10 ways to promote word of mouth marketing

word of mouth

Building a brand from the ground up is no simple task no matter the business. Besides the incredible amount of work that you have to put in from the start, there is a lot that is out of your control. Word of mouth marketing is still king so it’s important to build a brand that people will be passionate about. Whether they are talking about you to their friends in person or writing a Yelp! review, what they say will largely be what the general consensus is about your business. Knowing this, there are a number or things that are within your control to ensure that your brand is one worth talking about.

Here are 10 energizers which inspire people to spread the word about you.

  1. People will share your message, if it makes them look clever. This is why social networks are packed with Einstein quotes.
  2. People will share your message, if it makes them appear generous to their friends or community
  3. People will share your message, if they think it will make them look informed, ahead of the curve or cutting-edge.
  4. People will share your message, if it’s remarkable. Extremely satisfied customers tell their friends when they receive an amazing service.
  5. People will share your message, if they are paid to. Such as bloggers who write sponsored posts, affiliate marketers and advertising providers.
  6. People will share your message, if they are part of your community and want others to join in.
  7. People will share your message, if they believe it will help you and they care about you.
  8. People will share your message, if it’s baked into your product or service. When you see someone using an Apple MacBook in public, there’s an illuminated apple on the rear of their screen.
  9. People will share your message, if it says something they aren’t brave enough to say for themselves.
  10. People will share your message, if they believe it’s of great value and that their friends need to know.

Crowdfunding Done Right: 10 Tips for a Successful Campaign


Since Kickstarter brought crowdfunding into the public spotlight in 2009, it has become one of the simplest ways for aspiring businesses to raise the necessary funds to pursue their endeavors. So what is crowdfunding exactly? At its simplest, crowdfunding is a method of raising small amounts of money from a large numbers of people online. The fundraising method had drastically changed the landscape of the startup scene in recent years, now requiring a set of skills that wasn’t needed in the past and making it something to keep an eye on going forward. If you’re considering undergoing a crowdfunding campaign it would benefit you to take these 10 tips under consideration to give yourself the best chance of success.

1. Set a realistic goal

Undertaking a business endeavor isn’t cheap. It costs a lot of money and man hours, but before you begin to ask for money its important to take an objective look at your business plan and compare it to similar business that have taken the crowdfunding route before you. If you’re asking too much, your potential investors might not view your idea as a realistic enterprise.

2. Maximize visibility by using a popular platform

Making your potential investors comfortable goes a long way when you’re trying to raise money. The easiest way to do this is to use a reputable platform such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or Indiegogo that has been in the public spotlight for some time.

3. Optimize your pitch

A clear, concise message is important when pitching your vision. If your goals aren’t easily explained or your funding needs not clearly defined it’s likely that you won’t be able to get your project to take off. Take the time to evaluate whether your pitch is the best that it can be so that it resonates with your audience. Make them want to contribute to a great idea.

4. Know your s**t

You’re not going to be able to raise the amount of money that you need without people asking questions. Make sure you’re able to answer any questions that potential backers might have and that you can delineate how their money is going to be spent. Being able to answer investors’ questions quickly and thoroughly shows a maturity and level of professionalism that will make people take you and your vision seriously.

5. Take advantage of your established connections

Some crowdfunding campaigns spawn from a desire to expand an already existing business. If this is the case then your best bet to raise money early on is to reach out to already existing customers. Whether you maintain contact with them via a newsletter or word of mouth, make sure that you let them know what you’re trying to do.

6. Share your success

It’s easy to understand why most people might be hesitant to jump aboard with your idea. It’s a risk that either will or won’t pan out. Showing the numbers is a great way to help build confidence in your potential investors. By this I mean to say that you should show the number of people who have contributed to your crowdfunding campaign as well as how close you are to your funding goal. It’s also a great idea to share updates on the progress of your vision.

