1 year ago on
A Complete Guide to Infographic Marketing
If you have a content marketing plan, there are good chances that it will have visual format of content such as video and infographic. Infographic became popular back in 2010 and have been here ever since.
Although marketers debated their survival with the internet becoming overcrowded with too many infographics, good quality infographics are still the cornerstone of a good content marketing plan.
Many successful marketers swear by them. They can get you tons of backlinks and some serious traffic. Marketing guru Neil Patel was able to pull in more than 2 million visitors and 41,142 backlinks by posting regular infographics on his Kissmetrics blog back in 2010. Most of leading digital marketing agencies and brands are using infographics by now.
According to a study by Infographic World, 56% of companies surveyed had used infographics and 84% considered them effective in marketing.
In this blog we will look at why infographic are so effective and how to be successful at infographic marketing. Let’s first look at what an infographic is and what are the various types of infographic you can design.
What is Infographic?
Infographic is a visual image of information or data in its strictest sense. The visual representation could be process flow, timeline, comparison charts or sequential story too. There are many ways to represent information visually. Many infographics tell a story through the presentation of facts and statistics to add an element of surprise and evidence.
However, not all infographics should to have statistics and numbers. In fact, today, the types of infographics that we see are many. As long as it is an image that translates knowledge visually it counts as an infographic.
Types of Infographics
Here are some types of infographic and their examples.
1. Statistical Infographics
These convey statistics in a visual way and have a story to it. They are great for getting backlinks and social shares.
2. Informational Infographics
This is a blog post turned into a visual infographic. This can be a list-o-graphic, a process or educational guide. The idea here is to show visually what a blog post would say in text.
3. Timeline Infographics
These show the evolution of products, service, culture, etc.
4. Comparison Infographic
These compare products, service, concepts or processes. They make it easy for our brain to compare by placing the compared ideas next to each other and bring out the difference.
5. Geographic Infographic
This is an infographic putting together regional statistics or information on the corresponding map of a region. This is useful in representing information related to geography or showing geographical differences.
What makes Infographic So Effective?
Traffic to a website gets an average of 12% increase after uploading an infographic. So why are infographics so effective in getting traffic?
Infographics are visual
Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text according to 3M. 90% of information that goes to our brain is visual and we also easily retain what we see visually.
This is because the visual part of our brain has evolved for millions of years whereas the reading has been introduced to humans on recently in comparison.
We are naturally attracted to images and spend more time with articles/ blogs that have relevant images. In fact, eye-tracking studies show that readers spend more time looking at relevant images than they do reading text on a page.
Infographics are Shareable
People only share what they think will be enjoyed by their friends or help them. Since infographics are a story narrative with interesting facts and entertaining information they are perfect to share with your friends on social media.
Infographics are shared 3x times more than any other content on social media. They are easy to view, consume and share.
They Work for your SEO
Infographics do not directly translate into higher ranking but they do give out many signals that are great for your SEO. Informative infographics get lots of links from other sites. This not only increases traffic to your site but also tells Google that other people find your page helpful. This increases your domain authority, in turn boosting your visibility in Google.
Infographics also mean that visitors spend more time on your site and reduce bounce rate. This too is a factor affecting Google ranking directly.
Elements of Successful Infographic
Of course this does not mean that every infographic will be highly successful and get you links. Ever since the success of infographics online, the internet is flooded with infographics that are of poor quality (either in content or design or both) and are not successful by any measure.
Making an infographic that is not up to the mark will only waste your time and resources. Therefore, it is important to make high quality infographics if you want to succeed at infographic marketing.
There are many things that must be kept in mind for this. Let’s walk through the process of making and promoting a good quality infographic. We will discuss the best practices in each step as we come to it.
1. Set the Objective
What is the objective of making infographic? Is it to earn backlinks, convert leads or increase your brand authority? Not every infographic is suitable for all purpose. For example, if you want to earn backlinks, an infographic with original data is your best bet.
