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If a picture paints a thousand words, a video must speak millions. This must be the reason that 79% of consumers watch a video to learn about a brand and its product, according to a 2017 study done by Wyzowl.

In addition, 84% of consumers take action after watching an explainer video. This action includes signing up for a newsletter or ultimately making a purchase.

Video is everywhere. Outside social media, audiences watch five billion videos on YouTube every day and Cisco believes video traffic will become the largest traffic contributor for any brand by 2020.

If you haven’t considered making videos for your brand, now’s the time. It’s not that difficult to create a video content production if you’re prepared.

What It Takes to Create a Compelling and Excellent Video

Indeed, professional video content production takes great planning and coordination between producers, directors, talents, and other suppliers.

The characteristics of modern video content production are as follows:

  • Talent: You’ll need professionals to act and speak for you. You need experienced lighting professionals to illuminate video aspects you need. A good post-production team will give the high-quality result you’re looking for in professional videos.
  • Narrative: Producers and directors with experience in creating brand messages through videos can cost a bit. However, they guarantee a compelling narrative based on your objectives for the video. Under their helm, they can maximize resource allocation for an excellent production.
  • Internet Marketing: A digital marketing agency gives you insight about which video and content appeals to your target audience. They can also help you determine the right distribution channels and concise messaging that helps drive home your video’s primary objective.

Read: Seven Things Big Brands Can Teach You About Excellent Storytelling

Six Reasons Video Content Get More Visibility

digital-tv1. From TV to Digital

Most Internet users are individuals who grew up used to mass media. The Internet’s evolution has changed and helped moved video from television to on-the-go and on-demand online video streaming.

Some claim that the new TV or broadcast media is social media. However, video content is overtaking the social networks as well. Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, sees 100 million hours of Facebook video views each day from billions of users.

Facebook once used top social media influencers to create live content providing a collective $2.2 million budget. It had gained more than millions of dollars in revenue in promoting its video feature.

2. Human Attraction to Movement

The human eye naturally follows movement. Static text is excellent content, but every marketer knows you only have 8 seconds (maybe even less) to convince an audience that the presented content is worth their time.

Videos should maximize its first 30 seconds to create a meaningful experience for audiences. According to Vidyard, humans understand a visual scene in less than one-tenth of a second. Text or audio requires more time to describe a particular scene. The human mind is able to piece each minute detail together quickly making video a most compelling and easily digestible format for audiences.

Additionally, Invisia’s research shows that 82% of Twitter users watch video content. This means more audiences prefer watching lengthy videos than reading 120-character microblogs, which are short enough as they are.

3. A Fluid Content Presentation Demanding Full Attention

Think With Google’s research shows that Millennials, which are the majority of smartphone users, are better focused when watching videos. This is because video is a very sensory medium, using more than one of your senses at a time.

While text only requires sight, and audio requires hearing, video is different. It combines the two, urging you to give your full attention. They’re processed 60,000 faster according to Vidyard which prevents cognitive strain among audiences. This compels audiences to stay glued to their screens for longer as they’re less likely to be distracted.

4. High-Quality Video and Content Builds Better Brand Authority

A high-quality video with superior production and research shows the lengths a brand is willing to go to in order to build a better brand image.

Going back to Vidyard’s research, videos are effective because they are visually stimulating and can create stronger connections with viewers. Even simple explainer videos that feature a speaking human combined with attractive visuals is enough to create a memorable connection that helps “humanize” the brand. If a brand is able to evoke a consumer’s emotions, they become more impactful and memorable, building a stronger brand authority. Just take a look at Lego’s latest video ad campaign, which was designed to look like Hollywood’s blockbuster movie, complete with playful banter to ignite excitement within the younger demographic.

5. Contributes to Better SEO

Videos with excellent content and production add value, entertain, and create a connection and a memorable experience all at the same time. This makes them viral-ready content that audiences can share quickly on social media.

When people share content, it inadvertently creates better backlinks, leading to better organic traffic to the source – you.

Even videos hosted on web pages can rank highly especially if brands manage the video’s SEO technicalities effectively such as metadata, targeted keywords, and others.

video-content-daily

6. Mobile-Friendly and Accessible

Going back to Think With Google’s study, it found that 40% of audiences access YouTube videos through their smartphones. From their research, they discovered that 98% of 18-34 year olds watch video content using their smartphones.

In addition, majority of live stream videos, which are becoming more popular through smartphone live broadcasts, are streamed through small-screened devices. Indeed, having a TV in your pocket is convenient and the beauty of live stream videos is that they provide instant entertainment anytime, anywhere.

Wrapping Up

Videos are gaining popularity. As a medium, the shift from TV to digital is rapidly rising and video is evolving along with it.  There’s on-demand, online streaming, YouTube videos that make entertainment convenient and easily accessible to anyone.

Video also gains more attention because the human eye automatically locks to motion and can process images fast. It is because they are a highly stimulating medium that they are capable of bridging across emotions that helps humanize a brand.

If you want to get started on your first video content marketing campaign but are feeling helpless, 2Stallions are here to offer their expertise!

Many people use social media in Southeast Asia. In fact, this region has the highest compared to the rest of the world. Southeast Asia’s social usage is at 51% more than the global average of 39% according to the 2018 Global Digital Report done by HootSuite & We Are Social. It also reported that more users are also accessing social media via their mobile devices with the number of monthly active users growing by 19% year-on-year.

It is no wonder then that Chief Marketing Officers are recognizing the power of social media marketing (SMM). According to The CMO survey, SMM budgets can increase from 11% to 24% by 2020. Data from the survey also suggests that 22% of SMM activities will be outsourced.

Data from advertising automation platform Nanigans indicates in its report (PDF) for Facebook Marketing Partners shows Southeast Asian companies who had used Facebook’s paid advertising campaigns have seen a 96% click-through (CTR) rate.

Image Source: EMarketer

According to Hubspot’s study of Digital Marketing in Asia Pacific in 2016, Asia Pacific marketers believe in the power of social media marketing. In fact, 37% of these companies have found success using Facebook’s paid advertising campaigns as an effective social marketing medium.

Image Source: Digital Report

Social media is a free tool. It was once used to demonstrate a “small world” connection between people and their new and old friends. Now, it has become an affordable avenue for publication, advertising, and marketing. Social networks can also create complete marketing funnels from Awareness to Advocacy if used for lead generation efficiently.

If you want to create an effective lead-generating social media campaign, then just keep in mind these steps.

Five Ways to Tweak Your Social Media Campaigns To Improve Your Presence and Leads

1. Create Viral-Ready and Value-Adding Content

You use the Internet to look for the best places to eat in a city foreign to you. In other cases, you use the Internet either to know a bit more about certain topics or for in-depth research. To integrate your content marketing efforts with your social network marketing and advertising, create content that adds value to consumers. These have the strongest likelihood of turning viral in social media.

Viral posts in social media tend to have the following characteristics aside from adding value:

  • Emotional
  • A theme everyone can relate to
  • Displaying uncommon talent
  • Provide a rare experience

Tips and ideas will always be value-adding content. However, any excellent deal that gives the customer an advantage is content that is viral-ready as long as it can deliver on its promises.

Singapore’s Scoot, a low-cost carrier brand similar to AirAsia and the Philippines’ Cebu Pacific is one example. In 2016, it launched its “Minute to Wing It” campaign.

Image Source: Design Prodigy

The campaign was to simultaneously celebrate its second year in business and create an excellent opportunity for promotion by using one-minute videos that asked audiences questions, which ranged from the number of people they can spot in a certain photograph to fun facts and trivia that can be searched online.

Participants who answered quickly received SGD2,000 in travel vouchers daily. Those who won in all their short video campaigns received the grand prize of two airline tickets for any destination the company covers.

The Singaporean Airline’s campaign saw 6,700 shares, 43,761 participants, and 6,017 new customers after its campaign finished. It also won the Singaporean Marketing Magazine’s “Agency of the Year Award 2017” for having the best digital campaign idea and best social media content during the time.

