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We are very proud to announce that our Head of Content, Olwen van Dijk-Hildebrand, was awarded as one of the Content Moguls 50 for 2021.

Content Moguls 50, or CM50 for short, is the largest recognition platform in JAPAC region that awards and facilitates leading content practitioners throughout the region. Facilitated by the Content Marketing Summit Asia (CMS) and supported by the Asia Content Marketing Association (ACMA), this year, like 2020, CM 50 went online and hosted virtual award-giving ceremonies to continue their tradition of honouring content leaders in the region for their hard work and dedication to their field.

“To be awarded an honour like this is a big deal, particularly in the Content Marketing world,” Olwen stated on LinkedIn, “it’s really gratifying and empowering to know that the work I’ve done with 2Stallions Digital Marketing Agency on initiatives like our Marketing Expert Series is really making waves, and is appreciated for the impact it has.”

The work Olwen has done for 2Stallions so far has already helped increase our lead generation by more than 200%, and we are very happy to celebrate Olwen’s well-deserved win with her and her fellow ‘Content Mogul Champions’.

As can be imagined, this award is an inspiration for the entire team, and, we hope, for our clients as well.

If you’re out there, wondering how you can drive sales and increase your lead generation, perhaps it’s time to look at improving your own content marketing. If so, get in touch today, we’re happy – and clearly equipped! – to help.

 

 

Did you know that artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t limited to the healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment and gaming industries? You can also integrate AI in email marketing to drive your business forward.  

More and more marketers are utilising AI technology to reshape their email marketing strategies. Email plays a crucial part in business communication, so it’s not a surprise that almost everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.

If you’re not confident about AI’s ability to hit the gas pedal on your email marketing efforts, let these statistics do the talking:

AI in email marketing, icons, dollar sign, AI integration statistics, AI

Still not convinced? Here are four ways AI can optimise your email marketing campaigns.

First, What Exactly Is Artificial Intelligence? 

In its simplest form, artificial intelligence leverages computer systems to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human brain. It delves into the rational thinking and acting approach, where conclusions are drawn based on symbolic logic.

Here are the major branches of AI:

AI in email marketing, branches of AI, hand, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

AI systems have numerous real-world applications. The most common applications include speech recognition, customer service, computer vision, recommendation engines, and automated stock trading.

4 Ways to Use AI in Email Marketing

AI in email marketing, icons, 1, 2, 3, 4, lady thinking, lady with hands on chin, lady face, lady hands

1. Create Personalised Email Campaigns

Like social media, the email also offers a wealth of benefits. This digital marketing channel allows you to establish brand awareness, promote your products or services to a specific audience, and drive traffic to your blog without worrying about the character limits.

On top of these, sending emails can also help build and nurture relationships with your current and potential customers—specifically millennials.

According to Adestra, younger consumers prefer email as a primary medium for communicating with brands. The report showed that 73% of the millennial generation find email ubiquitous despite the explosion of newish digital channels.

So if your customer base is comprised of teens and young adults, use email marketing campaigns to engage them more and make them repeat customers. Here’s the good news: artificial intelligence can help you do just that.

Using AI in email marketing allows you to create messages based on your customer demographics or interests. AI technology predicts customer behaviour by segmenting customers into groups and analysing data from previous brand interactions.

The predictive analytics of artificial intelligence enables you to customise your email campaigns. For example, you can suggest recommended products or mail specific content that meets the customer behaviours, expectations, and wishes.

2. Write Catchy, Relevant Subject Lines

Did you know that emails with personalised subject lines have higher open and click-through rates than those without? The reason behind this is simple—subject lines that give a sense of exclusivity make people more valued.

Human beings are hardwired for connections. We are naturally inclined to engage with information that we find appealing and relevant. To back this claim, Dr. Rachna Jain, a psychologist, mentioned the concept of selective attention in a Social Media Examiner article.

“Most commonly, reticular activating system (RAS) is associated with the concept of selective attention, which means that we naturally orient to information or ideas that we are invested in.”

Since people cling to personalised experiences, work on writing better email subject lines. Note that subject lines are the first thing that recipients recognise, so make them more relevant and appealing to boost engagement.

Below are three ways to make your subject lines more interesting:

  1. Use your customer’s data. Aside from sending an email with a subject line that mentions your readers’ first names, it also makes sense to mention their interests briefly.
  2. Check their transactions history. Offer a relevant product that your customers previously bought. This technique never fails in converting them into returning paying customers.
  3. Use FOMO to trigger urgency. “Our SALE is ending soon,” “Your subscription is expiring,” “Few items left,” “Last chance for 50% off”. Subject lines like these use fear of missing out (FOMO), which triggers urgency and scarcity.

Oh, did we mention that artificial intelligence can aid in writing better email subject lines? AI-powered tools, such as Phrasee, write and test email subject lines by analysing email data.

But if you don’t want to use AI technology in generating optimised subject lines, you can use it to gain insights about your customers. That way, you can create the best subject lines based on data.

3. Predict the Best Time to Send Emails

In email marketing, timing is a paramount concern. Your campaigns must get to your customers’ inboxes at the time where they’re likely to open them. Otherwise, your business will fall short of securing leads or purchases.

So, when’s the best day to send an email? Studies have found that discovered clicks and pen rates were highest on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Another research also uncovered the ideal time to send an email campaign on a given day—10 a.m. and between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

These times make a lot of sense because of two reasons. First, people prepare to work or start working at 10 in the morning. Second, others are about to end their workday around 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon. This means they have some time to spare to check their email inboxes.

However, that’s not always the case because not everyone has the same 24 hours. Let’s take work-at-home mothers (WAHMs) as an example.

Many of WAHMs juggle work and household chores at the same time. Most of the time, they get to check their personal emails in their spare time, either during the evenings or weekends.

So does sending an email on a Tuesday at 10 a.m. make sense for them? Probably not.

If you tap into artificial intelligence, you will not have to worry about uncovering the perfect time and day to send an email to your target audience. AI technology takes the guesswork out and suggests the best times to send emails based on your subscribers’ data.

For example, AI found that most of your subscribers open emails at the start of the day. The extracted data allows you to fine-tune the schedule of sending out your emails. Now, isn’t that amazing?

4. Automate Repetitive Email Responses

The use of AI in email marketing is truly encompassing. With the technology’s ability to collect data and define patterns based on data collected, marketers can use all the information to improve their overall email marketing performance.

But if you think artificial intelligence only helps with analysing customers’ behaviours, you’re mistaken. It can also automate your mailbox and answer your customer inbound emails as quickly as possible.

This automatic email response function saves your marketing or customer support team a hefty amount of time, helping them focus more on other work that matters.

So how does AI technology write automated emails? Advanced AI tools use a generative pre-trained transformer or GPT-3, OpenAI’s newest language model. This model is pre-trained on several unlabelled texts and for a variety of different language tasks.

If that’s too technical to understand, here’s a demo from OthersideAI, a budding company that uses GPT-3 to shorthand notes into written emails.

An email composed by OthersideAI

In this demo, Matt Shumer, a cofounder of OthersideAI, typed short lines in response to a mock email asking what features coders should build next. It turns those or notes into a complete email like the one above.

What’s also great about this GPT-3 powered AI technology is that you can generate a new email over and over again. If you don’t like the first two suggestions, simply click the ‘generate’ button, and you will get a tweaked text.

Wrap-Up: Use AI in Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Integrating AI in email marketing can benefit your company in the long run; it can promise increased leads, engagement and conversions.