The designing of your infographic will also depend on your objective. Infographics meant for PR or internal communication can have heavy branding whereas those built for social sharing cannot have much branding on them.
Before you set out decide on length of infographic, colour scheme, design and content, it is first important to set the context right.
2. Select Topic
Knowing your audience is the key to creating the right content. The same is true for infographics. Infographic topics have to be either extremely helpful or entertaining.
The topic must answer your reader’s questions to be helpful and relatable to be entertaining. It should also be about a topic that has decent search traffic too.
One way to come up with a good topic is to look at the posts that are already popular in your sites. What posts drive maximum traffic and reader engagement? You may then repurpose old content or convert it into an infographic.
For example, if ‘Industry Stats for 2017’ was one of your best performing posts, you can consider making an infographic for ‘Industry Stats for 2018’.
Another way to pick a topic is to just tag along what’s trending. Topics or events that are in news are hot because media and social influencers are already covering it. If you can put a fresh angle to trending topics or add data to it, it is very likely to be picked up by journalists and bloggers and go viral.
3. Research Well
The next step after choosing a topic is to do a thorough research of the topic. Remember your content is only as good as the research that goes behind it. Talk to industry experts and try to dig out information that is not out yet.
There is nothing better than your own data from studies you have done. Bloggers and journalists love fresh content and stats to cite and prove their point.
Make sure your sources are credible and reputable. Wikipedia does not count as a credible source. You must also mention the sources at the bottom of your infographic to add credibility to your data.
5. Script and Story
The next step after you gathers data and information is to put it in a meaningful narrative. Most of the infographics fall flat here. Putting data and statistics in visual format is not a good infographic.
Content creators must tell a story through the information. This is what makes infographics captivating and shareable. Think of all the elements of story – a beginning state of things, struggle or objections and an end with a clear message of the story.
Sometimes you may want to develop a character to convey a story. At other times the reader’s journey itself can be a story. This stage requires lot of creativity and innovation.
At the end of this designers typically build a wireframe that puts all the information in a flow. By the end of this you should have a visual of how your infographic is going to look.
It’s time to convert your story into visuals and usually a designer works on this stage. There are many decisions that must be made when it comes to design.
What would be the best way to put the story in visuals? The infographic could be any of the type discussed above i.e. statistical, comparison, bar-chart, geographical or timeline.
The colours must be in line with the topic and appeal to the target audience. If you plan to brand your infographic the colours must also be in line with your branding.
The icons, 3D effects, fonts, formats and colours all will give your infographic a unique look and feel.
The next step is editing. By this stage you would have a first version of your infographic ready with you. You must now improve on it and cut out all the information that is not central to your message.
Just like a good written copy, cutting out the extras is what makes an infographic great. Don’t put data just for the sake of length. It is better to aim for an infographic that is shorter, to the point and crisp. The flow of information should feel interesting and intuitive.
Left by itself, it will take some time for infographic to start ranking in Google. If there are already better infographics by more authoritative sites in your industry, then you can forget about ranking ever on Google.
Promoting infographics helps in getting quicker return and early discovery by search engines. There are steps that you must take to promote your infographic.
SEO for Infographic – Search engines cannot read images hence it is important to give them text and HTML tags that they can. This is how search engines view your page is about and whether of not to rank them for a query.
Insert your keywords in the title of the image as well as alt text. So if your infographic is about coffee name the image file as ‘benefits-of-coffee.png’ instead of ‘image1456.png’.
This way search engines can easily know what your infographic is about. Similarly, alternative text is what shows up when your image doesn’t load but it is also a signal on image content to Google.
Also add supporting text before and after your infographic. This way you can have Headings H1, introduction paragraph and a conclusion that will be enough for Google to rank you well.
Blogger Outreach – A good infographic will earn backlinks naturally but you can kick-start your efforts with an outreach campaign too. Get in touch with industry influencers and leaders and let them know of this new infographic you have posted.
They will link to it if they find it useful. If they do not, then take it as feedback for you to improve your infographic. Do be spammy with your request or post your link in the comments as that will only hurt your credibility.