7. Social media is your friend

Social media is one of the most powerful tools you can use to drive traffic to your campaign and is one of the biggest changes to the way that people have raised money with crowdfunding. Posting regular status update and engaging with your audience provides exposure and lets people know you’re not just in it for the money. Be a real person, not a corporation. It creates a relatable experience that people will want to engage in.

8. Offer rewards to your investors.

As is the case with any business, providing incentive can do a lot to build an audience and motivate investors. While you may have the occasional person who altruistically invests in your vision, it doesn’t hurt to offer something in exchange for someones support. Most crowdfunding platforms are great at helping you implement a tier system wherein you can assign different levels of rewards based on how much a person invests. If you’re idea is worth people investing in, those people are worth thanking in some way.

9. Any press is good press (mostly)

Assuming you’re not just out to con people out of their money, taking your idea to the press can do nothing but bring good exposure to your campaign. The press is always looking for a fresh story and people have a natural affinity for the underdog. Send out press releases to local publications and TV stations to get your product/idea out there.

10. Give Thanks

At the end of the day, if your campaign sees itself succeeding it’s important to thank the people who helped get you there. Not only is it common courtesy, but it’s also a reflection of the kind of business yours will become, and creating a positive image for yourself can only help to gain more followers and potential customers.



4 Qualities of A Bad Design Client

Design Client

Every designer has gone through the following scenario at some point. You get a new design client for some work. It may be for an app, a website, business collateral or a logo/branding overhaul. The work is pretty straightforward after you get to know the client a little bit and understand the values of the company or business entity, and what they are looking for. You grind away on the project, and finish with what you think is close to a final product. Then comes the feedback loop. For me this includes asking designer friends what they think (provided I haven’t had to sign an NDA) as well as my colleagues. The most important feedback of all comes from the design client though. After all, it’s them who’s lining your pockets. This is where the trouble begins. Despite general positive feedback from others, they aren’t happy with what you’ve done. It’s frustrating, but it’s part of the job, and it’s up to you to fix it. But how much feedback is too much? How far is too far when it comes to criticism and input? As designers, we live and die by our portfolios, so it’s important to know how to recognize a bad design client and cut ties. Here are some of the more obvious character flaws.

Closed Minded

You’ll always come across these people who are set in their ways. They refuse to be open about the most minute changes such as a color swap or font replacement despite delineating a design plan that clearly indicated such changes would be necessary. They often are the type to hover over your shoulder throughout a project, making sure everything is done exactly as they say and usually not accepting of new ideas or creative solutions. In order for a project to be successful, both the designer and client need to be open to compromise. If your client comes across as closed minded it may be time to pull the plug because they’re certainly not someone you want to work with.


I cannot count the number of times it’s been suggested to me by friends and potential clients alike to do something for free because “it’s just art,” or “it’s just design.” I spent the same amount of time time as everyone else learning the principles and practices of my field so that I could provide a financial means to live my life. To have it discounted by anyone is offensive to me and it should be to other designers as well. A disrespectful design client often sees themselves above you and can be condescending. Don’t work with these people.


Bad design clients often believe that once they detail the scope of the project, the entirety of its responsibility falls on you, the designer. They refuse to become involved until the very end and often tell you things like, “I trust you,” and “Just take care of it and we’ll review when you’re finished.” No. No. NO. Designers require constant feedback on the process to make sure there is no time wasted on something that will eventually be scrapped. Explaining these points to a client usually results in a mutual understanding with them being willing to play their part, but there will always be the few that are too busy to give you their time.

Unopen to Criticism

Part of designing is being open to criticism at all times. It’s something we learn early on in our careers and eventually learn to utilize to inform and mold our decisions and design styles. That being said, it should be obvious that this same level of maturity and ability to take criticism is expected of any professional. If a design client can’t handle criticism it’s a red flag warning of a bad client. Drawing from the last two points, often times design clients overlook the fact that designers are experts in their field and utilize their artistic expertise to solve problems just like anyone else. That being the case, the same level of deference should be given to a designer’s suggestions as someone would give a lawyer for their council.


