means it “knows” everything about millions of websites across the web, so as strict as it might be, you should run your website through it and see what it has to say…

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-12-01-09-am

  1. GTmetrix

GTmetrix is another popular tool to test your website’s performance, once you type a URL you’ll receive, similarly to PageSpeed insights, a percentage grade (1%-100%) for your overall website and also immediate-easy-to-read stats about your website such as its size, its load time and more. The report it retrieves contains a lot of parameters that are graded by GTmetrix and for each parameter that is below 100%, it offers ways to improve in the specific area. Another interesting feature is a comparison tool where you can insert a URL of 1 or more websites you’d like to compare your website’s performance with.

GTmetrix's score for Quantum's blog. Easy dashboard and much data that is analyzed.

GTmetrix’s score for Quantum’s blog. Easy dashboard and much data that is analyzed.

  1. GeoPeeker

If you’re targeting overseas audiences GeoPeeker will be a very interesting tool for you. What it does is simply showing you how fast your website loads in different countries. Whether you knew it or not, the location of your hosting server makes a difference geographically. So an ideal situation will be to host your website in the nearest physical place possible. GeoPeeker was actually used by one of Google’s representatives while we were talking to them and this is how we were exposed to it.

GeoPeeker shows you how fast your website loads from different countries. In the screenshot: results for lexpress.mu

GeoPeeker shows you how fast your website loads from different countries. In the screenshot: results for lexpress.mu

  1. Google’s mobile friendly test

We’re quite certain, without checking your website’s Google Analytics, that your website’s traffic consists of 50% mobile. We’re not know-it-all, we simply “listen to the news” 🙂 And in a world that is going mobile, you should pay a lot of attention to how your online assets are experienced on the small screens. Google helps you, once again, with a free tool that simply tells you whether your website is mobile friendly or not. If not, it offers improvements. Do take into account that Google started a while back to not only penalize websites that are not mobile friendly but also tagging the ones that are in the search results.

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-12-12-41-am

  1. Pingdom

Going back to speed tests, pingdom is a user friendly tool that you can use to test your website’s speed, share its results and automate the test to get it directly to your email! (well, a 14 days trial is given for free and credit card is not a must) Another nice feature is that you can easily choose a location among a few locations around the world that you’d like to test your website from. That’s (kind of) a nice combination of the speed tests we mentioned in #1/#2 and the GeoPeeker in #3 above.

Pingdom - easily choose your location and test your website's speed

Pingdom – easily choose your location and test your website’s speed

  1. Screenfly

Going back to different screen sizes – don’t forget that there’re not only many different mobile and desktop screens but also tablets. How do you monitor your website in this insane amount of screens? Well, it’s not easy, that’s for sure but Screenfly can help. It is a tool that simulates how your website looks on dozens of different devices. It’s easy to use and very user friendly. As much as Screenfly is great we suggest to not use only this simulator but also check your websites “manually” on the devices that you have access to around you.

Screenfly enables you to test dozens of different devices in mobile, tablet, desktop computers and even TVs.

Screenfly enables you to test dozens of different devices in mobile, tablet, desktop computers and even TVs.

  1. Nibbler

Nibbler is an extremely helpful-user-friendly-beautifully-designed tool. On top of the grades that the previous tools provide, it grades your website’s marketing channel strength, its popularity compared to the rest of the world’s website, its meta-data, amount of content and so many other interesting aspects!

Nobbler, a beautifully designed tool that will also provide information about your data

Nobbler, a beautifully designed tool that further to the standard information, provides stats about marketing, meta tags, amount of content and many more.

  1. WebPageTest

Its design is old fashioned but its technology and reliability is recommended among developers. WebPageTest does exactly what its name indicates 🙂 The results are not so user friendly but if you have a data person, you can learn much about your website’s performance

WebPageTest. The design is old fashion but the data is very useful.

WebPageTest. The design is old fashion but the data is very useful.

Bonus: Malware scanners.

If you want to check your website for any malware, website errors or out of date software here are two tools to do just that:

Sucuri – simply enter your website and in seconds receive information about your website – whether its blacklisted, if it has a firewall and more.

Virustotal – oriented more to the ones who can read a lot of data, Virustotal will provide free information about your website’s malware status, listing relevant aspects and providing their status.

And here’re some tools that Google offers to run malware checks with (mainly for your windows computer).

Take it to a test drive

Your website is one of the most important assets you can own for your business. Checking it frequently, testing and refreshing are processes that should be a regular thing. After all, don’t forget that in 2016 (soon to be 2017) people live online, and that’s where YOU are being tested first and foremost.

Know other tools that are helpful for website’s performance and can enlighten others including us? Do share in the comments section below!

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The Lighthouse Of Online Marketing

The Internet changed our concept of time completely.