Sharing on other Platforms – You can share your infographics on other platforms too. Posting on LinkedIn and SlideShare have proved successful for many brands. We will discuss more on how to optimize your infographic for different platforms in the next section.
Make it Easily Shareable – Your infographic must be shareable on social media with a single click. Put social sharing buttons on your page and mention an embed code below the infographic. This way anyone who wants to use your infographic can do so with a legitimate link to you.
The last step of infographic marketing is of course monitoring and feedback collection. Each site will have unique visitor profile and hence different kinds of designs, topics and promotional strategies will work for each. By monitoring user engagement and feedback you can fine-tune your infographic content marketing to perfection.
Tips to get Maximum out of your Infographics
1. Create Quality Infographics
As you can see above there are plenty of things that can go wrong in each stage of creating an infographic. Since you are putting in so much effort, it’s worth ensuring that you end up with good quality infographic.
Many companies think that their good content writer will also make a good infographic. This is not true as the skill required for visualising and designing visuals are totally new to a content writer.
It’s recommended to get your infographic done from a professional designer or at least learn about design before you design it yourself.
Below is an example of confusing infographic. The numbers are all over the place and there is no flow of story to the visuals. The small font is also very difficult to read. Such infographics can actually annoy readers and spoil your brand name.
2. Use Different Platforms to Promote
Post your infographic on more than just your blog. Take the example of below infographic by a security network company, Solera Networks. Their infographic on ‘Are you a Hacker’s Target?’ did not get a great response.
But it became immensely successful after they cut the graphic into slides and shared it on SlideShare platform getting them 40,000 views and organic links.
The lesson is to re-design your infographic and share it on different platforms your audience is on. You never know, the infographic that is not getting any traffic to your site might just hit it off on Facebook or Pinterest.
The key is to repurpose your content to match the mood of each social sharing platform. Pinterest is highly design based so too many numbers and data will not do well there.
Similarly, Facebook needs photos that are interesting and entertaining and too much of branding will not work in this social site.
There are also many niche sites for each target audience that you should explore. Imgur is a great platform for millennial males. You can also find sub-reddits on almost any topic.
3. Make it a Part of your overall Content Strategy
This is perhaps the most common mistake marketers make. You cannot treat your infographic like a stand alone piece of content. Infographics have to fit into your overall content marketing strategy. They must still address you target audience and target the questions they are asking.
Also infographics marketing cannot be your only content strategy. Build supporting text posts, images and videos that together form your content plan.
It is also important to keep in mind what format your audience prefers, if your audience prefers only ‘how to videos’, then building infographics just for the sake of it is a loss making idea.
How much does it cost to make an Infographic?
Infographics can cost anywhere from $5 to $5000. There is a lot of work from research to designing to promoting an infographic. The cost will also depend on the amount of work you need to get done.
You can expect less cost if you already have the data and just need the designer to put it together visually. However if you want research, content, designing, promotion of the infographic you can expect a significantly higher quote.
Here are your options at different price points if you want to get an infographic done:
1. Do It Yourself
This is the cheapest but obviously requires your time and effort. This option is suitable for small start-ups, independent bloggers and home run businesses.
You can choose many online tools available to design your own infographic. Sites like Picktochart and Canva are almost free and come with many free templates, design ideas and inspirations.
You can get started for free on both the tools, although there is limited you can do with Picktochart on the free model. They have a $15, $29 and $99 plan which give you access to templates, hundreds of images, watermark removal and much more.
Canva allows you to do much more with their free plan and is by far the best option to create drag and drop free infographic yourself.
You can also learn to operate tools such as illustrator and coral draw to create your own infographics but they will take up a lot of time to learn.
Remember that for this option you will have no help with designing and storytelling and will have to do everything on your own.
2. Hire a Freelancer
Your next option is to hire an infographic designer on project basis. You can hire one from your contacts of go to numerous freelancing sites online to hire freelancers from across the globe.
