How to Register a Domain Name on GoDaddy?

How to Register a Domain Name on GoDaddy?

Registering a domain name is a no-brainer. The greatest challenge is choosing the right name for your business. If you have already decided the name of your company or the website, you can instantly register the domain through various websites like GoDaddy, BigRock, NameCheap, Net4Domain, etc. You need to consider the domain extensions (like .com, .co, .net, etc.) that you would like to choose. The .com extension is the most preferred extension. However, the chances of getting a short domain name in .com are highly unlikely.

.Com versus Other Extensions

The domain extension doesn’t determine the success or the failure of a brand. However, it may create confusion in the minds of the target audience especially when different companies have same domain name registered with different extensions. Out of habit, new users may type businessname.com and go to an unintended website. Many a time you need to mention the domain extension specifically so that people reach to the right site.

I have faced a similar issue in the past. Our company name is Digitalimpulse Online Pvt Ltd. So I registered a domain name digitalimpulse.in as the .com extension was already taken up by a company in Boston. My friends used to visit digitalimpulse.com and compliment me for registering my business in the USA :). Even on the LinkedIn, the business page of digitalimpulse.com was being displayed in the section “People also viewed” to users who visited our page on the platform. To avoid the confusion, we chose a new brand name, sixpl.com, to sell our services in the international market. This was not an easy decision as we had to market the brand from scratch. It took a lot of time, money and efforts to restart everything again. To be on the safer side, we also registered SixPL.in SixPL.net, etc. to prevent any possible misuse of the name SixPL if it goes on to become a famous name :).

On a lighter note, Google-sucks.com is registered by guess, who, Google itself. They have registered thousands of domain names to avoid embarrassing situations and possible copyright issues.

Having said that, it is also true that there are a lot of successful businesses which use domain extensions other than .com. So finally it is up to you to evaluate the pros and cons, and make the right decision that suits your needs.

How to register a domain

Here is a step-by-step guide for registering the domain on GoDaddy:

  1. Go to www.godaddy.com
  2. Enter business or website name in the Search Bar without any space, www or .com and click on SearchDomainhow-to-register-domain-name-on-godaddy-1
  3. If the domain name is already taken up, then it will display a message as shown in the picture. The website will also suggest other extensions that are available. If you want .com extension then you need to experiment with the name. Else, you can take up the other available domain extensions. how-to-register-a-domain-name-on-godaddy-after-search
  4. After finalizing the domain name and extension, click on “Continue to Cart’ on top right corner register-a-dmoain-godaddy-click-on-cart
  5. GoDaddy will try to cross-sell its other services like professional email services, website builder, web hosting and domain privacy. You can select the ones you want to buy or simply skip them by scrolling down and clicking on “Continue to Cart”
  6. In the drop-down, select the number of years for which you want to purchase the domain.
  7. Click on “Proceed to Checkout”
  8. Fill the contact details and credit card details to purchase the domain name. Please note that the contact information will be displayed in public domain. So either you should buy domain privacy to protect your privacy or use official contact details (email id and phone numbers) that you will put on the website for public use.

Congratulations! You have registered the new domain. You can now move on to purchase a server that hosts everything you put on your website.

Everyone can do freelancing without initial investment or training!

Everyone can do freelancing without initial investment or training!

After reading this blog on maximizing freelance income, readers asked several questions. While I answered specific questions, many readers asked a pertinent question, the answer to which will require an entire blog post.

Through this blog, I will answer “How one can freelance without having a technical skill set or a specific domain knowledge?”

Although I answer each and every question through social media, emails or in person, I request you to post questions in comments so that other readers can also benefit from the answers.

Before I proceed, let me explain the kind of services I provided as a freelancer and why I chose them.

In my last job, I handled digital marketing for the organization. And therefore, digital marketing services were the natural choice for me. I registered my profile as a digital marketing freelancer. However, in 2013, Google updated its search engine algorithm that gave more preference to high-quality content in search engine rankings. This led to a flood of content writing projects on every freelancing site. Since I was in the experimenting mode on the website, I placed few bids on content writing projects and finally won the first project. As I had no formal training or experience in professional writing, I had to work almost 10-12 hours to research and write a four-page content that was worth $10. The client was delighted with work and came up with next set of projects. Over a period, I gained confidence in professional writing, and it became a great complement to digital marketing services.

Until this time, I didn’t know that content writing could also be a business. I didn’t limit myself to just content and digital marketing, but continued learning whatever came on the way.

I will write a dedicated post on learning professional writing later.

For now, let us discuss the main question: How should you choose an area of freelancing, especially when you are not an expert in any one particular field?

Based on my experience, I can only say that start with any one niche and keep learning new (but related) skills to expand the range of services. To become a successful freelancer, you don’t need to be an ‘expert’ in any one field. Rather, you have to be sincere and need to have the full commitment towards the projects that you undertake. Also, you shouldn’t just leave a non-technical project offer simply because you don’t have prior knowledge of the field. The Internet has plenty of free resources that will be useful in learning the required skills quickly. However, for this, you must have commitment and patience to work without being discouraged or dissatisfied at the monetary value of the first few projects. Remember that freelancing demands time and sincere efforts on your part. So, you should choose the kind of work that you are passionate about and love doing it. Something which, if required, you can do for 12-14 hours a day without getting bored, tired, or frustrated.

Here is a comprehensive list of skills that you can choose to begin your freelancing career.

Non-Technical Skills

  1. No or little experience needed

You can become better and efficient at anything you do consistently. So, with experience you may become an expert in Google Search. However, to start a project in searching something on Google, you don’t need to have an experience or a particular educational background. Here is a list of similar tasks that you can choose to work on when you don’t have profound knowledge about anything. If you wish to start freelancing right now, choose any of these skills and start bidding.

Click here to see the list of skills

Article Submission
Bookkeeping
Call Center
Customer Service
General Office
Helpdesk
Data Entry
Data Processing
Desktop Support
Email Handling
Order Processing
Phone Support
Procurement Research
Telephone Handling
Time Management
Transcription
Video Upload
Virtual Assistant
Web Search
Classifieds Posting
eBay
Internet Research
Article Rewriting
Copy Typing
Forum Posting
Newsletters
PDF to Word/Excel/PowerPoint
Product Descriptions
Reviews
  1. Some Prior Experience/Knowledge Needed

Skills that require some prior experience/knowledge, however, can be learned in 3-6 months of self-study. If you are passionate about jobs that involves following skills, it is better do spend some time for self study.

Click here to check the list

Some Prior Experience/Knowledge Needed
BPO
Customer Support
Excel
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Outlook
Technical Support
CRM
Etsy
Facebook Marketing
Google Adsense
Internet Marketing
Market Research
General Marketing
Sales
Social Media Marketing
Telemarketing
Visual Merchandising
Entrepreneurship
ERP
Recruitment
Legal Research
Legal Writing
Academic Writing
Blog Writing
Content Writing
Financial Research
Ghostwriting
PowerPoint Presentation
Press Releases
Report Writing
Resumes
Short Stories
Technical Writing

3. Significant Experience/Expertise Needed

To complete projects that require any of the following skills, you should possess extensive knowledge or skills. If you want to to work on project related to following skills, you first need to learn and apply the concepts in low-risk environment. You may consider working as an intern or offering free services to validate your skills  and acquire some experience before selling your services to serious buyers.

