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Integrated marketing begins with identifying the need or solution and doesn’t end with developing the product and sales. Integrated marketing enables companies to expand their offerings by filling gaps for a particular product category- for example, small, affordable cars. The role of 360-degree marketing can play in a crisis for the brand, as well as a general situation shows the value of this strategy in business promotion activity in the digital era. The 360 degrees has also enlarged the scope of brand-building beyond traditional media channels.
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The marketing concept has gone a sea change, and now with big data, data mining capabilities, and analysis tools at the marketer’s disposal. Market segmentation and targeting have become easier, and developing customized solutions for different price points has also become easier.
Along with changes in technology, new communication media, and innovative approach being adopted, several new terms have evolved, reflecting the strategies inherent in them. Two key techniques in marketing have emerged – integrated marketing and 360-degree marketing. There could be grey areas where both strategies overlap and cannot be bottled into watertight compartments.Integrated Marketing vs 360 Degree Marketing Infographics
Below infographics on Integrated Marketing vs 360-degree marketing throws light on the significant differences between the two.
Let’s assume that a particular need has been identified for the kitchen, which will help homemakers finish cooking faster. Chopping vegetables into fine pieces and grating coconuts, onions chilies may be a cumbersome process in the kitchen, especially for working people strapped for time. Morphy Richards came up with a solution called Kitchen Chopper. Thus the first two processes are complete-identifying a need, developing a product, and now it needs to be promoted.
Thus, upmarket customers looking for a different branding and value began to notice their premium cars, which had failed to make headway in the market when sold along with budget cars. Thus, the SX4 was transformed into the S-Cross, the Baleno was reintroduced as a hatchback, and automobile enthusiasts were introduced to the revamped Vitara, now known as the Brezza.
Nano was the answer from Tata Motors for a large market looking for cheap cars and also found a vast export market in emerging market economies.
It is said that by altering the marketing mix and targeting integrated marketing, a marketer can touch every population segment. To achieve this, companies change their products and prices. Integrated marketing is a comprehensive function that involves identifying a need, creating a product, developing and naming the brand, establishing channel sales, receiving feedback, and continuously improving offerings.Advantages of Integrated Marketing 1. Holistic approach
Integrated marketing sees the whole aspect of a brand, from identifying the need or solution in a particular consumer or business segment, developing the product and branding, marketing promotion and communication activities, achieving sales and feedback as an integrated marketing activity and that applies to the development of new subcategories within a product or brand. This approach should help any company achieve better brand building and promotion, sales, and market share compared to the competition. It is about developing the product and finding the appropriate communication strategies to reach the target audience.2. Consumer in focus
Integrated marketing begins with identifying the need or solution and doesn’t end with developing the product and sales. It continues with feedback, innovations, or new products developed. The focus on the consumer is an essential feature of integrated marketing communications.3. Selective changes in activity change market offering
In an integrated marketing approach, selective changes in marketing activity can change the market offering by providing a better price, quality, or features. Increasing the sales force, concentrating on push than pull, increasing marketing budgets, and achieving cost-effectiveness can offer better customer pricing, thus ensuring a higher market share.4. Fills gaps in the market 5. 360-degree marketing and its relevance
There are two ways of approaching marketing- one focusing on the brand and its merits, and the other is to have the consumer at the center stage and then develop products that appeal to them, then devise appropriate communication strategies to achieve the objective. Integrated marketing is all-encompassing, identifying the customer’s needs, developing the product for him or her, and developing the communication strategy to reach them. Throughout the process, the consumer is at the center stage.
Let’s imagine a situation where the team has developed the product, and now the focus has shifted to branding, marketing, and selling it. In such a scenario, the 360-degree marketing strategist has an arsenal of media for their disposal-print media, television, social media, public relations, email marketing, websites, telemarketing, events, and trade fairs.
The goal of 360-degree marketing is to ensure that the message is consistent across the channels, which is necessary to keep consumers engaged with the product and understand the brand better.Advantages of 360 Degree Marketing 1. Communication holds the key
The best products can fail if there is a product and distribution channel but no linear or interactive communication. In 360-degree marketing, a particular emphasis is on keeping in touch with consumers from the beginning of the journey – from discovering the product to purchasing at different touchpoints across multiple devices.2. Combines the best of integrated marketing and web 3. Capable of being utilized across industries
Oil company Shell is associated with Ferrari, KFC, Australian tourism, and other consumer and business industries. Tourism Australia has created a There’s Nothing Like Australia campaign that uses virtual reality (VR) to showcase the country’s aquatic and coastal experiences. The seventeen films cover rides over the 12 Apostles, sailing the Whitsundays, swimming with sea lions and dolphins in Australia, cruising Sydney Harbour, and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef.4. Creativity is at the heart of 360 degree
According to DC Priyan, who has worked earlier with Ogilvy & Mather, creativity is at the heart of 360-degree marketing. Ideas will continue to drive execution, but pervasive creativity will define the campaign’s success and the brand in the marketplace.5. 360 degree for crisis management and control
Even in times of crisis, such as the Chennai floods that ravaged for weeks submerging the city, Ola Cabs reached out to a larger community by deploying boats to ferry people in distress. The resultant coverage in the press and social media likes and shares will contribute to its brand building in the long run, which no mass media coverage would have done.Conclusion
To identify a need, develop the product, determine the price, and promote, an integrated marketing approach necessitates utilizing the latest technology and adapting to new paradigm shifts in business. Big data, until recently a hype, has now begun to be used to understand customer behavior, spending patterns, differences, and tastes which can be used to develop new products or services. Big data will have a larger role in developing new products, innovating on existing ones, and defining new uses for existing products or services.