For hilarious and horrible real life examples of what it’s like working with a bad design client please visit clientsfromhell.net/ 



The Major ? s to Marketing Success as Learned from DJ Khaled

dj khaled

If anyone had asked me just a couple months ago what I thought about DJ Khaled I most likely would have responded, “who? That annoying dude that screams his own name and ‘WE THA BEST’ over every annoying club anthem ever and does nothing else? He’s a joke.” Today, my answer to that question is very very different. Today, if you asked me what I think about DJ Khaled I’ll say, “he’s smart. He’s loyal. He’s the best. He’s arguably the most supportive person in my life. He’s a social media sensation, a marketer, and dare I say it, a revolutionary.” So what happened to sway my opinion you ask? Pure and simple, I followed him on Snapchat.

At some point in the last few months DJ Khaled took to snapchat, thought it a great idea to make his username publicly available, and starting broadcasting his lifestyle to millions of would be fans like myself, making it the fulcrum of his resounding social success the way that Instagram has been for Kim Kardashian. His infectious Khaledisms such as “Major ? alert,” “Cloth talk,” and “They don’t want you to win” have steadily worked their way across other social media platforms and even snuck into daily conversation amongst millennials. Whether people are saying  these things ironically or jokingly is irrelevant. The point is that they have caught on and generated an insane demand for more everything from DJ Khaled (ANOTHA ONE!), that most other public figures and major companies would salivate over. So are there lessons to be learned from DJ Khaled that you can follow? You bet your ass there are.

Major ? #1

Capturing emotion and creating personal moments is what marketing is all about. Is your company taking customers behind the scenes? Are you taking them through your routine, sharing breakfast, or living it up at a nightclub? DJ Khaled makes it a point to share the intimate moments of his life whether it be hanging out with Diddy and Rick Ross or checking to see what Chef Dee made for breakfast. He makes you feel like you’re a part of his day and then he proves that you are in a major way: Fan Luv. Beyond letting viewers see his life, he invites them into it, often posting the address of where he’s going to be and inviting any of his fans to come see him, creating minutes long stories of his own and allowing said fans to record their own 10 second max snap of the fleeting time they got to be a part of the DJ Khaled microcosm. He’s establishing a genuine emotional connection and relating to his fans and not just boasting about how many he has. And lastly, he doesn’t just go home and call it a day when it’s all said and done. He reminds us all to be grateful and count our blessings, something that all companies know, but very few express.

Major ? #2

You should care about your brand than anybody else and you should let everyone know it. There is no doubt in my mind hat DJ Khaled would bet it all on his brand being “THE BEST.” His brand, from the music he produces to the clothing he sells, is the accumulation of his life’s work and the grind he’s had to put in over the last two decades to get to where he is now. Khaled knows this and takes it upon himself to impenitently tell the rest of us over snapchat, often wearing clothes and flip flops from his We The Best line or listening to his own music during his “elliptical talk” work outs. Repetition of these not-so-outlandish statements is vital to his success. He knows in his heart that he’s the best and he won’t let the rest of us forget it. It’s as if he took a page out of the public speaking book. Tell them what you’re going to show them, show them, then tell them what you showed them. DJ Khaled is the master of this kind of repetition, and it works. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be wearing a pair of his flip flops right now. For those who have the gall to call him out or disagree, DJ Khaled would like you to not “play yourself”, “bow down”, and “just know,” because.

Major ? #3

This key follows directly from the previous one. Marketing means nothing without a decent product. While the quality of his clothing line cannot be derived from simply watching DJ Khaled’s snapchat (which is why I bought a pair of his sandals. They’re super comfortable.), what cannot be argued is the vitality and success of his music. You can’t say you’re the best at something without having the proof to back it up and Khaled can do that. Over the last decade DJ Khaled has had anthem after anthem go platinum. These were all before he was on snapchat too. He is the living embodiment of what it means to have a top quality product before you can even start thinking of pitching it to the masses.