List of skills that requires significant experience or expertise

Investment Research
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Email Marketing
Google Adwords
Lead Generation
Search Engine Marketing
Viral Marketing
Accounting
Business Analysis
Business Plans
Compliance
Event Planning
Finance
Financial Analysis
Inventory Management
Personal Development
Project Management
Risk Management
Book Writing
Business Writing
Catch Phrases
Copywriting
Creative Writing
eBooks Writing
Editing
Medical Writing
Proofreading
Proposal/Bid Writing
Slogans
Speech Writing
Translation Services
Data Science
  1. Specialized/Niche Skill

Although you don’t need to have a technical background to learn these skills, you must work on specific software/platforms to get acquainted. The list can go on and on. However, I have tried to list the skills for which freelance jobs are readily available across the internet. If you want to learn any of these platforms/applications, it is better to use trial versions and practice it before offering freelance services.

Click here to check the list

Journalist
Mailchimp
Mailwizz
Periscope
WooCommerce
Translation Services
3D Printing
Buyer Sourcing
Logistics & Shipping
Manufacturing
Product Design
Product Sourcing
Supplier Sourcing
Attorney
Audit
Autotask
Contracts
Crystal Reports
Employment Law
Fundraising
Intuit QuickBooks
ISO9001
Legal
Linnworks Order Management
MYOB
Nintex Forms
Nintex Workflow
Patents
Payroll
PeopleSoft
Property Law
Public Relations
Salesforce
SAS
Tax
Tax Law
Unit4 Business World
Visa / Immigration
Xero
Grant Writing
LaTeX
Wikipedia
Brain Storming
Business Coaching

Technical Skills

You can even choose to work on technical projects. However, you need to learn specific skills before venturing into the technical freelancing world. The best part is you can learn those skills easily by enrolling on any online training websites. These pieces of training are as good as or sometimes better than offline training provided by local institutes in your area. Some of the popular online training sites are Lynda, Udemy, CourseEra, etc. There are some open source technologies like WordPress etc. that you can learn by self study and its practical application. You can choose the skills based on your interest and decide a future course of action.

  1. IT, Website & Web Applications

Freelancing job opportunities related to  hundreds of programming languages are readily available across internet. You simply need to master any programming language and get started your freelance career.

List of IT, Web & Software Skills

.NET
AJAX
Amazon Web Services
Analytics
Android Wear SDK
Angular.js
Apache
App Developer
ASP
Asterisk PBX
Augmented Reality
Azure
backbone.js
Big Data
BigCommerce
Bitcoin
C Programming
C# Programming
C++ Programming
CakePHP
Cisco
CLIPS
Cloud Computing
CMS
Cocoa
Codeigniter
Coding
Database Administration
Database Development
Database Programming
Debian
Delphi
Django
DNS
DOS
Drupal
Dynamics
eCommerce
Game Development
Google Analytics
Google App Engine
Google Chrome
Google Maps
Google Plus
Google Web Toolkit
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Website Optimizer
Hadoop
HTML
HTML5
Instagram
Internet Security
Interspire
Ionic Framework
Java
Javascript
Joomla
jQuery / Prototype
JSON
Kinect
Knockout.js
Laravel
LESS/Sass/SCSS
Linkedin
Linux
Mac OS
Magento
Metatrader
Microsoft
Microsoft Access
Microsoft Exchange
Microsoft SQL Server
Mobile App Testing
MySQL
Network Administration
Nginx
node.js
NoSQL Couch & Mongo
OAuth
Objective C
OCR
Odoo
Open Cart
Oracle
OSCommerce
PayPal API
Perl
PhoneGap
PHP
Pinterest
Plesk
PostgreSQL
Prestashop
Python
Ruby
Ruby on Rails
Sharepoint
Shell Script
Shopify
Shopping Carts
Smarty PHP
Social Networking
Software Architecture
Software Development
Software Testing
Splunk
SQL
SQLite
Squarespace
Stripe
System Admin
Twitter
Ubuntu
Umbraco
Unity 3D
UNIX
User Interface / IA
VB.NET
Virtuemart
Visual Basic
VMware
VoIP
Volusion
VPS
vTiger
Vuforia
Web Hosting
Web Scraping
Web Security
Web Services
Website Management
Website Testing
Weebly
WHMCS
Windows
Windows API
Windows Desktop
Windows Server
Wix
WordPress
WPF
XML
YouTube
Zen Cart
Zend
Zendesk
Zoho
  1. Mobile Development Technology

Mobile technology is rapidly changing the entire technology ecosystem. There are thousands of freelance jobs available for mobile technology experts. You can launch your freelance career in mobile technology by mastering any of the following skills.

List of Skills related to Mobile Development

Amazon Fire
Amazon Kindle
Android (956)
Android Honeycomb
Appcelerator Titanium
Apple Watch
Geolocation
iPad
iPhone
J2ME
Metro
WebOS
Windows CE
Windows
  1. Designing & Multimedia

There are thousands of designers available on freelancing sites. However, the demand for quality (creative) designers still exceeds the supply. So if you have a creative bend of mind, you will do very well in design and multimedia field. All you need to do is, learn a related technology and practice it for 1-3 months. Good designers will always be in demand from all type of business from across the world.

Click here to see complete list of skills related to Designing & Multimedia

3D Animation
3D Design
3D Modelling
3D Rendering
3ds Max
Adobe Dreamweaver
Adobe Fireworks
Adobe Flash
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Lightroom
Adobe LiveCycle Designer
Advertisement Design
After Effects
Animation
App Designer
Apple Compressor
Apple Logic Pro
Apple Motion
Audio Services
Autodesk Inventor
Autodesk Revit
Axure
Bootstrap
Building Architecture
Capture NX2
CGI
Cinema 4D
Covers & Packaging
CSS
Design
eLearning Designer
Fashion Design
Fashion Modeling
Filmmaking
Final Cut Pro
Flash 3D
Google SketchUp
Graphic Design
Illustrator
Maya
Motion Graphics
Photo Editing
Photography
Photoshop Design
Presentations
Prezi
PSD to HTML
PSD2CMS
QuarkXPress
Stationery Design
Sticker Design
T-Shirts
Tattoo Design
Templates
Typography
User Experience Design
User Interface Design
Vectorization
Video Editing
Video Production
Website Design
Wireframes
  1. Local Jobs (Mostly requires your physical presence at the clients’ location)

Following job requires you to be physically present in clients’ location. You shouldn’t look for these kind of jobs on freelance marketplaces like Freelancer or Upwork. Rather, you should get a premium listing on top local classified site in your area. In 3-6 months you should get decent number of leads from sites like JustDial, CraigList, Locanto, OLX etc.