Sites like Upwork, Fivver, Design Hill , Freelancer.in and many more will give you many options to choose designers. Design Hill runs a contest for you starting at $289 where you get to pick from more than 40 designs submitted by designers competing for your project.
You can find freelance infographic designer anywhere in the range of $100 to $2000 depending on their quality of work, experience and demand.
Terms of payment, timely completion of work, negotiations, and dispute handling are some of the tricky things when it comes to hiring a freelancer on the other end of the globe.
3. Hire a full time Designer
You could also hire a full time designer in your company. This is only suitable if you have an internal content team and expect to churn our high number of infographics regularly.
The cost of hiring a full time infographic designer can vary anywhere from $800 to $3000 a month. Cost of hiring, training and employee benefits are some extra charges that you will have to bear.
4. Hire a Professional Agency
This is perhaps the best option if you have the budget. There is no risk of unfinished work and unprofessional services as in the case of freelancer. You can find reputable digital marketing agencies that will design infographics within your overall content marketing strategy.
There are even niche digital marketing companies that only make infographics. Check out Neomam’s work on interactive Infographics to see the possibilities with Infographics
These agencies may charge you anywhere from $500 to $5000 per infographic. You may get a better deal if your agency handles all of your content marketing and charges you for the whole package.
Some of the known names in field are Only Infographics, Visual.ly and DKNewMedia. DKNewMedia and Visual.ly are premium agencies and are known to charge in the range of $4000 and above.
Not all agencies are expensive though. There are many lesser known agencies that do an excellent job minus the exorbitant price.
Bringing It All Together
Infographics are great to capture your audience because they are visual stories that people love to read. By inserting data and statistics you can make them helpful as well as interesting for your readers. They work because visual, are sharable and easily digestible.
Creating an effective infographic that gets you tons of traffic requires that you set a clear objective for it. The infographic must answer what your audience is interested in and have a compelling story and design. Promoting infographic on various platforms is equally important to get early traffic.
Lastly remember to treat infographics as a part of your overall content marketing strategy and not a standalone piece.
Whether you decide to make your own Infographic or hire and agency, a good quality and helpful infographic is sure to get you backlinks, earn traffic and improve your brand awareness.
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1 year ago on
How to Market Your Business With LinkedIn
LinkedIn is not just limited to job seekers and professionals; nowadays, businesses also make use of this platform for their growth.
Using LinkedIn, you can generate leads by making connections, establishing partnerships and also for creating exceptional brand awareness.
LinkedIn is an expert professional social platform. Organizations have direct access to their customers where they can market with their status updates, pictures and other posts.
As the platform consists of an entirely different crowd, LinkedIn marketing requires an alternative way to get the results you need.
In order to explore LinkedIn as a marketing network, here are 12 marketing hacks you can use to discover new clients, make new contacts, and eventually develop your business.
1. First, make your own profile
You might be wondering why your own profile comes first rather than your company profile on LinkedIn. No! We are not wrong! It is because your profile and the profiles of other employees of your organization make up the roof for your organization’s image on the network.
When targeted audience searches for your name and visits your profile, you need them to discover something catchy that influences you to stand out from other employees of your competitors.
There are a lot of chances to excite the people who view your profile. Focus on completing your profile and after that streamline your profile in the long run; including your new aptitudes, accomplishments, and cases of your outstanding work.
2. Create an outstanding company page
Your company LinkedIn page is important as it showcases your company’s image. Your company page should be simple enough and be inviting for your targeted customers to understand about your organization, learn more about the employees in the association, and hook up with your content.
Creating a company page is of free for everyone, so you don’t need to worry how much to pay for your profile. Need guidance on how to start a free LinkedIn page, you can find it here.
3. Determine your marketing goals
It is crucial to determine your LinkedIn marketing goals which generally include creating leads and raising awareness of the brand.
When you have an idea of what you need to achieve, it will be quite simpler to determine your target audience.