Marketing Predictions for 2016: Our Top 25




marketing predictions

Our favorite finds of everyone else’s marketing predictions for 2016

It’s the beginning of a new year and you know what that means! Coming back from being a bum, hitting the ground running at work, resolutions that most of us won’t keep, and everyones yearly list of marketing predictions that will rule the year. The tradition of publishing these types of marketing predictions has been held for as long as the industry has been around, and it’s not going anywhere so long as technology and the marketing industry continue to evolve.From ad blockers and wearable tech to Snapchat (Shoutout DJ Khaled) and Periscope, the threshold of a new age is being reached, and as always, we must move with it. This year, instead of bothering to come up with our own marketing predictions list that would just echo the hundreds of others available to you, we’ve decided to curate everyone else’s ! YAY! So without further ado, in no particular order, here are our 25 favorite marketing predictions for 2016!

1. Mobile moves beyond the phone
Even as smartphones have come to dominate the desktop, the concept of mobile itself is fast moving beyond just phones. Mobile no longer means just your phone or tablet, but increasingly your watch, your car, even your fashion accessories and the clothes you wear. The rise of wearables is going to have a profound effect on mobile marketing overall. EMarketer expects that two in five Internet users will use wearables by 2019, a figure I personally believe under-represents the total market. Smart watches will likely drive wearable adoption, and over the next few years most watch manufacturers will be incorporating elements of wearables into their phones, dramatically expanding the overall market. Wearables, by their very nature, are more intimate and provide deeper data about consumers. Marketers will need to work hard to tease out the opportunity for each of the different device types, and each one will have its own unique format and requirements.

Luxury Daily

2. Marketers will chase influencers: What’s considered the most rapidly expanding way to to acquire new customers? It’s influencer marketing. Recent surveys suggest that getting authorities or celebrities to mention or promote products might grow faster than SEO, PPC ads, and content marketing. Tactics to attract influencers vary, but they might include sending free products to review, offering cross promotion, or simply paying a fee

Business 2 Community

3. Ad blockers threaten online organizations

Many modern technology companies and publishers watch with bated breath as ad blockers become more popular. Ad blockers represent a determined effort on the part of Web surfers to avoid annoying, irrelevant, overreaching and resource-heavy ads that flood their screens, according to eMarketer. However, those ads often fund the online content Web surfers want to view, and that’s bad news for many online organizations.

The situation is expected to worsen for advertisers in 2016 as more users become aware of and choose to implement system-level ad blocking functionality, according to eMarketer. In a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook wrote: “These technologies have had an adverse effect on our financial results, and if such technologies continue to proliferate, in particular with respect to mobile platforms, our future financial results may be harmed.”


4. The Old Guard Still Stands

As we adapt to new trends in 2016, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of up and coming trends. Researching these programs and modeling ROI is no short feat, so it’s best to hone in on the top trends within your industry. That said, 2016 also presents an opportunity to reset and get back to basics. Do some new keyword research. Audit and inventory your on page SEO. React to news and trends within your industry. Dive into your social reporting and evaluate your sending times. Segment your marketing database to see if there is any new persona insight for your efforts. Test new types of marketing emails.

With clearly defined goals, there’s no limit to the marketing methods you can employ throughout 2016. Which channel has caught your eye? Let us know in the comments.

-Business 2 Community

5. The Majority Of Email Opens Will Be On Mobile Devices

During 2015, the percentage of email opens on mobile devices averaged 49 percent, with mobile opens surging in November and December, according to Litmus’ Email Analytics data. Webmail, especially desktop opens, will continue to decline.

In 2016, opens on the Outlook desktop app will fall to around five percent as businesses continue to shift away from expensive desktop suites like Microsoft Office toward more scalable services like Google Apps and Outlook 365. Cloud-based software will continue to disrupt installed and on-premise software.

Marketing Land

6. Messaging Apps Will Turn Into eShops

50% of all Indian Internet users definitely access these two apps: Facebook and Whatsapp. This clearly indicates that messaging apps is the next big thing in terms of platform for digital marketers, and 2016 will be the dawn of that age.

