Archive for the ‘Digital Marketing’ Category

Feb
12

Facebook Shops Launched: How to create it With Commerce Manager

Posted by Disha Singh on February 12, 2021
Do you use Facebook business Page to sell your products?

Well, most businesses do.

Facebook Shops is a new feature to make your selling easier through Facebook and Instagram.

Launched on 19th May 2020, Facebook Shops let businesses of all sizes to create a single online store for customers. This store can be accessed on both Facebook and Instagram.

It lets sell directly through their Facebook page or take the visitors to their website. Facebook Shops is powered by third party eCommerce services such as Woo, BigCommerce, and Shopify.

Setting up a Facebook Shop is easy and free.

Businesses can list the products they want to feature and then personalize their store’s appearance with a cover image and colors that represent their brand.

Facebook Shops is available for all vendors, irrespective of their size or budget. They can have an online store and connect with customers anytime.

Customers can access Facebook Shops on a vendor’s Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or through stories or ads. From there, they can explore the products, save items they liked, and place an order—either on the vendor’s website or without checking out the app.

With Facebook Shops, businesses can also provide customer support through messaging on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram Direct. These apps let the customer track deliveries, get help, and ask queries.

Facebook is also looking to facilitate the purchasing directly from a WhatsApp chat, Messenger, or Instagram Direct.

Facebook Shops

How to Create Facebook Shops using Commerce Manager?

If you have a previous business account as Facebook Page Shop, you can easily add this section. Otherwise, you can use the Commerce Manager.

Commerce Manager is a platform to create a store and manage sales on Facebook and Instagram. This tool lets you choose where you want your buyers to complete their order—on your website, on Facebook, or on Instagram with checkout.

Commerce Manager has many tools and settings such as—

  • Creating and managing a Facebook shop and collections.
  • Checking the summary of sales, catalogs, and suggested actions.
  • Viewing and managing items in a catalog.
  • Discovering advertising options.
  • Letting customers buying directly on Facebook and Instagram (for businesses with checkout feature).

Here’s How to Set up Facebook Shops Using Commerce Manager.

Commerce Manager lets you create a store for direct selling through Facebook page (shop with checkout) or take the customers to your shopping site from the page. The steps are different for both purposes.

Here we will explain the steps for both objectives.

First of all, let’s find out how to create Facebook Shops with Commerce Messenger if you want to send buyers to your website to complete the purchase.

Before getting started, make sure to create a commerce account in Commerce Manager.

To create a store on Facebook, you should be a Business Manager Admin and the owner of your Facebook Page. You are also required to have Manage Page permissions for the catalog in Business Manager.

For setting a shop on Instagram, you should be a Business Manager admin and own an Instagram business account, Facebook Page, and catalog. You also need Manage Page permissions to connect the Instagram business account with the Facebook Page. Manage catalog permissions are also required for the catalog.

Set Up Your Store:

This requires you to use your PC to create your shop in Commerce Manager.

  • Visit Commerce Manager
  • Choose to Get Started to visit the Create your Shop Page.
  • Under the Choose a Way to Sell part, choose Create a Shop, and click Get Started.
  • In the Assets section, upgrade your shop or click +Create a shop.
  • Move to the Start Setting up your shop section and select Your Website. Choose the Get Started option.
  • Choose your business section shows a list of Facebook Pages owned by you. Choose the business you would like to add to your store top. Click NEXT.
  • Fill up an account name and choose a business account as you enter the Account details section.
  • With the Where people can view your shop section, you can choose Facebook or Instagram to create your shop. Or you can choose both.
  • The Catalogue section lets you chose an existing catalog or created a new one. Choose NEXT.
  • Check your shop details, review, and accept the Seller Performance and Accountability Policies. Click Create Your Shop.

Once you set up your shop, you can create a collection of 6 to 30 products. Besides, you can personalize the store with accent colors. It will take 24 hours to publish your shop as Facebook reviews and approves your collection.

How to Create Account If You Want to Let People Shop Directly from Facebook or Instagram?

Commerce Manager also lets you set up a store that allows buyers to shop directly from Facebook or Instagram instead of sending them to another website. This is known as a shop with a checkout. Anyone can explore and buy your products instantly from your Facebook and Instagram accounts. However, this feature is available in the USA and to a limited number of vendors for the time being (as of October 2020)

Before you get started, make sure to sign in to your Facebook account.

  • Visit Commerce Manager
  • Choose Get Started to visit the Create your Shop Page
  • Under the Choose a Way to Sell part, choose Create a Shop, and click Get Started.
  • In the Assets section, upgrade your shop or click +Create a shop.
  • Click Get Started for either creating a shop with Commerce Manager or with an e-commerce platform. If you want to choose an e-commerce platform, choose the one from the list. To use Commerce Manager, select Facebook or Instagram.
  • Review the things required to complete a Commerce Manager account and click Next.
  • Provide business information; add products and settings; set up Payouts; Submit Instagram account for review (if you use Instagram). Check all the information and make changes. Click Finish setup.

When you are done with the process, visit Commerce Manager to handle your catalog, get educated on the selling tolls and other policies.

It takes up to two weeks for the Shops tab to occur in Commerce Manager while Facebook assesses your account.

Once it occurs, you can add a collection that can include two or more products, personalize your store, and publish your shop. The customers will see your shop once Facebook reviews and approve your collection, which is done within 24 hours.

Some Other Important Features by Facebook for Ecommerce Businesses

Facebook Shops is an exciting feature launched by Facebook to help online businesses. As an added bonus, there are some features provided by Facebook to maximize your sales potential. They can play an important role in your eCommerce campaign management over Facebook.

Lookalike Audiences:

Facebook tells that its “A Lookalike Audience” facility can help “reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers.”

It is a useful feature for advertisers to maximize their reach by targeting customers with similar interests as their exiting buyers on Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram Ads with Product Tags:

Instagram has been involved in the testing of product tags for organic Shopping posts. Marketers can then use these posts for promotion as ads. Now, they will be able to directly make ads with product tags in Ads Manager without requiring to visit the organic post way first. White dots will be used to show product tags. Product information, including the name and price display, when these dots are clicked. Product tags can also be incorporated to photo, video, and carousel ad formats.

Insights:

Insights feature in Commerce Manager is useful to see how your sales, products, and other things are performing on Facebook and Instagram. Besides, it helps determine how people interact with your products. Make sure to check your insights regularly to see the trends and performance of your shop and offerings.

EXPERT OPINIONS

 “We’ve seen live shopping take off in other parts of the world. The pandemic has really changed behavior from a consumer perspective, so we’re moving as fast as we can to bring out these tools to help [businesses respond].”

  • Vishal Shah, VP of Product at Instagram

“We really hope that our commerce solutions help businesses not only survive but thrive during coming months, and adapt to new consumer behavior,”

  • Layla Amjadi, Product Lead at Instagram Shopping

“So it makes sense for Facebook to make the purchase process as easy as possible from those profiles. From a business perspective, the obvious goal is to drive more advertising. But it’s also worth remembering that the pandemic’s economic fallout will likely kill off many small business – including the ones that post and advertise on Facebook. So the company has a stake in helping those businesses survive in any way it can.”

  • Anthony Ha, a senior writer at TechCrunch

“The one thing that we haven’t always done particularly well in the past is provide data that’s actionable for merchants.  It’s one thing to share a bunch of data, and it’s another thing to show data that actually could result in product changes — like changes to your Shops, in terms of how it looks or how it’s organized. Most of the [new insights] will be centered around the performance of the Shops. “

  • George Lee, Director of Product Management George Lee at Facebook

Case Study: Using Facebook Shop to Increase Case Study

Can Facebook Shops really help you boost your sales?

Well, it all takes the right strategy. This case study of a Thai beauty product will tell you all.

(Note: Brand name hasn’t been given for privacy issues)

About the Business:

This Thai fashion brand has been selling women outfits. They decided to take their products to more customers with Facebook Shop. This is more important as they don’t have an eCommerce website.