For instance, if your company is making toys and currently only focus on developing their business on one area, you can set your ad campaigns in a manner that it will be only shown to people who come from that particular place or near that place.
4. Enhance company page to find targeted customers
It is important that you need to enhance your company page to find targeted customers. You need to optimize your company page in such a way that it should appear easily when someone is searching for your company details.
Also, company page should be SEO friendly; for that, you need to do the following:
- Suitable Keywords: Make sure that you include suitable keywords for defining what your company offers. The keywords should be the one the target audience is most probable of searching on the internet.
- Link to your company website: Linking the company’s LinkedIn page with your company website is crucial as it will help in increasing your search ranking.
Not only your company website, you can even link to blogs and include marketing materials. Also, make sure employees of your organization update their LinkedIn profiles; as they add your company as their workplace, a link is made back to your company LinkedIn page.
- Offer consistent content: A standout amongst other approaches to enhance your rankings and to include your company in search results is by consistently sharing relevant content.
All the more often as possible you share content that engages the audience, the higher your company will show up in Google’s search results.
5. Add the maximum number of followers
When you get followers for your company page, your updates show up specifically on their LinkedIn page. The more followers you have, chances are also higher your updates will get more views.
Encourage your employees to share the content on their page so that it will reach more people. Also don’t forget to promote company page via emails, messages and so on to various people to attract more followers.
Make sure that you add ‘Follow’ button on your page so that the visitors only need to click on that to always get your updates.
6. Post first-rate content
Ensure that your content is of high-quality because it should be engaging and also focus to achieve two objectives. First, it should help others to take care of an issue or how to carry out their activity better.
What’s more, then it sets you up as an ideal thought leader in that space. If you are offering viewers with valuable content, every aspect of it normally prompts more business.
7. Sponsor your high engaging update
Not only constant updates are necessary, but also when one of the updates goes viral you should think of sponsoring that update. It is an advertising strategy where businesses pay to promote their update into a user’s LinkedIn feed.
LinkedIn users have the privilege to select their interested industries so that they don’t have to receive unnecessary updates and messages from other industry.
So a sponsored update can be a fantastic method to promote thought leadership content which is valuable basically for the targeted audience with a solid invitation to take action.
By promoting your content through this system, your business can focus on a speciality crowd, increase visitors to the website and create potential customers if the content is sufficiently convincing. Know more about here.
8. Constantly influence targeted customers
It is essential to have consistent updates on your page. Images, colours, and content should be consistent with your site and other social media profiles of your business.
The page needs to be updated always to create the impression that the brand is dynamic and active. Keep in mind that it makes a terrible impression on audience mind if the social media networks are updated once in a month or haven’t updated in months.
9. Make sure of your custom URL
Everybody should ensure that they have their custom URL with their name, for example, http://linkedin.com/in/yourname. This is particularly critical for individuals who have a great deal of contact with potential customers..
When you ensure that you have your custom URL, you are also ensuring that your LinkedIn profile comes up in the search engine results.
10. Focus first on connections and then on relation building
Through LinkedIn, business owners or entrepreneurs can connect with their prospects, targeted partners, and other entrepreneurs. What’s more, once the connections are made, the owner can choose how to sustain those connections to build a relationship.
11. Utilize LinkedIn Advertisement campaigns
There are two ways of ad campaigns in LinkedIn – self-service ads and paid campaigns. Like setting up your company page, it is also critical to define the ad campaign goals to understand if it is boosting brand awareness, bringing leads, or building relationships.
12. Make use of LinkedIn analytics
When you are done with creating valuable content for your page, don’t think you are done with that. You also need to monitor your targeted audiences’ behaviours and preferences. For that, you need to make use of various analytic methods of LinkedIn.
- For monitoring and enhancing your company page’s free campaign performance, you can make use of LinkedIn’s company page analytics.
- Enhance your paid campaign performance with assistance from your LinkedIn campaign manager analytics.
Observing your LinkedIn analytics dashboard day by day can enable you to settle on information based choices that prompt better outcomes.