See the complete list here

Appliance Installation
Appliance Repair
Bathroom
Bricklaying
Building Consultants
Building Designer
Building Surveyors
Computer Help
Courses
Decking
Decoration
Drafting
Event Staffing
Furniture Assembly
Gardening
Gas Fitting
Hair Styles
Home Automation
Home Organization
IKEA Installation
Installation
Interiors
Landscape Design
Landscaping
Landscaping & Gardening
Lighting
Make Up
Painting
Weddings

Conclusion

While choosing a skill set, the interest and passion should be preferred over anything else. Don’t just jump into something because it has a lot of potential. Of course, the potential is crucial while considering the options. However, freelancing requires a lot of efforts and hard work, and if you are not passionate about the work, it can be a never ending nightmare. Depending on the time you have, you can learn any of the skills in 3-6 months. To apply theoretical learnings in real life, you may offer your services at a minimal cost. After working with a few clients, you will not only gain confidence and charge competitive rates but also help your customers achieve their goals. The critical point is, the short term hiccups and conflicts with clients shouldn’t deflect you from the long term goal. If you can manage this, the success will be entirely yours.

This post was proofread by Grammarly!

How to Maximize Your Income as a Freelancer?

How to Maximize Your Income as a Freelancer?

Warning – If you are looking to make a quick buck without working hard, you may be disappointed, and this article isn’t for you. For others, who value hard work, keep reading.

I started working on Freelancer in November 2013 and have earned around $66,000 (INR 41 lakhs) through the website in 23 months. I could have earned even more if I had sufficient bandwidth to manage all the incoming projects. My income increased consistently from $23 in December 2013 to around $5000 in September 2014.

I left freelancing in October 2015 and today I use Freelancer mostly for hiring freelancers. I will soon write another blog post on why I left such a lucrative career and what did I do after that. You may like to subscribe to my newsletter for regular updates on how to develop a sustainable business online with prestige.

This blog is an account of my journey from being a freelancer to an employer. Freelancer has already published a case study on my freelancing career. You can read this here.

Started by Accident

I left a well-paid job to start a digital consulting business. During my last job, I spearheaded a successful digital marketing campaign that generated 60+ B2B leads, and the monetary equivalent of it was almost US$400,000. While this success boosted my confidence and revalidated my digital marketing skills, I had no clue of how will I get clients for my new business.

Soon after acquiring few local clients, I realized that it is too difficult to provide high-end digital marketing services to SMEs at the price they are willing to pay. It was rare to come across a small business owner who has a professional approach towards his or her business, especially towards marketing (There were some excellent clients too, and I will talk about how I acquired them in a new blog). After struggling for five months, I stumbled upon Freelancer.com and then never looked back.

The process of making it big 

Let us see the factors that can influence your earning on Freelancer.

freelancer-earning-framework

Earning Framework for Freelancers

The factors that affect your earnings

Before you proceed, please spend some time in understanding the Earning Framework. Your earnings depend on the number of projects you have completed successfully and average project value. You can increase your earnings either by working on more projects or increasing your professional fee. Both of these are directly linked to your profile rating on Freelancer. So you can’t charge higher than other freelancers until you have a good number (say 100+) of ratings and excellent reviews on your profile. To gain 100+ ratings, you need to win more projects. To win more projects, you should place a large number of bids and at the same time ensure that the award rate is also high.

Award rate = Total Number of projects awarded/Total number of bids placed

For beginners, award rate is 1-2%. This means you need to place bid on 50-100 projects to win your first job. You can increase your award rate if you take care of the following:

  • Place your bid as soon as the project is posted
  • Keep your price on the lower side
  • Write an impressive proposal

This will help you win maximum projects. More projects will lead to more money and ratings. Higher earnings and ratings will lead to the better rank of your bid that in turn helps you fetch more projects. And, after few months the cycle will be automatic. You simply have to ensure that you deliver the work as per your commitment. You will never run short of projects. In the process, you can also experiment with pricing raise or keeping it the same for new clients.

If you think you can’t do freelancing because you have no domain or technical knowledge, please read this article on how every can do freelancing without initial investment or training.

As a beginner, you need to understand the following:

Start Small

My first project on Freelancer was worth $25 and the second one was worth $5. I got the first project after placing a bid on over 45 projects while the second project was awarded after placing 25 bids. Despite low value of projects, I gave my best and both the employers worked with me for two years.

Don’t give up in first 100 Days

New freelancers need to make huge efforts to build the trust. For first 100 days, freelancers don’t work for money. Rather, they work to get ratings on their profile. They work to improve their bid rank as explained in next section.

Have a look at my 1-year earnings report and you will know why I am saying this:

freelancer-earning-report

My 1st year earnings report on Freelancer.com

My 1st year earnings report on Freelancer.com

You should not lose patience and self-belief in the first three to four months, even if you are not able to make your ends meet. Never give up. Remember that the efforts required to earn first $1000 are same as efforts needed to make the next $5000.

Improve Bid Rank

In late 2015, Freelancer introduced pagination system for bids as shown in the following figure. According to the new system, the list of bidders is split into some pages. Each page displays only eight bids.

freelancer-bid-rank

 

As a new freelancer, your bid may end up at 3rd, 4th or even 10th page. Employers usually prefer to review 5-6 profiles before selecting a freelancer. So, only 20-30% of the serious employers will go beyond the first page of bids.

The website also gives you an option to sponsor your bid to the top position. However, this doesn’t enhance your prospect, so don’t waste money on this feature.

sponsor-bid

You should try to complete at least five projects by offering your services at lowest cost. Once you have five ratings on your profile, your bid rank will go up significantly.

Write a Custom Proposal

This worked wonderfully for me. Most of the freelancers write standard proposals for all the projects. If you can write a short and clear plan based on the project description, it will immediately attract employers’ attention.

Complete Your Profile

Before start bidding, complete your profile including display picture, cover photo, education details, work experience, skill sets, and portfolio. It impacts the decision of the employers.

Choose your Niche

Don’t bid on every project only because you need to get started. Choose your niche and focus only on the relevant projects. If you are a graphic designer and want to build your profile on graphic design, then don’t work on data entry projects. All the ratings and money earned on data entry projects will not be able to help you rank higher in the Graphic design category. So focus on a niche which suits you in the long term.

Be Quick and Consistent

On Freelancer.com, 80% of the genuine projects get awarded within 24 hours of being posted. 60% of these get awarded within an hour of being posted. So try to be first to place a bid on new projects. Competition is less in the morning and evening times so bidding on these times can be helpful. Also if you want to build a long-term freelancing career on these sites, make sure that you have ample time to bid. 40-50% of your time will go in bidding while remaining in completing the projects in hand.

Pricing Strategy

Freelancing marketplaces position themselves as low-cost marketplaces. They attract a large number of entrepreneurs who want to get things done on a shoestring budget. As a new freelancer, you can’t compete with top freelancers on value; hence you need to compete on the budget. For the first ten projects, you have to keep your prices to lowest possible level. Once you have ten ratings on your profile, you may increase the prices slightly. You can similarly raise the prices once you achieve a milestone of 50, 100 and 200 ratings. Average project value on Freelancer lies between $50 and$200.