For most purposes, integrated and 360-degree marketing cannot be put into watertight compartments as some grey areas overlap. One of the parts is communication, and another is working with data or a database to develop new ideas or identify the target audience.
The 360 degrees has also enlarged the scope of the brand-building beyond the traditional media channels capitalizing on the plethora of opportunities in the web, social media, and virtual reality. The Internet has become an integral part of marketing strategy. Thus, the digital and mobile platform has become an inevitable medium for marketers.
Even as there are many opportunities to communicate with consumers and target groups, each industry can choose what is relevant within the scope of integrated marketing efforts. Localized businesses may find it appropriate to use print media and BTL (Below the line) campaigns, which involve distributing leaflets, putting up banners and hoardings, and running local TV campaigns. On the other hand, consumer products sold across geographies require extensive use of all media.
A decade ago, the American Association of Advertising Agencies identified integrated marketing as the future for the success of any brand. From being a media planning tool, 360 Degrees has expanded to embrace the entire communication process with customers and prospects.Recommended Articles
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So you want to be a digital marketer.
Whether you have aspirations to start a career in digital marketing or want to switch up your current career trajectory, your new career path requires education and experience.
What level of education is necessary to get a leg up in the marketing industry?
And is it worth investing in a digital marketing degree to catapult your career forward?
Understanding what employers are looking for now and how to plot the best path from where you’re starting out are key.
In this column, we’ll explore the pros and cons of getting a formal digital marketing degree.The Case For A Digital Marketing Degree
Since 1960, the college enrollment rate among high school graduates has increased by a substantial 46.8%.
Additionally, 19.1% of Bachelor’s degrees and 11.6% of Associate’s degrees are in business (the field digital marketing degrees tend to be associated with).
It’s clear undergraduate degrees are continuing to grow in popularity, and business degrees are one of the most sought after by college students.Increases Your Career Opportunities
An undergraduate degree in marketing remains the traditional approach to launching a college student’s career.
It serves as the groundwork for building a strong educational foundation while having the credentials to back it up.
Your degree also serves as a notable addition to your resume to back up your previous work experience.
In fact, in today’s job market and job interviews, some employers require you have a degree to even apply for a role.Expands Your Skillset
Having a four-year digital marketing degree opens the door to more potential job opportunities for those employers that require a formal degree.
Employers also recognize that although your degree may be specialized in digital marketing, you likely also have a breadth of business knowledge in different functional areas such as finance, accounting, search engine optimization, social media, and public relations.
Whereas having only a digital marketing certificate shows that you’re specialized in one area.Develops Communication And Analytical Skills
Your digital marketing educational experience will lead you to develop skills for understanding consumer behavior and tools to attract, convert, and retain customers.
It will also teach you to think critically about what motivates and drives customers to take action.
These demonstratable skills will be attractive to employers and can substitute equivalent formal marketing work experience.Boosts Your Earning Potential
A bachelor’s degree holder earns a median income of $2.8 million – 75% more than if they had only a high school diploma.
A master’s degree gives you even more of a competitive edge, earning a median of $3.2 million over their lifetimes, while those with doctoral degrees earn $4 million and professional degree holders earn $4.7 million.
Additionally, according to Bureau for Labor Statistics, the average expected weekly earnings for an employee with a bachelor’s degree on their resume are $1,173, significantly improving the average earnings of associate degree holders.
Their unemployment rate is also significantly lower, at 2.5%.
Based on these findings, the correlation between education and average salary earning potential is evident.The Case Against A Digital Marketing Degree
The pandemic shifted many economic and operational factors for many business verticals, including education.
Accelerated digital adoption and required virtual learning taught students that they could and would have to learn online.
A recent survey of high school students found that the likelihood of attending a four-year college dropped nearly 20% in less than a year – down to 53%, from 71%.
One-third of the same survey’s respondents said the pandemic’s financial impact made them less likely to attend a four-year college, and they are focusing more on career training and post-college employment.Access To Online Education Has Increased
While degrees were once a requirement for aspiring digital marketers, the pandemic derailed this way of thinking.
Digital marketing courses and receiving a digital marketing certification are quite literally within our fingertips.
Additionally, certificate courses offer a convenient learning program option for students who don’t have the time to attend in-person classes.
Digital marketing professionals in the making are now seeking out online options to reduce costs and save time while still receiving an education.Four-Year Degrees Aren’t Required For Entrepreneurs
When considering whether a university degree is worthwhile, think about your long-term plan.
Breaking into the digital marketing industry as an entrepreneur wouldn’t require a college degree.
Instead, self-taught digital marketing training, mentorship, or other online digital marketing programs could be enough to build your own business.
Running your own digital marketing business can be lucrative, too.
In search, for example, founders are most likely to make over $200,000 per year, according to Search Engine Journal’s most recent State of SEO report.
However, if your dreams are to work 9-5 for a larger company, many require a formal marketing degree.
Without a degree, digital marketing talent recruiters at larger companies may not even look at your resume.
Whether you’d rather go the online digital marketing certificate route or the college degree route, neither is wrong.It’s More Affordable
Compared with attending graduate school, learning digital marketing with unaccredited digital marketing courses and starting a website is 10 times more profitable, with a return on investment of 521% three years after starting your digital marketing career compared to a return of 53% from a digital marketing degree.