The next time you map out your email marketing strategy, consider tapping into artificial intelligence. Use the AI technology to your advantage to study your customers’ interests, figure out the best time to send emails, and tailor the experience for them.

If you don’t know how to get started, 2Stallions has you covered! We offer email marketing and marketing automation services to help you get data-driven decisions, nurture leads, and drive sales quicker.

Contact a 2Stallions representative to learn more.

Search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing (CM), and social media marketing (SMM) might be different in concepts, but they share a common goal—increase organic traffic to your website.

SEO works better when paired with the two. Your content pieces will attract more eyes when optimised for the search engines and shared on social media. And, you’re likely to improve your social media reach using the right content and set of keywords.

In short, integrating these three techniques enables a digital marketing flywheel that lets you enjoy the best of both worlds and increases your chances of doubling your search traffic.

Understanding the Three Techniques—SEO, CM, & SMM

SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, thumbs up icon, desktop, keyboard, graph, red arrow pointing up,

Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, focuses on boosting your website presence. It’s all about optimising your site to improve its visibility and rank higher in the search results pages.

Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing content (i.e., videos, blogs, infographics, social media posts, etc.). This discipline relies on SEO to increase brand awareness and consequently—generate visits and drive website traffic.

Social media marketing refers to the use of social media platforms for promoting a business, product or service. Sharing engaging and SEO-optimised content helps increase your brand exposure and boost social media traffic.

Read on to find out how you can increase organic traffic to your website using these three techniques.

Tips for Boosting Organic Website Traffic

Increase organic traffic to your website, desktop, desk planter, keyboard, mouse

1. Optimise for the Search Engines (and Readers)

Ranking on search engines like Google is the primary purpose of search engine optimisation. Broadly speaking, there are three core pillars of SEO: technical SEO, on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation.

Here’s how these optimisation techniques differ:

Three core pillars of SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO

Technical SEO – refers to the process of meeting the technical elements of modern search engines. It involves strategies, including crawling, JavaScript indexing, rendering, linking, and more.

On-page SEO – is the practice of optimising elements (i.e., meta description, headlines, title tags, content, etc.) ON your website to earn more relevant traffic from search engines. All these on-site elements should include targeted keywords to help your website rank higher.

Off-page SEO – refers to optimisation techniques done outside your website. Inbound links, social shares, domain age, citations, and reviews are a few of the off-site ranking factors that help improve your search rankings.

While SEO is about befriending the search engines, it’s also crucial that you optimise your website for your readers. So how do you do it? Simple—develop a keyword strategy. You may use long-tail keywords that will identify your website as a destination for a particular topic.

This blog post, for example, is intended for those who want to get more traffic to their website. Using the keyword increase organic traffic would be effective because there’s less competition for the term and people search for it.

2. Create Content Pieces for Your Buyer Personas

Optimising for the search engines is useless if you’re not driving profitable customer or client actions. This is where content marketing comes into action; it connects with your readers and influences them in making purchasing decisions.

To ensure you entice them until the decision stage, create content pieces that fit your buyer personas—fictional yet realistic representations of your target customers. If you haven’t created your audience personas, here are a few tips that may help you in designing them:

  • Check your existing customers and social audience. Gather information, such as age, location, language, spending power and patterns, interests, challenges, and more.
  • Learn why they love your products or services. Tapping on social media listening is one way to find out customer experiences.
  • Identify customer goals. Are they only researching, looking for reviews, or are they ready to buy?

Once you have buyer personas in place, you can deliver content that will be most relevant and valuable to your audience. The easiest way to use your audience personas is to cater your content to them.

Below are the three stages of the buyer’s journey along with their ideal content types:

Awareness stage – where personas are experiencing that need to be fixed. Blog posts, social media posts, and explainer videos are ideal pieces of content targeting this stage.

Consideration stage – where personas are considering solutions to their pain points. The best content pieces to offer for this stage are product comparison guides, case studies, and free samples.

Decision stage – where personas have decided on their solution or turned into buyers. Examples of ideal content formats for the decision stage are product descriptions, free trials and demos, reviews and customer testimonials.

3. Promote & Optimise Your Social Media Profiles

Did you know that an optimised social media profile has high chances of driving organic website traffic? Social media optimisation follows the concept of SEO, where relevant keywords are included in bio sections to make the profiles searchable.

When writing a social media description, be sure to make it keyword-rich. Add relevant keywords naturally, so your target audience can find you in the search. Doing this not only increases your discoverability, but also helps increase organic traffic to your website.

Aside from creating keyword-rich descriptions, you can also boost your organic social media reach by doing the following:

  • Upload a high-quality picture. Your profile picture puts a face to your name, so it must reflect your brand. It should also be recognisable; avoid using an image that has nothing to do with your business.
  • Add links to your website. Take advantage of social media’s ability to build brand awareness. Include links in your bio section to lead target customers directly to your website.
  • Use hashtags sparingly. Hashtags are like keywords that categorise the content. Consider adding relevant hashtags to promote your business and boost your visibility.

4. Update Old Web Content & Blog Posts

Here’s another link between SEO and content marketing: when you update your old web content or blog posts, you get Google to crawl your site more frequently. It’s like technical SEO, where search engine spiders crawl your website, but without coding—just upgrading.

Having fresh content is critical for your website because Google favours frequently updated content. If you frequently update your website or articles, Google finds it easier to search for your web pages and add them to the index.

Frequent updates can help you have a better chance of ranking on the search engines. While a higher post frequency doesn’t necessarily increase your overall website rankings, it can increase organic traffic to your website.

Here are some of the best practices for content updates:

  • The key is quality, not more content. If your blogs are only 300-word long, bumping up the wordcount is a good idea. However, adding paragraphs just for the sake of updating can’t guarantee you good results. It’s necessary to keep your content standards high and write around what your readers want.
  • Incorporate valuable, targeted keywords. Keywords are a vital part of SEO. Optimise your content for a more relevant keyword. Targeting new keywords can expand your search visibility and help you bring more traffic.
  • Add new or update old links. Like keywords, internal and external links also play important SEO roles. Interlinking your web pages and linking your blog posts to your website can positively affect your SEO. Revisit your website and blog posts, then do the following:
  1. Find and fix 404. If one of your blog posts is linked to a 404 page, update the link and add a significant link.
  2. Spot outdated references. Blogs typically mention references, such as studies, research, and statistics. External links can build your website authority, so check whether they’re working and update them to more recent findings.

5. Create Meaningful & Evergreen Content

Creating evergreen content doesn’t only increase organic traffic to your website, but it also keeps driving regular traffic to your web pages for as long as you want it. The reason behind this is simple—such content doesn’t go out of date.

Not only does evergreen content stay fresh for readers, but it also remains popular in search engines. Google will find your content relevant, allowing you to become more visible and rank higher in search results pages.

To help you strengthen your evergreen content marketing strategy, we listed some actionable tips that will help you do just that.

  • Choose evergreen topics. Keyword tools like Ahrefs can help you look for popular, consistently searched topics. Use such tools to see what keywords have positive trends and build your content around these keywords.
  • When writing blogs around evergreen topics, avoid using terms with a short lifespan, such as this month, last year, yesterday, and more. If you’re thinking about writing for a relevant year, for example, ‘content marketing best practices in 2021’, update the content every year or ensure the content will remain valid over time.