2. Create Engagements Through Continuous Engagement

If a brand responded to your comment, somehow, you feel elated. In fact, you feel that they’re watching their customers’ needs closely.

Engaging your customers in social media from comment threads to direct messaging can already deliver a unique experience.

However, it also helps your social media presence in a technical manner.

Facebook’s latest algorithm prioritizes posts with a high number of comments on users’ feeds including brand pages. Therefore, if there are more people discussing in the post, then the more visible the content becomes. In fact, seeing a great number of reactions for a certain comment brings the particular response as the top reply for the brand’s post

3. Livestream Your Most Important Events

Livestream features from Snapchat are now both on Facebook and Instagram. And if you’re not using it, now’s the time. It is a small social media feature about to become huge in the next few years.

According to Goldman Sachs, China’s livestream video market will grow up to $15 billion in 2020. The statement is based on the feature’s efficiency to gather individuals and create real-time discussion between the brand and their customers, and the audience with other audiences.

Image Source: Wikimedia

ZDnet reports that mobile livestreaming has grown from 60% to 95% in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. Most users are even investing 300-500 minutes viewing a brand’s livestream feature.

According to Skyword, the psychology behind livestream videos and video content, in general, is it creates suspense. Audiences have a fear of missing out. Livestream videos allow audiences to view events across the world instantaneously and communicate with the brand and their fellow audiences in real time, creating a unique experience like no other.

4. No Site Downtime (For Both Social and Company Sites)

This comes as a no-brainer. All social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are reliable networks with no downtime. With just a click of a button, your post is immediately shared with your audience. However, there are tools available out there that can help you schedule posts if you’re planning content in advance.

Image Source: Flickr

With no downtime, businesses should ensure that their pages with linked content also do not have any downtime. While social media can drive awareness and even high traffic to your site, an unpleasant user experience because of a server downtime can drive away potential conversions.

5. Analytics To The Rescue

Lastly, make sure that you have Facebook pixels (if you are linking back to your e-commerce site) and other analytic tools ready at hand. Nothing is more difficult than making false guesses about the performance of your social media posts and engagement. Studying and interpreting your analytic data correctly allows you to develop content that is informative, engaging, and capable of becoming viral.

Image Source: Flickr

Make sure to perform A/B tests based on information you gather on a regular basis. Some social media content can turn stale even after just three days of usage. In this light, make it a point to perform regular checks and updates where necessary for all your campaigns.

Wrapping-Up

Social media is undeniably a powerful tool for business marketing. With millions of people active in each country at every minute, your marketing and advertising efforts have the strongest chance of succeeding. By taking note of these five, you can create a compelling campaign that can help you generate leads and improve your conversion rates.

However, understanding the analytic information your tools collect can be difficult at first. It is important to spend time performing A/B tests on your new promotional material to tweak your strategy for the best results. To help hasten the process and ensure your investments double their returns, it would be best to consult professionals with experience in interpreting, analyzing, and providing insight into your future campaigns.

If you’re still looking for help with your business’ social media strategy, 2Stallions can help! Drop us an email or contact us here.

Know other ways social media marketing is helpful in generating more leads for your business? Share with us in the comments section.

If you’re still using an Android or iOS device’s voice-search feature, search engines are still relevant. If you use Google for research, then search engines can still be used for content marketing.

Some marketers believe search engine optimization (SEO) is dead. The reason behind the belief: social media advertisements and mobile applications make content marketing more effective. They believe spending on SEO nowadays is a waste.

However, the industry is still growing. According to SearchEngineLand, research by Borrell Associates shows that businesses have spent about $65 billion on SEM campaigns. The researchers note that the industry can grow to $72 billion by 2018. Their reasons include the decline of traditional advertising, increasing fact-checking attitudes of audiences, and sophisticated techniques.

Sophisticated SEO is spot on. SearchEngineLand’s Stephan Spencer writes that SEO is a “shape-shifter.” He writes about how it has changed in practice over the years. Modern SEO is a far cry from just optimizing headers and meta-tags. It is now about monitoring “entities” or subject-specific keywords and informative content. Spencer also highlights the importance of UX (which Google measures).

seo-website

SEO has changed with the advent of Web 2.0’s appearance and technicalities.

Source: Slideshare 

SEO plays a vital role in any business. In 2009, Marin Search Marketer helped improve Century Novelty’s overall revenues by 20%. The 1951-established party decors and supplies business saw new light online after the project. Marin Search Marketer focused on creating keyword-bidding goals to minimize their paid ad budgets and maximize ROI.

Another example of SEO success is this one project of Prime Visibility (now known as WPromote). The company helped Compass-Guard Security Systems improve its sales by using SEO targeted content and a PPC campaign to minimize paid ad spending costs. The result of their 2005 search engine marketing efforts increased content visibility by 79.4%. The business site had 278 CTA button clicks per month, effectively increasing their leads.

Never underestimate the power of a reliable SEO agency willing to provide excellent results. If you need to look for one, you must make sure to note these five characteristics.

Five Characteristics of a Reliable SEO Agency

1. Assess their Assessment

Most SEO firm sites want you to send your email and your interest in scheduling a free appointment. Take the plunge; sign up and wait for their correspondence. Their online correspondent will ask you through an email to detail your business, its performance, and SEO goals. The free consultation, just like the real thing, will take time. The correspondent may likely ask for more information; remember not to provide delicate ones crucial to your business.

Once they provide you a final recommendation and quote, assess their assessment. Ask the firm how they came up with the milestones and methods. Inquire why they feel strongly about using the indicated procedures. Finally, question them how they measured the projected results.

If you want to make an informed decision, then you need to use the free quotations of other prospects, too. It may take some time to wait for each assessment. However, it will be worth it because a data-backed, informed decision will significantly save your business time and money. You can have a free quote here.

seo-company-tools

If they’re willing to, ask their tool’s tool accuracy, too.

Source: Backlinko 

2. Performance Metrics Guaranteed (and Fulfilled)

Reliable SEO agencies want to help you genuinely. It might seem silly to believe a copy that talks about their passion for data, analytics, and seeing growth. However, some firms sincerely feel it is their goal in existing.

These companies know the realistic metrics they can achieve for your business. Reputable agencies will need to know your goals for the SEO campaign, the timeframe you expect it done, and the budget you have to implement it. You will have several meetings with them. The goal of these interactions is to adjust certain metrics to achieve your goals within a realistic timeframe and budget.

Reliable companies will advise you on the type of digital marketing style advantageous for the company. They can create drafts for ideal and realistic plans to show you the difference between timeframes and budgets. SEO agencies you can depend on will never begin any project without your approval. They will also include in the contract all agreed metrics they intend to deliver for your business.

3. Years of Experience

An SEO company that is has been around in the industry for years indeed sounds impressive. Digital marketing as a whole is a continuously-changing environment. For a company to survive a year, they must have provided excellent service to their previous clients. However, make sure to observe their methods and assess their assessment (as mentioned earlier). If you do this, you can maximize your investment in these long-established companies.

4. Portfolio

If an SEO company strongly caters to you, it wants to achieve one of these two things. It might want to expand their services and learn with you. It could also be that the firm is confident because it had handled cases similar to yours. You can answer this question by asking them for their portfolio of case studies.

Some companies publish these case studies on their site. Some firms can digitally send them for your reference. Make sure to prioritize studies and service renditions similar or relevant to your industry.

If their portfolio is informative and data-packed, then the more helpful it will be for your evaluation. Take note of the set milestones and the results. See if they met these goals. Next, check the space of time between each procedure implemented and achieved the goal. These small details will help you make an informed decision in using the firm’s services. Meanwhile, feel free to check our previous works here.

5. Feedback from Trusted or Similar Businesses as Yours

A reputable SEO company can forward you to customers they serviced. On their pages, you can also find a list of client feedbacks. Most of these will be positive. You can email the agency and ask them to provide customers with your reference. Prioritize references for industries similar to yours.