Objectives:

  • Showcasing more products to Facebook followers
  • Selling directly without having them to click to other eCommerce platforms where their products were listed.

Strategy:

  • Setting up Facebook Store
  • Targeting the female audience
  • Running 5 Facebook ad campaigns a month.
  • Using high-quality product photography
  • Using social media influencer (within their budget)
  • Making quick videos on styling and sizing guide
  • Using snappier captions
  • Running Facebook Live Videos and Stories
  • Letting the customers tag their photos in their community tab.
  • Tagging other businesses in their shoots such as photographer so that they can get a mention by other businesses
  • Encouraging customers to drop reviews
  • Providing customer support and responding quickly to the customers’ comments.

 The Results

  • With over 2500 product views and 400 clicks, 80 purchases were made directly through the Facebook page within a month.
  • 50 % of new followers increased.
  • 8X return on ad spend

A QUICK RECAP…

Facebook Shops is a wonderful opportunity you should leverage to boost your sales. Creating Facebook Shops is easy and straightforward. If you have a previous business account as Facebook Page Shop, you can easily add this section. New sellers can create a store using Commerce Manage for letting the customers shop directly through their Facebook page or take them to their website to complete the purchase. To make the most of selling with Facebook Shops, it is recommended to use essential features such as Lookalike audiences, Instagram ads, and insights.

Once you set up your Facebook Shops, make sure to use the right strategies like adding high-quality images of your products and other things to see success.

Hope this information will help you create a successful Facebook Shops account. What do you think? Don’t hesitate to drop your opinion on the comment box given below!

Oct
28

Best SEO Case Studies of 2020: An In-depth Review

Posted by Varun Sharma on October 28, 2020
SEO Case Studies 2020

Warren Buffet once said—

“When people tell me they have learned from experience, I tell the trick is to learn from other people’s experience.”

The same thing can be said about case studies.

Case studies, as I personally think, are the best ways to learn from other’s experiences. Experience is the best teacher (even when it’s not our own.)

Case studies are as old as human civilization, although they were not documented as we see them today.

For example, a hunter somewhere in 500 B.C. might be telling others how he hunted down the lion using specific tools and techniques. The other hunters then adapted the same tools in their campaign.

Case studies are a way to share expertise and solution. On the other hand, they are a great way to learn more practically. They include actual examples and results.

A medical case study shows how the researchers identified the problem and created solutions accordingly. It would help the physicians in the future while tackling the same problem. Similarly, a hotel case study would help a new restaurant looking for a business in that area.

But case studies are not something you saw on teleshopping ads where (fake) audience claims to reduce 10 kg weight by taking a magic pill.

Instead, they include the hard and cold data being used in problem-solving and decision making to achieve the goals. The studies logically show “they-did-this-and-got-this.”

Case studies have been used for years by various organizations, medical and law schools, and artists.

And our SEO industry is not an exception.

In fact, case studies are as important as our analytic tools as online marketing is a trial and error process.

The SEO case studies of others can help you identify the best practices for the same concern, especially in the same industry.

SEO case studies can also be useful if you do not get results instead of doing the right things. Many brands have shared their case studies on how they boost their traffic using specific SEO techniques.

Here I have outlined some top SEO case studies you can learn from.

(Note: Names of the organizations hasn’t been given due to privacy issues)

SEO Case Study # 1: Improving Organic Traffic and Visibility

This is a case study of a website selling food products. They wanted to leverage digital marketing to promote their brand but didn’t know where to get started. Top of that, it was quite challenging in a competitive environment. They adapted specific SEO strategies to see success.

Objectives:

  • Creating a User-Friendly Website
  • Improving Visibility
  • Improving User Experience
  • Increasing Visitors

SEO Strategies Used by Them

  • Making the right keyword strategy
  • Identifying user intent
  • Organizing the website’s content
  • Creating a URL strategy
  • Posting fresh content

The Results:

  • 22% Increased Website Traffic
  • 40% Increased Recipe Sharing
  • Top Ranking for 10 Keywords

Key Lessons to Learn From This Case Study:

  • Creating a user-friendly website ensures easy navigation and encourages users to explore more.
  • A URL strategy can improve user experience and improve current marketing strategies.
  • Understanding the user intent is equally essential as it helps determine whether visitors will explore a website or leave it for a better answer.
  • Identifying the right keywords can put in front of the right audience and help your rank as well.
  • Fresh content not only educates your audience but also helps improve ranking.

SEO CASE STUDY # 2: Increasing Organic Traffic through Blogs

Blogs are also an important SEO strategy. See how this laboratory gets more traffic to its website through blogs by addressing customer’s key concerns.

Objective:

Creating blogs to help customers and to drive traffic as well.

SEO Strategies Used by Them:

  • Researching the topics using specific tools and Q/A platforms like Quora and Reddit.
  • Including the keywords used by the target audience in the search box
  • Using CTAs (Call to Action) in each blog
  • Promoting blogs through social media
  • Using real images, videos, and infographics

The Results:

  • 33% Increase in Traffic to Product Pages
  • 50% Increase in Organic Traffic
  • 20% Increase in Page View

Key Lessons to Learn from this Case Study:

  • Audience-centric blogs are liked and shared by users.
  • Keywords make the content more discoverable.
  • Creating visual appeal through video or infographics can add to the success of your blogging.
  • CTA can prompt users to take the required action, thereby improving the chances of sales.
  • Social media is a basic yet essential channel to market your content.

SEO Case Study# 3: Boosting Local Inquiries

This case study belongs to a waste management business looking for getting leads through local inquiries.

Objectives:

  • To appear at the time when users are looking for their services.
  • Building awareness
  • Focus on the local searches
  • Improving on-page local optimization

SEO Strategies Used by Them:

  • Working on-page local optimization
  • Optimizing “Google My Business”
  • Creating high-quality mentions and links

The Results:

  • 30% more booking
  • Improved visibility in targeted areas
  • Improved traffic and leads

Key Lessons to Learn from this Case Study:

  • Google My Business account is important to improve your local visibility.
  • On-page SEO helps you get better visibility and support your marketing campaigns.
  • Creating mentions and links on other sites and directories help get traffic back to your website.

SEO Case Study# 4: Ranking for Competitive Keywords

A local travel blogger was looking to compete for the top keywords used by his audiences, such as travel advice or outdoor travel tips.

Objectives:

To get on top with specific competitive keywords.

SEO Strategies Used by Them:

  • Guest Posting
  • Choosing the keywords with good volume
  • Performing competitor analysis
  • Linkbuilding
  • Promoting the content
  • Using other content types such as infographics and videos

Key Lessons to Learn from this Case Study:

  • Guest post not only exposes your content to more audience but also helps you earn a link.
  • Link outreach helps increase awareness and visibility.
  • There is no use in going after highly competitive keywords.

SEO Case Study# 5: Building the Traffic from 0 to 100 k

It is challenging to build traffic for a startup as everything has to be started from scratch. However, getting good traffic is still achievable if SEO is done right. Here is a case study of a software company that increased its traffic from 0 to 100,000 in less than two years.

Objectives:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Improving organic traffic
  • Promoting Sales

SEO Strategies Used by Them:

  • Keyword research and competitive keyword analysis
  • Content Creation
  • Implying link building techniques
  • Improving blog visuals and readability
  • Promotion over Social Media

The Results:

  • Having 100k visitors in less than two years
  • Top ranking for 30 keywords
  • Many of their posts still rank on top Google spot for specific keywords

Key Lessons to Learn from this Case Study:

  • Keyword research is important to find the relevant keywords that can boost traffic.
  • Link building adds to your credibility and leads to higher site metrics and SEO scores.
  • Using videos and infographics make content appealing as well as sharable.
  • Content should be more on the latest issues faced by the audience.

Want to Achieve Success Like These Case Studies? We Can Help

These case studies must have made you familiar with essential SEO ingredients like keyword research, blogging, local SEO, content creation, promotion, and many more. It is well and good if you have SEO expertise to imply these SEO essentials. Otherwise, make sure to choose a professional SEO expert or agency to get the job done. If you are looking for the same, look no further than our digital marketing services.