Additionally, programs such as the Google Digital Marketing Certification are free of charge.
When looking for credible marketing and SEO certification programs, look for:
Industry-recognized digital marketing certification (ex: HubSpot Content Marketing Certification).
Help with placement with potential employers after the course.
Hands-on experience with platforms and technology you’d use in a marketing role.Sets You Apart From Other Non-Degree Holders
When competing for a job in the marketing field, having a certification enables you to stand out against others applying for the same job.
This designation will appear prominently on your resume and shows you’ve gone an extra step toward achieving your career aspirations.
On the other hand, a certified Marketing Manager earns approximately $116,500. The difference in earnings between the two is $43,000 per year.So, What Is Better? Marketing Degree Or No Marketing Degree?
There are cases to be made for pursuing a formal education at a college instead of exploring certification options.
It boils down to your own preferences, the learning format that works best for you, cost, and goals.
If you excel with in-person learning and a more structured academic environment, pursuing a marketing bachelor’s degree may be your best option.
Alternately, if you prefer to go at your own pace and have more hands-on experience in marketing, pursuing a certificate may be in your best interest.
You can then build your portfolio with this hands-on experience to prove yourself a strong candidate.
Whether you prefer to sharpen your digital marketing skills through a four-year university or want to begin your career in marketing without a formal education, it is contingent on your personality and what works best for you personally.
There is no right or wrong way to approach getting a digital marketing job and what works best for one person may not work for another.
Stay true to the education style you prefer and gain the necessary skills. You’ll be on your way to becoming a successful marketer on your own time.
Featured Image: fizkes/Shutterstock
Privacy is a top concern for people online, despite the fact that many want more personalized experiences from brands.
With the constant decline of network television and print media, marketing strategy is shifting to the digital space. This has also seen increased competition in the new medium, forcing marketers to look for ways to personalize content to break through the noise and get to individual consumers.
While this approach might enrich the customer experience, there is always the risk of companies having too much information about our personal affairs. It is even more dangerous when we are poorly informed about the specific types of data collected about us or how these companies use the data.
Download our Individual Member Resource – GDPR and ePrivacy briefing for marketing professionals
In this report we cover the latest examples and discussion on both of these regulations which seeks to improve transparency and the effectiveness of data protection activities.
Access the GDPR and ePrivacy briefing for marketing professionals
Personal information falls into two main categories: a user voluntarily sharing personal data and uninformed collection by interested parties. Any of these options pose a real threat to online privacy. But again, users can also benefit from the collection or sharing of personal information. This thin line is our focus of discussion today.Why privacy matters
Naturally, we all have things we want to keep to ourselves because, as humans, we are particularly sensitive to social pressure. But when the things we want to protect are stored or happen online, then we remain vulnerable. So, we need some form of online privacy to protect our sensitive information and, more importantly, prevent enterprises from using what they know about us for marketing manipulation.
Today, privacy is a top concern for online users, with a majority (86%) of them taking active steps to safeguard their safety online. Likewise, government, industries, and private enterprises across the world are putting into action data privacy regulations and policies, further illustrating the importance of consumer privacy.
In the current setup, consumers are becoming more connected, and they are constantly sharing information online. Some of them are already using online products and services, while others are researching and purchasing stuff online via numerous connected devices. Gartner estimates that more than 20 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use by 2023.
UYsers’ information is being collected at each stage, be it by device manufacturers, internet providers, desktop and mobile apps, or even mobile operators. These parties can use the information for commercial purpose. Taking this into account, perhaps, it will help if users:
Could know some PC tips and tricks.
Use tools that have privacy protection features, for instance, PC repair tools, Mac cleaning software, and cleaners for Android phones.
Learn how to stay safe online, and particularly, how to make their devices more efficient and secure.
Unfortunately, there is a disconnect between how people talk about the importance of online privacy and how they deal with it. On the one hand, consumers are more informed about the risk that comes with sharing personal data. On the other hand, they still share this information freely online and agree to privacy policies they haven’t even read. This issue brings us to the reality of privacy paradox, which complicates the situation for marketers.The marketers’ dilemma
About a year and a half ago, a team from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and MIT examined over 3,000 students to understand their privacy preferences. Surprisingly, a majority of these undergraduate students were willing to relinquish their private data if there was an incentive to do so. The research team found out that students were ready to share their friends’ email addresses in exchange for a free pizza.
The point of referencing this study is to understand the role marketers play in this mix. Like students, average consumers are vocal about the need to respect their privacy. But when marketers try to analyze their activities, customers often show they crave for convenience.The act of balancing: Privacy vs. personalization
A research conducted by Accenture revealed that 80% of consumers in the UK and the US, aged between 20 and 40, see privacy as a thing of the past. To them, safeguards aren’t enough to protect personal data. Surprisingly, about half of them didn’t mind companies tracking their online behaviors, if it resulted in more relevant, personalized recommendations. It appears as if the consumers are more forgiving if there is a tradeoff.
We fully understand that for marketers to target their consumers effectively and offer a more personalized experience, they must track their online behavior. Admittedly, brands don’t want to waste their money and time marketing to prospects who won’t convert. So, from a business perspective, it makes a lot of sense. Moreover, information storing may also benefit consumers. It helps them conduct online transactions more quickly.