  • Update content when necessary. As discussed in the previous point, Google recognises web pages with fresh content. You should refresh your content as often as necessary to ensure it’s evergreen and increase its chances of driving traffic or attracting leads and shares.
  • Build high-quality backlinks. The good thing about evergreen content or regularly update content is that it can generate consistent leads, establish a brand reputation, and above all—give higher search engine rankings.
  • To ensure your business reap these benefits, build links to your fresh content, encourage sharing on social media, and consider doing guest posting.

6. Get the Most Out of Social Media Targeting

Social media also holds power in your search rankings. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms can help you reach thousands of customers, which means you get more chances of increasing organic social media reach.

However, publishing content on social media isn’t enough to improve your SEO results. You should also consider capitalising on social media’s ability to reach specific audience types. By choosing who sees your content, targeting ideal audiences and engaging with them becomes easier.

Facebook, specifically, allows you to target any of your posts to a certain demographic. These general demographics include gender, age, relationship, educational status, location, interests, and language.

Suppose you own run a women’s fashion store in Singapore. You could target your posts to female shoppers who live in or near Singapore and are around 20-40 years of age. Here’s how you can start setting up Facebook targeting:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your page.
  2. From General, check off the box next to Audience Optimisation for Posts.

Follow the steps below to limit your post’s audience.

  1. Click the targeting icon before publishing your post.
  2. Tick Restricted Audience at the top, then select the age and locations of the audience you want to see your post.
  3. Click Save.

To target a specific audience in your newsfeed, use News Feed Targeting.

  1. Click the targeting icon before publishing your post.
  2. In the News Feed Targeting section, enter the criteria of the people you’d like to reach in News Feed.
  3. Click Save.

Also, you could specify when to stop showing your post organically in the news feed—this is called post end date.

SEO, Content & Social Media: Stronger Together

Search engine optimisation, content marketing, and social media marketing are equally essential in helping you increase organic traffic to your website.

One doesn’t outsmart the other as all concepts can raise awareness of your brand, build an audience, and ultimately—convert prospects to customers. Instead of treating them as separate, different practices, why not integrate your SEO into your content and social media marketing strategy, or vice versa?

If you’re up for this idea, 2Stallions would gladly help you get started. Our team of industry experts will draw your target audience to your website through on-page and off-page SEO, engaging content and by improving your social media presence.

Learn more about our complete line of digital marketing services here.

Some businesses invest in mobile-friendly web design for the sake of following the trend. The truth is, it shouldn’t be done that way. Mobile responsiveness isn’t just a fad that everyone should jump on, but a need that demands attention, especially in the digital space.

It was long ago when personal computers (PCs) are the only medium used for browsing the web and connecting with people online. Today, people carry PC-like technology (a.k.a. smartphones) with them practically all the time.

These facts imply that the future is mobile and that creating a mobile responsive website is a must. Not quite convinced about the significance of building a site for mobile devices? Carry on reading.

What Does Mobile-Friendly Mean?

Websites with a mobile-friendly design are easily viewed on smaller screens like smartphones and tablets. The web contents (i.e., images, texts, videos, etc.) adjust themselves to fit within the screen to deliver a satisfying user experience.

A non-mobile-friendly website, on the other hand, doesn’t adapt its layout and usability to the device. It requires zooming and scrolling to find and read information, not to mention that the text appears too small and difficult to read, and the images look pixelated and tend to load slowly.

Here’s how a web design should look like from a mobile perspective:

x, check, lorem ipsum dolor, mobile phone, smartphone, mobile-friendly website, hands, hands holding phone

On the left, the mobile browser retains the desktop version of the website. The one on the right matches the device width, making the content readable.

Why Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

1. Google Recognises Mobile Responsive Sites

For several years, Google has rolled out handy algorithm updates designed to improve the quality and relevance of Google’s search results. A relevant example of such an update is Mobilegeddon.

Mobilegeddon is the name for Google’s search ranking algorithm designed to boost mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. Released in 2015, this algorithm remains a relevant ranking factor in present times.

This update was created to respond to consumer behaviour, which was trending in the direction of mobile. Google wanted searchers to easily find high-quality and relevant pages that show readable content without requiring horizontal scrolling.

If the search engine giant recognised the importance of mobile responsiveness, you should too. Your website may provide you with search engine optimisation (SEO) gains, so you should start making mobile-friendly web design a priority.

2. Smartphone Ownership is Rapidly Increasing

Mobile technology is taking over the world. According to GSMA Intelligence, around 5 billion people own and use mobile devices worldwide, which is 67.03% of the world’s population.

However, the growth in smartphone ownership to date vary across nations. The Pew Research Centre reported that countries with advanced economies have higher smartphone ownership than countries with emerging economies.

The survey also showed that younger people in the countries surveyed are more likely to have smartphones, access the Internet, and use social media. And, majority of the people who own a smartphone in advanced economies are under the age of 35. Not only does smartphone ownership is increasing, but mobile internet usage is also growing steadily. As of April 2021, 56% of all web traffic are coming from mobile phones. This figure had increased over ten-fold from April 2011, having only 5.21% of web traffic on mobile.

graph, social media notification, icon - 3D Illustration

The figures say it all—almost everyone in the world use mobile phones. People might be using their devices differently, but another truth lies therein—browsing the web would always be one of those reasons.

To ensure everyone who drops by at your website becomes a customer, make sure your site has a mobile-friendly web design. A website that looks great and functions well on mobile can encourage people to stay and entice them to make a purchase.

3. Mobile Responsiveness Enhances User Experience

User experience (UX) is a critical factor in all business industries. If a business doesn’t fulfil the prospect or customer’s needs and goals, it leads to one thing—lost sales.

In e-commerce, poor usability is the culprit behind cart abandonment (people don’t complete their purchase). Bad UX is basically like a box of burned chocolate cookies. No matter how people like the treats, they wouldn’t finish eating them because of the burned taste.

The same thing applies to the world of the web. People who aren’t satisfied with the experience they get while browsing your website are likely to tune away from the first few minutes of their visit.

Suppose your site has jumbled texts and unaligned images all over the place and requires users to scroll through endless pages to find the information they need. You’re not helping them choose. You’re putting obstacles between you and your prospects.

Don’t let non-mobile responsiveness steal fantastic business opportunities away. Invest in a mobile-friendly web design. After all, your website is a crucial platform that influences your credibility, consumer behaviour, and many other things.

Time to Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

People use mobile devices to communicate with their friends online, check emails, and do online searches, among other things. These many uses of smartphones and tablets suggest the need for mobile responsive sites.

If you’re ready to make your site mobile-friendly, 2Stallions is the company to call. We create responsive, mobile-friendly designs focused on helping your users find information quickly and take actions.

Learn more about our website, app, and e-commerce design service here.

Welcome back to another edition of #2STeamStories, a monthly serial that lets you get to know more about the 2Stallions Family and what they do. From internships, UI/UX design, to content marketing, #2STeamStories aims to help everyone get a better picture about life at an agency. We also hope to provide insights into each speciality and encourage aspiring marketers to join this dynamic and exciting industry.

In this edition, we dive into the world of our Head of Content, Olwen van Dijk-Hildebrand.  True to the long-form that is her specialty, Olwen shares her journey into the marketing world, coming into it unexpectedly. Join us as she takes us through her career history and her arrival at 2Stallions and learn what it takes to generate content that connects and inspires individuals.

Hi Olwen! Tell us a bit about yourself. 