We can help you conquer the ranking and boost traffic with the right SEO practices backed by our experience. Get in touch now!

Oct
19

Amazon Marketing in 2020 – How to plan and execute?

Posted by Varun Sharma on October 19, 2020
Amazon Marketing

Amazon – it is the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace. And it has reached its current stature after decades of updates and enhancements, which provide immense value to both buyers and sellers on the platform. Most online vendors have a product page on Amazon as well. It becomes important for customers to be able to search these product pages, similar to how users search for websites on search engines.

Amazon, like other search engines, has its own search algorithm – A9. Thus, it is vital for you to know how A9 works so that they can get their product pages ranked higher to increase discovery and sales. The difference in how Amazon A9 works as compared to the search algorithms of Google and Bing lies in the fact that Amazon is first and foremost a buying platform, which means that the website-SEO concepts alone won’t be of much use.

Again, similar to other search engines, Amazon also offers sellers to use the Sponsored Ads feature, which helps attract more customers, improve sales figures, and allows the sellers to meet their goals.

WHAT IS A9?

While Google and Bing searches are related to almost every possible topic that humans can think of, every Amazon search query has a sole transactional purpose. For this reason, the A9 algorithm focuses on two primary aspects only – Relevance and Performance. Optimizing these two factors can yield wonderful results for your Amazon seller account, and you will see your conversions increase steadfastly.

Relevance and Performance can further be broken down into multiple sub-categories, as discussed below.

A9 RELEVANCE RELATED FACTORS

  1. Product Title – This is the most important Amazon SEO element for any seller. You should use the most relevant product keywords in the product title, but keep in mind that keyword stuffing will depreciate your Amazon search rankings. Some of the points to consider while optimizing your Amazon product name are:
  • Inclusion of brand name
  • A concise and clear product description outlining the use(s) of the product
  • Include the name of at least one essential material or special ingredient
  • Include product size and color
  • If applicable, you should mention the product quantity as well
  1. Seller Name – If the main keyword(s) for your product is included in your seller name, your products get ranked higher in Amazon search results.
  2. Backend Keywords – Backend keywords can be thought of as similar to the meta tags of a website that tell the search engine what the webpage is about. Backend keywords are used to guide the A9 algorithm in figuring out which particular product listing is targeting which specific keyword on Amazon. For backend keywords, sellers get five fields with a 50 character limit for each field. Sellers should make optimal use of these limits by not repeating any keywords and keeping the use of quotation marks to a minimum. Using synonyms will also help.
  3. Brand Field – Your brand name spelling should be exactly right, as many searches on Amazon are based on a product’s brand name.
  4. Product Description & Bullet Points – These are again very vital for your search rankings as they give detailed information about the product to your customers, and hence, the description and bullet points need to be as descriptive as possible and need to include your product’s most relevant keywords.

A9 PERFORMANCE RELATED FACTORS

  1. Product Price – Having a competitive price for your products on Amazon as compared to other sites is a big bonus as it increases the likelihood of positively growing your conversion rate. If a particular category has many similar products that are selling for less than you are, then your sales will take a hit. Pricing for products on Amazon should be done only after thorough research and comparison with your competitors.
  2. Product Images – Amazon recommends its sellers to use high-resolution images with guidelines to be 1000 pixels or larger in either of height or width, while also mentioning that the smallest image should be 500 pixels on its longest side.
  3. Amazon Reviews – 85% of the customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Also, generally, the products ranking at the top of an Amazon product search have more and better reviews as compared to the ones down below on the same list. This concludes that more and better reviews have a positive impact on conversion rates and sales. To ensure that your customers do leave your reviews after purchasing products from you, simply send them follow-up emails requesting them to leave a review. If you have negative reviews, understand what the customers’ complaints are and resolve them.

WHAT ARE AMAZON SPONSORED ADS?

Sponsored Ads work by targeting shopping queries or products and occupy high-visibility sections on Amazon’s website. These work similar to Google Ads or Facebook Ads in the sense that different ads are shown to customers based on their search and behavior patterns.

TYPES OF SPONSORED ADS

  1. Sponsored Products – Available to all Amazon professional sellers, these ads are visible on the Amazon website and are useful in promoting specific products. These are visible in the ad placement sections on product search results and product pages. The primary objective of using these ads is to increase traffic to product pages to boost sales.
  2. Sponsored Brands – This is available only to the vendors registered in the Amazon Brand Registry. These ads include multiple products along with the logo of your brand and a customized headline. Once a visitor clicks on the ad, they will be redirected to a grouping of products or your brand store. This ad type is primarily used to increase brand awareness and boost sales across the entire catalog of your products.
  3. Sponsored Display – These ads are used to build customer engagement by targeting those buyers who either viewed the product detail page of your products or showed interest in categories similar to or related to your promoted products. Specific products or categories that are complementary or similar to your product can also be targeted. The sponsored display can help you reach a wider audience both on and off Amazon. This is available to vendors registered in the Amazon Brand Registry only.
  4. Stores – A store is more like a brand campaign where you can showcase your seasonal collections and bestsellers, share your brand’s story, and even publish videos. Automatic widgets can be used to customize the user experience. It helps maximized user engagement with your brand using a custom-made brand experience, which improves user loyalty and retention. Again, available only to the sellers and vendors registered on the Amazon Brand Registry.

BUDGETING

Each advertiser, before launching a campaign, would want to have a heads up about how much the ad campaign is going to cost. To help sellers understand the advertising costs, Amazon has some points for you to consider.

  1. There is no upfront on a monthly advertising fee. While setting up a sponsored ads campaign, sellers can determine their ad budget along with the bid amount for each click. Sellers only pay when their ads get clicked by customers, and the cost charged for each click is the exact same amount set as the bid price by the seller.
  2. Sellers have complete control over their ad budget as they can set daily budgets or a campaign-level budget. Not a single penny extra outside of the budget specified by the sellers will be charged to them.
  3. A budget, once set, can always be revised. If you are working on a daily budget, you can either increase or decrease it each day. But a campaign-level budget can only be increased from its current value.

A Sponsored Products ad campaign generally takes about 5 minutes on an average to be setup up, and the ads start showing to targeted users almost instantly. In the campaign manager, you can find real-time information, which is also where you create the ads. These ads are designed, keeping in mind the diverse seller backgrounds, which makes it very easy to implement, without having any prior advertising experience. There are even multiple report types to help you understand your ad campaigns better and optimize them.

CONCLUSION

Amazon is a platform in itself, and it is important to know all it has to offer before you become a seller. This will help you optimize your sales and increase your revenue, which is, after all, the primary motivation of becoming an Amazon seller.

Oct
13

What is People Also Ask Box or PAA? How to Appear in It?

Posted by Varun Sharma on October 13, 2020
A good percentage of Google search queries are in the form of a question.

Whether it’s dating advice, learning magic, making girlfriend happy, or finding the best shoes in the town, everyone prefers to type it in a question form over Google Search.

And Google doesn’t disappoint as it tries to provide the best answer that can go with search intent.

But Google doesn’t answer on its own. Instead, it collects the data from websites, reviews, and trusted entities to match the answer.

It means that if you have the close answer to the user queries, you can show up in its People Also Ask box.

What is People Also Ask box?

It is a Direct Answer facility by Google. It is the set of questions answered that closely matched to the searcher’s intent. It appears in the set of four questions that can be expanded to see the answer.

For example, I want to know how French toasts are made. I use Google search to find the answer and this is what Google shows along with the key answers in the People Also Ask box.

What is People Also Ask

 

Here is another one (obviously, searched by a curious or jealous female fan of Brad Pitt).

PAA Box Example

Like featured snippets, the PAA box shows answers in different formats ranging from text, tables to videos (sometimes).

What are Expert opinions on People Also Ask or PAA Box?