We hope that this article has helped you in getting an idea to launch and maintain your LinkedIn page to successfully market your products and services. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to share with us. We would love to hear you.
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2 years ago on
How Will Wearable Technology Change the Ways of Marketing
Wearable technology has arrived in mainstream gadgets such as smart watches and fitness wrist bands during the past years.
According to Tractica, total shipments of all wearble device is set to cross 560 million pieces with an estimated device revenue of $95 billion by 2021.
From eye-wear that gives additional information on the world around you to smart-wear t shirts that track your athletic performance, technology is going to fused with daily objects.
Levi’s has already partnered with Google for Project Jacquard (smart jacket).
The denim jacket has a smart tag on the sleeve cuff that allows cyclists to control their paired smartphone.
For marketers this is an opportunity just like mobile device was in early 2000s.
Wearable technology has the potential to change how marketers gather data, reach out to users, advertise and convert customers.
Here are the aspects of marketing that wearable technology will change:
- Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing strategy will have to adapt to wearable devices. Smaller screens on smart watches and eye-wear mean that information has to be less than 140 characters.
Marketers cannot rely on blogs and videos to pull in users. This will put pressure on marketers to come up with snippets of information that are relevant to readers.
This is not necessarily bad news though. Wearables will also give marketers lots of real time information (as we will see in next point) that will allow them to come up with extremely targeted messages.
Content may also be delivered in voice as most wearables lack screens.
Integrating wearables in your content marketing plan requires changing your content length, format and delivery.
- Data on Users
Until now we have only been collecting data on user demographics and online behaviour. Wearables will give offline data on users that was previously impossible.
Data on physiological changes, daily routines and decision making process can be ground-breaking revelations for your brand.
Imagine knowing the eye pupil dilation of a consumer as she walks across shelves in departmental stores.
This will give an indication of level on interests in products and her reaction to new product.
This data is possible with wearables that monitor user bodily functions 24×7.
Such detailed data will allow marketers to define their audience, build better products and give more personalized content.
- Buyer’s Journey
How we purchase products today is very different from the way we purchased ten years ago.
Today, a typical consumer goes through search information, multiple websites, mobile apps and sometimes in-store visits before deciding to buy.
In fact, Google’s ZMOT research suggests that an average consumer has more than 10 brand touch-points on his customer journey.
Wearables will also alter this buyer’s journey by adding to it or maybe even making it shorter.
Timely push notifications by a brand may speed up the process by giving enough touch-points in a shot span of time.
More importantly, brand interactions will become part of the usual day where brands don’t have to sit around waiting for users to log in online for interaction.
An example could be a blood sugar level alert after every meal by a healthcare brand.
- Wearables App Development
Most wearables do not have screens fit for traditional website and mobile applications.
For this marketers will have to invest in wearable optimized application. The content of the application must be customized to buyer’s stage with clear call to action to move the customer further along the funnel.
Wearable apps could be used to send push notifications that compel users to check brand apps or website.
The marketing funnel itself may not change much but the steps and call to action will change according to the device.
Whether users will actually make purchase on smart watches remains to be tested.
However, going by the number of people using mobile apps for sensitive tasks such as banking, it is possible that people will embrace any channel that is convenient and safe.
- Paid Ad Strategy
Marketers will also have to rethink their digital paid advertisement strategy. Consider the following advancements in technology:
- No screen for wearable will mean more emphasis on voice search
- Internet of Things (IoT) means all your gadgets are interconnected
- Emergence of Artificial intelligence means ad platforms are continuously learning about you
All these changes mean that users will no longer be targeted by keywords but by real- life situations they are in.
For example, your smartwatch would know through connection with smart coffee machine that your coffee beans are over.
In turn your ad could be ‘read out’ by the virtual assistant (like Siri) as a suggestion to order coffee beans.
This could be wearable’s own ad platform or an extension of current platforms like Google Adwords to wearable.
Let’s Wrap it Up
Wearable technology is still in its early phase but will be common by 2021.