Communication with Employers

  • While discussing the project, explicitly specify the timeline by when you will be able to complete the project. Ask as many questions as possible. If you feel that the bid price is way too less than you can accommodate, it is better to quote the right price before accepting the project. You should take care of following points before or after taking the project:
  • Never work on a custom sample, however, small the work maybe – Like any other marketplaces, you will find a lot of scam artists on Freelancer.com as well. They ask for a small piece of work to check your quality. Once you send it to them, they never get back to you. So never work on a free custom sample. The best you can offer is to create a small $5-10 hourly project.
  • Never accept a project until a milestone is created – You must ask an employer to create a milestone before you accept the project. The moment you will accept the project, the site will deduct a commission from your funds (irrespective of whether you get paid by your employer or not).
  • Never work out of Freelancer.com – Getting paid through Freelancer boosts your profile.

While Working on a Project

  • Ask your doubts
  • Keep your clients informed about the assumptions you have made
  • Avoid any delays, however, inform customers about any possible delay
  • Communication is everything – Respond quickly and immediately

Be careful about

  • Never work for free
  • Avoid projects that need to be delivered within the next 24 hours
  • Don’t get into the trap of promises made by employers on long term work – Everyone says it to get the max out of you. No one can guarantee long term work.

Conclusion

There are 20 million members on the website. Obviously, the competition is very fierce. Also, almost 80% of the projects posted on these sites never get awarded. So you need to work hard to get many projects. However, if you can work hard for the first 100 days, there is a real possibility of making it huge over a period. You will face several challenges until you have 20+ ratings. You need to figure out how to deal with those challenges. Also, you should look at the larger perspective rather than, the smaller daily earnings in the initial days. Once you understand the right strategy, you will never run short of projects.

This post was proofread by Grammarly!

Increase your blog traffic by 500% or more

Increase your blog traffic by 500% or more

Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Getting impressive results from content marketing falls under the first category – Nothing is a miracle. There is a strong reason behind every successful blog post. You too can master the art and science of content marketing and generate massive traffic to your website that costs a bomb otherwise.

What I am going to write here is already known to you. The idea of writing this blog post is to use that knowledge to maximize the benefits from your content marketing efforts.

Quality is the oxygen, and quantity is the sweet poison in blogging

The following calculation changed the way I thought of content marketing. I stopped following the content calendar and never looked at the number of words in my blog posts.

This snapshot depicts the monthly Pageviews data of top ten pages of a website. The website has 221 pages in total.

Pageview Snapshot 1

Of the 221 posts, the traffic share of the top blog is almost 70%. The combined traffic share of the top ten posts is approximately 84% while the remaining 211 posts share just 16% of entire traffic.

This statistic indicates that out of every 1000 page views; top ten pages were viewed 840 times while the remaining 211 pages were viewed just 160 times.

Let us take another example:

Pageviews Snapshot 2

Here, out of 658 pages, top ten pages received 65% of the total page views while the remaining 648 pages had a combined share of just 35%.

After analyzing Analytics account of 68 Websites, I arrived at the following conclusion:

On an average, top ten posts/pages attract 70% of the total traffic of the website.

Check the traffic share of top ten pages of your website and let me know through comments if your data is similar to what I have found.

If your website has 100+ posts and faces a similar situation, the traffic can be increased by almost 7.5 times by changing the approach of content curation and promotion.

Let us understand this by a hypothetical example:

  • A Website has 100 Pages (Including Blogs)
  • Total monthly traffic is 10,000
  • Traffic of top 10 Pages = 7500
  • Traffic of the remaining 90 Pages = 2500

Assuming each page has a similar potential; the remaining 90 pages can potentially receive a traffic of 67,500 (7500*9). In this case, the total traffic could have been around 75000. (Of course, the potential of every page would be different, but it is definitely more than the traffic it is receiving now).

These examples clearly indicate that posting another blog with average quality is not going to make any tangible difference to the website traffic.

I consider ‘quantity’ as sweet poison because a large volume of content sucks up the business resources without delivering much in return. I have seen many business owners saying ‘content marketing doesn’t work for us.’ ‘Large Quantity’ has been the primary reason behind most of these failures.

It is high time you get rid of a content calendar and put a quality improvement framework in place to excel in marketing.

Unique Content doesn’t mean Paraphrasing

The Internet is full of articles on almost every topic. Adding another blog post on your site will not make much difference until the quality stands out from the rest.

The good thing is you can always deliver unique and better content than your competition. Unique content doesn’t mean taking the idea from another source and paraphrasing it in your language.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.”

I consider this quote by Benjamin Franklin a guiding principle for content curation. This approach has helped me immensely, and I am sure, it will help you too. No matter what business you are in, you must write something your customers care about.

Don’t use Google or another tool to get content ideas for your blog. Rather use following methods to generate ideas that will touch your customers’ life:

  • Day to day conversation within the team,
  • Questions by the prospective clients,
  • Queries/Doubts of existing customers,
  • Post Purchase questions by buyers
  • Customer Support
  • Product or service related misconceptions
  • Behind the scene actions
  • Revealing industry secrets to a certain extent
  • Industry News Analysis
  • Case Studies

One blog should be devoted to a ‘single idea’. Don’t mix multiple ideas in a single blog.  You must write all aspects of the selected idea in one blog. If it makes the blog lengthy, you can link different blogs by providing a hyperlink to ensure you cover a complete idea in a short and crisp manner. The final objective should be that a reader should get complete information about the topic they are reading on the blog. Build your arguments with suitable facts from credible sources. The final product must be brief, concise and meaningful, and provide accurate information.

Points to be noted if you outsource content:

  1. Hire subject matter experts and not just excellent writers
  2. Provide them pointed instructions on what exactly you want them to write
  3. Ensure that they don’t just paraphrase the existing content. You need to support your writers with appropriate data so that they can create unique content.

Common Mistakes to be avoided at all costs:

  • Searching Google for topic ideas
  • Taking help of idea generators or Google keywords planner to select a topic
  • Paraphrasing existing content to make it unique
  • Creating content keeping in mind search engine algorithms
  • Mixing multiple ideas in a single blog

Improving quality is not a one-time job. It is an on-going process that will last as longer as our existence. Therefore, it is important to make quality improvement an integral part of your content marketing.

Seek Feedback

A blog is not a platform for monolog. The purpose of a blog will only be served when the readers are engaged and respond to your content. The reaction can be in the form of comments, sharing it on social media, Quora, Forums, Bookmarking, or sending it to their friends, etc.

It is true that blogs must get sufficient readers to get feedback. To get more readers, you should promote the blog in an intelligent manner. Share it on social media, appropriate forums, and on favorite blog posts to expand its reach. Derek Halpern believes that marketers should spend 80% of their time in content promotion and 20% of the time in content creation. While this ratio may be different for you, extensive promotion of a blog is as important as creating a good blog.