Okay. Now you must have understood what the People Also Ask box is. It is a direct answer facility by Google to show you the related questions to your search queries. It helps people find the best answers.

As a business, should you care about People Also Ask Box?

Yeah, you should.

This is because Google pulls out data from several sites, reviews, and trusted entities to provide the best answers.

Showing up in the PAA answers can benefit your website as you get in the front of million eyes looking for the answer. This way, it is a great opportunity to improve your organic search.

EXPERT OPINION

Given their typically high position in search results, the PAA box provides brands and SEOs with an opportunity for visibility in a crucial section of the results page.

– George Nguyen, Editor at Search Engine Land

According to a study by Ahrefs, PAA box appears roughly four times in search results than featured snippets. SEMrush has found that the PAA box appears 75% of the time.

Featured Snippets VS PAA
Source: Moz.com

The percent of search results with PAA is higher on mobile devices. In Singapore, they pop up 3 times more often in mobile results. In the USA, they occur four times as often on mobile devices.

PAA Box Stats
Source: advancedwebranking.com


While featured snippets usually appear either first or second in the SERPs, PAA boxes can appear in almost any position. For example, it can be on number two position for the query “how to do SEO” and number five for “how to do digital marketing”.

PAA Serp Presence
Source: Semrush.com

How to Optimize for PAA Box?

PAA shouldn’t be ignored if you are looking to improve your ranking.

Make it the part of your SEO or online marketing campaign. Here is how to optimize your online website or other entity to appear in the PAA box.

Choose the Right Keywords:

Find out which keyword set is ideal for the People Also Ask box. You can use a rank tracking tool to find the frequency of PAA results for your target phrases. Also, use the Google Universal search engine ranking data, and look at the SERP feature report.

Brainstorm for the Questions:

Slip into your customer’s shoes and think about what they are likely to ask. Besides, you can use several online tools to explore questions such as Yahoo Answers, AlsoAsked.com, Answer the Public.com, and Usetopic.com. Quora is also an effective way to get insight into people’s queries. Once you generate the list of questions, see if you can answer them all as well as incorporate somewhere in your content.

usetopics
(Snapshot of Usetopics.com tool for finding the answer)

 

Optimize Your Content:

Google fetches the data or answers from several online entities such as websites and reviews. But it only considers the content written in the right format. Here are some suggestions to make your content fit for the PAA box:

  • Write in a plain and natural language
  • Avoid making it look like a sales copy
  • Target on the questions you have researched (like on Quora)
  • Keep your content updated
  • Use the tools like “Answer the Public” to Understand Your Audience Queries Better.
EXPERT OPINION

When writing about a topic, research it thoroughly and ensure you’re answering all the key questions people have. Thorough keyword research and tools like AlsoAsked will help here.

Sam Underwood, Digital Search Marketer

Strategically Optimize Your Key Pages:

You can try everything you think that people can search for. For example, many people search for “what is the cost of online marketing”.

You can optimize your pricing page for that. But the answer shouldn’t be built around “Call us for Quote Now”.

Instead, you can mention about the general pricing plans (avoiding sales viewpoint as possible).

PAA SEO
PAA SEO

Use Question and Answer Schema:

The updated version of markups like Questions, How To and QAPage can be used.

EXPERT OPINION

Careful planning in advance and active listening in the moment to what consumers want means you’ll learn how to develop your answers. It is an ongoing process of active listening.

– Jeannie Hill

How to See Reporting on Your PAA Listings?

Google Search Console helps you track the data on your PAA listings. However, it only happens when your listed answer on the PAA box is expanded. One more thing—if your PAA box occurs in position five, your listing within the PAA box will be reported in Google Search console as position five, no matter if your answer pops up as one of the original three or the tenth of the listing.

Getting Success with PAA—A Case Study

In the summers of 2018, I have been approached by a US real estate firm looking to increase their sales through an online listing. I thoroughly optimized their site for flaws and found that they lack efficient keywords. However, I also wanted to know how PAA can work for them along with other marketing strategies. Here I will only include PAA strategies and results as the topic is all about PAA. Right?

Our PAA Strategies:

  • Generating Right Keywords People Used for Buying, Selling, and Listing Homes
  • Incorporating Semantic Keywords
  • Adding FAQs Box and Including Some General Real Estate Questions as Well
  • Optimizing the Content for Voice Search
  • Using the Q and A Mark Up and Other Schemas

The Results:

Optimizing the real estate website for PAA as well as other SEO strategies improved their traffic and exposure as well. They also saw a 200% increase in People Also Ask results.

OVER TO YOU

People Also Ask or PAA is on the way to becoming a key online marketing strategy over time. Thanks to the ever-increasing question-based search queries and Google’s mission to provide quality search results. If you haven’t optimized your website for the PAA box, do it now or else your competitor will do it.

What do you think? Let me know by commenting below!

Oct
03

How and Why to Understand Your Client or Customer’s Mindset

Posted by Varun Sharma on October 3, 2020
How and Why to Understand Your Client or Customer’s Mindset

Creating products and services for your target audience is just the tip of the iceberg.

For example, your workout protein supplement is bought by the gym freaks or athletes. The supplement has everything they need to build muscles. Right? This way, you are meeting their needs with your supplement.

But have you tried to read their mindsets?

For example, some of them might question if the supplement is approved. Some want to know if the supplement is suitable for the elderly. Some want to know if women can use it. For some, the prices can be too higher. Some might not be assured about the quality of the supplement. Some married people want to know if this can affect their reproductive health.

If these questions are not answered, your potential buyers might be doubtful over your protein supplement.

A customer is likely to consider many points before buying your products and services. Therefore, selling a product to their need is just half done. Getting inside your client’s mindset can help you retain them forever.

Why Should You Care About Your Customer’s Mindset?

Understanding Customer Mindset

Not all customers or clients are made equal. Within the same store or website, one might be looking for a particular product to meet an immediate requirement, while others might simply be exploring or browsing. Just as they can have various goals when they visit a website or store, the individual buyer might be driven by the decision made by a different mindset. In other words, the mood or psychology of a customer often impacts his or her purchase decision.

Getting to know your clients or customers helps you build a better product or services and user experience. It also helps you stay competitive as well as earn the trust of clients. After all, you are familiar with the ins and outs of their concerns.

Coming out with the products that match their psyche or mindset means you have hit the bull’s eye.

HOW TO READ THE MIND OF YOUR CUSTOMERS AND CLIENTS

Work Over Your Buyer Personas:

Go beyond the usual demographics factors like age, location, and profession. These factors might not provide sufficient information to create messaging that connects with your audience.

Go extra miles by using the Acquisitions tab to check out which social media platform, blogs, and forums you are getting your traffic from. Integrate this data with your personas to figure out where and when to approach them more strategically.

Keyword data can also help to find the terms and descriptions speaking about the concerns of your customers. Use Google Webmaster Tools to create a list of keywords that can drive visitors to your site. These keywords can then be used in the content of your website, social media, and other digital interactions. This will make your business more familiar with your customers and clients.

Consider Their Lifestyle:

Not all of your customers have the same lifestyle. Some might have kids, and their lives might be revolving around pick up times and after-school activities. If they might not have kids, they might have a good time in sports activities, holidaying, and clubs. If they work part-time or just start their jobs, they must be budget-conscious. Everyone is different, so should be your services.

For example, a family person might be worried about his furniture’s safety when mischievous kids are around them. You can offer them a sofa that is durable enough to withstand all wear and tear caused by the kids. A person who is working part-time with a study can be lured by offering an affordable sofa.

Tap into Behavioral Data:

Behavioral data is also a valuable point to understand your customer’s mindset. After all, the behavior is the reflection of their mindset. You can obtain it using tools like Google Analytics to understand how customers engage with your business. This will help you understand what they find easy or don’t prefer. Besides, you can see where they encounter difficulties while exploring your site. Reviews on social media, eCommerce, and other platforms can be the goldmine to find your offerings’ customer experience.