Hi, everyone, I’m Olwen. I’m Dutch-Indonesian born, but I’ve spent the majority of my life living all over the world. My father worked at the UN, and as a result I spent my childhood travelling from country to country with the rest of my family – parents and a younger brother. I spent the first 5 years of my life in Yemen, and have fleeting but fond memories of the place; after that we lived in London for a year, and Africa for eight years following that – first in Ivory Coast and then in Mozambique. I finished high school in Fiji, and finally went on to university in Australia, where I finished my tertiary education and met my husband. After close to a decade in Australia, we made the move to Malaysia where my parents had retired.

Can you share your marketing journey with us? How did you first start marketing? How did you find your way to working at 2Stallions?

I stumbled into marketing more out of necessity than choice. In 2012, my husband and I bought a small cafe in the Dandenong Hills in Melbourne. We ran the cafe for three years and during that time, I managed our Facebook page, and thus my introduction to marketing. I didn’t think about it that way, of course; at the time I was simply trying to drum up business and raise what I would now call brand awareness.  

In 2015, we sold the cafe having earned a wealth of experience in the culinary and barista arts and customer service, and moved to Malaysia. It was a big move, and neither my husband nor I knew exactly what we were going to do when we got here, but we wanted a change and so we made a change. 

I applied for jobs and eventually found my way into a marketing executive position in Kuala Lumpur at AQ Services International, a mystery shopping company. I was with them for five years, really until the pandemic kicked in. When I left I’d gone from executive, lone wolf marketer to the senior communications manager with a team of six. I was really quite proud of the work we’d accomplished and it was a shame to have to leave it, but circumstances being what they were there wasn’t much choice. 

Luckily for me, I’d worked with 2Stallions since 2016 – AQ Services had been a client for several years – and Daniel Heerkens reached out to me in mid-2020 to offer me a job. 

Can you share with us a little about what’s expected in your role? 

At 2Stallions, my role as Head of Content is essentially expected to create all the content for internal marketing efforts and to help with client projects where needed. I develop and adapt the content strategy for internal marketing and create the content to go with it. Content marketers generate content and content concepts for all marketing channels, including our company blog and our social media channels. 

What are some of your favourite things about content marketing? 

I have a passion for words. I love what they can do and how much power they have when used in different circumstances. Content marketing is essentially knowing how to use words to inspire emotional reactions – what you see on social media or read in a blog are all driven by that same concept. What I love about content marketing is that it lies at the heart of all marketing – I might be biased, but really without content, digital marketing is an empty vessel. 

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Speaking the right language, whether visual or words, is the trickiest part to get right. Content marketing is about speaking to a target audience, so the hardest part is trying to find the way to do that. You have to reach people in a memorable way, and sometimes the most powerful way to do that is through the right word choice. 

How do you like to spend your time away from work?

When I’m not working, I spend time with my family – that is, my husband and our two cats. We enjoy watching movies or shows together. On the weekends, especially at the moment with the pandemic lockdown, I write, fiction mostly. To destress I play video games – currently, I’m really into the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game Mobile Legends, but I’m a massive Skyrim fan as well. I also spend a lot of time online, scrolling through social media feeds, constantly looking to learn about current content trends and preferences. If I had to pick a favourite platform, I’d go with LinkedIn, but I enjoy Instagram and TikTok as well. 

Wrapping Up

Connect with Olwen on LinkedIn to learn more about her work as a content marketer.

Get to know our #2StallionsFamily with the #2STeamStories tag.  Discover the works done by our diverse team of digital marketing professionals who’ll bring your ideas to life with impactful designs. If you’re looking for a content marketing expert, don’t hesitate to contact us

Social media listening does more than look at what’s happening on your social networks and pull insights from your social data. It also plays a pivotal role in increasing your return on investment (ROI).

Don’t know how this process does the trick? Carry on reading. We’ve listed three ways social listening maximises your investment returns.

First, What Exactly Is Social Media Listening?

Social media listening involves monitoring and analysis of the social media channels for trends and direct mentions of your brand, products, services, and even competitors.

Unlike social media monitoring, the social listening process doesn’t stop on the monitoring part. It analyses social interactions and conversations to identify general sentiment around your brand, discover opportunities, and take efficient actions. 

3 Ways Social Listening Maximise Your Investment Return

1. Find & Generate New Leads

Did you know that social media sentiment exists? Yes, this attitude, thought, or emotion people have towards a situation, event, online post, or company exists in the social space.

Let’s put it into perspective. Imagine your business launched a new marketing campaign, and it unexpectedly took the Internet by storm. Everyone is talking about it on social media, giving your brand an advantage against your competitors.

Here’s the thing, is the chatter positive or negative? This is where social media sentiment comes to use. It adds context to all the mentions, comments, shares, and reactions around your business.

Sentiment analysis not only tells you how much people are talking about your brand, but it also helps you understand how they feel about your brand, posts, and campaigns. As a result, finding new leads becomes an easy job. You could easily find relevant conversations, identify a group of potential customers that may be interested in your products or services, and build personal relationships with your social fans.

2. Improve Social Media Strategy

Sentiments are indeed an integral part of the social media listening equation. Data doesn’t mean much without context, and relying on numbers alone couldn’t guarantee you to receive a return on investment.

You should look beyond the number of shares and likes and dig deeper into what they’re feeling or thinking. Monitor social sentiment to better understand how your messaging influences your followers.

For instance, your video campaign highlights only the essential features of your product and leaves out the less important ones. To your surprise, some consumers talk about the product features that you didn’t mention and ask further questions about them.

Situations like these illustrate the importance of social listening. Analysing social conversations allows you to gather feedback on your products and services, optimise your campaigns, and improve your social media marketing initiatives.

3. Increase Customer Engagement

Delivering seamless digital customer experiences across social media channels is a critical factor in improving engagement, driving loyalty, and most importantly—increasing business revenue.

If you’re not convinced about how customer experiences can influence revenue growth, let these statistics do the talking:

  • Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers. – Deloitte and Touche
  • Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience. – Forrester
  • 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue. – Dimension Data

The good news is that social listening can help you create positive digital customer experiences. By analysing your brand mentions and total engagements, you can find better ways to connect with and entice your followers. You could develop fruitful relationships with your social fans, engage with your critics effectively, and produce content that will satisfy your online customer base.

The Takeaway

You can’t improve what you can’t measure and analyse. So to increase your social ROI, you should step up your social media listening efforts.

Social listening takes social media monitoring a step further and assists in lead generation, campaigns optimisation, and customer engagement, among other things.

Have you ever mistaken social media listening and social media monitoring as the same thing? The truth is, the two are not the same, the former is the action taken after the latter.

Social monitoring is simply looking at social media channels. You do this to keep tabs on your brand mentions, monitor engagement rate and check relevant hashtags or industry trends.

Social listening, on the other hand, looks beyond the data. It is the process of pulling insights from those social mentions and customer conversations to identify room for improvement and take action.

If you’re only monitoring, you’re probably missing out on crucial insight about your brand. Incorporate the human side of data into your marketing strategy to grow your company and become an industry leader.

More About Social Listening

Social media generates countless business opportunities—and social listening can help you unravel them. This process allows you to understand what people think about your brand, their problems or needs, how they compare you to the competition, and the similar information.

The main thing to remember is that social listening involves monitoring. It analyses the information gathered and the mood behind the data to help you with many different aspects of your business, including:

  • Boost customer engagement
  • Manage PR crises on social media
  • Track your competitors’ marketing activities
  • Identify influencers and brand ambassadors
  • Improve your social media sales funnel
  • Stay ahead of trends and the competition

Social Listening Glossary

As with other disciplines, social media listening is full of marketing terms and jargon that can become overwhelming, especially for new marketers. 