You can see the efforts that are required to succeed in content marketing. Fortunately, the results of such efforts are stunning, to say the least. If you can’t make this kind of efforts, then it is better to avoid doing it half-heartedly as the same will only waste resources.

Now it is your turn to tell secrets of successful blogs that attract massive traffic even for years. Through comments, please let me know how well these techniques have worked for you.

Working together is better than working in silos. Subscribe to my newsletter and I assure you that together we will make your business a grand success.

Facebook Statistics

Facebook Statistics

Relevant Facebook Statistics at one place. Updated on July 21, 2016.

Parameter Statistics As of Date Source
Users
Monthly Active Users 1.65 billion 31-Mar-2016 Facebook
Average Daily Active Users 1.09 billion March 2016 Facebook
Mobile Monthly Active Users 1.51 billion 31-Mar-2016 Facebook
Mobile Daily Active Users 989 million March 2016 Facebook
Number of Employees 13,598 31-Mar-2016 Facebook
Finances
Total Revenue $17.928 billion 2015 Facebook
Advertising Revenue $17.08 billion 2015 Statista
Share of Mobile Advertising Revenue 77% 2015 Statista
Average Revenue Per User $10.73 2015 Statista
Beginners’ guide to Social Media Marketing in 2016

Beginners’ guide to Social Media Marketing in 2016

Basics of Social Media Marketing – An Introduction

Social Media is one of the technological advances of the modern times. Being able to connect to anyone in any part of the world without leaving the comfort of one’s home is something that looked straight out of science fiction a couple of decades ago. But, the last two decades have produced a new social phenomenon known as Social Media. Driven by the internet and communication technology, social media connects people from different parts of the world and allows them to communicate with each other in real time.

Various social media platforms have emerged due to the developments in information technology. Names like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram are known to billions of people in the world. Social media is a generic term and platforms like these constitute social media. These platforms allow an instant access to people to connect to one another and share information, communicate with each other and access a vast pool of resources.

The advent of social media and the ability to connect with anyone anywhere as given rise to a new method of marketing known as social media marketing. One of the hallmarks of social media is that it allows markets to directly communicate with the potential customer base in a personalized manner. Traditional marketing techniques used mass marketing methods. Even if they targeted specific niche, it used to be much broader. Social media marketing makes it possible to customise the marketing campaign that are highly personalized and customized. Social media marketing analyzes the social media habits of individuals and based on this data and its further analytical evaluation, positions specific solutions to the users.

With billions of people accessing the internet and using social media platforms, it is the biggest channel for marketing. No other traditional marketing method has ever been as comprehensive, broad, customized and efficient as social media marketing and the results generated by the social media marketing techniques are the evidence of its usefulness and efficacy as a mode of marketing.

One of the most important elements of social media marketing is the content. Social media marketing encompasses generating meaningful and useful content, which is capable of delivering a solution to the consumers and using it as a method to attract consumers. Social media marketing also encourages the users of social media network who access the social media platforms to share the content with their social network. The combination of these techniques results in a highly synergized method that helps promote or market the products or services in an exponential manner.

Marketing through social media is also similar in its approach to the word of mouth publicity of traditional marketing methods; except, the extent of the spreading of the message by the users of social media is much wider than the word of mouth publicity which was limited to the spreading of the message among a small group of people.

Internet allows access to the entire virtual world and social media marketing capitalizes this opportunity to ‘spread the word’ to any person, in any part of the world. There is another important factor that makes social media marketing an effective marketing method. It is a common fact known by all the marketers that when consumers receive information from sources that they consider trustworthy or credible, there is a much better chance of them considering using the products or the services being promoted by such medium.

In the instance of social media marketing, one of the most important method used by it is to encourage the users to promote the products or services to their social network thereby making them the brand ambassador of the company. Since the people in the social network of these consumers would trust them, there is a better chance of the solution being acceptable to them, resultantly increasing the possibility of them buying the product or the service.

Social media marketing uses several techniques to deliver results to the marketers. With the improvement in the field of information technology, social media and social media marketing are growing at a relentless pace. Social media marketing is a technological disruption in the domain of marketing and has created a level playing field for large, medium and small businesses. The cost of marketing through the social media is much lower than the traditional marketing methods and the expected Returns on Investment (ROI) is much higher. There are newer marketing techniques such blogs and influencer marketing that are being developed and used by the marketers.

Social media marketing has changed the way products and services are marketed and it in turn has enabled the marketers to generate far superior results from their marketing efforts than ever before. Advancements in the field of mobile devices has made it possible to access the internet from smaller devices like the smartphone and tabs making it possible of the users to access the internet on the go. Majority of the users access their social media accounts from smartphones. It has increased the social network even further, both in terms of number of users and frequency of access. Social media marketing has grown on the back of these developments and will continue to be the most effective marketing method.

With the growing acceptance of information technology and internet not only in the developed countries but also in the developing countries and the initiatives taken by companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Samsung to provide cheap and easy access to the internet through micro satellites, drones and high altitude balloons, the use of social media is only going to increase thereby allowing marketers even better opportunities to use this medium for their main marketing effort and integrating it in their marketing strategies.

Some interesting facts and figures about Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is a growing field of marketing and is now adopted by a very large number of marketers. Its acceptance is even wider in Business to Business marketing. Around 84 % marketers now use social media for their marketing activities in the Business to Business segment. A similar percentage of marketers, around 83% state that using social media is essential for the success of their business and over 59% of the marketers spend at least 6 hours a week using social media for their marketing activities.

There is however, no unanimity in the way the efficiency of the social media marketing methods is measured. Different marketing managers use different matrices and then interpret the observations to determine the effectiveness of the marketing measures. 96% of them consider the number of followers on social media as a reliable indicator of the efficacy of the marketing activities that include brand promotion, content marketing and influencer marketing among others. 89% marketers analyze the traffic on their contents and around 84% evaluate how frequently the content is mentioned by the persons visiting the content. The information on how many users shared their content on their social network is considered by 55% of marketers.

Although social media marketing is a relatively recent phenomenon, some of the number as staggering. In terms of lead closure, social media is successful 100% of the times as compared to the traditional marketing methods. In the United States, 80% of the social media users use Facebook for accessing information about the brands. Websites that add a share button to their contents, have a much better chance of them being shared. 72% marketers prefer content marketing on social media platforms as compared to direct marketing and advertising. According to an article in Forbes stating the trends of social media marketing in 2014, 66% marketers believe that social media marketing directly or indirectly improves the performance of their business. In 2015, around 38% marketers planned to shift to digital advertising methods, including social media marketing from relatively traditional marketing methods.

Apart from the use of computers and smart phones, consumers are increasingly using other devices to access the internet. These device include Smart TVs – used by 34%, Smart Watches – used by 9% and Smart Wristbands – used by 7%. It is an important fact for social media markets since it allows them to develop content for users who prefer these devices and market their products or services through these modes.

Social media marketing is the most important marketing method in the United States and the trend is catching up in other parts of the world. It is estimated that by 2019, the spending of the corporates on social media marketing would reach US$17.34 billion. 97% of the businesses in the US use social media marketing platforms and 92% use Facebook as their primary marketing platforms.