10 minutes of 15-20 years ago were just enough to look on Yellow pages for the phone number of a favorite restaurant, try to call it once or twice from your land line to learn that it’s busy, try again and finally book your table.

Today, in 10 minutes you can book your international flight, answer a few emails, buy activities’ tickets for the kids and in 3 seconds book a table in your favorite restaurant.

Now, that’s well spent 10 minutes.

Every day our value of time increases – we can do much more in significantly less, and the fact that a massive amount of information is available to us at any second about any topic can be very confusing.

As a business owner in such a disrupted world, you need very clear concepts of how to build your marketing to get to where you aspire. If people search for your business and can’t find it online in a few seconds, you lost. If they search for a service you offer and another business comes up, you lost.

How to know which digital channels to choose? How to build up the campaigns? What messages to convey?

Here are the three words that will be your lighthouse and show you the way.

the-lighthouse-of-online-marketing

1: Attention  

The most common mistake business owners do in the “new world” is misallocating their budgets, offline vs. online.

Ask yourself this: Are your potential clients really looking at your billboard driving 80 KPH on the motorway? And even if they do, you really think they have time to read or they’ll remember you in 30 minutes with all the text and elements you placed on it? What do your users do when ads are coming in the middle of their favourite TV show? You got it right! They’re taking the mobile to check their email, check Facebook… And how many of them really see and/or contact you after looking at your ad on page 37 in the magazine?

people-on-their-laptop

We live in a connected world

If you answered these questions genuinely, you can now agree that all people of all ages, genders and socioeconomic status are connected.

Now, let’s talk online. If your target audience is 13-18 years old, some of them are on Facebook, for sure. But dig dipper because you’d be surprised to learn that many of them don’t care about Facebook (mainly because their parents are there) as much as 25-44 years old do, and they spend most of their time on Snapchat or Musical.ly.

If you’re targeting Chinese audiences then forget about WhatsApp or Google. Try to explore WeChat and Baidu.

Baidu, the most popular search engine in China (and 2nd most popular search engine in the world)

Baidu, the most popular search engine in China (and 2nd in the world)

The point is – do the research and mainly ask yourself – where does your potential clients/actual clients’ attention is everyday?

Whatever the answer is, this is where you should invest your marketing efforts.

2: Intention

After you understood where users’ attention is, ask yourself the following:

Where in the “buyer’s journey” does my ad meet the user? Is it when they’re first aware of their need in a product like mine? Is it when they’re considering purchasing a product like mine or, is it when they’ve decided to purchase a product I sell?

These three questions are important to be asked in another version as well – replace the phrase “a product like mine” with “my product” or “my business”.

For example, let’s assume you’re selling holiday attractions. Your potential clients will be on the search for holiday attractions in different stages – when they’re planning their vacation (while in their home town) or when they’re already in the destination.

If they’re searching on Google for “holiday attraction ideas in mauritius” your users are clearly in the stage of awareness. They need more information about what they’re looking for, so your ad should suit this research state of mind and drive them to learn “everything you need to know about holiday attractions in Mauritius”.

If they’re searching for “diving in mauritius best price” they’re further in the buyer’s journey and now know what they’re looking for. Your ad should drive them to do just this – “Check best prices of diving attractions in Mauritius Here”.

You should ask yourself where are your potential clients in their "buyer's journey"

Understand in which stage of the “buyer’s journey” your potential clients are

If they Google “diving package mauritius buy online” they’re now in the last phase and have decided to purchase. Your ad should drive them to buy from you – “Book online your all inclusive Diving in Mauritius day – simple and fast”.

And if they’re searching for the above while not yet in Mauritius – “Save your precious holiday time – book now” or if they’re already in the destination “Buy online to reserve your slot and save 5%!”.

The user’s intention in each of the examples above is different and as seen, the connection between the user’s intention and your ads should be strong.

And it’s not all. User’s intention is also within the different platforms. When a user is searching for “attractions in mauritius” and clicks your Google ad, this intention is by far stronger than if they clicked a beautiful Mauritian beach photo you posted on your Facebook page. If a user that visited your website before (remarketing) clicked the same post, it’s another intention, and it’s stronger.

Clicking on a beautiful photo of Mauritius is a different intention than actively looking for "holiday attractions in Mauritius"

Clicking on a beautiful photo of Mauritius is a different intention than actively looking for “holiday attractions in Mauritius”

When users browse Linkedin their intention is completely different than when they login to Snapchat. Linkedin is a business network where things are serious and formal, so much that many women and men choose a profile photo when they’re in their formal outfits whereas on Snapchat they put a dog filter on their face and vomit rainbow colors.

After setting your business’s marketing goals, understand where and when you should show your audiences your ads and build your marketing plan around it.