Develop the Art of Listening:

This is one of the skills you need to develop if you often interact with your clients over the phone or in-person. Actively listening to them can hint about their issues and the solution they are looking for.

Active social listening is also essential if you interact with your customers over social media platforms. Explore your review section to understand their pain points. Make sure to activate the alerts when people discuss your brand online.

Figure Out their Whys:

The mindset of clients or customers can be read if you find out some “whys.”
Why are they using your product and services? What brings them to you? Can your product solve their problems?

Last but Not Least—Put Yourself in Customer Shoes:

Thinking like a customer or client is one of the effective ways to understand their mindset.

It is all about feeling what your customers go through.

For example, a wheelchair company owner can take a tour in the wheelchair of his brand throughout any building to understand their customers’ concerns. Do they feel comfortable in a wheelchair? Does the wheelchair come with better control for their safety?

Here is another example—let’s say your app goes down. Think like your customers, and you will find that it is quite frustrating. You would like to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Bottom Line:

These are some essential tips to read the mind of your customers or clients.

I have told you that getting into their minds will surely give you a competitive edge.

You can map out customers’ minds by conducting surveys, polls, and asking for/exploring reviews.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below!

Sep
10

6 Best Social Media Strategies for Your Company

Posted by Disha Singh on September 10, 2020
Social networking has rapidly become one of the most critical facets of digital marketing, offering unparalleled rewards that can attract potential customers globally. And if you don’t use this lucrative tool, you’re losing a fantastic publicity tool, since it makes it easier to spread awareness about your brand and purpose. Other than brand awareness your goals could be-

  • Boosting Brand Engagement
  • Social Customer Service
  • Generate New Leads
  • Laying the foundation for the business community
  • Increase or Drive traffic to your website
Digital around the world
Credit: hootsuite.com

Customize Your Content accordingly

It is crucial to keep in mind that not every social media is the same. Preferably, you would need to personalize the content for each platform.

US social network users graph
Credit: Marketer.com
  • Instagram

With over 500 million daily active users and 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram has an incredible marketing power. Instagram is an entirely image-based social network platform, so you’ll need to share intriguing, appropriate photos, and short video clips. You could even incorporate these to create a story, which would have the edge of staying at the top of your audiences’ feeds, instead of being forgotten in repeated posts. The best time to post on Instagram would be around Wednesday noon hour and Friday 10 am -11 am

  • Twitter

With over 1.3 Billion accounts, Twitter is a social media giant. Twitter seems to have a self-imposed constraint – you cannot type more than 280 characters in a single tweet. That’s why the information needs to be brief, crisp, and to the point. You could include links in twitter posts and hashtags. Make sure you do not exceed more than two.   Tweets with pictures have a far better response than the ones without. The best time to post on Twitter would be on Fridays and Wednesdays at 9 am.

  • LinkedIn

With 44% year over year growth, marketing solutions continue to be LinkedIn’s most rapidly growing segment. LinkedIn is a strictly professional social media network, so you’ll need to make sure that all the articles, posts, and information you share are appropriate for the audience. LinkedIn Users often read opinions and articles on LinkedIn expecting to enlighten themselves, mostly everything that can improve matters surrounding their professional lives. The best time to post on LinkedIn would be Wednesdays from 8 am to 12 pm, Thursdays and Fridays at 9 am.

  • Facebook

holding almost 93% of entirety, Facebook is Social Media Advertisers’ favorite platform.  Social media posts on Facebook may be lengthier than tweets, but don’t ever overdo them. People are so quickly put off by a long essay-like text.

It’s always a fantastic strategy to add a few personal comments, even if you’re posting unique content. Short clips do well on Facebook. Attach a picture or video to each Facebook post, and then link it to your article.  Reference posts are often doing great on Facebook. Contrary to popular belief, weekends have the least traffic. The best time to post on Facebook would be on Wednesdays between 10’o’clock in the morning to 3 in the afternoon.

  • Pinterest

Pinterest is also quite photo-focused. Even so, customers Pin pictures on themed boards. So you would need to start concentrating on your Pinterest content around with a “pinnable” image. Pinterest can be fantastic for inventively spotlighting products, especially if you have a female-dominated intended audience.

Realistic Goals

Among the most severe obstacles posed by many companies engaging in social networking is that they have rarely invested time establishing specific and practical social media marketing targets. They acknowledge they ought to be on social networking sites, but they don’t realize why they’re there. Goal-setting marketers are far more likely (376%) to succeed

Your social networking content strategies ought to integrate with your business plans as a whole. Preferably, you might want to have realistic targets on how you expect your company to grow. Your social network advertisement strategies will support the overall company objectives. Make sure your targets are –

  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Specific
  • Time-bound
  • Measurable

Organize and Plan your content

Organized marketers are 397% more likely to garner success. Regardless to say, if you want to be influential across social media, you’ll need the best quality content there is to post. One of several most significant errors that companies commit is the distribution of unnecessary advertising content. Note, social networking sites are supposed to be sociable – they’ve never been designed to be a platform for you to advertise your products and services.

  • You ought to harmonize the content you post publicly to blend insightful and fun products, with a minimal percentage of advertising material included.
  • You would always need to post the content that is of relevance and importance to other users.

This is perhaps the most crucial factor why most of the influencers have achieved this title. They fully understand their target well and build strong content to be of value to their fans. You ought to do the same thing as a company. It would be best if you also consider any constraints that you may encounter while creating content.  For instance, you wish to run a YouTube for your company. It is an excellent idea if you have the relevant content, but it would backfire if you do not have the right staff, resources, skills, and, most importantly, all the time in the world to invest for a successful YouTube channel.

Carefully pick and understand your target audience

One of the really frequent pitfalls created by companies on social networking platforms is to believe that all users and followers should be perfect for them. There is a valid explanation for why analysts favor numerical follower numbers and label them vanity metrics. There’s no sense in getting anyone as a follower when he’s not going to be curious about the content you post.

Not all social networking members are the same. Various forms of users use social media in a variety of ways. If you’re trying to achieve your targets, you ought to utilize the same social networking platforms as the intended audience.

Correspondingly, if you plan to partake in influencer marketing, you ought to determine that you approach influencers whose followers suit your targeted market.

You could be a mid-thirty professional who’s using Twitter. That being said, if you do not directly suit the target audience of your company, you cannot simply presume that your clients would always invest their time on Twitter.

Choose suitable Social Media Networks for Your intended audience

Some people are concerned about how they’re going to aim to sustain energy and time to manage accounts on any social media platform. In certain situations, you should not have to do so. You have to pick the suitable social media platforms for your company. You ought to get to know the social networking sites where the target audience invests their valuable time.

You will have to do some homework first to figure out where the target audience is hanging out. This isn’t expected to be too complicated, especially if you understand your audience. If you still don’t get that, you may get a survey done about their favorite social media networks.

You could perhaps begin with the most popular network among your audiences and then extend to involve those where a relatively significant number of active social media accounts run. Even so, you wouldn’t have to move past three or five social media platforms.

Analyze Your Competitors social media approach

Many businesses do not operate independently. You’re typically going to have competitors that are often managing a networking campaign. You’re certainly going to have to learn what they’re planning (and executing). What’s the primary objective? Who is their target audience? What are all the keywords through which they intend to influence?

You must immediately do a competitive review to help you fully grasp their attributes and shortcomings. This would give you a clearer idea of what future clients expect from your company.

All in all, it’s beneficial and useful to develop a social media strategy such that you don’t merely share content solely for the sake of publishing content. It’s going to help you reach your social network and market targets.

Implementing a marketing strategy through social networking is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges because it needs you to step away and review at the larger picture. It would be best to move your attention away from your everyday activities, such as managing and reacting to feedback to the higher-level thought process. However, with the tips mentioned above and tactics, you would be able to bring forth your A-game.

Aug
31

Decoding E.A.T from Google Quality Raters Guidelines Prospective

Posted by Varun Sharma on August 31, 2020
A few days back, I had a severe rash on my hand.

I searched Google for the causes and treatment of rash.