In China, there is an messaging app called Weixin, which is a localized version of WeChat app. Around 600 million Chinese are hardcore users of this app; but there is a twist in this story: Besides chatting with their friends (and making calls), users of Weixin also shop heavily on this platform. In fact, average revenue per user on Weixin is $7, which is 7 times that of WhatsApp! They book air tickets, order food, play games, fix doctor’s appointment and lot more.

Very soon, this will become a norm in India as well.


7. Twitter

Twitter has rolled out a lot of major changes this year, including the curated Moments, feed, polls, tweet collections, and polls. Despite these moves, Twitter’s growth was slow in 2015, with only an increase of 11 percent, for an overall market share of 4.8 percent. Twitter is likely to continue to try new ways to increase their market share in 2016 with new features such as allowing tweets to be edited, offering new emoji tools, enhanced engagement options for events (such as customized emojis), and continuing to encourage those with customer service questions to turn to Twitter as opposed to reaching out to companies via other avenues.

There are rumors that Google is considering purchasing Twitter to replace Google+, which would be a huge shake-up in the world of social networking. Twitter has already teamed up with Google by providing Google with data to power search results, and Twitter’s small business groups worked with Google ads on a new marketing campaign. Google doesn’t want to lose any ground to Facebook in the advertising market, and losing its access to social search with the loss of Google+ could really hurt Google’s bottom line.


8. Traditional advertising will integrate more with social media

 In 2015, brands will finally figure out how to integrate social media into their traditional advertising campaigns. It may not sound bold, but stick with me on this: commercials are great for generating awareness, but by integrating hashtags and social media channels, brands can tell their story beyond the :30 spot, print ad, or billboard. Traditional is the introduction to a product or service and social media is the dialog and body of the conversation and experience that converts to sale. Millennials make up one-third of the US population, and advertisers’ desire to connect with and engage this audience, and make them into lifelong consumers, will have us seeing more #hashtags in 2015.

iMedia Connection

9. Engagement ads will be the main display driver.

As search evolves, ad types do as well. The newest and most interactive ad type is called an ‘engagement ad’ which allows for a larger light box to appear once an ad is hovered over for more than 2 seconds or is clicked on. Once the ad is opened, the user can choose between watching videos, shopping directly within the lightbox, or engaging in other ways with the brand, without ever visiting the brand’s site right away. Because of this, brand engagement will dramatically increase, causing incremental conversion gains and increased use of engagement advertising.

iMedia Connection

10. Increase in Bing search

 Since Windows 10 launched in July, Bing advertisers have been expecting to see a lot of opportunity for more search volume, because Bing is its default search engine. Windows 10 users will instinctively search with Bing because it’s built in to the user experience. Instead of launching an app or browser, users can easily access an “ask me anything” box which appears at the bottom of the screen at all times, and Cortana (a virtual assistant similar to Apple’s Siri) defaults to Bing search results.

Additionally, Microsoft’s Edge browser (which has replaced Internet Explorer) allows users to highlight text in the browser and right click for Cortana to bring up Bing results in a sidebar. It also just launched Bing Native Ads, which can appear across MSN.com (the default Windows 10 start page) and are managed within the Bing Ads interface. As long as Windows 10 remains relevant, we predict a continued increase in Bing search in 2016.


11. Death of single-page websites

We have always advised clients against adopting this trend. It’s no secret that SEO is much more challenging for single-page sites. Since the content is saturated on one page, search engines will only index that page for keywords. This means you’re missing opportunities to have multiple pages indexed for a variety of associated keywords.

A multi-page site gives you more chances to be known for all the things your company does, and it gives consumers multiple site entry points. We foresee the single page trend going away in 2016 as marketers realize their sites are being penalized for this design, and they’re losing out on valuable leads.