Make sure to ask about the referred client’s goal during their project. Have them describe the firm’s attitude. Discuss scheduling and milestone achievement frequencies. Ask about the overall working system and logistics of the company. The more informative their answers, the easier it is to know whether the SEO firm is reliable or not.

Wrapping-Up

SEO is an industry that is bound to get bigger than its current stature in the next few years. Social networks, target-centric search engines, and applications might invade specific markets. However, users will still keep on researching regarding particular, and search engines are vital to doing this.

You will need an SEO firm to help your content and advertisements reach the top of results pages. Outsourcing SEM campaigns will be better for your business. Having a team dedicated to the task is time and resource-conserving than having an in-house equivalent.

The Internet is an inexpensive way to spread the word if your company can do it effectively. Search engines, video streaming sites, and social networks have become the new television. An SEO agency or specialist can provide plenty of affordable solutions, but who should you put your money on if you’re about to undertake a new campaign?

Digital marketing firms can be completely focused on SEO.  Most agencies offer an “all-around” solution to all your web needs including social media promotion, content production, local-oriented SEO, and other factors that can help you rank your website.

Another is the independent SEO specialist, who is considerably reliable based on their case studies, previous projects, and testimonials from previous clients. These individuals are often active in business forums, helping and providing informative, actionable solutions for businesses.

A business can spend an average of $75 – $200 an hour using SEO firms, according to Moz’s SEO pricing costs survey of 600 and more agencies. The data also indicates that the service prices vary depending on which country the company is situated. Moz even shared its insight that an SEO agency working on a project basis with a client costs about $1,000 – $7,500, amounts usually set as budgets with defined expectations between the firm and the client.

Moz’s data also suggests another thing: Some SEO companies earning these amounts usually have 1-5 employees; about 52.2% of their respondents have a 1:1 employee-client ratio. If you will have a singular SEO specialist, then you can deduce that it can be affordable to use an independent SEO specialist instead.

If you get what you pay for out of an SEO project, you can consider it as money well spent. To ensure you do, the service must have done you a favor when it comes to the following areas:

Resource Management: An SEO agency or specialist’s ability to use affordable but efficient sources to meet the deadlines often lowers their costs (and makes them reputable if they have previous case studies). They guarantee there are no overhead costs even after the project and they account for all receipts regarding any software, tool, or other resources they used.

Frees up Your Time for Priorities: Any business owner will hire a specialist or agency because industry-dedicated and studious professionals allow them to free up their time to focus on business growth and other business essentials.

Accountability on Results: Speaking of outcomes, the SEO agency or specialist, having not met the deadline’s expectations, must hold itself accountable for extending their helpfulness towards a feasible resolution of the particular aspect with their clients. They can offer further revisions depending on the initial agreement before using their services.

Point by Point Comparison

Cost-Efficiency

Most SEO specialists, given their years of experience in the field, have all resources in place ready to process your issues and manifest the expectations you develop with them. These professionals work with your business intimately and handle any other issues that crop up personally. If you have a minor problem that limits the performance of your SEO campaigns, you can hire a specialist that works by the hour and spend less (which is excellent resource management on your part).

Agencies are often firms created by pals who have worked at one point as independent specialists, which is often true for many digital marketing firms. Given their collective experience in the field, they have a better variety of tools that allow them to meet your goals. Most companies also give you a budget estimate that they will strictly follow, making it unlikely to have overheads post-campaign implementation. Creative Cali believes the right company will never have hidden fees and will care deeply for clients, too.

Positive Contributions to Business Growth

Specialists handle each client individually and use a variety of solutions based on their knowledge and professional interpretations derived from their analytic tools. Given they work individually, they have a complete view of the entire campaign’s details from keyword research to view-through rates of your social network or YouTube videos. They can let you focus on growing your business while they handle your SEO needs, but they can introduce overhead costs in some occasions especially if they outsource certain duties to other SEO specialists in certain fields to meet your deadlines.

SEO agencies work with your budget and have a selection of specialists that excel in certain SEO fields. Both senior and junior teams work together through structured processes, which make their analytic interpretations produced fast and accurate. The immediate presentation of data makes it faster to scale your campaigns because you can make an informed decision with the presented data. However, their contributions depend on the availability of their clients and the budgets you set; most firms will divert their attention on large-budget projects to meet deadlines.

Accountability on Results

Specialists work on a timetable and monitor campaign’s performance consistently. They can offer a heavily discounted monthly rate for this service because the maintenance of the SEO’s performance is the only goal. However, specialists on a project-based fee can provide one or two months of free maintenance to their clients.

An SEO agency can offer revision services after each project depending on the service packages they provide. In general, high-budget projects often have unlimited revisions.

Verdict

And the winner is…
Both service types.

Both SEO specialists and agencies can be used on a situational basis. If you have a big project that needs a wide-scale implementation within a short timeframe, you will want a team to focus on the task and only paying once regardless of costs makes agencies a great and profitable solution. If you have a small project that needs a quick solution at a fixed price, specialists can be right up your alley.

Wrap Up

Any SEO agency or specialist you hire must meet these three variables to ensure you get your time and money’s worth when using their services. Small and medium-sized business thrive on a shoestring budget and every penny counts. Digital marketing is affordable, but it can still be costly if you invest in the wrong party.

Make sure to note the concept of the Iron Triangle before making any decision to hire. If you want it done fast and good, then you will have to pay a premium in exchange. Want something quick and affordable? Then you compromise the product’s quality. If you want something affordable but with great quality, then you will have to wait for longer. You can also check out 2Stallion’s SEO services page for more details.

As children, our parents used storytelling to put some colour on simple life lessons. As a result, we remembered these lessons well and kept them in our hearts and mind.

Content marketing professionals also use storytelling to bring life to a brand and consider it as one of the main components of a content marketing approach.

Often, they tell stories focused on a company’s rise as a prominent industry icon and what motivates it to pursue its goals. Brand stories will allow your target audience to see you as an actual organization of people rather than a boring corporate figure. They prefer connecting with humans who are why brand storytelling is the yellow brick road for marketers.

Creating a good brand story requires a more emotional approach. Don’t make it solely about your company; go personal and beyond mere publicity. Here are the five must do’s for a great brand story.

1. Make It Personal

The most amazing stories in the world are uplifting, exciting, and even terrifying, if all the details in the story are condensed into a human struggle.

One great example of making it personal is Nike’s “Equality” Campaign. It features a 90-second commercial starring LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Victor Cruz, Dalilah Muhammad, and others sharing a strong personal stance on equality.

 

Image by: Youtube/Nike

A behind-the-scenes video was also released to show what equality means for them. LeBron James said, “At the end of the day, we’re always just trying to find a way that we can all feel equal, we can all be equal, have the same rights, have the same feelings, being able to be in the same place no matter the color.”

A storytelling campaign should focus on the person, not on selling the product or service. A personal story can be a consumer’s positive experience using the product or service.

2. Create Relatable Characters

Characters act and respond, making them the force that drives the narrative. Making audiences empathize with his or her struggles makes the story more compelling and memorable, and can coincide with the reasoning of a particular target market.

Jollibee’s 2017 Valentines Ad Campaign did this, plus more. The Filipino fast food chain released a series of video each telling a different story that put viewers into a whirlwind of relatable emotions all ending with the conclusion that love comes in many forms.

Image by: Youtube/Jollibee Philippines

One of the videos titled “Vow,” tells the story of a guy who met “the one” in one of the Jollibee branches he frequents. He and the girl spent plenty of time together and fell madly in love. He vowed to make her happy no matter what it takes. However, there was a heartbreaking twist at the end. The video instantly became viral and currently has more than 15 million views.

The whole ad series raked more than 30 million views on Facebook and the fast-food chain’s burger sales quadrupled after the ads were released.

The brand became more trustworthy because the values the character exhibited guarantee the quality of the products or services the business offers.