At 2Stallions, we’re well aware that translating the marketing lingo can be tricky, so we’re here to help decipher the code so you not only understand but can learn the language for yourself. Here are some basics to get you started:

Brand Authority, also known as company reputation, refers to how the audience perceives a brand. Several factors can influence authority, including content, active online presence, and engagement over social media.

Brand Awareness describes how recognisable a business is to its customers. It involves remembering the brand’s name, its expertise in the field, customer service quality, products or services, and so on.

Brand Health takes brand authority and awareness a step further. It is a metric that determines how strong a company is and how true the brand in delivering its promises to customers.

Brand Monitoring is the process of tracking various channels to gain insights about the company, its products, brand mentions, and anything connected to the business.

Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of the number of users who click on a specific link or call-to-action. Businesses use this to measure the success of a social media advertising campaign.

Communication Channels refers to the platforms used to engage and reach out to potential and existing customers. It consists of the brand’s official website, blog, and social media profiles (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).

Consumer Insights are the interpretation of customer data, behaviours, and feedback. They help businesses understand their customers’ expectations, improve customer service, and devise new marketing strategies.

Crisis Monitoring is a series of actions performed to prepare for and prevent damages when a company faces issues.

Dark Social describes the invisible social shares that happen through untraceable or private communication channels, such as messenger, email, and text messages.

Engagement refers to the activities that the audience take on social media to communicate with a brand. Examples of such are likes and favourites, comments, DMs, replies, shares and retweets, clicks, and mentions.

An influencer is a person with a large follower base on social media because of his or her authority and knowledge in a specific industry.

Keywords are the words that describe best what you want to find on social media platforms and the web.

Reach tells how many unique viewers or social media users have seen a piece of content (i.e., blog, video, etc.).

Share of Voice (SOV) is a term borrowed from traditional media, which refers to the number of times a brand is mentioned on the web and social media.

Social Media Mining is the process of extracting data from user-generated content on social media sites and mobile apps. Businesses use this to find patterns and trends that can get them a competitive advantage.

Social Mention refers to name-dropping a person or brand on social media. It can either be positive or negative and can share a public perception of a brand.

Social Selling is a strategy that uses social media platforms to establish rapport with prospective customers.

Social Sentiment describes the emotions behind social media. It is expressed through posts or comments on social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, and more.

Why Use Social Media Listening

Creating a solid listening strategy will help your business in many ways. It lets you connect with your audience, foresee and avoid disasters, monitor your competitors, find your tribe, discover new sales leads, and make your brand stand out.

1. Engage Customers

It is a rule of thumb for businesses to listen to what people say on social media channels. Thanks to social listening tools, tracking and gathering online mentions has become a lot easier.

By analysing brand mentions or online discussions, marketers can engage with customers and respond to queries immediately.

For example, a customer mentioned your brand on her social media post to raise an issue about your product. This instance allows you to address the concern. You can either reply directly to the post, share a tweet or FB post that clears out the misunderstanding, or do both.

Think of it as a long-term marketing strategy. If you keep your customers in the loop and interact with them, you encourage them and more people to trust your brand and take action.

2. Manage PR Crises

A positive social sentiment makes customer engagement easy to achieve. So what happens when people put your business in a negative light? Simple. The engagement also goes down.

It is good to be aware of any malicious content, spiteful social media users, and other negative mentions that could undermine your brand. And, social media listening can also help with that.

For example, you can create an alert “notify name@company.com if more than 200 negative posts circulate on social media in any given hour.”

Fake news and negative word-of-mouth can spread like wildfire on social media. With this crisis management solution, you can control potential crises and prevent a PR nightmare from happening.

3. Track Competitors

Monitoring your competitors is never a bad thing. It helps you identify the trends in your industry, check out similar products, and gain better knowledge about customer preferences, among other benefits.

And the best part? You can reveal their weaknesses and create better solutions that cater to the audience’s needs.

Such things are now easy to pull off thanks to social listening. The process lets you collect competitors’ data from social platforms and forums and find trends or useful insights.

Whether you want to know what events your competitions held or are holding, how attendees feel about the event, what type of content appeals to most people, and the like, social media can provide you with an answer.

Get meaningful insights and data out of online conversations and brand mentions. This strategy will never fail in making your name or products more attractive than your rivals.

4. Identify Influencers

Online personalities or content creators in social media, like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are now influencing consumer’s choices, hence the term influencer marketing.

Because of their engaging content and the trust they built with their following base, online audiences see them as opinion leaders and value their thoughts, product recommendations, and so on.

In fact, most people found influencers more realistic, more authentic, and easier to relate to than celebrities. No wonder more and more businesses partner with influencers to increase brand awareness, boost organic traffic and engagement, and generate sales.

If you’ve not engaged with an influencer before, social media listening can help you get started. This marketing process will help you gain insights into who are the important people to connect with, so you can establish a partnership with your natural brand advocates and look for opportunities to collaborate.  

5. Discover Sales Leads

Social listening also plays a significant role in discovering new sales leads. Once your online mentions are gathered and filtered, you can find the right audience and reach out to them.

Decoding your brand mentions allows you to join discussions as they happen, address the online public’s concerns, provide timely solutions, and most importantly—develop relationships with potential customers.

As the old business saying goes, “People do not like to be sold, but love to buy.” Customers hate being sold to right away. They want to feel in control of their purchasing decisions rather than having someone else tell them what to do.

This is where social media mining comes in handy. Such a process makes social media listening more effective as it helps uncover hidden patterns and trends from social media platforms.

When you understand people’s sentiments, you can nurture customer relationships and create an effective social selling strategy.

6. Improve Brand Image

As discussed, social listening does not focus alone on metrics or data analytics. Instead, it deciphers the sentiment behind every bit of data.

The fact that social media listening is two-fold means that it can help in establishing a powerful brand identity.

It provides an unbiased evaluation of audience preferences and needs, which can help in the following:

  • drive customer engagement;
  • develop lasting relationships;
  • learning trends for improvement;
  • managing online brand reputation;
  • optimising communication activities;
  • establishing a position in the industry

How to Get Started with Social Media Listening

Now that you know how following and interpreting social media conversation help your business thrive, let us look at the steps to creating a winning social listening strategy.

1. Define Your Goals

The first step in the process is to define your goals. Be clear on what you want to get out of social media listening.

Setting a goal will help plan all of your efforts going forward. It jumpstarts the whole strategy as it lets you choose the topics, brand terms, interactions, and keywords to monitor on social media platforms.

Here are a few goals that you could build your strategy around:

  • Drive website traffic
  • Manage your brand reputation
  • Understand your consumers better
  • Increase engagement with your audience
  • Create relevant content for your target audience
  • Gain more followers and retain your existing customers

2. Determine Channels to Monitor

Once you have your goals set, determine what social media channels you like to monitor. This next step informs you whether your goals are achievable on the platforms that your audience use.

For example, your goal is to drive more website traffic. Facebook and Twitter are the best platforms for this because they allow users to post links, unlike Instagram.

It helps to audit first each social media app or site. Know where most of your audience hang out and where they interact with your brand. In this way, you can keep a laser focus on social listening initiatives.

3. Choose The Right Tools

It is crucial to pick a social media listening tool that will enable you to discover your social media mentions, regardless of your company size or level of competition.       