12. Influencer marketing will be responsible for 100 million in holiday sales in 2016.


According to a study by Tomoson, businesses are making 6.50 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. With this massive return on investment, it’s safe to say brands will rake in even higher sales in 2016, particularly during the spending storm we all know as the holiday season. Recognizing this, global brands like Hallmark, Scotch and Kraft have already partnered with influencers as part of their holiday campaigns this year. Influencer marketing campaigns are also one of the most targeted methods for driving in-store traffic during the holiday season, which is crucial at a time when more and more consumers are spending their money on flashy Cyber Monday sales rather than trekking to brick-and-mortar stores.

Huffington Post

13. Marketers Will A/B Test Technologies Before Buying Them

In keeping with the theme of getting more from their technology investments, marketers will increasingly test and compare new applications before buying them. This is made possible by the emergence of tag management providers, which make it easy to add or remove digital marketing solutions from web and mobile channels, compared with manual tagging.

This helps marketers dramatically shorten deployments, from months to hours, and avoid traditional “vendor lock-in,” where the time and cost to replace one solution with another really wasn’t worth the hassle, especially across a large digital presence.

This is the year savvy marketers will learn to test drive their shiny new solutions, even A/B testing the performance of different vendors, before buying them.

Although marketers may have hit “peak martech,” according to Brinker, technology will continue to be a major focus among marketers in 2016. We should see these trends play out in the new year and beyond, as marketers feel the pressure to maximize their technology usage, embrace mobile marketing (finally), and pay heed to growing privacy concerns.

Marketing Land

14. Mobile Payments Will Take Off

Despite the ascent of ecommerce and mcommerce over the past decade, trillions of dollars are transacted annually in the US at brick-and-mortar retailers—a reality that isn’t going away anytime soon, if ever. But the divide between digital and physical commerce will be further bridged in 2016, as mobile wallets become a standard feature on newer smartphones and more retailers accept proximity payments from systems like Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and others.

But simply swapping cash and credit or debit cards with a tap or scan of a smartphone won’t be enough to convince the majority of consumers to change decades of ingrained payment behavior. Connecting more of the retail commerce experience to mobile wallets, especially when it comes to offers, coupons, rewards and loyalty, will be critical to getting more people to pay with their phones.


15. Video will come under scrutiny


2016 will be the year of virtuous video, the year when the use of mobile video as an editorial and marketing tool is properly put under scrutiny.

Customers want to watch and share great creative, and marketers want measurable results. As such, I predict the beginning of the end for one second auto-play mute video played out within walled gardens. There will be pressure on creative quality as demand for video grows exponentially, and then pressure on CPMs (cost per mille) as supply follows it. In both cases the brands that make the best choices will harness video most effectively as part of an overall customer conversation.


16. Native Advertising

Ad blockers are the modern-day marketer’s worst online nightmare. Although ad blockers, which prevent ads from being shown on websites, are not “new,” they’ve been all over the headlines ever since Apple revealed the mobile operating systems powering iPhones and iPads, iOS 9, would now support these sneaky little ad killers.

Why the big fuss? Well, online advertising fuels the majority of websites across the Internet.

“Advertising represents $350 billion of the U.S. gross national product, and consumers depend on it to help make $9 trillion of annual spending decisions,” reports AdvertisingAge. “Some websites, particularly those with millennial audiences, are already losing up to 40% of their ad revenue because of ad blocking.”

Whether or not ad blockers will affect you in 2016, the numbers show that it’s worth putting in place preventative measures to ensure your advertising goals are not ripped to shreds. This is where native advertising comes into play.

Since native ads look, read, and feel like non-promotional content, ad blocking technology does not prevent them from displaying. Native ads have already been trending, but with more ad blocking panic setting in, these babies should become an essential part of your digital marketing strategy in 2016.

Search Engine Journal

17. Apple Will Release A Siri-Infused Headset That Syncs With iPhones And The Apple Watch

In addition to a new iPhone with a screen size similar to the 5S, Apple will put effort into a voice-controlled headset (a la Jawbone) that can be used to read and dictate texts and emails, access map directions and more.