3. Be Honest

Stories become famous because they are unique or tell a story that mirrors that of their audience. However, going for a fresh story that could be exaggerated can be entertaining, but it will lack the strong emotions that make brand storytelling inspiring and memorable.

Another way to introduce honesty is not to take the brand too seriously. Self-deprecation, if it suits the brand, is helpful because it is entertaining and funny to audiences. It also helps introduce a casual and approachable identity. Adweek listed Apple’s 2007 “Stuffed” advertisement for being a hilarious but concise way to promote their new product, and it still does its job.

Image by: Youtube/Digital Hytop

The ad was built on two funny archetypal characters (Justin Long as the Mac and John Hodgman as the PC) where the bumbling PC always complain to Mac about being slowed down by so many pre-installed trials.

Showing the positive and negative aspects of a specific character makes them human and removes the “super” quality that makes them just a simple protagonist or inspiring figure. And in the case of Apple, they did it in a very funny and memorable way.

4. Make a Flowing Story

In an advertising video’s 30 seconds, brands can tell their stories in chapters as long as they introduce an amazing narrative with characters that audiences can empathize and care for.

The best way to do this is to use the three-part scenario of most storylines: the beginning, middle, and end.

The beginning shows the characters and introduces them and their current predicaments. In this scenario, building up the character’s appeal and the audience’s empathy for them is important.

In the next scene, problems arise. Here’s why this section is special: brands can promote their products or services as a solution to resolve the character’s conflict. If the story is compelling enough, audiences will look past the product and just want to see the resolution.

The last scene will show whether the character’s efforts in the middle had worked out with the help of the product or service. In the resolution, brands can inject emotion and an exceptional resolution that will encourage audiences to share the story over and over again to others who may be interested.

Image by: Youtube/tigerbeer

Just take a look at Tiger Beer’s “3890 Project.” The main character of the campaign are the tigers left in the wild, which is estimated to be just a measly 3,890. Together with WWF and six street artists, the Asian beer brand made 6 documentaries exposing the illegal tiger trade and what people can do to help.

5. Tease Your Audience

Teasing is a great way to gain attention; if you’ve ever watched your favourite series, the last scene in the episode is another problem that needs to be solved in the consequent episode. This is a “page-turning” device in novel or story writing.

Hooked audiences will want to know more about the events in the next part of the story. In advertisements, stories can use a narrative technique: foreshadowing, which shows an event that will be clarified in the middle or the last scene.

Image by: Youtube/DBS

DBS actually made a mini-drama series on their website with each episode ending in a cliff hanger. The first 3 episodes garnered more than 12 million views and 510,000 engagements according to reports. Each episode has successfully reinvented the brand into a company that will go above and beyond for each customer.

Connecting Through Stories

In a world of fast-paced competition, companies lose their appeal to who matters most: their customers. Connecting with customers in a personal, human way helps them remove the stigma of an “official” or “big company,” and it helps them show that they understand and empathize with the struggles of their audiences.

Television advertisements in the past have done so well to elicit emotions and empathy from consumers. Today, the Internet still uses video to tell stories that inspire, entertain, or make audiences laugh and push forward their business’ personality as something akin to the advertisements. If you are not sure which emotions to focus on, the Harvard Business Review has a great article on the emotions that drive straight into any audiences’ heart.

However, certain target markets like to read up on solutions. Blogs are a great answer to these audiences. Social media is also a great network to incorporate narratives. By using all these mediums together, a solid brand storytelling campaign can guarantee great results.

*First published in “The Singapore Marketer

Neuromarketing is a term that has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years. But somehow, the exact definition of neuromarketing seems unclear. For me, the best way to define neuromarketing is that it scientifically studies the brain to benefit marketing. For example, medical technologies like brain scanning and brain activity measurements are used to gauge a person’s response to different marketing elements like packaging, videos, ads, billboards, etc.

Sounds like utter science fiction right? But here is some food for thought – large companies like Ford motors and Coca-Cola have been investing heavily on neuromarketing since the 1990s. Today, a lot of other companies have already followed suit.  There are good reasons why you should start thinking about using the consumer brain when it comes to your marketing. Let’s discuss the most notable ones.

Five clever ways companies are use Neuromarketing

Great packaging

Have you ever gone through an entire aisle of potato chips in the supermarket and had to choose one among the multitudes of bright collared packaging? It turns out, the brand you pick might be the work of your brain’s preference.

Companies have figured out through Electroencephalogram (EEG) what elements consumer prefer on their packaging and subsequently, what they do not like. When Chips Ahoy decided to use neuromarketing in their packaging, they discovered that people had a negative emotional reaction to the “resealable” words on their packaging. This is because people found it a bit hard to read.

Surprisingly, the photo of the chocolate chip cookie on their packaging failed to garner great reactions amongst the test subjects. As a result, Chips Ahoy redesigned their packaging with a “resealable” tab that was more clear and a cookie visual that is more exciting (with flying chocolate chips).

Image by Neuro Science Marketing

Simply put, making sure that people will like your packaging is one great way to steal their hearts.

Limited Editions

Have you ever heard of the story about limited edition Nike sneakers causing mayhem among “sneakerheads” on opening day? Well, there is a reason for that and that has something to do about Neuromarketing.

The effect of consumers love for limited editions and limited-time offers are called marketing with scarcity. Marketers put limitations on a product like timed offers and dwindling supplies to pressure them into buying fast. Creating a sense of urgency for the customer has been a technique that has been used countless times and has proven to be so effective. Think midnight sales, limited edition items, and McDonald’s McRib.

Image by Summit Evergreen

Think about this, a report by Experian has noted that emails with words of urgency have a 14% higher open rates and a whopping 59% higher transaction rates. Marketing scarcity rushes the consumer mind and is a great tool to turn up the sales.

Multisensory stimulations

Companies are taking their marketing efforts to another level nowadays. This includes giving their customers an experience that goes beyond sight and sound. As marketers keep learning more and more about how the consumer mind works, we are going to see a lot of marketing elements that utilize the other senses – smell and touch.

A good example is the video game, South Park: The Fractured but Whole. In order to promote the game, the developers invited journalists and bloggers to try their latest gadget, the Nosulus rift. This gadget is supposed to be an accompanying peripheral for their game that emits an ungodly odour for various scenes. This blends perfectly well with South Park’s crass humour.

Suffice to say, the journalists love it and the story went viral. This just goes to show how various companies are turning their attention beyond visual marketing.

Striking Headlines

Headlines are one of the most important elements in advertising and its impact has not waned to this day. Oftentimes, headlines are what grabs the attention of people in an ad. So making sure that your headlines are attention grabbing and exciting is very important to surprise the human brain.

Here is a great tip: Try a technique called “Hippocampal Headlines.” This means that you can use familiar everyday phrases and tweak them a bit. This type of headline activates the brain making your headline more eye-catching and memorable.

For example, Silver Patron tequila used the slogan “Practice Makes Patron” as a twist on the familiar phrase, “practice makes perfect.”

Image by Neuro Science Marketing

Effective web layout

Neuromarketing in web layout aims to improve your visitor engagement and conversion rate. This is based on the cognitive preferences utilised within your website’s content and design. Little things such as the font, colour schemes, and layout have an effect on the visitors.

You’ve probably recently encountered websites that utilises modern horizontal design. This is often done by designers to keep up with the current trends. However, neuromarketers found out that the traditional vertical design engaged visitors more than the newer horizontal design.

The study revealed that people are more inclined to explore websites that are designed vertically. Neuromarketers explained that the vertical design sends a signal to the reader’s brain that there are more contents below, as opposed to the horizontal design. You can also read more about how you can optimise your website in our Design page.

Neuromarketing is here to stay

Neuromarketing is a relatively new player in the realm of business. However, the effects and results of neuromarketing have been impressive, to say the least. Marketers should be on the look-out for future neuromarketing trends such as eye-tracking and biometric engagement.