3: Engagement  

Simply put – it doesn’t matter how many followers  or subscribers you have if they don’t engage with your content. Engagement is the most important metric you should look at when creating and following up on your marketing plan.

How did users respond to your last video? To your latest newsletter? Did they like it, forward to a friend and comment on it? Did they share it and tagged their friends? Did they send their details for more information?

The best way to encourage engagement is to create valuable content that people care about (and granted, which is also related to your business) and target it to the relevant audience.


Are you creating valuable content?

Staying on the same attractions example, a relevant to your business and valuable content for your target audience would be “7 foods you must eat in your Mauritius holiday”.

Put aside page likes and followers amount. Forget about display impressions. Care about info requests, comments and shares. Analyze clicks, traffic to website, leads and phone calls. These are the metrics that will determine if your online marketing is successful or not.

Following in the footsteps of (tech) giants

Google’s #1 company value is “Focus on the user and all else will follow” and Facebook’s mission as stated in their company info page is to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected…”.

What is leading the two biggest websites in the world is the user and in a disrupted world like we live in, it makes a whole lot of sense.

We should all do it too, whether we’re selling a technology, product or service.

Have more ideas about marketing concepts? Please do share in the comments section below!

 

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Websites That Strike a Spark

In all honesty, when you browse the web, how many websites do you see that make you go “WOW”?
We assume that the answer is anywhere between none to once in a blue moon?
We feel the same.

Websites that strike a spark

So we wanted to share with you several websites that were designed and executed in a way that will make you forget the things you know about websites.

We split the websites in this article according to specific aspects we chose, so pay attention to what you should put the focus on before you click the photos to view them*. Oh and by the way – DO NOT miss the one in #8 below.

*If you browsed to a website and didn’t see the interactive part we described, it means you’re on mobile, switch to desktop for the full experience. 

  1. User experience is a perspective that many companies overlook. And that’s a shame because users are people, and these people see hundreds of websites weekly. They need a reason to care about your brand’s website. The first example is from Diadora – the features on the home page, the idea behind it presented in the video (pay attention how the video’s default is to view in big screen) and see the soft transitions that were also built without the need to scroll down at all:

Diadora - Make It Bright

  1. Corporate websites, ones that are a static window to your business (unlike e-commerce websites, blogs and others) are mostly built in a generic template of “about us, product, contact us” with photos in the background. Here’re are two examples where the companies chose to introduce their business to the world in a slightly different way:
Waaark

Waaark

Willow & Blake

Willow & Blake

  1. A good home page is a sales person in the shop – well dressed, smelling good, with a big inviting smile that make your clients want to come in and explore. Below are two websites that have THE sales person in the entrance:
Taptica

Taptica

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 3.56.26 PM

Zendesk

  1. Taylor-made-for-your-business animations can be an amusing way to showcase your product/service. When combining them with movement that the user “creates” by browsing your website, it results in a super enjoyable user experience. Below is an example of a website that offers a different kind of taxi ride. Scroll down but also switch between the tabs on the menu and see what happens.
Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 4.00.14 PM

Spokes

Another example for this kind of interactive experience on websites, see in this cool resume of a New Yorker designer-developer:

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 4.02.14 PM

Robby Leonardi

  1. On the e-commerce side of things, knowing you probably visited a few online shops before, you have a picture in your mind of how they all look like. Here are examples of e-shops’ websites that totally played it differently, each one in its own way:
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KUUM

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ETQ Amsterdam

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Frank Body

 

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CHYLAK

  1. Websites that are simple, work. It’s hard to ignore that (and if you do, just think for a second how the biggest website in the world’s home page, Google, looks like). We understand the desire to show comprehensive information about your business, but it’s not going to work if you “throw” all of it on the user. Here’s an example of a website that represents not only an important cause, but also built beautifully simple. The moving “silent” photos backgrounds, the colours and even the white frame, the transition between sections on the home page… All put up properly:
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Invest In Vibrant Oceans

  1. To scroll or not to scroll, that’s the question. Let’s start with the notion that… everybody scrolls! Social Media, where we all spend many hours a day, made it an inevitable habit. Some take the approach of “infinite scrolling”, some take it to zero scrolling (like in the 1st example in this article) and others take it to completely new concepts. Below are two examples:
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Renate Rechner

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Creative 507

  1. Transitions between different parts of a website are usually made in either scrolling or manually choosing from a standard menu. How can it be done in another way you ask yourself? Check the below!
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Perverte X

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Martin Wecke

To finish, a bonus. It’s not really a business oriented website and you need flash (!) to view it, but take our word for it – you’re not going to regret it. The scale of the universe created a very accessible way to understand the concept of scales in the universe around us. No further words, here it is:

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The Scale Of The Universe

Got inspired? Great! Tell us about your idea!

Want to share some of the great websites you’ve seen across the web? Awesome! Share it with us in the comments below!

 

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