This new accessory will bring more relevance to the Watch by allowing users to do more without taking out their phones. It will also bring new relevance to the plain text version and watch-HTML version of an email, the latter being the portion of an email that would be most likely preferentially read.

Marketing Land

18. Social Robots Will Become Participatory and Take on More Roles

We will see great advancement in our social interaction with machines. Humanizing technology is not a new idea, but the recent expansion of social robots, autonomous machines that interact and communicate with humans by following social behaviors, has moved into the real world.

The next generation of smart robots will not only be responsive but participatory, in retail and the home.. They can understand, predict, remember and engage. They will know how to find information, locate where it is stored, and even understand how it is integrated into brand and consumer ecosystems.

Retailers and marketers will ask themselves if they have their data and information architecture in a good place.  For example, if JIBO the robot was asked to recommend a store to purchase a dress for an upcoming event, will it be able to consider your store, locate it, and recommend it based on how you have your system set up?


19. The Rise of 360-Degree Video

Back in June, I wrote an article on 360-degree video and what marketers needed to know. One big thing that has changed since that article was published is that viewers can now watch 360-degree video on Facebook. These videos even allow viewers to pan and rotate the video within the Facebook newsfeed player!

One of the main points I discussed in that article was how this technology was going to change video storytelling. Big brands like Star Wars have already begun experimenting with 360-degree video. In September, it released a 360-degree video to promote the Star Wars movie release.

Marketers can expect to see other companies experiment with this style of online video in 2016. The combination of 360-degree video and drones is also something that will take off in the new year as the ability to join an aerial perspective with a 360-degree immersive video experience is really unique. This video from 360-degree labs is an example of the combination.

I expect the major platforms to continue battling it out for 360-degree video content in 2016. Look for both YouTube and Facebook to continue investing in their 360-degree video playback technology and user experience.


20. Marketing departments will reduce their PPC budgets

PPC has been an easy standby for years. But unfortunately, more often than not first page bids has become exceedingly expensive when it comes to words that you and all your competitors are vying for. Along with that, ad block and the average searcher now prevent and ignore the noise of millions of ads that are assailing them. With this in mind, 2016 will be a time to reduce your PPC budget and reallocate the funds to channels that can deliver quality leads inexpensively. Instead, PPC will be used primarily as a way to fill in the gaps from your organic search.

Business 2 Community

21. Instagrammers and YouTubers will be the rising social stars

Twitteratis ruled influencer programmes in 2015. However, Instagrammers and YouTubers will be most sought after in 2016 as real-time visual content drives maximum engagement. New social platforms like Periscope, #fame and Snapchat will see increased adaption as they encourage real-time sharing of user-generated content.

Your Story

22. “Dark social” wins in Rio

Currently, 75 per cent of all sporting content shared online is via dark social channels (email or instant messenger) compared to the 25 per cent of sport-related content that’s shared on public social networks.

In this Olympic year, we’ll see this dark social figure increase further. The brands that successfully capitalise on the social buzz around Rio will do so by shifting their social investment towards the more intimate and valuable world of “dark social”.

Campaign Live

23. Mobile budgets and resources get serious

Mobile’s influence and impact on this year’s holiday shopping season will usher in an accelerated shift in focus toward mobile. According to Forrester Research, mobile is predicted to be the fastest growing channel among all digital channels (38 percent CAGR), so look for an increasing number of brands to create mobile BHAGs – which stands for big, hairy, audacious goals.

Evidence of transformation started in 2014, when Hilton announced it would invest $500 million in mobile technologies. Others across all verticals will follow Hilton’s lead in the coming months ahead.


24. Now Culture

In a world where consumers are demanding everything now, timing is critical for brands and marketers. Consumers are interacting with brands for shorter periods of time, across multiple platforms and are expecting different levels of brand engagement.

Understanding the consumer journey will be key and means having the right data strategy in place. However, implementing that on the spot to positive effect in the face of impatient consumers can often be a challenge.

From an advertising perspective, communications should be primed around all possible journey outcomes and be adaptive, reactive, contextual, time-sensitive and, crucially, in the right place at the right time – delivering the right messages to the right consumer.