But again, we are awake to the dangers of giving too much information to organizations. Not even the so-called ‘reputable’ companies are immune from misusing consumer data. The two examples below tell it all.Compromised privacy
The Cambridge Analytica scandal alone has shed light on the extent to which consumer information ends up in unexpected places. If that was not enough to freak you out, maybe the Equifax breach will drive the point home.
The Equifax breach might not have been bigger than other scary data breaches that preceded it, but it compromised the identity of almost 146 million Americans. Even more worrisome is that the very breach rippled through the financial system to affect consumers who have never interacted with the firm.
These two cases provide conspicuous reasons to take action to shield consumers. Regrettably, privacy laws still fall behind.Closing thoughts
While consumers are cautious about their online privacy, marketers should be even more concerned because privacy matters the most. Now more than ever, marketers have the opportunity to address the privacy concerns of their customers, and possibly have a lasting influence on online privacy. They should:
Make data use more transparent.
Use technology that is privacy conscious by default.
Own and control users’ data.
So far, finding a balance is still a subject of considerable debate, so there is a need for stronger legislation to protect consumers. It makes little sense that guarding personal information depends entirely on the party who holds it.
Five practical steps to improve your video SEO and align objectives with strategy and tactics
Whilst the creation of great content itself is essential, it’s equally important to ensure that the content can be found by your target audience. Search engine optimization is one of the most effective ways of boosting the discoverability of content and a topic covered in depth on Smart Insights previously. Whilst many SEO techniques can be applied to video, there are some differences and idiosyncrasies to bear in mind.
Within this post I’d like to highlight a few video SEO steps and techniques that can help your content to stand out and reach the right audiences:
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Our guide shows you how to review the full opportunities from video marketing whether you are a company looking to integrate video marketing more into your campaigns or a marketing agency looking to improve your video marketing services.
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Incorporating video into your marketing strategy is a big step for any sized business. Whether you’re integrating video content into your always-on activity or planning video marketing within a campaign, you want to be sure all your channels are working together efficiently and effectively.
That’s why we recommend applying the RACE Framework to structure your marketing planning in the context of your customers’ omnichannel journeys.
Structured across reach, act, convert, and engage, our framework empowers marketers to use data to track and measure their marketing channels and make smart decisions to win more customers.Be clear on your objective
It’s important to be clear on why you are producing video content and how this aligns with your target audience. You may want to produce video to enhance your brand, become an authority on a particular subject or simply augment existing content:
Whatever route you choose will ultimately influence the proceeding steps in the content distribution process, with an emphasis on:
Research – the topic/ subject matter of the content and how this provides value and utility for the user
Creation – structure content effectively to attract, brand and connect with the user
Distribution – publish and share content on relevant platforms, incluuding YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
Activation – getting people to find and pay attention to the content through a combination of paid, owned and earned media
Video SEO is about making video content discoverable in the search engines of each of the main video platforms (Google, YouTube, Bing, Vimeo) and social channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest). There will be differences and nuances for each platform but there are broad steps and actions that can help optimize video across all.Five practical steps to video SEO
Christopher Penn, co-founder of BrainTrust Insights and co-host of the long-term Marketing Over Coffee podcast recently published a webinar on video SEO that I would highly recommend. Within the webinar Chris highlights five pillars that marketers can use to frame their video SEO process:1. Video
The quality of the content has to be high, not only in terms of production values but also theme and context so that it resonates with users.Research
As with any other form of content production, good quality starts with good research and an understanding of what people are actually interested in watching.
Question and answer site Quora can provide a good starting point for qualitative insight into the natural language people are using about different topics, which can form the basis for further keyword research:
From here you can use more specific keyword research tools, such as Moz, SEMRush or Ubersuggest to dig into more detail and find the words and phrases that deliver a balance of strong search volume and competition:Imagery and thumbnails
Once you’ve produced your video start looking at where the content will be distributed. Good quality imagery will help ‘sell’ your video content, grab people’s attention and generate CTR. Video imagery can be used for:
90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails, so it’s important to create visually interesting thumbnails to attract more viewers and increase watch time:
Free tools such as Canva enable you to create a customized thumbnail quickly and easily using a screenshot or a specific image related to the video. This is a much better alternative than relying on the whatever YouTube decides to choose for you2. Audio
In Christopher Penn’s webinar, he makes the point that great video starts with great audio and offers a revealing insight: whilst people will watch a poor video with good sound, they are less likely to tolerate video with no sound at all.Leverage the power of sound Create separate audio files
YouTube and other platforms use machine learning and AI to create transcripts and closed captions from the video’s audio. Good quality sound = better quality transcripts, leading to stronger search engine optimization.
FFmpeg is a free, open source tool that can be used to convert video files into different audio formats that can be used to create a separate audio file for your video:3. Text Keywords
The keyword research outlined in the first pillar above will highlight the keywords and phrases you should be using judiciously within the video’s metadata and supporting text. As with traditional SEO, don’t fall foul of keyword stuffing. Instead, use your target keywords naturally and consider the use of keyword variations and synonyms.Titles, tags and descriptions
The title, tags and description will provide you with the best opportunity to leverage your target keywords and tells viewers what to expect from your video.