The consumer mind is still continuously evolving and companies have turned to science to keep up. There are still so many opportunities to explore and a lot of research to be conducted. With that, it definitely looks like that neuromarketing is here to stay and is definitely worth a look at.

*This article was first featured in The Singapore Marketer July-Sept 2017 issue. 

Marketers of today face many dilemmas – customers are going mobile, more demanding, and less loyal. The industry leaders have started embracing customer-centricity as a vital way to grow their companies and strategies that are more customer-driven in place of the more traditional business or product-driven ones.

However, it is not as simple as putting the customer at the top of your priority list. There are other approaches you can employ when it comes to customer-centricity, and most of them revolve around what the customers need.

But before we proceed to those factors, let us first answer an imperative question about this topic.

What Does Being Customer-Centric Mean?

You’ve probably heard from some of your peers, or maybe you are experiencing this yourself, that companies are now transitioning from product-oriented to customer-oriented and the strategies are different when it comes to acquiring new and return customers.

The customer-centric approach tries to answer the question of what matters most to buyers. It’s not a new term among marketers. However, I believe only a few actually understand it. Super Office, an awarded-winning Customer Relationship Management software developer, defines being customer-centric as not just having great customer service but offering an excellent overall customer experience. That means a customer is at the centre of a significant expertise in all aspects of his journey – from awareness, purchasing process, and even the post-purchase process.

Still think that customers are not king? According to a study from Walker Info, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the way brands differentiate themselves.

Graph by Super Office

5 Approaches That Can Make Your Company More Customer-Centric

Now, that we have defined what it means to be customer-centric, let us proceed on how we can make your company more customer-centric.

Adopt Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is one of the hottest marketing terms right now. Simply put, it is the seamless integration of all the points in your customer’s journey. In the old days, a customer’s journey was quite simple; go to a brick and mortar store and ask a salesperson about the product that piques your interest. The end of the customer’s journey is either leaving the store or going to the cashier to purchase it.

Nowadays, it is not as simple as that. Customers have an array of devices to do their shopping and usually go to different points before arriving at the purchasing part.  While most users start their online journey using mobile devices, they could end up purchasing it on a desktop or tablet a few hours later.

Image by Heidi Cohen

Making this entire process as seamless and as hassle-free to the customer is at the heart of omnichannel marketing. Starbucks is a great example of a company doing omnichannel marketing the right way.

Starbucks Mobile Apps

Their loyalty card app gets you free rewards when you purchase inside their stores. However, Starbucks goes far and beyond a simple rewards card program and lets their reward app users update and reload their cards through mobile, in-store, website, or on the app itself. Every single change on the app automatically updates the user’s profile across all channels.

Make Customer-Centricity Your Company’s Mission

Customer-centricity is not just some words that executives can throw around without practising it. Interestingly though, there is a huge discrepancy between how customers perceive their customer service experience versus how companies feel about their performance. Just take a look at the graph by i-scoop:

As you can see, many companies are thinking they are doing a good job in handling their customers. However, only 8 percent of those companies do. It can’t all be lip-service when it comes to being customer-centric, it has to be your company’s mission.

Amazon tops the list when it comes to being a customer-centric company. Most of their practices propelled their company to consistently rank first on the list of the most customer-centric companies in the world. Their CEO, Jeff Bezos, has successfully embedded customer-centricity at the very core of each of his employees. The whole company is on a mission to always be the best. Just check out some of the practices that keep them on the top of their customer service game:

-Each meeting, CEO Jeff Bezos leaves one chair open at the conference table and tells everyone that it is occupied by “the most important person in the room – the customer.”

-Amazon prioritises the development of products that the consumer wants and needs like the Kindle and FireTV.

-The company has a culture of metrics wherein they do head-to-head tests of customer’s reaction based on their different site features and designs.

Be “Right For Them”

These are times when customers liking your brand isn’t enough to keep them loyal but being “right for them” is.  According to the American Marketing Association, Home Depot’s sales reached 19.7 billion after they started offering a wider assortment of products that their customers need. Here’s what Home Depot CIO Matt Carey has to say.

“Most people try to solve for what their internal problems are, or a pre-determined view of what they think the experience should be, we want to listen to our customers first, they tell us how they’d like to shop with us, and how they’d like to see us presented to them, and make those changes appropriately.”


So how did Home Depot do it?

In addition to the products, Home Depot also focused on the customer experience of checking out by standardising the process across all channels – in-store, online, mobile, and in-home. They also updated their management system, so associates can have more time assisting the customers instead of spending time on the computer. All these ultimately led to their success – and they are even reinvesting more on customer experience this year. Check out the tweet below.


In Vietnam, Thanh Nguyen created a company named Anphabe, which is best described as a Vietnamese version of LinkedIn. The company works hard to have an efficient networking platform that can connect millions of professionals in Vietnam.

By localising their website, Anphabe is a company that the Vietnamese trust when it comes to connecting with others professionally. Thanh Nguyen believes in being right for the customer, and she says that “If we desire to succeed in business, we should create meaningful and useful products or services for customers first and relentlessly satisfy their needs.”

See: Localise Your Website To Increase Regional Presence In The Asian Market

Transparency And Innovation

United Services Automobile Association (USAA), a Fortune 500 financial services group, has a very forward thinking when it comes to the implementation of a customer-centric strategy. They employ transparency and innovation when it comes to serving their clients. Here are some of their customer-centric features that made them a huge hit among customers:

-Their 24/7 “My Account” feature provide their customers with a real-time status of their car insurance claim. Customers can check as often as they need.

-USAA is the first bank to make iPhone deposits to their customers. This nifty app allows clients to use an iPhone to scan an endorsed check and have it deposit straight to their account without having to go to the actual bank.

-Soldiers on the field are offered a text account balance service.

These features, among others, are what made USAA on the top of their industry. Bloomberg reported that 87 percent of survey respondents would do business with USAA again. In addition to that, JD Power’s survey also mentioned that USAA’s client retention rate is a near-perfect 97.8 percent Check out USAA’s mobile app:

Another company that implements transparency and innovation is China’s biggest tech start-up — Xiaomi. They are a cell phone manufacturer, but Instead of starting with the hardware, Xiaomi first focused on software.

The brand, which started back in 2010 went on bulletin boards, forums, and discussion places where most Android users were. From the forums, hundred were recruited to download, test, and give their feedback about different versions of Android that they developed. As soon as they got that right, they started making the hardware, and after over a year, the first phone model was born.

In an industry where being secretive is a norm, Xiaomi has a very open environment and Lei Jun, the company’s CEO, credits their customers for a third of the features added to their operating system and for reaching more than 100 million users to date. Check out the video of their latest smartphone below.

Sweat The Small Stuff

Focusing on the big picture will keep everything on track, but it is easy to overlook the other facets of the company. It is sometimes the little things that are the most memorable to the consumers. Sweating the small stuff usually doesn’t cost much, but it will go a long way in creating a lasting relationship with your company’s customers.

The international hotel chain, Marriott, instilled this on their employees. From their housekeepers making sure that the alarm is not set before leaving the room, to their social media division who actively respond to tweets, each one aims to focus on being more customer-centric. Founder J. Willard Marriott says it best:

“It’s the little things that make big things possible. Only attention to the fine details of any operation makes the operation first class.”

Companies who use this approach appears to be friendlier and to be showing a more genuine concern for their customers. In return, customers will more likely form a stronger bond and increase their loyalty to these brands.

Customer-Centricity Is The Way To Go

Customers nowadays drive the marketplace and companies are taking notice. Back in the day, the primary driving force behind sales is a superior product and excellent service. Now, times have changed, and consumers are valuing the experience more than the product itself. A seamless experience across multiple devices and marketing channels is now at the forefront of brand and customer relationship.

The ability to address your customers’ needs is, therefore, more important than ever. With all the new companies and products popping up at a fast rate, the capacity to create a bond with your customer becomes even more essential than the quality of what you are selling.