Once you provide instant, there is no going back. But consumers will be more susceptible to switching in this culture of ‘now’, so take advantage of this rather than suffer as a consequence.

Marketing Magazine

25. Goodbye data preparation, hello data science

IIA predicts that automated data curation and management will free up analysts and data scientists to do more of the work they want to do. Forrester says that in 2016, machine learning will begin to replace manual data wrangling and data governance dirty work, and vendors will market these solutions as a way to make data ingestion, preparation, and discovery quicker. Through 2020, according to IDC, spending on self-service visual discovery and data preparation tools will grow 2.5x faster than traditional IT-controlled tools for similar functionality.




10 Great Sources for Blog Content

blog content

As has been discussed multiple times in our own blog over the last year or so, content is king. The quality of the content you push out in your company’s blog is directly correlated to the amount traffic you pull in to your site, but sometimes quality content is hard to come up with. When it comes to blogging about marketing and design, often times it can feel like everything has been written about. Lack of motivation, lack of in depth knowledge on a topic, and lack of writing skills can all be content killers, but beyond these, the largest reason for poor quality and redundancy in blog content is just not knowing what to write about. I’ve been guilty of this many times in the past and have taken the easy road and written about something mundane just because it was easy. It doesn’t have to be this way though. There are numerous sources for great blog content ideas across the internet and that’s what we’re going to list here today. So, without further ado, let’s get to business.

1. Reddit

Reddit is a haven for user submitted original content that you can utilize for list creation and original blog stories. The proof is in the Buzzfeed pudding. The pop blog/list giant is often accused of stealing content directly from Reddit, but the truth is despite their often late arrival to the party, they do a great job of giving credit to users for the content they pull and you can do the exact same thing. Further, Reddit’s subreddit feature makes it easy to find information and submissions no matter how niche the topic may be.

2. Quora

Quora is an amazing way to find out what people want to know about your industry. As is the case with Reddit, on Quora you can follow specific themes and topics to have a never ending supply of questions you can answer on your own blog s well as on the site.

3. Slideshare

Slideshare is the number one site for sharing slideshows. Use it to find the most popular presentations in your industry for blog content inspiration. For the title of a presentation to the content contained within, there is a surplus of information you can utilize.

4. Alltop

Alltop is a fantastic site that lists the best blogs in whatever industry you’d like to view and keeps the top 5 posts from each of them listed at all times. This allows you to find favorites from which to draw inspiration for blog content.

5. Popurls

For the most up to date trending topics within any industry, this site can’t be beat. Taking the hottest posts from some of the webs largest publications, there is an endless supply of blog content to take.

6. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a keyword tool that shows you the top ten suggested keywords and phrases when someone starts typing into Google. Just search for the keyword of your choosing and you’re able to browse a large range of keyword topics that can help you come up with some great titles and topics.

7. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator

How much easier could this be to use? Answer? It can’t. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator is the most simple tool you can use in your blog content endeavors. Simply enter up to 3 keywords and watch as the algorithm pumps out some great titles for your next post.

8. NinjaOutreach

NinjaOutreach is the perfect tool to use for your content research. It allows you to find the most shared content across the web and be able to see who shared it as well. You can also search specifically for influencers and bloggers and see their most successful posts which might give you some ideas to generate your content from. The best part is that NinjaOutreach also doubles as an outreach tool, meaning that once you’ve created your own top quality content it will help you promote it via email outreach.


9. Your Social Media Interactions

Maintaining a conversation with your user base is a major key to a productive social media presence. Pay attention to what people are saying about you and to you on social media. Positive or negative, there are an enormous number of takeaways for blog content you can get from your social media presence.

10. User Submitted Questions

Last but not least, and in the same vein as the previous source, are user submitted questions. What are people asking you through your own website? Are they commenting on your articles? Are you contacting you through your contact page? What are they looking for? These are all questions that you should be able to answer with some great blog content.