Titles should offer context, and not be a stream of keywords. Use natural language that happens to contain keywords
Write titles that build curiosity and set expectations
Front load the most important video information and include keywords, e.g. what your video is about
List tags in order of relevance and try to use the whole 270-character limit
Include a mix of both general and specific tags and ensure that at least one is your main target keyword
Use enough tags to thoroughly and accurately describe the video
Feature one or two target keywords prominently at the beginning of your description
Describe your video using natural language and not just a stream of keywords. Brian Dean of Backlino recommends using 200+ word descriptions for each video because longer descriptions give platforms like YouTube a deeper understanding of your video’s topicTranscripts and closed captions
Transcripts provide you with a great opportunity to help platforms understand what your video’s about and can also help content appear within ‘suggested videos’. Transcripts can be written manually but it can be far more efficient to use an AI tool to assist with this process.
There are a number of transcription services, including Amazon Transcribe, Watson Speech to Text and Google Speech-to-text API, as well new tools like Otter that convert audio files in text transcripts. One of the useful elements of Otter is that once converted, the transcripts include a breakdown of different speakers and timestamps, helpful for loading closed captions.4. People
Great video is ultimately determined by how it’s received by the audience. A high level of engagement, interest and watch time will send a strong signal to search engines that the content is worth ranking and may also lead to appearances in ‘suggested videos’. Activate your content within the channels that matter.Website
Use native video players to host your video on your website rather than uploading directly via your CMS. This will enable you to generate views and engagement on the video platforms:Social media
Your social channels are likely to play a key role in your distribution/ promotion plan, although it’s worth taking time to identify what channels are most relevant for the content you’re publishing.Advertising
Retargeting gives you a great opportunity to leverage insights from your existing website audience and reach out to new customer segments with customized video content, depending on the interests and behaviours they exhibited.5. Measurement
Measuring performance is a key step in determining what did/ didn’t work and to identify what existing content needs to be optimised further and what new content should be created and published in the future.Video platform analytics
Ensure that you have signed up and using your video platform’s analytics as these will provide a wealth of unique insights. YouTube’s Creator Studio, for example, gives you information about:
Take particular interest in watch time and audience retention. This will give you an indication of how users are engaging with your video content and highlight what could be avoided or expanded on in the future.Web analytics
Your own web analytics is important for understanding what impact your videos are having in terms of visitors and conversions to your website.
Google Analytics is probably the most common analytics platform and can give you very helpful insights related to:
Book your free 1-2-1 consultation call to discuss your options and identify opportunities for your business to grow through video, digital, or omnichannel RACE planning.Need a winning marketing strategy?
Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework
What’s in your content marketing toolbox?
Today’s consumers are thirsty for great content. But crafting compelling content and pushing it out to the right platforms is often easier said than done.
Content marketing is many jobs rolled into one; let’s admit it, we could all use a little help!
This is where content marketing tools come in.
From grammar-checkers to AI-driven software and content-optimizing tools, there are tons of handy options to help your content sing.
In this post, I’ll cover the top picks for the best content marketing tools available.1. BuzzSumo
Primary Features: Content research, influencer marketing, content analysis, trending topics, and performance monitoring.
In content writing, the challenge starts long before you type in the first word.
There’s an often lengthy research process involved when it comes to generating content ideas, scoping out the competition, and identifying the right target keywords.
BuzzSumo simplifies the content research process by pulling in popular posts based on keywords.
These results can then be sorted according to their reach on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
This allows you to scrape the web for content ideas that pique your target audience’s interest.
You can also use custom filters to refine your search further.
For example, you can look specifically for “how-to” posts, narrow your search to a specific country, exclude a certain domain, and much more.Pros:
Customizable to your content marketing goals.
Detailed performance metrics and analytics.
Multi-purpose content planning and marketing features.Cons:
Annual contracts only.
No A/B testing on lower-tier plans.2. Buffer
Primary Features: Social media content planning, social media content scheduling, user insights, social content analytics, content marketing workflows, and team collaboration.
Buffer is an all-in-one social media content marketing tool that empowers you to grow your audience, engage users with compelling content, and track the performance of your social media content.
In fact, Buffer includes more features than I can think to exclude from this list!
Buffer will help you determine the best days, times, and channels to publish your content, what content resonates most with your audience, and what content you should publish next.
You can tap into their content marketing analytics, user insights, engagement data tools, and more.Pros:
All-in-one social media content marketing tools.
Plan, schedule, publish, and monitor content in one dashboard.
Collaborate with your team and streamline your workflow.
Limited to social media channels.
No SEO tools.
The “Free” tier has limited analytics features.3. Semrush
Primary Features: Keyword research, keyword gap analysis, competitor analysis, content editor, and social insights.
Semrush is a favorite amongst SEO professionals due to the wealth of data and insights it provides, not only when it comes to SEO, but also competitor research, content creation, and link building.
You can use the Keyword Magic Tool to find high-search volume, low-competition keywords to turn into a webpage and blog post ideas.
Then, you can use the SEO Content Template and SEO Writing Assistant to optimize your content for search engines better.
This will help you increase your organic traffic, attract backlinks, and stand out from the competition.Pros:
Free and paid subscriptions.
All-in-one SEO and content tool.
High cost of Guru and enterprise tiers.
Limited social media marketing tools.
No video content marketing features.4. Constant Contact
Primary Features: Email templates, email campaigns, email marketing analytics, and A/B testing.
Constant Contact is a cloud-based email marketing platform that empowers business owners and marketers to run highly targeted, engaging email campaigns.
You can even create customer surveys, newsletters, and email courses.Pros:
Free “list building” tools to grow your subscriber base.
A/B test subject lines and email copy.