With a better understanding of customer-centricity, you are on your way to a profitable marketing strategy. However, one thing that you should look out for is how to accurately localise your marketing efforts when dealing with a foreign market. In the next chapter, we will discuss how you can localise your website for the Asian market.

The year has passed by quickly, and new budgets, organisation changes, and rapid digital innovation that may disrupt many big businesses are already out there.

There were some drastic changes in the consumer goods industry in 2016. AB-Inbev took over SAB Miller for a merger of more than US$100 billion, making them now the largest beer company in the world.

Here are some of the changes that the Asian consumer goods industry is experiencing.

1. Rapid Growth In Asia – 2017 And Beyond

While Asian powerhouses like China and Japan are going to experience a slight dip when it comes to growth in 2017, while other economies within the region are predicted to perform quite well. India leads the growth with a GDP increase of 7.5 percent this year according to a report by International Monetary Fund. Vietnam will continue to be a fast-growing economy along with the Philippines and Malaysia .

2. Direct From Manufacturer To Consumer Via Online

Consumer goods marketers are trying to find ways to create direct-to-consumer (DTC) to communicate with their customers directly. While this would only be possible up to a certain degree decades ago, digital channels have now enabled manufacturers of various industries to engage with their customers directly.

According to a report by Forbes, there will be a 71 percent growth in manufacturers who sell directly to their consumers. Moreover, more than one-third of consumers indicated that they had bought items directly from the manufacturer’s website last year. Marketers of these consumer goods manufacturers now realise that using tools like social media, email, mobile, and apps to converse with their customers is the way to go.

Nike, a very well-known consumer goods manufacturer, has been putting more effort to connect with their customers by improving their digital presence directly. They have managed to grow their sales further by launching NIKEiD, which is an online service that lets customers customise their gear. The direct to consumer campaign was responsible for 22 percent of Nike’s total revenue in 2015. Here’s a video to better explain NIKEiD:

3. Weakening Retailers

As stated above, manufacturers are starting to engage their customers directly, and this is weakening the retailers. Some time ago, manufacturers had to rely on their retailers to sell their goods and engage their customers. However, new digital channels have allowed manufacturers to bypass their retailers. Consider the following figures from Digital Clarity Group:

  • Nearly half of all consumers are already visiting the manufacturer’s website with the intention to buy.
  • Direct to consumer is a way for manufacturers to keep all the profit. Net margin per unit doubles with direct to consumer. A vendor interviewed for this research mentioned that the increases among customers are from 50 percent and even as high as 400 percent making their overall margin better.
  • Manufacturers who are now selling DTC have customers who are more engaged and loyal. They are now able to promote a customised product assortment to customers due to the availability of data on the customer’s purchasing habits.

These factors are the strong-suit of start-ups such as the Dollar Shave Club, which we first mentioned in Chapter I. They have mastered how to converse with their customers over different digital channels authentically. Six hours after the release of a video with their founder talking about their product in a very humourous way, the blades were sold out, and their website

Since consumers now have access to information about products online, they have a stronger ability to compare brands, pricing, and reviews. These make companies such as Dollar Shave Club who has built good customer relationships, even more valuable to big manufacturers.

4.  Increasing Importance Of Direct Sales

Under Armour Inc., a huge rival of Nike in the sports apparel space focused on e-commerce sales as well as factory outlets and had a great start on 2017 regarding DTC. They had a 23 percent increase in DTC revenue in 2016 and is still looking for more ways to reach consumers directly. A huge part of this success is attributed to various websites that the company launched in places like Thailand and Belgium in 2015.

Link: https://www.underarmour.com.sg/

Most businesses have focused on this aspect this year. Aside from the juicy profit margins reaped from DTC models, it will also allow companies to control their branding story and message that they want to tell customers.

DTC has a myriad of benefits. While big brands do make a killing when it comes to sales through retailers, they are still at the mercy of those retailers when it comes to customer experience. That is why direct sales and e-commerce is going to be huge.

5. Nurturing Direct Consumer Relationships

As more and more manufacturers are going DTC, nurturing those customers from direct sales is becoming more important. Gatorade, a beverage brand that has a particular core market, which is “competitive” athletes, has been very successful when it comes to building DTC relationships.

A report from Prophet mentioned that Gatorade had realised that 75 percent of competitive athletes spend time online to learn more about their sports. Because of this Gatorade’s Mission Control Center was born. It analyses and logs the customers’ online comments about Gatorade’s wares and helps the brand understand what their customers want, get new ideas for future products, and allows them to adjust their marketing accordingly. Check out how it works in the video below.

6. Rapid Evolution Of Delivery Services In Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia includes 11 countries and more than 620 million people. Among the population, there is a huge chunk aged 30 and below with disposable income. It does not come as a surprise that many businesses are finding opportunities to innovate and provide valuable and more convenient services. One such service is home delivery which is expected to grow at an average of 14 percent by 2020 in Asia Pacific.

The popular ride-sharing app, Uber, realised this and launched UberEATS, an on-demand meal delivery service. Utilising the current network of drivers and riders, food from the customer’s favourite restaurant is delivered quicker than the usual delivery services. Check out how convenient UberEATS is:

Uber, however, was not the first one to do this. They are currently competing with other popular brands offering similar services like Grab, Food Panda, and Deliver. The demand for delivery in Southeast Asia is already significant, and it can grow even more, especially for developing nations. Check out the graph below.

Graph by: Euromonitor

7. The Rise Of Cashless Payments

The supply chain in consumer goods is a vital process and includes shipping and transportation. Many businesses will start dwelling more into automated logistic management to make the customer experience even more convenient.

Most Asian countries certainly have a lot of room to make in the logistic environment, particularly the rapidly developing countries in South East Asia. Amazon, although known to most people as an Internet retailer, has been developing an automated grocery store that eliminates long lines at the check-out counter.

The store called Amazon Go is equipped with machine vision technology to automatically identify which shopper took an item off the shelf or which shopper removed an item from the basket. Here’s a video of the most advanced shopping technology to-date:

You can also read about our article Creating A Marketing Strategy For Asia’s Booming Mobile Users to know more about how to take advantage of this trend.

8. Logistics – The Key To Reaching Consumers Directly

Another exciting development that Amazon has in the works is a drone that will deliver your items right to your doorstep. A patent was filed, and it describes a drone that uses magnets, parachutes, and spring coils to release packages during flight. Check out the video below:

In Southeast Asia, Lazada has partnered with an e-commerce logistics start-up to compensate the slow and sometimes unreliable shipping companies available locally. It might not be as high-tech as what Amazon has been doing in the West, but it sure is a good start.

9. Fast Up-Trading To Premium Products

A few years back in Malaysia consumers began trading up to more premium products. Apparently, consumers who live in countries that are becoming stronger economically are more willing to trade up their usual brands to a more well-known and higher quality brand.

One product that is benefiting from this up-trade is baby milk formula. It turns out that mothers today know a lot more about better caring for a child because of more accessible information. Consumers are willing to spend more on premium brands since it meant more scientific research were done and better ingredients were used on the product.

Link: https://www.frisogold.com.my/en

They see premium and more expensive brands as far more superior than cheaper priced products. And with Asia’s economic rise, it is already apparent that a lot of premium brands have a gap to fill in the market.

10. Reinvestment Of Profits Into Asia

With Asia’s steady growth in recent years, it makes sense that the European brands are taking notice. Two major European FMCG brands have recently expanded their operations in Southeast Asia – Unilever in Thailand, and Nestlé in Vietnam.

Nestle Indochina’s Chairman and CEO said that the company believes in the potential of Vietnam because of its “young and dynamic population, expanding consumer market, and favourable business environment.” The brand spent about US$36.5 million on the expansion of Milo’s factory in South Vietnam.

Unilever Thailand’s chairwoman, on the other hand, mentioned that their expansion is the biggest investment in the past 20 years and that she has high hopes for it. She also said, “Thailand is a strategic country for Unilever globally due [to] its good geographical location, which can serve as a hub for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community, while the number of middle-class consumers here can reach 50m by 2020.”