And the site that topped my search results was none other than WebMD.

We all know that WebMD is an authentic medical domain educating on various health conditions.

But why Google trust it? Why it places WebMD on the top of SERPs related to health and medical advice?

As a webmaster, I can give you several reasons why Google shows WebMD on top.

But one driving factor behind all those reasons is its E.A.T.

E.A.T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust.

It means that WebMD has got the expertise, authority, and trust. The content is created and verified by medical experts, making it authentic for users.

The users come here, trust it, and share it, making it reliable for Google.

This is just a rough overview of E.A.T to show its role in the search engine results.

LET’S UNDERSTAND E.A.T IN DETAILS

What is E.A.T?

E.A.T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. Launched in 2014, E.A.T has become a key metric of ranking.

It is a framework mentioned in Google’s Search Quality Guidelines that helps people determine how helpful or useful a page is to solve their queries. Google wants to provide users the quality results for any queries, and websites with sound E.A.T are likely to get higher rankings.

Here is a brief explanation of each E.A.T component.

Expertise:

A content creator should be an expert in his field. Although it might not be that critical for gossip or entertainment sites, it really matters for financial, legal, and medical websites. For example, providing an author bio in any piece of writing can help people know about the content’s expertise.

Authoritativeness:

Authoritativeness is referred to as the quality of being accurate and reliable. Google measures that by backlinks, reviews, and mentions associated with your website.

Trust:

Trustworthiness comes into play when a website asks users to provide sensitive information such as credit card information. Therefore, a user should feel safe while exploring your site. The primary way to build trust is by implementing an SSL on your website.

 

“Proven trustworthiness is really important. While expertise and authority are factors that boost your rankings, trustworthiness, or rather a lack thereof is what can easily tank your rankings on Google.”

 

–  Ian Booth, SEO Executive

 

Keep in mind that these three components work together to help your website be in Google’s good books.

It might not work if you are an expert and produce low quality or irrelevant content. If you have expertise and authority in your content, then the last thing to worry about is your website’s security.

Therefore, you have to be eligible for all components of E.A.T.

However, EAT is not a ranking factor as confirmed by Google’s Danny Sullivan—

“Is E-A-T a ranking factor? Not if you mean there’s some technical thing like with speed that we can measure directly. We do use a variety of signals as a proxy to tell if the content seems to match E-A-T as humans would assess it. In that regard, yeah, it’s a ranking factor.”

Danny Sullivan on EAT

But it can’t be denied that it plays a vital role in getting your website recognized by Google.

WHAT IS GOOGLE’S QUALITY RATERS GUIDELINES OR QRG?

E.A.T is essential for the success of your website in search results. It helps build your website’s credibility among the users.

It is also important to know that E.A.T is an integral part of Google Quality Raters Guidelines 2020.

Well, Google QRG is a 166-page long document that contains essential guidelines to rate a website.

This document has been provided to 16,000 human raters employed by Google just to check every website manually. After all, humans can assess the value of the content better than any machine.

These raters use this guideline to determine the quality of the websites.

But these raters don’t have the power to rank the website based on their ratings.

Instead, they report to Google’s engineers, who then assess their algorithms based on the information provided.

Simply put, the raters’ feedback is used by Google to adjust its algorithm.

 

“ Quality Raters are spread out all over the world and are highly trained using our extensive guidelines. Their feedback helps us understand which changes make Search more useful.

Raters also help us categorize information to improve our systems. For example, we might ask what language a page is written in or what’s important on a page.

We use responses from Raters to evaluate changes, but they don’t directly impact how our search results are ranked.”

–  Google

 

You can download the complete Google Quality Raters Guidelines from HERE.

Broadly speaking, Google Quality Raters’ Guidelines works on four things to rate the website:

  • A.T
  • Needs Met (does your page satisfy the users?”
  • Your Money or Your Life (Important content related to life, money, and health. It calls for utmost expertise.)
  • Page Quality (Misleading titles, ad-blocked content, and obtrusive ads might harm your ranking.)
 

“They don’t tell you how the algorithm is ranking, but they fundamentally show what the algorithm should do.” 

 

– Ben Gomes, Google’s VP of Search, in an interview with CNBC over Google’s QRG

 

 

The Relationship Between E.A.T AND GOOGLE’S QRG

Again, quality raters cannot influence the rankings of your website.

But Google surely leverages their reported information to show the high-quality website first in the search results.

 

These ratings do not directly impact ranking, but they do help us benchmark the quality of our results and make sure these meet a high bar all around the world.

–  Google

 

Even Google is likely to align its algorithms majorly on the E.A.T principles.

Being the most highlighted section in the guideline, it will be predominately used by raters to check the website quality.

EAT and Google Rater Guideline

TRIVIA: E.A.T has been used 135 times in the 168-page Google Rater’s guideline

And this quotes from Google Quality Rater Guidelines says it all—

 “If any of Expertise, Authoritativeness, or Trustworthiness is lacking, use the ‘low’ rating.”

For example, the changes in Google Algorithms proposed by the QRG have a significant impact on the rankings of health, fitness, and medical websites.

Here the graph showing the dropping in their ranking as Google rolled out the algorithm in 2018.

EAT Effect on Websites - Graph

(image source: AHREFS)

Many of these websites lack E.A.T; traffic went below when the core update is released, and Google’s ability to detect E.A.T enhanced.

How to Create E.A.T Friendly Content

So far, you must have read that GOOGLE’S QUALITY RATERS GUIDELINES is more or less based on E.A.T principles.

Google is likely to tweak its algorithm based on the report of these guidelines.

Therefore, the message is clear—only an E.A.T friendly website has good chances to rank, no matter what algorithm comes.

There is no right time to update your website according to the E.A.T norms. Do it now.

Here’s how…

Create Quality Content That Stands for Expertise:

Whether you write medical content or run a recipe blog, make sure it has the reflection of your expertise. Otherwise, it is better to get it done by an expert of that field, especially if it is related to medical, finance and health, or any other area of Your Money, Your Life (YMYL)

However, formal expertise is not required in the content related to life experience or everyday expertise. For example, someone mentioning his experience with depression in any form won’t be penalized. Because Google thinks that the person is sharing his knowledge, not expertise.

Here’s what Google guideline says about it.

Consider this example. Here, forum participants are telling how long their loved ones lived with liver cancer. This is an example of sharing personal experiences (in which they are experts), not medical advice. Specific medical information and advice (rather than descriptions of life experiences) should come from doctors or other health professionals.”

Use Authentic Sources:

Make sure to link your facts and statistics to a credible and accurate source. This makes your content looks authentic.

Google pinpoints this thing in its guideline—

 “High E-A-T news articles should be produced with journalistic professionalism—they should contain factually accurate content presented in a way that helps users achieve a better understanding of events.”

Marie Haynes on EAT

Look for Positive Reviews:

One of the E.A.T rules is to gain positive reviews on your content. It will improve your page quality as well as build a reputation. Positive reviews are triggered by high-quality content that helps your audience.

Besides, you should take care of negative reviews by trying to know their problems and providing solutions accordingly.

Make a Wikipedia Page:

For Google, Wikipedia is a reliable source.

Joshua Hardwick, the head of content at AHREFS and the founder at the SEO Project, opines

“News articles and Wikipedia articles can help you learn about a company and may include information specific to reputation, such as awards and other forms of recognition, or controversies and issues.”

In fact, having a Wikipedia page for your business can help you gain authority and trust to some extent. It is also worth mentioning that Google extracts information from Wikipedia for Google Knowledge Graphs, which is a critical point in improving your online reputation as well.

OVER TO YOU:

Google Search Quality Raters’ Guidelines impact algorithms. And E.A.T is going to be a crucial factor in that. Therefore, optimize your content according to E.A.T so that your website can easily pass an algorithm test on any given day.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below!