The interplay of wearables, AI, machine learning, voice search and internet of things is going to bring about a massive change in how businesses market their products.
Marketers must use this to serve relevant information. Pushing intrusive content on a personal wearable can ring data privacy alarms for consumers.
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2 years ago on
How Blockchain Technology Could Change Marketing in Future
Blockchain is the technology underlying crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.
However, it has the potential to change every industry and every function of a business. The technology which is still in its early stage is all set to change the way we work, transact and sell.
Here is a simplified explanation of blockchain:
“Blockchain is a ledger or record keeping technology that records all the transactions in a global distributed network.”
You may be wondering why a decentralized book-keeping is such a big deal and what exactly the use of such a technology is.
To understand this lets take an example of the banking industry.
When you transfer $100 to your friend you simply give your money to her.
Have you thought why you need a bank at all in between?
The bank’s job is to record the transaction and validate it.
The bank verifies that you have $100 less in your account and your friend has $100 more in her account.
Now, imagine a technology that records this transfer of money in a distributed network so that anyone can see how the money has moved.
There is no requirement of a bank in this case. Blockchain is a technology that can record the movement of assets and value online.
It restores trust in the system without the need of an intermediary to do so.
It is a radical way of doing transactions that is going to change our systems, institutions and business models.
Here is a video by World Economic Forum for more clarity.
From financial institutions to healthcare industry, blockchain technology is set to disrupt all sectors.
Marketing is another area where the technology will bring about change.
Marketers will have to rethink their marketing strategy in a blockchain enabled world, just like they had to embrace digital marketing with the introduction of the internet.
Here are some changes in marketing we can foresee with the blockchain technology:
1. Verification of Ad Delivery
Many startups are working in digital advertising space to change how digital ads work.
Blockchain can embed a tracker in ad creative and trace its journey across web to give you data on its impression, audience and action.
2. Paid Ad Platforms could be Eliminated
To take the above idea further it is even possible that ad platforms such as Adwords and Facebook Ads are eliminated in the future.
This is because theses platforms are currently owning the customer data and selling it to businesses for advertising.
In a blockchain economy, internet users could keep their search data private and sell it directly to businesses.
This eliminates ad platforms and allows buyers and advertisers to contact each other directly.
3. Proof of Claims on Products
Marketers usually use claims like ‘100% organic’ or ‘500 customers served successfully’.
However, how do the customers trust these claims? They usually have to fall back on the brand authority or a friend’s recommendation.
Blockchain will allow claims to be verified in real time by the customer.
Imagine a QR code on fruits that can be scanned to see the whole supply chain, right from where it is sourced, its chemical processing to its distribution channel.
All claims made by marketers could be verified by shared document that cannot be modified or tampered with.
Wal-Mart is already using this to verify supply chain for pork inventory using IBM Blockchain platform.
4. Loyalty Points could be Traded
It would be possible to trade loyalty points by customers using blockchain technology.
Consumers typically have reward points from various companies in travel, retail and finance.
Keeping a track of all loyalty points and their terms and conditions becomes difficult in such a case and most of the benefits are not used.
A blockchain based loyalty platform will allow for traceable exchange of points among customers.
This will mean that marketers will have to get innovative with their loyalty programs and benefits given.
A valuable loyalty point will attract more buyers to the brand.
IBM is already working on a blockchain infrastructure for loyalty and reward program in partnership with a startup called Loyyal.
5. Smart Contracts with Influencers and Consumers
Contracts are a complex maze of legal words and conditions. Most of the parties don’t even read it and enforcing such contracts becomes a difficult task for everyone involved.
This could change with the introduction of smart contracts.
Smart contracts are self executing and maintain a traceable record of all actions and asset transactions in blockchain.
To understand take an example of a smart contract with a social media influencer that your brand has tied up with.
Smart contract can state that payment will be done to the influencer when the post containing your brand name will reach 1000 views.
The payment is done automatically form your account once 1000 views are reached and none of the party has to worry about execution of contract.