Track open rates and engagement metrics.
Create landing pages and social media campaigns.Cons:
High cost for lead gen and customer relationship management (CRM) package.
No built-in SEO features.5. Asana
Primary Features: Project management, team collaboration, lead tracking, content workflows, automation.
Asana is a project management tool that allows teams to collaborate on projects, monitor deadlines, share details, and more.
This makes it easy to stay on deadline and ensure quality control for your content.Pros:
Super customizable to your business goals and projects.
Cross-user and cross-team collaboration.
Create tasks, set deadlines, share materials, and automate workflows.Cons:
(Somewhat) steep learning curve.
No built-in content planning features.
No SEO features.6. Surfer SEO
Primary Features: SERP analysis, content outlines, content editor, competitor research.
Surfer SEO is one of the best tools on the market for SEO content creation.
Essentially, Surfer SEO works to analyze the top-ranking search results for your target keyword.
It provides an array of suggestions to help you create content that will be competitive in search.
These suggestions might include aiming for a target word count, including your target keyword in your page title, or increasing keyword usage on the page.
Surfer SEO also provides docs allowing you to write, analyze, and optimize your content in one place.Pros:
Automated search engine results page (SERP) analysis.
Word content and keyword density recommendations.
Create and share content outlines.Cons:
No keyword research tools.
No content scheduling features.7. Grammarly
Primary Features: Grammar checker, readability checker, Chrome extension.
It’s one thing to create content optimized for search engine bots and another altogether to create content that users want to read.
A great content marketer can do both.
With Grammarly, you can improve your content’s readability so you drive traffic and encourage users to read your content from start to finish.
Grammarly provides a free Google Chrome plugin that analyzes your content for grammar issues and readability.
Plus, it can be used in Google Docs, on social media, and across various content platforms.
Grammarly takes the stress out of checking your content for spelling errors and readability issues.
You can edit your content in real-time and then rest easy knowing it’s error-free and optimized for your audience’s reading level.Pros:
Easy-to-use Chrome extension.
Grammar checker for Google Docs, social media, and email.
Free version available.Cons:
Does not grammar-check all platforms.
Primarily a grammar-checking/proofreading tool.8. Ubersuggest
Primary Features: Keyword recommendations, topic ideation.
While intended as a tool for keyword research, Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest can also help you find content ideas that will get your audience’s attention.
It expands the seed keyword using suggestions from Google Suggest and Google Ads Keyword Planner.
In some cases, Ubersuggest results include keyword ideas that can be used as content titles right off the bat. These are usually long-tail keywords that include three or more terms.
With Ubersuggest, you have a near-endless supply of search-worthy content ideas.Pros:
Keyword data directly from Google Keyword Planner.
Data-driven topic recommendations.
Backlink data available.
Limited to web content topic ideas.
No social media planning tools.
No video content marketing features.9. leadfwd
Primary Features: Website visitor analytics, conversion optimization, lead follow-up.
Leadfwd is a website where you can turn an unknown visitor into a potential lead.
That means if a seemingly anonymous visitor ventures to your site, you may be able to capture their information, follow up, and turn them into a paying customer.
This is a highly valuable tool, particularly for marketers. Lead generation is one of the most important tasks for any digital marketing company.
While the name might suggest that it is not a tool that helps your content creation, the opposite is true.
Since it tells you how visitors spend their time on your website and shows the graph of the session, you can use this information to alter your content and make people spend more time on your website.
In fact, with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), the tool can scan your website in real-time to deliver dozens of insights that help with lead generation and content creation.
For example, the company sector, contact info, key personnel, social footprint, and many more are very much needed to contact the prospect and adapt your content for the right audience.Pros:
Driven by AI technology.
Captures visitor data in real time.
Streamlines lead follow-up.
Email marketing features.Cons:
Does not include content topic ideation.
Does not capture all user information (limited).
“Build your growth stack” model for pricing (no baseline cost).10. Awario
Primary Features: Social listening, social media monitoring, social media content planning.
Awario is a unique tool that lets you monitor and “listen” to people’s conversations on social media.
With this feedback, you can better spot and correct any mistakes you’re making with your content.
What better way to improve your content than to get feedback directly from users?
This tool allows you to bypass surveys and messenger bots to gain insight directly from the source.
You can use this information to create a better user experience on your website.Pros:
Detailed sentiment analysis and user analytics.
Create social media alerts.
Influencer monitoring and insights.Cons:
Specific to social media marketing.
API and White Label features are only available at the Enterprise subscription level.11. Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Primary Features: Blog post topic ideation, related user questions.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator is another awesome tool that can give you various content ideas within seconds.
What’s better, it’s a completely free tool that’s simple to use and provides an endless supply of content topics that you can easily turn into blog posts.Pros:
Very easy to use.
Great for generating blog post titles.
Limited to blog post topics.
No other content marketing features.
Occasional “weird” outputs.12. Quora
Primary Features: User questions, authority building, community building.
Sometimes, the best source of attention-grabbing content ideas is the online community itself.
Using Q&A websites like Quora, for example, is a great way to stay in touch with what your target audience is asking.
Simply use the built-in search feature, and a handful of useful suggestions will pop up:
You can comb the Quora results for blog post ideas, questions for your FAQ pages, and more.
You can even leverage Quora to promote your content by offering it as an answer.Pros:
Easily find user questions for your niche.
Respond to audience questions.
Find brand mentions.Cons:
Backlinks are not guaranteed.