89% Marketers believe that it is the level of exposure that social media marketing gives to them which makes it an efficient marketing tool. Unlike other marketing methods, which have limited scope and can reach only a limited sets of clients; social media marketing methods have a wider reachability as there are no physical, geographical or demographical boundaries. The ability of the social media marketing to reach a much larger pool of potential consumers makes it the most desirable medium of marketing. With further advancements in information technology and computation devices, social media marketing is set to grow exponentially for several years to come. The statistics speak for themselves and the businesses that are yet to adopt this mode of marketing may either soon adopt it or cease to exist due to intense competition. Social media marketing gives a competitive edge to businesses and its importance cannot be ignored or underestimated.

The above mentioned statistics indicate how social media has grown in the last few years. There are newer platforms that are being developed and these are changing the way marketing strategies are implemented. While the existing platforms continue to dominate the digital marketing space, new platforms could bring more unique features. These will affect the way marketers plan their marketing strategies. The future could witness using more than one social media platform for executing marketing strategies. This trend is already visible and in the future, more and more marketing managers will use multiple platforms to market their products or services.

Top Social Media Platforms

Social media marketing encompasses using marketing platforms to position the products or the services to the potential consumers by developing and promoting relevant and useful content. The choice of the marketing platforms depends upon the type of content and the nature of the products or services. Also, the popularity of the social media platform affects the selection.

There are several different platforms with varying degrees of differences among them. A marketer may choose to use any one of them or a combination of them depending upon the marketing strategy, business requirements and marketing budget. The characteristics of the offerings also influence the selection of the social media platform.

Among the most commonly used social media platform are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr. There are several more platforms that are gaining in terms of popularity and acceptance among the users worldwide. However, they are yet to reach the level of popularity that the aforementioned apps have gained. For this book, the above 8 social media platforms are discussed in detail in the subsequent chapters. Their features, use and application for businesses are discusses in length in the following chapters.

All these platforms offer unique features and businesses are increasingly using them. Marketing through these platforms has now become on the most widely used marketing method and these platforms deliver substantial results in terms of lower costs and higher ROIs. Some of these platforms offer more than one unique marketing solution when combined with different digital marketing methods such as blogs, targeted marketing and content marketing. It further increases the efficiency of these platforms resulting in a highly unique and value driven marketing model that yields significantly superior results for the marketing managers. Different platforms offer different benefits and it is how they are used in conjunction with one another will be the key to gaining a competitive edge for the marketers.

Facebook

When it comes to social media platforms, Facebook undoubtedly leads the pack. Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has grown exponentially. In a little over a decade, the number of active users in a month has reached 1.55 billion. These are the figures of the third quarter of 2015.

The number of active Facebook users is phenomenal. With a monthly active user base of 1.55 billion, Facebook has more users logging into it every month than the entire population of China that has a population size of around 1.35 billion. If Facebook were a country, it would have had the highest population in the world. These statistics show how powerful Facebook has become. Since its inception in 2004 to reaching a subscriber base of 1 billion in 2012 and now achieving a number of 1.55 billion active users per month, Facebook has crossed several landmarks.

The importance of Facebook increases further if the other social media services owned by it are considered. These platforms are discussed in the subsequent chapters. Facebook is also planning a vast expansion in countries of Asia and China by offering services like Free Basics that are aimed at providing free basic internet services in the areas with little or no internet connections, such as the rural regions. The revenue of Facebook was US$12.47 billion in 2014. The major part of this revenue was generated from advertisements. Facebook is not just a platform for people to connect with one another, it is also a vast repository of information regarding the users such as their preferences, habits, likes, dislikes and social network activities. This information is highly useful for marketers as they can identify their potential consumers’ base, analyze them better and offer solutions to them based on their personal preferences.

Information about the users of Facebook also allows marketers to generate contents that these users will find informative, interesting and useful. It results in larger sharing of such contents by the users of Facebook to their contacts and people in the social network on Facebook, consequently resulting in a marketing strategy that is quite similar to the word of mouth publicity, except, the sharing of the content is much larger than any word of mouth publicity. Consumers too prefer buying products or services that are recommended by their friends, families and acquaintances. Marketers can, therefore, leverage the analytical data provided by Facebook to convert their consumers into brand ambassadors capable of sharing the content and information about the products or services with the other people in their network. Simple Like and Share buttons of Facebook are capable of generating far better results than any other traditional marketing strategy. Using Facebook marketing techniques along with other digital marketing methods such as content marketing generates significantly high results. Facebook is also planning to become a platform for blogging. Combining methods such as Facebook advertisements, content marketing and blogging will facilitate marketers to develop efficient and successful marketing strategy.

Signing for a Facebook account is simple and does not incur any charges to the users. It is completely free and individual users as well as businesses can create their accounts and user profiles in a few easy steps. A user needs to open the Facebook website and need to fill a user form mentioning details such as username, password, email id and other credentials such as date of birth. Once the login is created, the user can create a profile and fill all the required details. Users can also create a company profile and details of the company on the company page. It can then be used for marketing purpose through Facebook.

To market a product or service on Facebook, a company profile page plays a very important role. It is the primary source of information about the brand and its products and services. A social media marketer must seek to divert traffic from Facebook to the company profile page. Hence, it is important that the page should have necessary information. The links to the blogs should be made available on this page so that the visitors can access to useful content from a single page on Facebook. Marketers can leverage Facebook as a platform for promoting their brands by empanelling the services of Influencers, who would endorse the products or services of the company to the people in their network. Companies can also use Facebook as an advertising platform, but using Influencers and loyal customers to promote their brand on Facebook is much more cost efficient and effective.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network platform that is intended for professionals. Unlike Facebook, which is for everyone and where people can share their personal details, thoughts and opinions, LinkedIn is for professionals to access pools of resources that are useful for their work and profession related requirements.

LinkedIn was established in 2003 and has grown rapidly among the professional circles. Several businesses use this platform to hire employees and there have been instances when people form business alliances with other individuals resulting in formation of new companies. One of the most important features of LinkedIn is that it allows publishing and sharing of blogs and other contents. LinkedIn has around 500 eminent people from different domains who write blogs under the category of Influencers on this platform. It includes the likes of Richard Branson and Bill Gates. Other industry experts too use this platform to share their thoughts.

When it comes to developing social media marketing strategy, marketers can easily use this platform to develop and share contents either directly or through other influencers (although these usually are not those from the prominent 500 people mentioned above, other influencers could too exert significance influence). Several individuals on LinkedIn have professional title called “Influencer” and these are experts in different industries. They have their own set of followers and connections which in several cases runs into thousands. By publishing business content either directly or using the services of these influencers, marketers can easily reach a large number of serious and professional potential customers. Influencers can be selected on the basis of their industry specific expertise or general professional expertise. Consumers prefer buying from brands that are supported by the industry specialists and hiring Influencers on LinkedIn is a great way to position a product or service.