Below are some factors to consider when choosing a social listening tool:  

  • Business needs. Check whether the tool meets your business needs—be it PR and marketing, customer service, security and compliance, customer research.
  • Pricing models. While “free” is a popular price point, free-trial tools provide limited functionality. It is better to opt for fee-based offerings that can best accommodate your needs.
  • User management. How many people will use the tool? Can people use the platform simultaneously? These are a few user-related questions that you should keep in mind before sealing a deal with a social listening tool vendor.
  • Software/ Tool features. Look at the tool’s features and compatibility. Does it have a single dashboard? Can it analyse a whole range of metrics, such as trending themes, media exposure, social sentiment, and share of voice? Questions like these can help you decide on selecting the right social listening software for your business.
  • Flexibility. A platform that allows integration with existing tools (i.e., Google Analytics, Hootsuite, etc.) is a must-have. It enables you to incorporate social media listening seamlessly into your business strategy and allows you to share reports with everyone.

4. Create Action Plans

The last step to creating a social media listening strategy is taking action. Use the insights you gathered in mapping out a series of activities that can help you achieve your goals.

For example, your primary aim is to improve your brand image. There are two things that you must do. First, make sure to respond to complaints and questions quickly. Second, take time to acknowledge and reply to positive mentions.

Bonus: The Best Tools for Social Listening

Keeping tabs across social media channels requires a great deal of time and effort. Thankfully, several tools can make social media monitoring more manageable.

Here is a list of social listening tools that you can use as reference:

  1. Awario
  2. BrandWatch
  3. BuzzSumo
  4. Falcon.io
  5. Hootsuite
  6. Keyhole
  7. Mention
  8. Oktopost
  9. Sprout Social
  10. Tailwind

The Takeaway

As more people turn to social media for product information and business research, the need for monitoring your social media channels increases.

It is indeed impossible to read the minds of your followers or customers. Thanks to social listening, you can now understand the mood behind their social activities. This process gives you access to what people are saying about your brand, industry, or even your competitors.

So, if you have not tried incorporating social media listening into your business strategy, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon.

2Stallions can help you get started, establish a better relationship with your target audience, and never miss a relevant conversation about your brand. Contact us today to learn more.

People now search the web for products and services, make online purchases, and transact with e-retailers. Since customers have gone digital, companies should create digital customer experiences too. 

The new market reality encourages businesses to step-up their marketing initiatives and take advantage of the digital media (i.e., website, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). Otherwise, they would lose their customers and revenues to more digitally savvy competitors.

What Is Digital Customer Experience

As the name suggests, digital customer experience (DCX) refers to the customer touchpoints while interacting with a brand online. It involves a series of actions, including information search, evaluation of alternatives, product inquiry, and most importantly—purchase.

The approach to DCX is different from traditional CX. In brick-and-mortar shops, the store’s ambience, customer service quality, security concerns, product display, and many other factors can influence customer satisfaction.

In the virtual space, there are several factors affect customers’ experience and buying decisions. These include website aesthetics and speed, mobile responsiveness, ease of navigation, language, information quality, and so on.

Digitized customer experience matters now more than ever before, especially considering the increase of in-home media consumption due to the coronavirus outbreak. People spend longer on social media and computers, listen to more streaming services, and watch or upload content on YouTube.

For these reasons, businesses should build a digital customer experience strategy to foster a satisfied online customer base.

Why Is It Important to Digitize Customers’ Experiences?

1. More Customers Are Going Digital

Customers adapt to and grow with technological advancements and market trends. They learn and embrace such things, not because of the fear of missing out (FOMO) but because they want to satisfy their needs.

Take Internet commerce as an example. Most people now find online shopping more convenient than in-store shopping. The steady rise of mobile apps and eCommerce websites has also made it easier for customers to shop for anything they want without leaving their homes.

According to UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study, consumers in the U.S., Europe, Mexico and Brazil have the highest satisfaction with their overall shopping experience. Online shoppers use a single channel like desktop or laptop, tablet and smartphone, or a combination of each.

The study also reported that smartphone users in Asia have the highest percentage of online purchases on their smartphones (37%) and using their smartphones for research (84%), compared to shoppers in other regions.

These research findings suggest that consumers prefer time-saving, no sales pressure, convenient, not to mention discreet shopping method. Shoppers are also getting smarter with their purchasing decisions, so if businesses fail to meet their expectations, chances are the business will not be able to regain the customer’s trust or loyalty.

If building an eCommerce website is not possible, many other digital platforms can come to the rescue. Facebook, for example, offers a great way to promote a brand and interact with customers. Users can also launch ad campaigns in this social media app to propel their marketing efforts and drive sales.

2. Digital Channels Uncover Customer Insights

In today’s digital era, customers will experience less brick and more click. The absence of human touch, however, is not a bad thing—it is the other way around.

While digital marketing channels lack face-to-face human contact and interaction, they allow companies to interpret sets of customer data easier than other traditional media.

Web performance, for example, can be measured by using analytics tools like Google Analytics (GA). Through this web analytics tool, marketers can examine website activities and understand customers’ behaviours.

Here are a few digital metrics for websites that businesses should take advantage of to create a positive digital customer experience:

  • Traffic: the total number of site or page visits in a given time.
  • Page View: the total number of pages viewed; it includes repeated views of a single page.
  • Unique Page Views: the number of visitors who have viewed a specific page at least once during a visit.
  • Average time on Page: the average amount of time users spend viewing a specific page or screen or set of pages or screens.
  • Bounce Rate: the percentage of single-page visits or the number of visits in which people left your website from the same page they visited

Google Analytics provides insights on the above metrics. The tool can tell what path site visitors or users take, how long they stay on a specific web page, what actions they take during the visit, and more.

3. Tailor Products or Services to Individual Users

Digital transformation is not solely about technology. It is about one’s ability to harness technology’s power in creating individualized customer experiences.

When businesses decide to integrate digital technology into their business operations, it becomes easier to address each phase of the customer journey. The advances in data collection and analysis allow marketers to implement personalized approaches tailored to customer’s specific needs.

Personalization is crucial in delivering a meaningful overall digital customer experience. It is the finishing touch to secure sales and generate brand loyalty. In fact, many studies have proven the link between personalization and customer satisfaction—and Gladly’s Customer Expectations Report is one of them.

Below are the other customer insights from the report:

  • 61% of the respondents feel that brands treat them as case numbers—not as people.
  • 75% of customers are more likely to purchase if given personalized recommendations.
  • Social media customer service chat messaging has increased by over 6% since 2017, and email has decreased by 18%.

These figures indicate that customer service and content personalization are marketing game-changers. Brands should tailor engagement across digital channels to earn and build customer loyalty.

Bonus: Tips for Digitizing Customer Experience

1. Combine Digital and Human Elements

Virtual customer assistants (VCAs) like chatbots are becoming increasingly popular in the digital landscape. These messenger bots can automate customers’ inquiries and enable personalized interactions.

H&M is an excellent example of a company that combined digital and human elements successfully. The multinational clothing-retail company used a chatbot to provide users with a mix of user-focused technology and highly-personalized human connection.

H&M, chatbot, men's clothing, messenger, chat

2. Provide Personalized Content

Thanks to digital analytics, it is easy to create a content plan that addresses customers’ interests and buying habits. By looking at the available data, businesses can share content pieces—be they landing pages, social media posts, blogs, newsletters, and infographics—that speak to them.

3. Optimize Mobile User Experience

Mobile usage statistics vary per study, but one thing is clear—the global mobile population is ever-changing and increasing. People around the world own smartphones and use them for a variety of things, including shopping.