High competition in responding to user questions.
No other content marketing features.13. AnswerThePublic
Primary Features: Blog post topic ideation, related user questions.
AnswerThePublic is a free content idea generation tool that provides a “web” of terms or topics users often search for on the web.
Simply enter a primary topic (say, [Pinterest marketing]), and AnswerThePublic will provide a visualization of topics you can turn into blog articles or webpages.
In addition, this tool provides limited data on how these search terms are used, which related terms exist, whether the topics are framed as a question or a comparison, and more.
This is certainly handy if you are completely stumped on what to write about on your blog or social media channels.Pros:
Easy-to-read “web” of topic ideas.
Includes related questions and comparison topics.Cons:
Topic recommendations are not infinite.
No keyword data is provided.
No other content marketing features are included.14. Slack
Primary Features: Team collaboration, multi-tool integrations, automation, project management.
Slack is perhaps the most popular collaboration tool for businesses, marketers, and teams.
This is due to its user-friendly interface and, let’s face it, a fun atmosphere that allows users to share images, documents, memes, videos, and more.
Slack is designed to replace your traditional email communication.
It also adds value to the company’s management, as you can monitor when your employees are logging in and out.
How does this relate to content creation?
Well, in any organization, communication among all departments is crucial.
Slack makes it easy to collaborate across departments and ensures that each piece of content passes through the right hands.
For example, your SEO team can easily provide the target keywords for the post, your writer can write the first draft, and your editor can put the finishing touches on your content – all within Slack.
This saves time and expedites the content creation process.Pros:
Easy-to-use messaging and team collaboration app.
Mobile application available.
Set automated reminders.
Integrates with tons of tools.Cons:
No built-in content planning tools.
Primarily a team collaboration app.
No content scheduling tools.15. Google Docs
Primary Features: Content doc, file saver, team collaboration.
If you already use a different communication app and simply need something that helps with file collaboration, then you should check out Google Docs.
This is a minimalistic, cloud-based app that allows you to:
Create to-do lists.
Pretty much everything else you’d expect from a word processor.
Google Docs integrates with other online tools, such as Airtable, Typeform, Trello, Google Forms, and many more.Pros:
Integrates with many other content marketing tools.
Limited to content writing, document sharing, and file saving.
No built-in SEO or social media features.
No content scheduling features (though templates are available).16. Yoast SEO
Primary Features: On-page SEO, WordPress plugin, readability checker.
As a content marketer, you’ve likely heard of WordPress – the most-used content management system for website creation.
If you currently use it in your projects, then the Yoast SEO plugin is definitely a must-have.
Once installed, Yoast works by rating the readability and SEO-friendliness of your content in real time.
It also highlights the specific issues you need to be mindful of as you work:
You can also use Yoast to set a focus keyword for each individual post.
This will provide you with a checklist of objectives that can ensure the optimization of your content.
Keep in mind that Yoast is not the end-all-be-all when it comes to SEO, though.Pros:
Easy-to-use “SEO checker.”
Suggests on-page SEO improvements.
Not a replacement for SEO keyword research.
SEO recommendations do not consider user intent.
Does not include technical SEO.17. Hemingway App
Primary Features: Readability checker, grammar checker, content editor.
Like Grammarly, the Hemingway App serves as a free online writing assistant but differs in that you paste your content directly into the content editor.
The tool then analyzes your content for readability, passive voice, and any spelling and grammar issues your content may have.
Why does readability matter?
Well, each audience has a certain level of understanding regarding the topic you’re writing about.
For example, writing about SEO for marketers will likely involve more complex terms and explanations than if you write for a novice audience.
Tools like Grammarly and the Hemingway App help you pare down your content and write in a way that makes sense to your target audience.
Generally, you should aim for a readability “Grade” of five to eight for most audiences.Pros:
Helps improve readability and phrasing.Cons:
Not an all-in-one proofreading tool.
No built-in SEO features.18. Inspectlet
Primary Features: Content analytics, performance insights, user behavior insights.
Let’s face it: Even the most skilled content marketers have room for improvement.
They only need a clearer view of certain performance metrics to figure out what works, what doesn’t, and how to turn these insights into data-driven decisions.
Inspectlet is one of the best content analytics tools to help you accomplish all three goals.
Inspectlet records a video of user behavior, so you can know how long they were on your website, how they engaged with your content, and which elements grabbed their attention.
With this tool, you can also identify where your website is lagging if someone leaves it after facing an issue on your site.
Based on these analytics, you can create your content and make it more appealing to your readers.Pros:
Analyzes website lag time.
Monitors user engagement and on-site time.
Detailed analytics to inform on-site improvements.Cons:
Not an all-in-one conversion rate optimization (CRO) tool.
Poor user reviews regarding customer service.19. Google Analytics
Primary Features: Website traffic analytics, goal tracking, conversion tracking, audience insights, SEO insights.
It’s impossible to leave out Google Analytics if we’re talking about the top analytics tools.
Google Analytics is a free platform that can help you improve your content, optimize your website, and examine the source(s) of your traffic.
With Google Analytics, you can easily measure important engagement metrics such as page views, average session duration, and bounce rate.
This will allow you to identify specific types of content that appeal to your existing audience.
For example, if you notice that your content on email marketing performs significantly better than other posts, you can double down on that topic to maximize your results.
To learn how to integrate Google Analytics into your website, you can follow a step-by-step guide here.