Asian consumers are starting to be more concerned about a brand’s attitude towards sustainability. This became one of the reasons why the Asian FMCG sector is important in a financier’s portfolio. The recent investments from these European FMCG giants will certainly have other big brands looking to put their money into these emerging markets.

11. Unleashing Future Growth Through Business Model Disruption

Marketing leaders know that disruption is a good thing. One disruption that already began is the changing of the 4P’s of marketing (Product, Placement, Price, and Promotion).

Current marketing leaders are changing industries by incorporating modified key frameworks like the 4P’s. Here are the redefined versions:

  • Think more of Service (not just product) – Adding services wrapped around the product increases the value proposition and makes the brand more personalised. Service adds value to the customer. Famous auto insurance company Geico has a brand promise that says “15 minutes or less can save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.” By making a bold statement, Geico tells customers that they value their customer’s time.
  • Access (not just placement) – Brands that are more accessible have a huge advantage over those that aren’t. Amazon Japan is an excellent example of this by allowing customers to shop online and pay through any of their 50,000 convenience stores nationwide.
  • Variable Pricing (not fixed pricing) – Consumers can now have the option to choose what they need and get what they paid for. Amazon has been doing this for a while now with their prices changing every ten minutes.
  • Engagement (not promote) – Directly engaging customers and encouraging participation to experience the brand helps develop a more lasting relationship with the brand. The coffee giant Starbucks is excellent when it comes to engaging customers, the company is splattered across all social media platforms and is quite busy responding to mentions as well as apologising to customers with bad experiences.

12. Entering Emerging Markets Digitally – Better Late Than Never

The growth of emerging markets gives rise to millions of consumers that have higher spending power. With this comes the endless potential for digital platforms that can further bring more choices and communication channels to consumers.

The gap is still huge for brands who plan to enter emerging markets digitally. This is because of the consumer population, of which majority falls into the Millennial bracket, who demands more premium and exclusive products.

In Asia, Lazada has been dominating the e-commerce business and valued at $1.3 billion. Despite this high valuation, it is still expected to grow rapidly in the years to come.

13. Increase ROI With A Digital Data-Driven Approach

Data-driven marketing utilises customer-related data to deliver the right message to the right audience, at the right time, and drive the right consumer behaviour. The beauty of this approach is that everything is measured and you will see which areas you need to improve on, and it also eliminates ineffective marketing.

The approach allows businesses to spend less money with maximised results by not having to cast a wide net regarding advertising and avoids wasteful spending. Read more about this topic in our article “Future Proof Your Business By Using These 6 Data-Driven Marketing Strategies.” Here’s also a video that talks more about this approach:

With all these digital trends booming this year, which one are you planning to use for your company? Let us know in the comments below which digital trend excites you the most.

People visit your website because of two things: it is either they are looking for information to add to their research of a product or service, or they are looking for information to urge them to make a purchase. Targeted content help steer customers into sales funnels, which is why more than 85 percent of brands implement content marketing strategies and enjoy great ROI after a one-month evaluation.

Content must engage the audience. Marketers understand this; a well-made and positioned content help introduce the products and services as a solution. Engaging content today comes in the form of blogs, videos, and social media posts.

Content marketing helps develop your business brand. Well-researched and helpful content boosts your authority on the subject. The increased trust of your audience helps your website generate more leads and conversions.

Content Marketing is Not Just for the Big Brands

Small businesses and startups aren’t the only ones who can benefit from content marketing. Numerous multinational companies use content to engage their audience in different social media platforms and avenues that allow their audience to provide feedback. In this manner, they collect information to improve their products and services.

For instance, one might think that Rolex can go decades without making marketing efforts due to its established brand. However, the people who run Rolex know that if a brand doesn’t keep up with the pace and stay relevant, a competitor can easily swoop in and steal the show. Now, what exactly can you do to market a product that is already successful?

Rolex products rely on old-fashioned, glamorous, and prideful beauty.  It could be to Rolex’s advantage, but it can also be their downfall. At any time, consumers can suddenly decide that it’s time to debunk the old and go for a more modern brand, making it possibly one of the reasons Rolex has increased their social media activity and campaigns.

Using social media sites like Instagram to keep their products relevant and within everyone’s line of sight, Rolex uses its beautifully crafted photos of brand watches all over social media. Their goal could be to remind their target audience of why Rolex is the embodiment of a sophisticated lifestyle.

Why Should You Invest in Content Marketing?

Great Potential For Significant ROI

Returns come in different ways: it can come in the form of customer acquisition, brand visibility, brand reputation, and inbound traffic. These are all beneficial for your business. Marketing experts agree that content marketing, when done correctly, has great potential for higher ROI, just look at the graph below.

You may not necessarily get a dollar for every person who sees your content, however, your company will see benefits in many different forms. With an effective content marketing strategy, you will experience a return in the form of customer acquisition, brand visibility, brand reputation, and inbound traffic.

It’s Inbound Marketing (Pull Marketing Instead of Push)

Precise investments are important in marketing. That being said, when marketing your product or service, you have to filter out potential buyers from dead end leads. Content marketing allows you to present your business to customers who would strongly convert to your brand.

Think of it this way, a person with no interest in your industry will not bother to click through your link or advertisement and are less likely to go past your landing page. With that in mind, it should be clear that asserting any promotion efforts to such individuals will be a waste.

Other Strategies Can Benefit From It

The great thing about content marketing is that it will not only generate returns for your company, but it will also push your other marketing strategies to perform better. In order to be effective, you must establish a mindset that considers content marketing as the core of all your strategies.

Analytics provides data that helps you plan ahead all marketing efforts for maximum efficacy. For instance, your email marketing campaigns can strongly benefit from a consistent content marketing strategy. Since you are already creating content for your social media marketing campaign, why not take things a step further? Find out which of your content received good feedback and traffic and reuse them for your email marketing efforts. Using your best and proven content as a landing page means a higher probability to drive more conversions.

Perhaps the best benefit with an excellent content marketing strategy is for social media campaigns. Considering that you have a steady flow of helpful and informative articles published on your website, you can use these as social media posts to generate more leads.  This will attract more followers, viewership, and help establish brand identity. Just check out the data below.

Brand Authority (Thought Leadership) Will Be Stronger

The quality of your content develops your brand profile. If you implement an effective content marketing strategy, you can easily become your field’s primary source of information. It helps create authority and reliability, an important factor in marketing and advertising.

Let’s say that you run a fitness center and decided to utilize content marketing. You start posting two to three SEO-optimized blog posts every week and eventually catapult your website’s ranks in search engines.

Months before summer begins, people begin scurrying for ways to remain or become fit. If they find your business first, your fitness tips and programs become their immediate solutions to achieve their body goals. Ultimately, readers and followers can become actual customers who you would never have reached if it weren’t for the internet and content marketing.

Builds More Trust With Consumers

A reliable brand creates trust with great content. If readers find your content engaging, entertaining, and helpful, you can build trust with your audience quickly.

When people get used to seeing your content every week or so, they begin to think of your business as a trusted resource. When the time comes that they are in need of services or a product such as yours, they will recall your useful and memorable content.

Converts Better Through Lead Nurturing

We all want to guide our target audience down the sales funnel. Content marketing does the job effectively if you understand your audiences effectively to deliver the best content for them. Through lead nurturing, you can hit all three stages of the buyer’s journey; awareness, consideration, and decision. You can also read more about it in our article, “Turn Visitors To Customers With Conversion Funnels.”

Let’s say that you run a fitness hotspot with an active content marketing campaign. You are likely to target a certain demographic within your area and have posted weightless tips, healthy recipes, and the like. After months of consistent weekly published content, you’ve made yourself known to your market. However, they aren’t purchasing your programs or getting a membership to your gym – yet.