Businesses should make use of this insight and focus on improving customer experiences on mobile. Some of the ways that can help them optimize mobile user experience include:

  • Keep layouts simple
  • Use easy-to-read text
  • Aim for a responsive web design
  • Use faster-loading image formats
  • Improve the search feature in the app

Final Thoughts

As the world becomes increasingly digital, the need for pairing digital tech with a solid marketing strategy also increases. Brands should treat customers’ online journey as a critical aspect and find ways to deliver optimum digital customer experience.

If you are thinking about developing a digital transformation strategy, 2Stallions can help lay the foundation so you can make the most out of digitization. We offer the right mix of digital marketing services, including search engine optimization, social media marketing, content marketing, and more.

Get in touch with us today to find out how you can further and improve all your digital marketing efforts. 

Despite being the tragedy of 2020, the COVID-19 crisis has driven a new wave of digital transformation and innovation approaches. Businesses learned to navigate the challenges of the coronavirus while addressing the needs of their employees, customers, and clients.

A study conducted by McKinsey & Company, a management consulting company, found that COVID-19 has forced many companies to accelerate their digital initiatives.

The research also reported that digital adoption rates during COVID-19 have increased compared to the previous surveys conducted in pre-crisis time.

These findings suggest that the coronavirus pandemic awakened businesses to the importance of digital technology. Most organizations have sped up their digital efforts to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour.

Impact of COVID-19 on Businesses

When COVID-19 broke out, businesses all over the world were impacted by a range of challenges: keeping employees and customers safe, maintaining operations, navigating government support schemes, and managing revenue.

Smaller companies, particularly start-ups, faced more devastating effects, including mass employee layoffs. In fact, small businesses had to lay off people in just a few weeks after the onset.

According to Startup Genome’s Global Startup Survey, a majority of startups saw a decline in revenue since the beginning of the crisis. The key findings from the survey include:

  • 41% of startups globally are threatened in the “red zone”—they have three months or less of cash runway left.
  • 16% of startups saw their revenue drop by more than 80%
  • 74% of startups have had to terminate full-time employees a few weeks after the onset
  • 39% of all startups had to lay off 20% or more of their staff, and 26% had to let go 60% of employees or more
  • North America is the place with the biggest share of companies reducing headcount (84%), followed by Europe (67%) and Asia (59%).

Also, micro, small, and medium enterprises’ (MSMEs) struggle to survive the effects of COVID-19 as the crisis lengthens.

In the ILO SCORE Global Covid-19 Enterprise Survey, survey results show that 70% of MSMEs have had to shut down operations. Nearly 9 out of 10 businesses are experiencing a shortage in their cashflow, affecting business continuity.

Another study  also found that the sectors with the most business closures globally were the following:

  • Travel or tourism agencies (54%)
  • Hospitality and event services (47%)
  • Education and child care services (45%
  • Performing arts and entertainment (36%)
  • Hotels, cafes, and restaurants (32%)

While many start-ups are moving closer to closure and bankruptcy, the pandemic has opened doors to many entrepreneurial businesses.

Entrepreneurs have pivoted to offer goods and services borne out of the crisis, such as face masks, commercial cleaning services, delivery and errand services, and so on.

Moreover, some businesses have managed to stay operational in the midst of COVID-19—and accelerating digital transformation has helped them a lot.

3 Ways Businesses Adopted Digital Technology During COVID-19

1. Reshape Remote Working

A vast majority of businesses across the globe have made an abrupt shift to remote work. Many have normalized the “work from home” model to protect employees, serve customers, and most importantly, establish business continuity.

Remote work and virtual teams also put a spotlight on the importance of technology.

For example, Zoom, a video conferencing application, emerged as one of the most useful tools during COVID-19. Organizations use it to collaborate with their team members, in real-time.

Other online productivity tools and employee-facing technologies have also helped employees to more easily operate at similar levels of productivity, despite working outside the office.

According to a Synergy Research Group study, cloud providers see aggressive growth amidst the coronavirus crisis. It only means that more businesses have moved to the cloud to support a remote workforce.

With COVID-19 making remote work the new normal, companies—small or large —should see cloud-based technologies as a digital transformation priority.

2. Adopt Technology-Driven Systems

The success of remote work setup during the pandemic depends on several factors, including digital technologies.

Small to medium-sized businesses, and most especially, larger corporations must invest in digital tech to manage remote employees and facilitate fast communication and collaboration.

However, the virtual work environment is susceptible to data protection and data privacy risks, requiring businesses to adopt a technology-driven system to allay the fears of security risks.

The latest Exabeam report finds that there has been a significant increase in enterprise adoption of cloud-based security solutions to support a remote workforce.

The data found that 44% of enterprises use cloud-based security products to protect corporate financial information compared to the earlier study, where only 12% were protecting corporate financial information in this way.

Additionally, about 90% of companies said they rolled out cloud-based security products at the right time for the business. Many deployed such software solutions to safeguard customer information while sending emails and sharing files.

Those who incorporated cloud technology have also seen improvements in monitoring and tracking of cyber attacks (21%) and accessing the software’s latest features (20%). These findings are evidence that digital transformation minimizes resources and overheads, allowing security analysts to complete tasks faster and focus on other projects.

3. Digitize Customer Experience

The virus not only changed the way people work but also the way people use the Internet.

With the lockdowns and limitations of activities, people seek out alternative entertainment and socialization. These include the uptake of the use of streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon,  and YouTube.  People are also connecting with distant friends on social media apps like Facebook.

Time spent online has increased, and so has how much money people spend online.

COVID-19 has driven changes in consumer behavior and put e-commerce at the forefront of retail. Pandemic-weary consumers are looking for new normal must-haves online from alcohol to hand sanitizers, face masks, cleaning supplies, skincare products, groceries, and more.

This new consumer behavior pattern has encouraged many businesses to digitize customer experiences using technological solutions like chatbots.

Short for chatterbot, this Artificial Intelligence (AI) feature helped retailers to bridge the gap in customer communications. The tool lets customers receive quick replies to their queries, eliminating the need for emails and long customer service wait times.

Use of live video streaming also spiked during the pandemic. Amazon, a big player in the e-commerce industry, entered into the live streaming space to add a human touch to internet shopping.

Facebook has got more involved with live streaming since many online merchants strive to provide personal assistance and in-store experience to their followers.

McKinsey & Company acknowledged the importance of elevating customer experience in the time of COVID-19. Engagement is a crucial aspect of digital transformation that businesses should not neglect to remain economically viable.

Final Thoughts

Businesses that embraced the digital transformation, adding cloud technology and digitized customer experiences to their arsenal, can weather any challenge, even a pandemic. They can innovate employee collaboration, protect sensitive data, and digitize the customer experience, among other benefits.

The role of marketing in this transformation is crucial. Companies should pair digital tech with a solid marketing strategy to create, drive, and deliver a customer-centric experience.

At 2Stallions, we provide digital marketing services (i.e. social media marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, etc.) that will help businesses understand and connect with their customers in today’s digital era. 

Check out our complete list of services at https://2stallions.com/service/digital-marketing/.

If there’s one overused cliché in content marketing, it would be “Content is King.” As cliché as it sounds, this phrase speaks the truth because any kind of content (i.e. blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.) can help brands in endless ways.

Words and visuals, in particular, are powerful communication tools. They help to establish your brand identity, build a connection with your audiences, boost awareness of your brand, and generate qualified leads among other benefits.

This is why every company should make content an essential part of its marketing arsenal. Businesses should utilise content marketing to improve awareness, leads, and sales.