LinkedIn, in the third quarter of 2015 had a user base of 396 million which was an increase of 32 million from the previous quarter. LinkedIn is one of the most efficient and effective platforms for social media marketing. This platform offers services in 20 different languages and has a user base spread over 200 different countries. LinkedIn has the largest number of users in the United States with around 107 million users, followed by India (28 million) and Brazil (19 million). Even relatively smaller countries in the word such as Malaysia, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden have more than 1 million LinkedIn users each.

Apart from individual users who can create their own profile pages, businesses can also open the pages about the companies. It helps market the brand easily and position it to a large base of consumers. LinkedIn offers a basic account that is free of any charges and users can register by filling up the basic details and signing up for the basic services. There is also a premium service that is paid and users who subscribe to these services can enjoy several benefits that are not available to the users of the regular accounts. The premium service includes an access to analytical data that can be of tremendous help to the marketers who would like to use this platform for marketing their products and services.

Creating a LinkedIn account and a profile page is easy and businesses can combine several features of LinkedIn, such as company page, content and Influencer blogs to promote their products or services through LinkedIn. LinkedIn generate a revenue of US$1.53 billion in 2013, which increased to 2.21 billion in 2014. This revenue is generated primarily from business contracts and a large part of it are the marketers trying to promote their brands on LinkedIn.

Just like Facebook, using the network of loyal customers and Influencers is an efficient method to generate significantly superior results via LinkedIn. LinkedIn can also be used as a platform to publish content like articles and blogs. They can be used to disseminate the information about the products and services to the potential consumers through a network of loyal brand followers and Influencers.

Twitter

Twitter is another major social media platform. It is a micro blogging site that allows users to share their content in 140 characters. It is the niche and the unique feature of this platform that allows it sharing information in a few words known as Tweets. The Tweets can be specific information or the introduction or the title with the link to connect to main content hosted outside Twitter.

Twitter is used by most of the industry leaders and also political leaders globally. Even heads of states use Twitter to communicate with their “followers” on this platform. Several marketers use Twitter to either promote their brands directly or by sharing their contents with links to their blogs or websites. Many of them also use Influencers to share their content on Twitter among their followers in order to draw more topic to their main contents.

Twitter has fast grown from 30 million users in the first quarter of 2010 to 307 million users in the third quarter of 2015. In 2013, the most followed business on Twitter was Starbucks which had more than 4 million followers. Twitter earned 89% of its revenue from advertising services which is an evidence of the acceptance of Twitter among the marketers as one of the most used social media marketing service.

Twitter has proven that to market or promote a brand, even a few words can suffice, if those few words have the right reachability among the global audience. Twitter entities have flowers distributed globally in different parts of the world and these followers represent different cultures, geography and demography. Through its Retweet feature, Twitter users further Tweet the content shared with them on the portal. It further helps the businesses by promoting their brand among the social network of Twitter user giving a further advantage to the marketers promoting their brands.

One important element of Tweets on Twitter is a #tag (Hash Tag). #tags are the ways to find Tweets on Twitter. Including a #tag in a Tweet would mean that anyone searching for a keyword will type the word preceded by a “#” and it will display the results of all the Tweets with the term and #. For example, if someone wants to search for Tweets regarding an incident, like a football world cup, the way to add it in a Tweet is by writing “Watching #footballworldcup live in Brazil.” Anyone searching for #footballworldcup will see the results that will include every Tweet with this #tag. It is an effective tool for marketing on Twitter as the marketers can add a key term about their business preceded by a #tag. It is important to note that if the Tweet does not include a #tag, it will not be displayed in search results.

For someone planning to use Twitter to promote something, using a #tag is a viable option. It allows them to specifically highlight a Tweet and link it a specific term. Like in the example cited above, when someone Tweets about football, adding #footballworldcup will make their Tweet relevant in the context of the World Cup. Hence, the Tweet gets a contextual support instead of being a standalone statement. A #tag can be used as efficient marketing and promotion tool. It allows Tweets to be found in specific keyword searches. Businesses using #tags in their social media marketing campaigns derive better results than those who ignore it. The key is to identify the right #tags and include them in the Tweets.

Twitter is also helpful in enabling the marketers to gauge the existing trends and accordingly develop their marketing strategies. Using Twitter, it is possible for the marketers to understand the market trends and patterns and accordingly plan their strategy. Creating a Twitter account is very easy and does not incur any cost. Individuals and businesses can fill the sign up form and get their accounts activated. Twitter is not just a medium to disseminate the information, it is also an efficient analytical tool that helps marketing managers with the necessary inputs to manage their social media marketing strategies.

Google+

Google+ (Google Plus) is a social media platform that is accessible to anyone with a Google account. Google+ allows publishing content and sharing it with the people who are added to the “Circle”, the term used to refer the social media network on Google. It also features a messaging app like Facebook known as Hangouts. Hangouts can be accessed either through a Gmail login or through Google+. It makes the messenger easier to access as the users can either access the messenger from the mail or Google+.

Of all the internet users, 54% have a Google+ account. It is because for accessing Google+, a separate user account is not required and the users can use their existing Google accounts to access its services. Google+ is an integration of messaging and content publication and sharing service. Users can easily create and share content with the other users in their circle. They can publish blogs and share the links for other contents.

Google+ is among one of the widest used social media service. Marketers use this platform frequently, as a standalone service or in conjunction with other services to share their content and generate the traffic for their websites, blogs or other contents. For promoting a business, Google+ is a useful tool. It can be used to share useful information in the form of blogs, articles and other content.

YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing portal and app that enables users to share their content in the form of videos. Whether YouTube should be considered as a social media platform is doubted by few, but it possess every characteristic of a social media portal. It allows publishing content, sharing it and the users can also comment on the contents and further share it with their social network on several different platforms.

YouTube is the most popular video sharing service and marketers use it frequently to publish their online advertisements that are generally played before a video. YouTube is a large repository of videos including full length movies, informational and educational videos, private videos and business and commerce related videos. It is one of the most feasible and viable methods for social media marketing.

The platform even allows launching channels and allowing users to subscribe to them. Many of these channels are paid for which users pay a specific fee to gain the access. However, most of the videos can be accessed for free and have advertisements playing before the videos. It is a highly effective medium for marketing on the social media especially if it is synergized with other modes of social media marketing. A video on YouTube can be shared by the marketers or even other users on a platform like Twitter or Facebook along with several others.

YouTube was originally incorporated in February 2005 and was acquired by Google in the month of November 2006 in a deal amounting to US$1.65 billion. Since then, due to the support from Google and its own features, YouTube continues to be the largest video sharing website in the world. Every minute hundreds of hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube making it one of the preferred channels for social media advertising and marketing. YouTube can also be accessed by installing the YouTube app on the mobile devices allowing users to view the videos even on their mobile phones or tablets, apart from the desktop website.

A large portion of the revenue of YouTube is generated from in-video advertising. Businesses prefer YouTube for displaying their video content or advertise through the in-video displays. Creating and accessing a YouTube account is easy and can also be done by using a Google+ account, although it is not mandatory. Viewers can also watch most of the videos on YouTube without the need to create an account or logging into their existing account. There are however exceptions to this and users require creating an accounting for accessing the video contents such as the paid channels or adult content, which mandates that the users confirm that they are adults and can legally view such videos.