Right now, your audience is simply aware that you exist, hence, the first stage of the buyer’s funnel.  Now, summer time is just around the corner, and everyone suddenly becomes self-aware and wanting to get himself or herself in shape. They remember all the articles and videos you published not too long ago and start to consider making a move towards a fit summer body. They may start re-watching your videos and click through your website for more content, possibly hoping to get fit on their own.

However, not everyone can get the results they need on their own, and there will be a percentage of your audience who’d rather get the help they need from a professional. Your content has helped them improve, but they also realize it could be difficult to undergo without proper guidance, the latter an issue resolved by your business brand.

Content Marketing Is a Must For Your Marketing Campaign

We can talk for days discussing all the benefits you can reap for your business through content marketing. However, among all the reasons we’ve discussed so far, there is one that stands as the ultimate truth; content marketing is today’s most effective way of getting things done.

Content marketing is the bridge between your services and your customers. Information, whether used as a tool to convert customers or to provide research data for prospective customers, will always be in demand. Using this information to your advantage using efficient content marketing methods is the difference between your business and your competitor.

Effort-filled content marketing will drive inbound leads, establish brand awareness, and guide people down the sales funnel. Whether you are targeting short-term solutions, such as improving your pay-per-click advertising or a need to increase your leads or long-term strategies that involve brand development and rebound marketing, well-developed content and copy will leave a positive and compelling impression that significantly improves the possibility of high ROI.

There is no way of stopping the mobile revolution that is currently happening in our world. More people prefer using their mobile devices to surf the internet than the Desktop PC. This is most likely due to the convenience and also the growing sizes of our mobile phones.

Think about it, there are probably even times where you use your phone to browse the web even when you have a desktop PC available. This is because mobile phones are normally within reach and could be used anywhere that has a 3G or 4G signal. Plus, with the “phablet” era continuously heating up, mobile phones are getting screen sizes that make surfing the net easier than the past smaller models.

Numbers do not lie, and the statistics are saying that mobile is dominating the web. According to Stone Temple, 55.79% of internet users are using their mobile phones to surf the web. In comparison, desktop PCs, which used to dominate this statistic account for only 44.21% in the latest study.

The same trend is happening in Asia where a huge population currently resides. According to China Daily, the country of China has already exceeded 1.3 Billion mobile users in 2016. And a whopping 30 percent of those mobile users are 4G subscribers. To give you a good perspective of that surge, there are 386 million 4G users in China which are triple from the number of users in 2014. And if you think about it, this number does not even include users who connect through Wi-Fi with their mobile devices.

Another big example is India. According to the Economic Times, India will have over 500 million mobile internet users by 2017. The same article also mentions a recent survey that prepaid smartphone users spend about 72% of their time accessing online content and only 15% making voice calls. That definitely says a lot about how the purpose of mobile phones has changed over the past few years.

And this is the main reason why your company should be adopting a mobile-first strategy. The trend of mobile phones as the dominant device is going to keep rising as the years roll by. Phones are getting more powerful every year and are inching towards desktop PC-like power and response. Your company should start adopting a mobile-first strategy or risk getting left behind.

Not yet fully convinced regarding this phenomena? Well, to put things in perspective, Google has already announced that they are going to roll out a mobile-first index. This means that the biggest search engine on earth is going to prioritize mobile URLs in their ranking.

Steps to having a mobile marketing strategy for your company

Make sure that your website is mobile responsive

There is a good chance that your website is already mobile friendly. But did you know that you still need to make your mobile website adaptive to various devices? Mobile phones have varying screen sizes, not to mention the numerous tablet sizes that plague the market. Make sure that your customer is having a pleasant time on your website no matter what device he/she is on.

According to Activemedia, 38% of users will stop engaging a website that is unattractive and unresponsive. That should be enough to tell you how much customers can be lost just because a website is not responding well to his/her screen size.

Take advantage of mobile wallets

The boom of the mobile phone industry has made a lot of big companies re-think of a new idea of payment. Mobile wallets work by using near field communication (NFC) to transfer data from your mobile phone to the payment reader. This makes it fast and convenient for people dealing with their transactions.

According to CMO, mobile based payments are expected to reach about $142 Billion dollars by 2019. The biggest mobile wallet services like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are getting an increase in users as the years roll by.

In Asia, mobile wallets are already making moves. According to Business Insider, Singapore became the first country outside of the US to support all the major mobile wallets. It started with 20 retail locations and will most likely grow as time passes by. UnionPay, another major mobile wallet service, has already started entering the Chinese and South Korean market, this means that the rest of Asia is not too far behind.

Large companies like Starbucks are already using mobile wallets as a means for their customers to purchase. It would be a wise move for any company to start rethinking the way people can pay.

Start thinking apps

Mobile phones and apps come hand in hand, and plenty of companies have already taken advantage of this fact. This is because app usage is at an all-time high especially in places like Asia. Did you know that Asia is now the biggest market for mobile apps? According to lnternational Business Times, mobile app usage in Asia grew to 77 percent and has surged ahead of markets like the US in 2014 and 2015.

The main cause of this increase is the rise of shopping apps in various Asian countries. The same study found that usage in shopping and lifestyle apps have tripled in the span of one year.

With this study, it is pretty evident that e-commerce is booming in Asia. Companies are figuring out that apps help create a direct marketing channel between them and their customers. Apps can be valuable in creating loyalty programs, promotions, and an easier shopping experience. Asia’s top online fashion retailer Zalora, for example, has a mobile app that makes it possible for users to place coupon codes (normally found on their website) and enter that through the app.

 

If a company really wants to adopt a mobile-first strategy, then thinking about having an app might just be the best move to show commitment.

Mobile optimize your email campaigns

You might be wondering why you need to optimize your email campaigns for mobile. The answer lies with the current trend of email reading. According to Email Monday, 54 percent of all emails are read first on a mobile device.

Automobile seller, Auto Trader, figured this little fact out and decided to make their emails more mobile-optimised. This resulted in a 391% increase in click through rates since they redesigned their emails.

Making your emails mobile responsive is not particularly hard. First of all is to find out what email clients tend to use. Once you have that data, see if that email client can support various applications like video.

Phone screens are much smaller than desktop screens so make sure that you use bigger fonts in your email. Good mobile-optimised emails have fonts that do not need any zooming in from the reader. Check out the following image for a side by side comparison of a small font on mobile and a large font one.

Image by HubSpot

De-cluttering your emails from less useful links and long paragraphs is also helpful in making your emails more mobile friendly. Make your words shorter and your headlines more concise. People don’t want to be overwhelmed with so many things happening on a 5-inch screen.

Also, put touch friendly buttons on your emails. Don’t forget to utilize sharing buttons so you could take advantage of the power of social media. Lastly, use a single column layout to make it friendlier to the eyes of mobile users. Check out this great email design from Superthings that looks great on a mobile device.

Image by SuperThings

Don’t forget about SMS marketing

Despite cheaper online chat apps increasing in use, there are still companies sending us standard text messages with promos and ads. The reason is pretty simple – SMS messages has a whopping 82.1% open rate.

That makes SMS one of the most potent marketing tool for companies. Footwear retailer, Payless, still uses SMS to create awareness of their products through various promos. Below is an example of one of their SMS campaigns.

Sample SMS Marketing by Payless

Your SMS campaigns must have a clear call to action. For example, use simple keywords like BUYNOW or GETPROMO as what they should type before sending it to a number. SMS campaigns mostly fail because of unclear instructions which can cause users to leave your message quickly.

Keep in mind that you will need compliance before creating SMS campaigns. Check which entities govern the mobile industry in the country you wish to deploy your SMS campaign.

Take your company mobile in Asia

Mobile use in Asia is booming and marketers already started taking notice. There is no stopping this trend and it looks like companies are already taking a mobile-first approach. Emails, websites, and apps are just a few of the major things that a good marketer needs in order to be ready for the mobile-dominated future. With the rate of new technology and innovations, the next few years will be quite interesting in the field of mobile marketing.

Do you have any stories and experience about creating a mobile marketing strategy for the Asian market? Please feel free to write them all down in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!

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