If your organisation hasn’t developed a solid content marketing strategy yet, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon.

Keep reading to learn more about content marketing and how to make high-quality content pieces that work for your business.

What Exactly Is Content Marketing

In its simplest definition, content marketing is all about using relevant and valuable content to attract and retain visitors, eventually turning them into paying customers.

It aims to capture the interest of audiences and solve their pain points by creating content that serves these goals.

This blog you’re reading right now is a form of content marketing. That online survey you answered, the email you opened and social media posts you liked is also another form of content marketing.

Other types of content marketing include:

  • case studies
  • infographics
  • webinars
  • podcasts
  • videos

Why Content Marketing Works

Content marketing works wonders because of 3 major reasons: it delivers value to audiences, builds trust over time, and attracts the right target audience for your brand.

Think of blog articles as an example. These content pieces are written for a certain group of audiences to address specific needs, pain points, and desires.

When the readers’ problems are addressed and solved through your articles, your blog site establishes an authority. Readers will keep coming back for more, thus allowing your brand to engage better leads and customers.

Still not convinced that content marketing works? Take a look at these content marketing statistics:

Content Marketing Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

You now know what content marketing is all about. You are aware on how it can help your marketing efforts. Let’s take a look at some successful examples that can inspire you into action!

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign

Coca-Cola company personalised its cans with 250 of the most common names and people around the world went crazy in search of a can bearing their name. The campaign was a major success because it appealed to human emotions, inspiring shared moments of happiness among friends and family.

In Australia alone, the soft drink manufacturer sold more than 250 million (that is 10 times of its population size!) bottles and cans within 3 months.

Coca-cola grew sales with share a coke campaign

Superdrug challenges beauty standards with the campaign: “Perceptions of Perfection Across Borders”

Superdrug Online Doctor is a website offering prescription and medical consultation services. The brand asked designers from 18 countries to retouch a woman’s photo according to their country’s beauty standard. The project aimed to better understand potentially, the unrealistic standards of beauty and to see how pressures on women’s bodies vary around the world.

The project turned out to be a success because of the body positivity message it left: there’s no such thing as the perfect body.  

These pictures quickly made headlines when they were first published and sparked lots of conversations online which boosted the brand awareness of Superdrug.

BuzzFeeds Tasty facebook page – Building a juggernaut with short video content

BuzzFeed’s instructional cooking arm, Tasty, is one of the biggest publishing brands on Facebook and it’s also the juggernaut behind the success of Buzzfeed’s video marketing.

Tasty successfully captured people’s interests by publishing recipes and other food-related content consistently. The brand also began the unique 60-second video format, making it popular on Facebook feeds.

In September 2016, Tasty’s main Facebook page was the third-biggest video account on Facebook with nearly 1.7 billion video views. Today, Tasty has grown into a multi-stream revenue model with over a 100 million followers, receiving an average of 300,000 views for each of its new video.

How to Create Content That Works for Your Brand

Remember, content is an essential piece of information. All the information presented in it can help you succeed at persuading and entertaining your readers. With that in mind, it is important to create a content marketing strategy that focuses on producing quality content.

There are 4 qualities to a great piece of content:

1. It Should Be ReadABLE

First things first, your content should be readable. It should be easy on the eyes.This means it should meet the following readability factors: font size, text and background colour, white space, and more.

You can’t expect your target audience to stay on your website if your content is written in tiny fonts. Troublesome colour combinations can also result in headaches, which can tune your readers out in the first few minutes of their site visit.

Also, white space should be your friend. Make sure the column width, vertical spaces between lines, and space around the images aren’t too tight for easier reading.

For content to be readable, it should also be easy to understand. Audience’s attention span keeps shortening over the years. That’s why you should convey your message simply to avoid alienating readers in the first few minutes or seconds.

Secondly, follow the KISS principle. Keep it short and simple. Steer clear of complex words and jargons to get your message across. It’s also ideal to reduce the length of your sentences.

While there’s no definitive rule on the ideal length of a paragraph, a great way to paragraph would be around ideas. Split your paragraphs into sections to make chunks of information easy to read.

2. It Should Be ShareABLE

The best content gets more eyeballs not only because it’s readable but also because it’s shareable. Oftentimes, content shareability depends on one significant factor: the topic itself.

If you want to get your content shared, come up with content ideas that resonate well with varied audience types. You can begin your topic research by looking into the following: emotions, trend, and identity.

Creating content that elicits emotions such as excitement, joy and awe can your make brand or campaign viral. Strike these positive chords to connect with your audiences emotionally and eventually attract more likes, clicks, or shares.

Finding trending topics and building upon them is another sure-fire way to make content shareable. Provide your target audience with content that speaks to their interests and this may help inspire discussion and connection among like-minded individuals.

Let’s say you’re targeting people who love to travel. This type of audience has various interests—destination, experience, food, and so on. You may write a blog article that features a list of vacation spots and activities in a specific location.

People are also more likely to share content on their social media profiles if they can relate to and see themselves in it. Try to understand what your target audience believes in and create a piece of content that affirms their points of view.

3. It Should Be ActionABLE

For a content marketing campaign to be effective, the content should not only spread information to a specific audience, but it should also prompt action and explain to the reader how they can achieve a certain objective. This is known as actionable content.

When creating actionable content, you must understand your prospect’s dilemmas or problems. You need to recognise these problems and provide answers, solutions or helpful advice.

So how do you actually create this kind of content?

First, you should focus on the ‘how-to’ element of your content. Instead of only presenting a list of ideas, explain how to execute them or guide readers on how to choose the right one.

Next, use visuals (i.e. images and videos) to explain your thoughts and ideas. The human brain is hardwired for visual content. Adding visual elements to your content will help your audiences process the information easily.

Also, actionable tips that are backed by real-life examples can convince your readers to take action. Include examples and statistics within sections of your posts to make your content trustworthy.

Lastly, use clear calls-to-action (CTAs). Keep them short and sweet but make sure you get the message across whilst evoking a sense of urgency.

4. It Should Be MemorABLE

Great content leaves your audience in awe. It lets readers hang on to your words or message not just for a moment, but for a long time.

Tapping into a single emotion such as happiness, sadness, anger or fear is one way to make content stick with your target audience. In a study conducted by Psychology Today, it was found that people respond to the emotional part of the ads than the text itself.

That is why tear-jerking and humorous campaigns tend to leave an impact on audiences. The strong emotions they convey help to engage, influence, and inspire people, making the campaign viral and memorable.

Apart from using emotional triggers, there’s another method to leave your audience awestruck- a cliff-hanger.

There are a few steps to create cliff-hanger content. First, begin with writing strong and magnetic headlines. Your headline should give readers a glimpse of your content’s purpose. Next, craft a promising introduction. Tell readers why they should care about your post and promise them a solution to their problems.

Then, leave them with a question that will make them reflect on how they can implement the knowledge you provided. The question should leave them wanting for more and clicking your call-to-action (CTA) button.

Back to You

Behind every successful brand, there are high-value content pieces designed to promote its business.

If you want to stand out or at least keep up with your competition, then develop content that’s readABLE, shareABLE, actionABLE, and memorABLE.

Fun fact: Those four words all end in ABLE. That means you have a bigger chance to achieve your goals if you’re able to create content that meets the above qualities.

Here at 2Stallions, we recognise the value of content marketing and uphold the above practices. If you need assistance with developing content that engages and sells, we would be happy to help. Learn more about our content marketing services here.

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