Smart contracts would also be used for brand and consumer transactions.
It’s because, smart contacts are self-regulating and verifiable across all the networks.
Smart contracts will restore trusts among everyone doing business.
Bringing it all together
These are some of the disruptive changes we can foresee in marketing.
Blockchain start ups and big tech companies have already started working on them.
However, we never know how the blockchain economy is going to shape up.
It is still too early to see the full scale of change that blockchain technology is going to bring, just like it was difficult to predict how the internet would revolutionize the world back in 1990.
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How Chatbots Can Help Marketing and Sales
Chatbots have significantly developed in the last few years, owing to the evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) that controls them. They now serve as sophisticated tools and can assist you in automating several business processes.
Apart from being efficient at handling customer care queries, chatbots can help to boost marketing initiatives and drive the customer smoothly through the sales funnel. Given below are some of the ways in which chatbots fit into your marketing strategy:
1. A Personalized Experience for your Target Audience
Interacting with someone who identifies you by name impacts the nature of the conversation greatly. Chatbots align with social media and gather information about every individual they come across. Chatbots respond to queries accurately and further provide shopping advice based on users’ interest and behaviour.
2. Keeps the User Engaged
Chatbots are successful in engaging as well as retaining your customer. This is because, unlike other marketing efforts, chatbots have the capacity to entertain your audience for long. For instance, a video has the ability to engage the target audience but once it is over, the users’ interest in you is also over. On the other hand, a chatbot grabs the users’ attention, captures more information while interacting with them and sends personalized as well as engaging content relevant to your brand, product, and services.
3. Enhances Your Audience Network
Chatbots mostly exist on social media platforms. This means that they are able to reach vaster audiences and can tap larger demographics for your brand. They can be integrated with different messaging applications giving the customer more avenues to connect with you. As a result, you are in a better position to enhance sales with newer opportunities and prospects.
4. Capture Customer Feedback
A chatbot makes it easier for you to collect feedback from your customers. Generally, people do not like to answer questions or complete a survey if there is no incentive involved in it. However, a chatbot subtly approaches the customer gathering feedback in the form of questions through conversations.
Furthermore, by installing the right machine learning tools, chatbots can analyze the data that has been received, giving you more insight into how you can improve your marketing strategies. You can focus more on your customers’ needs and develop an inbound marketing plan which helps to generate leads and sales.
5. Develop Relevant Messaging
A brand’s messaging is crucial to make or break its image. If customers constantly receive emails, newsletters, and other notifications, they tend to get irritated. Chatbots analyze the data that has been collected and send out customized and relevant communication to users through social media. This way, consumers only receive the information they are interested in and seek to know more about the brand.
6. Make Brand Interactions Fun
We all know that chatbots deliver quality information to customers but what they also do is make communication fun. This means that your marketing efforts make a lasting impact on your consumer and increase the number of users visiting your website. Links to relevant blog posts and other content pieces can be shared for consumers to interact with the brand.
7. Proactively Reach Out to Customers
Brands generally like to adopt a passive approach. They only communicate with a user when they have been contacted. A chatbot, on the other hand, welcomes the user when they visit your website or social media page and inform them of their availability. You appear to be more proactive this way and therefore enhance your brand’s reputation, increase interactions and sales numbers.
8. Make the Sales Process Smoother
Leads must be nurtured to help buyers successfully complete their sales journey. However, this can be a time-consuming process. Chatbots enable you to collect important information and accordingly send personalized messages to the users.
A chatbot-based lead-nurturing campaign can be made extremely successful by capturing user data and performing split testing on the messages you create for the target audience. This approach helps you to understand the right marketing strategy and really nurture every lead that comes your way through the website or social media profiles.
Two-way communication via messaging applications has become the ideal way of interacting with customers and reaching out to them. This is exactly why chatbots are becoming the need of the hour. A chatbot integrated into your marketing strategy can help you gather information about prospects, personalize marketing efforts, improve target audience reach, and generate more sales and revenue through social media.