Aug
26

5 Most Controversial Digital Marketing Tactics

Posted by Varun Sharma on August 26, 2020
There may be a name in notoriety too. Still, today more and more consumers are making brands and companies accountable for their marketing tactics and policies, especially in the digital marketing world. The exposure of the marketing choice on digital media is many folds more than in offline marketing. This makes controversial tactics exposed and means that sooner rather than later, they will be called out for it.

Let us look at five of the most prominent recent examples of controversial marketing tactics in the digital marketing world.

BIC pens Digital Marketing Controversy

One of the biggest names when it comes to pens and stationery products that are reliable and sturdy. This has been true for decades. With everyone moving to digital marketing, Bic has been behind in this in any aspect. Their brand name has only benefited from these for sure, like most brands worldwide across industries.

However, a recent campaign, which was likely made with great intention, backfired royally. The digital marketing campaign led to a lot of controversies as soon as it hit the social media channels.

BIC Digital Marketing Controversy
Credit: https://www.theguardian.com/

The campaign read:

“Look like a girl

Act like a lady

Think like a man

Work like a boss.”

This was launched on Women’s Day to honor working women. The internet was full of memes and commentaries on this. This led to the company withdrawing the campaign hours into releasing it.

McDonald’s Digital Marketing Controversy

mcdonalds szechuan sauce controversy
Credit: Cnet.con

The controversy isn’t always caused in a negative sense as hard as it may be to be believed. If precedence is to be seen through, a controversy even if it begins well for the company doesn’t necessarily end well. Positive publicity can lead to disappointment and broken promises for the company later.

A recent example of this is McDonald’s when they wanted to publicize their one day return of their 1990s fame Szechuan Sauce in limited outlets. To publicize this, they worked with the peak popular Rick and Morty show to advertise this online.

It became clear soon that the company underestimated the response they would get to this ad and the sauce return. It isn’t that their ad was not clear enough on the details of the return of the sauce or its availability. What just happened is that they did not see the return being this successful.

What followed the ad was unending lines on all McDonald outlets for the sauce. This threw the outlets that did not have it completely off. Even the ones where it did make a return ran out of it within the first hour or so of the day opening. This meant that almost all customers who visited the outlet left disappointed.

This backfired as many were very upset with the company for such a short return or limited outlet return compared to the scale and popularity of the ad partners.

Star Sports Digital Marketing Controversy

Controversy, at times, strikes even when you may not be at fault. An ad for the Cricket World Cup 2019 by ICC stirred up a lot of controversy in the Indian subcontinent for Star Sports.

This controversy is a reminder to brands that not all trending topics are up for grabs when it comes to the sentiments of people.

To be fair, the company did not directly cause the controversy, but seeing the timing and what had recently happened, this could have been avoided.

They came out with an ad for CWC2019, including Father’s Day, in the narrative for a jibe at the neighboring country for India with respect to cricket. A company there hit back with an ad on the issue with an ad-based around Wing Commander Abhinandan. This was not well, obviously. While most of the hate targeted the Pakistani channel, Star Sports was also dragged into the same due to their connection.

Bud light Digital Marketing Controversy

Bud light digital marketing controversy
Credit: entrepreneur.com

Often controversy is not what a company or brand sets out for, but their obvious oversight on one aspect or another leads to disastrous results.

The beer in question recently came out with a series of ads in the digital and traditional marketing formats that completely missed the point and were swamped with negative responses.

The ad portrayed the idea of “up for whatever” in terms of willingness and spirit by ads showcasing a man taking on daring tasks. Their tagline of “the perfect beer for removing no from your vocabulary for the night,” however, sent the worst possible message across.

People saw this as a link to how often alcohol is used or abused for rape, and the campaign faced the social media heat at a peak. The company apologized and pulled their campaign based on the reaction.

Dove Digital Marketing Controversy

Dove Digital Marketing Controversy

Many a time the controversy of an ad isn’t misperception or a second meaning seem into the ad. While there is no denying that such things should be overlooked or avoided by the brands, there is a much bigger category they need to care for.

The last example, for now, is one where the brand marketing team put across a blatantly disturbing thought process, and this was approved or overlooked by the giant that is the company until it blew up.

The case in point being discussed is a digital platform released ad by Dove (a brand by Unilever) in which the advertisement shows a black woman remove her dark top and turn into a white woman by using Dove. This was a clearly racist ad but was somehow approved and launched.

The backlash was immediate and unrelenting until the company apologized and pulled the campaign, but not before they had received a lot of hate over this.

Bottom Line:

From the above examples, you can see that in these times of the great digital footprint everything leaves and where it is impossible in one way to take away once something is put out there, while also being unable to know the extent to which it would become viral; it is crucial for brands to be more than careful of their campaigns. What a brand puts out there on the digital forums goes beyond geographical boundaries and can have a previously unseen level of response to it.

Aug
18

Steve Jobs – The man behind the success of John Alan Lasseter and Jony Ive

Posted by Varun Sharma on August 18, 2020
Steve Jobs

His story is a paradigm of entrepreneurial visionary creation: Steve Jobs co-founded the company- Apple in his parents’ garage in the year 1976, was sacked in 1985, resurrected to save it from severe bankruptcy in 1997, and until the day he died, in October 2011, he had established it into becoming the world’s most profitable business. He managed to help transform several sectors along the way: animated movies, music, personal computing, retail stores, digital publishing, tablet computing, and phones.

With a successful venture into Pixar’s computer animation, Toy Story was produced as such a high-quality film that industry powerhouse Disney decided to pick the company. Steve Jobs’ last invention was the iPad, a portable device to replace the Desktop. Jobs needed a device to increase cognitive computing capacity for all the information in the world accessible on a smaller screen.

Steve Jobs, John Alan Lasseter & Pixar

Pixar Animation Studios

When Steve Jobs decided to purchase Pixar in 1986, a talented animator named John Lasseter had to rope in Jobs for an animated short film. This was Lasseter’s first formal encounter with his new boss. Jobs only had a suggestion—”make it great. “The short film, Tin Toy, ended up winning the very first Academy Award ever granted to computer animation and laid the standard as to what eventually became Toy Story. Lasseter, who has become the chief creative director at Walt Disney Animation Studios (and Frozen’s exec producer), claimed it was the most in-depth guidance he’s ever got.

The company’s biggest achievement began in 1991 after Disney announced an investment in producing and releasing Pixar’s first motion picture. Initially more interested in NeXT’s prospects, Jobs immediately entered into negotiations and helped work out a three-movie contract for 12.5 percent of box office revenue. While Lasseter and the design team progressed on what would become Toy Story, Jobs recruited CFO Lawrence Levy to hammer through the mechanics of preparing the firm for a public offering.

In an interview with Steve Jobs in 1996, Lasseter said-  “What Pixar does it so extraordinary that we have taken a look at this new technology- computer animation and we don’t look at it as a way to replace any of the creativity or any of the art of filmmaking we still we look at it as these are just not great new expensive pencils you know that’s what it says is this artist using these computers as a young artist at Disney use a piece of paper and a pencil and because the focus of what we do is still where it’s most important and that’s with the story and the characters I think toy story is a success not because it’s computer-generated, it is a success because it has characters of Buzz Light year and Woody and in the storyline that really has captivated audience.”

Jobs scheduled an IPO date following the release of Toy Story during Thanksgiving in 1995, linking the company’s future to the global box office performance of its first sizable endeavor. It turned to be a profitable game, as the convergence of Pixar ‘s technological wonders, a heart-warming movie, and Tom Hanks and Tim Allen’s voices steered Toy Story to an incredible $30 million opening weekend (on the way to a $365 million international revenue). Days later, following its first trade day, Pixar closed at $39 a share, the once-struggling business soon priced at $1.5 billion.

John Alan Lasseter has three golden rules to make a great film.

 Tell a compelling story, unpredictable components that keep the audience on the edge of their seat.

 Populate the story with really appealing and memorable characters and put that story in those characters in a believable world, believable for the story.

 Do not go realistic; one should not be interested in reproducing reality.