Discover the different reports and features to leverage from this Search Engine Journal article.Pros:
In-depth website traffic analytics and insights.
On-site goals and conversion tracking; can assign monetary value.
Steep learning curve.
Not all keyword data is available.
Data may be influenced by spam and bot traffic (filters available).20. Raven Tools
Primary Features: Keyword research, competitor research, SERP analysis, backlink analysis, SEO performance data.
Raven Tools provides a full stack of SEO and analytics tools to help you increase your web traffic and optimize your content.
Trusted by thousands of agencies, Raven Tools is a top option for those looking to generate detailed analytics reports and gain insight into creating better content for users.
Raven Tools also provides tools for keyword research, competitor analysis, and backlink analysis to implement a holistic SEO strategy.
You can then track the success of your content in terms of keyword rankings, traffic, and social media shares.Pros:
White-label SEO audits/reports available.
(Near) all-in-one SEO tool.
Detailed SEO performance data and insights.Cons:
No social media content features available.
No built-in content editor (compared to Semrush and Surfer SEO).Conclusion
In the modern marketing landscape, content marketers must often wear many hats to do their jobs effectively.
After all, content is the lifeblood of any digital marketing strategy – the secret sauce that will help you establish your brand online.
You can argue that content marketing isn’t all about who has the bigger guns, but tools can make a huge difference in a competitive world.
In this guide, you’ve discovered some of the top tools for creating amazing content like a pro.
Russia’s current digital landscape: Search and Social
We all know Russia is geographically big, but it is also a big market when it comes to social, search and e-commerce. Russia has 87.5 million active internet users, and 67 million active users of social media accounts. It is estimated that Russian’s will make $36 billion worth of purchases online this year. What is more that amount is set to increase considerably to $43 billion next year as shown by this summary from wearesocial.
Russia represents a big opportunity as a vast market with high rates of annual growth in the digital sphere. However it also presents a series of challenges because it is very different to Western markets. The big players with which we are all familiar, such as Facebook and Google, do not dominate in the same way as they do in anglophone markets. So if you want to break into the Russian market via digital it is a good idea to get an overview of the popular search engines and social networks in Russia.The major search engines in Russia
Since 1997, Yandex has been the number one search engine in Russia, followed by Google, which entered the market in 2006. Third place is occupied by chúng tôi which for a lengthy period was using third-party search engines. chúng tôi enabled its own search engine in 2013. However, in Russia, Yandex and Google take the lion’s share of the market.
This is the distribution of market share between the search engines as of November 2014, according to the Russian company Liveinternet.Social Networking
To understand the Russian Internet audience, we will have a look at social networking in the country.
The most popular social network in Russia is VKontakte, which has over 220 million registered users. With over 60% of its patrons aged 25 or older, VKontakte achieves 47 million visitors per day.
A social network for former classmates, Odnoklassniki has 124 million users. Having just under 60% of its audience in the 20 to 40 year old age bracket, 40 million visits are received daily.
Moi [email protected] (My World) is operated by chúng tôi the largest Internet company in Russia. 18.6 million followers are recorded per month (TNS, June 2011).
Facebook users in Russia were initially more highly educated and with good English skills. Many are businessmen and top managers. Facebook currently has 8.4 million users in Russia.
Similar to Facebook, Twitter is not a hit in Russia. As of July 2013 it had only 5.3 million users.
One of the main characteristics of the Russian social networks is that even if their functionality is the same, the audience is not homogeneous. For example, VK and Facebook have a different audience, and even the same people there will behave differently. Thus, you should take into account that the Russian Facebook audience is older than that for VK, usually has a high level of education, and prefers substantive communication.
The following list shows the 20 most popular sites on the Russian Internet, together with time spent viewing these sites. This data is provided by the TNS Gallup Media research agency.Russian Digital Marketing Success Local specifics
Russian internet users are extremely diverse. People from all educational, wealth, age and ideological backgrounds are represented. As a result, not only do individuals use different Internet platforms to communicate and stay up to date with the news, but also different search engines. Even though all of the social networks provide essentially the same service, they each have their own specific relationship with customers and host dramatically contrasting content.
The Russian national character must be considered. There are many instances of campaigns which succeeded in North America and Europe, but which failed to attract, or in some cases even repelled Russian consumers. This happened despite having high-quality localisation. Certain techniques will not work in Russia, such as applying aggressive pressure. Trying to convince consumers that there is no option but to buy your product will only result in resentment.Is there a ready market in Russia?
The amount and frequency of searches for your product or service should be analysed prior to launching a campaign in Russia. As well as using Google Trends, there is the useful Yandex service “Selection of words”: wordstat.yandex.ru.
It can be seen in the below chart that there were 361077 requests per month for the keyword ‘Iphone 6‘. It should be understood that this is not stable data and demand is constantly changing.
Today, digital marketing tools allow you to get in touch with Russian consumers worldwide. My experience in promotion of international brands on the Russian market indicates that businessmen today are not just interested in the Russian market; they are interestedin the whole Russian-speaking audience, living in CIS countries, Europe and America. As of 2014 the Russian-speaking market as a whole covered more than 270 million people according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. To ignore this huge market would be mistake.
The above listed analyses are part of White Paper called «Digital marketing in Russia 2023. Finding your customers on the internet in Russia — how to go about this» written by Vadim Tylik, President of RMAA Group – Russian Marketing and Advertising Agency. To find out more about Digital marketing in Russia download the White Paper for free here.
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