Jobs acknowledged creativity, originality, and inventiveness was the result of unexpected gatherings. He believed, “You run into someone and ask what they’re doing. Then you realize the connections, and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.” The atrium of the Pixar building laid the groundwork for unplanned encounters. Official structures need to establish connections with sparks to fly and facilitate wondrous spontaneity.

The success of Apple Design

Jony Ive Apple

“What I love about the creative process, and this may sound naive, but it is this idea that one day there is no idea, and no solution, but the next day there is an idea. I find that incredibly exciting and conceptually actually remarkable.”                                                                                                                     – Jony Ive

Jobs had only just decided to return to Apple in 1997 and intended to reignite the company’s groundbreaking and inventive soul. He needed the design to be at the center of this regeneration. Because Apple was a tech corporation at that point, anyone might have anticipated Jobs to have been searching for an experienced machine designer — someone among the industry’s most regarded.

Well, he did not. Ive had been an independent design consultant in London before he joined Apple. His business, Tangerine, became engaged in the planning and designing of household products (for instance, Tangerine had been an advisor for Ideal Standard, then a dominant figure in the plumbing and bathroom industry). The young designer relocated to Apple in the year 1992, but his projects prior to 1997 just weren’t particularly successful. Hence, choosing him as senior vice president of industrial design at that point seemed like an arbitrary decision. Steve believed in looking into the future and not the past while collaborating with innovators. In hindsight, this turned out to be a brilliant decision. Jobs did not hire someone to create and design another beige box.

The very first product designed under Ive’s supervision was the iMac G3, which was launched in 1998. It was hailed as among the most innovative desktop computers ever launched, with a design layout that was completely unique to the sector: a pleasant shell in translucent reflective plastic and an ovoid design that defied the prevailing model of unpopular beige frames.

The gadgets designed by Apple under the guidance of Ive, with all their simplicity and elegance, have reiterated that design is all about fantastic people creating incredible stuff. By launching these smartphones or tablets and computers on a scale of splendor, they are enshrining the elitism of intricate design.

Steve Jobs excelled in the production of compact systems that smashed computing performance hurdles. Jobs’ interest was extended to both big and minor problems. Several other CEOs are fantastic creative geniuses, while some believe that God is in the detail. Jobs contribute to the legion of the true pioneers, inventors, and visionaries of America (and the world), alongside Nikola Tesla, Walt Disney, and Thomas Edison. Neither of these people was a paragon of virtue, but even after their identities are lost, history will recall how they implemented their ingenuity to technology, business, and engineering.

Aug
10

Decoding the Success of 1984 Macintosh Super Bowl Ad

Posted by Varun Sharma on August 10, 2020
“Hypnotized people are marching towards the central hall where they are being addressed by a televised Big Brother. A blond girl in athletic shorts and a white tank top enters with a hammer. She runs towards the screen and hurls the hammer towards it. There is a huge explosion as the hammer hits the screen. It is followed by scrolling black text—“On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.”

That’s how the script of 1984 ad for Apple Macintosh goes on the screen.

Aired in 1984 during Super Bowl American football tournament, the ad aimed to create buzz for Apple Macintosh to be launched shortly.

The TV commercial is also appeared to be a spoof on the monopoly of its arch-rival, IBM.

The 60-second ad was directed by Ridley Scott who has already shot into the fame for Blade Runner and later made Alien and Gladiator.

1984 was inspired from George Orwell’s 1949 novel of the same name which depicted a dystopian future “ruled by a televised Big Brother”. George Orwell in his novel opined how computers would control the world like Big Brother. But the ad showed the end of that “control”.

Interestingly, the ad wasn’t well-received by experts who declared it a great flop. Thanks to its futuristic approach and strange plot with keeping the product in suspense.

John Sculley, then CEO of Apple, recalled the moment after the ad was showed to the board—

“The others just looked at each other, dazed expressions on their faces … Most of them felt it was the worst commercial they had ever seen. Not a single outside board member liked it.”

Even the marketing firm that was testing the ad declared it the “least effective” ad they’ve ever worked on. The average score for a commercial was 29, but the 1984 ad managed to score only 5 in their testing.

And this was the same advertisement that stunned the entire nation when released.

The impact was so huge that people used to rush to electronic stores across the nation to buy Macintosh.

The next three months after the Super Bowl witnessed the sale of Macintoshes worth $155 million.

While the ad made Mac one of the best-selling computers of its time, it helped Apple turn into a computing giant.

It also made into the list of the greatest ads ever made. In fact, 1984 is credited to start the current era of Super Bowl ad, in which ads are as popular as the game itself.

Why Apple 1984 was a dream success? How it influenced people to buy Macintosh?

The success ingredients of the ad go beyond those cinematic experience and futuristic approach.

It hit the bull’s eye because of these factors…

Rebellious Nature of Apple:

IBM used to have a monopoly over the computer market in the 1980s.

This was also the time when many new computer companies came into existence.

In the wake of all this, Apple, which rose from an electronic and hobbyist background, was looking to capitalize on its first commercial success, Apple II.

It was challenging to do in the market being dominated by IBM. IBM was alleged to remove “obstacles” in its way of glory.

The triggers of this ad can be sensed in the speech of Steve Jobs at the 1983 Apple Keynote—

“Apple is perceived to be the only hope to give IBM a run for its money. Dealers, once welcoming IBM with open arms now fear an IBM dominated and controlled future! They are increasingly and desperately turning back to Apple as the only force that can assure their future freedom! 

IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control – Apple! Will ‘Big Blue’ dominate the entire computer industry?”

Instead of adopting a mild strategy, Apple decided to take on IBM with its 1984 TV commercial. In the advertisement, the Big Brother is supposed to be IBM while the followers are its users.

Walter Isaacson, the author and journalist, said,”

“What the ad did was in Steve Jobs’ DNA into the soul of Apple. It became a company that was rebellious. That was for misfits and round pegs in square holes but people who wanted to control their own destiny.”

The theme of the ad was freedom vs. control and stagnation vs. innovation. And this message just clicked with the customers.

The Creative Vision of Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs Biography

Steve Jobs was a great visionary. He not only made his company grabbing market share from rivals but also revolutionized the way people work and communicate with Apple’s offerings.

No wonder that such “out of the box” ad was envisioned by Steve Jobs.

Talking about the work methodology of Steve Jobs, Brent Thomas, then art director of the Chiat/Day on the 1984 project, said—

“If the people that you had to first present to hated it, Jobs was going to like it. And conversely, if it went the other way, you knew Steve would kill it.”

Steve was a risk-taker and didn’t afraid of making a mistake.

Lee Clow, creative director of 1984, quoted Steve Jobs’ challenge,”

“I gotta introduce Macintosh. It’s gotta be dramatic; it gotta be famous, it gotta be different. I want something that nobody else would do.”

His creative risks can be seen in his approach to design, marketing and leadership. And 1984 ad was no exception.

The Promise of Innovative Technology:

The role of technology, according to Steve, is to empower people, not to control them.

His mission for Apple is better explained by Tim Cook as he says—

“His vision for Apple was a company that turned powerful technology into tools that were easy to use, tools that would help people realize their dreams and change the world for the better.,”

1984 ad seems to be the reflection of this vision.

The athletic girl throws a hammer at the screen—or in the face of Big Brother. It means that Apple Macintosh would break stagnant technology to provide innovative, fresh and useful devices to people. As stated in Steve Job’s speech, people were looking to overcome “dominated and controlled future” by a handful of computer companies.

The idea of Apple “to bring freedom, not control” worked. Apple really lived up to its promise as Macintosh turned out to be a game-changer of its time.

Bottom Line:

1984 was really an ahead of a time TV commercial. But that is not the only reason behind its success. The advertisement stands for the vision of Apple—to provide innovative and user-friendly technology. The theme of the ad was to break the shackles of monopoly and control to move towards freedom.

Apple has always stepped ahead of its competitors due to its belief in giving the world something innovative, something better, and something that can change their life.

The ad also teaches some valuable marketing lessons, from implying a fearless approach to aligning the product to the company’s vision.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below!