The ability to access most of the content without logging into YouTube makes it an even more feasible option for marketers. Since, users do not have to possess an account, the content can be easily viewed by even those who do not want to have a YouTube account thereby further increasing the reach of the content.

YouTube is one of the best online resources for marketing. Marketers can easily upload videos of their products and service, start their own channel or publish their advertisements that are usually played by YouTube before other videos. Not only can YouTube be used for advertisements, it can also be used as a medium for dissemination of knowledge. When users find value in a content, they are motivated to explore the associated products further. YouTube is one such medium that allows marketers to promote their offerings in a holistic manner.

Instagram

Instagram is a social network which allows sharing photos and videos through mobile phones. Users can click photographs using the camera of their mobile phones or record videos and share them instantly. Videos of up to 15 seconds can be shared using this app. The term Instagram was coined as the original app converted the photos to the traditional shaped square Polaroid images which were shot by Kodak Instamatic instead of the aspect ratio of 4:3 of regular mobile phone cameras. However, now the app supports sharing images with any aspect ratio.

Instagram was founded in October 2010 and in February 2012, it was acquired by Facebook in a US$1 billion deal. It is one of the most preferred social media services of the businesses. In 2014, around 67% of luxury brands used this platform to market their products. It shows the power of Instagram and its viability for social media marketing campaigns.

The popularity of Instagram can be gauged from the phenomenal increase in its user base. In January 2013, Instagram had 90 million subscribers, which increased to 400 million in September 2015.

Instagram is a highly useful social media marketing tool. Marketers can either publish content directly on Instagram in the form of images or videos or can implement their marketing strategies that involve using Instagram along with other online content or social media marketing platforms.

To access Instagram, users need to download its app and can log into it either by creating a new account or via Facebook account. It is an easy and effortless process. Instagram is one of the few social media platforms that are designed primarily to be used on mobile devices. It also makes Instagram highly popular as the users can easily access the service from their mobile phones making Instagram an effective social media marketing option. By uploading the photographs of their products, marketers can use this platform to generate curiosity among the targeted consumers who are then enticed to know more about these products, thereby improving the sale conversion ratio.

Tumblr

Tumblr is a social media platform that supports short form multimedia blogs and other contents. It is a multimedia microblogging platform with a dashboard interface where the users can post their own blogs, change their settings and also follow the blogs of other users. Tumblr was launched in February 2007 and was acquired by Yahoo! on 20th June 2013 in a deal worth US$1.1 billion.

By April 2015, Tumblr had 106 billion posts from its users and the number of accounts was over 227 million, which were twice as many as a year earlier. One of the most important features of this platform is that it allows live blogging. Users can blog using the Tumblr website or app in real time as incidents take place. It is one of the most popular social media portal in the United States and even White House has an account which posts content that is of both – formal and informal kinds.

The maximum revenue generated by Tumblr is from advertisement revenues. It supports a large range of content and is mostly popular among the 25 to 34 age group. Tumblr has features such as reblog and like options and the users can also communicate with one another while using this platform.

Social media marketers use this platform extensively which is evident from the fact that a large part of its revenue is generated from advertisements. Tumblr allows easy sharing of content that can be further shared by the visitors of the content making it an efficient social media marketing tool. The large and young user base makes Tumblr a lucrative marketing proposition for the marketers who can expect high results from its services.

Currently, over 15 million users access Tumblr each day. The platform also allows sharing of contents from other sources such as YouTube. Hence, marketers can use the services of Tumblr as a standalone platform or can combine its services with other services. Signing up for Tumblr is easy and involves just few simple steps. Users need to give details such as their email id, password and the username.

Tumblr is an efficient social media marketing tool that can be applied subtly to the marketing strategies of a business. By publishing useful content in the form of multimedia files and microblogs, marketers can educate their audience about the benefits of their offerings. Users of Tumblr, who are loyal followers of the brand can be encouraged to share the content through rebologging to their social network on Tumblr and other social media platforms.

Synergizing Social Media Platforms

One of the major benefits of using the various social media platforms for marketers is the synergy they generate when used with one another. Most of the social media platforms do not restrict the users from sharing the content on one platform with another. It is possible to share a link of a video on YouTube on Twitter or Tumblr. Similarly, a post can be shared on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The benefits of marketing using social media platforms is commonly known to most of the marketers globally. However, now there is a growing trend of publishing and sharing contents on multiple platforms. It increases the presence of the content on the internet and also allows the visitors to the contents to share them on their various social media networks on different platforms.

It creates a synergized proposition for marketers who can leverage the features of several social media platforms. A marketer can now publish a text blog on LinkedIn, share it on Facebook, use Twitter to promote it and record and publish a video on YouTube. It increases the credibility and appeal of the content resulting in more organic traffic to the content.

Marketing Strategies and Digital Marketing Strategies

The term marketing gained prominence in the 20th Century when businesses began migrating from sales oriented approach to a marketing oriented process. Marketing is different from sales in the sense that it positions the product or the service, highlights its features and the value it delivers to the consumers and explaining to them how the specific product or service provide the solution to their needs.

Since the advent of information technology in the last two decades, a new type of marketing strategy – Digital Marketing Strategy has gained prominence among businesses. More and more marketers are becoming aware of the benefits of digital marketing strategies. Digital marketing strategies use digital medium such as the internet to market the products and services. With the rise of social media, social media marketing has become one of the most important parts of the digital marketing strategy.

Broadly, a digital marketing strategy includes using digital mediums such as emails, text messages, websites, targeted advertisements such as Google Adwords or advertisements on Facebook and social media marketing. Modern day marketers use several of these modes of digital marketing to generate a synergized result resulting in higher visit to their contents and consequently better sales numbers. Digital marketing strategies are also cheaper than traditional marketing strategies. It costs much less to place an advertisement on a web service like Google Adword or Facebook ads as compared to television advertisements and print ads.

Among the latest trends in digital marketing strategy is social media marketing that has become the primary mode of digital marketing. Some of the newest trends include content marketing and influencer marketing. Unlike earlier times when digital marketers often followed black hat marketing techniques such as simply adding keywords on the webpages to get a higher search engine ranking, the current digital marketing methods require marketers to publish original, relevant, useful and authentic contents that deliver higher value to the visitors of their content.

The term content marketing is not the most popular among the digital marketers and is the future of marketing on the internet. It is rightly said that content is the king. Consumers like to access good content that provides them with relevant and meaningful information. They prefer reading or viewing contents that give them value and information about the products or services instead of viewing advertisements that merely push the products. The digital age consumers are now more aware and knowledgeable and want to weigh the pros and cons of a product or service before buying it. Social media plays a very important role in this regard. Users of products post their comments and feedbacks on the various social media platform and share it with their social network.

Social media marketers publish content that seeks to provide the necessary information to the consumers and the products or services that are really useful get genuine positive feedback from the customers. These positive feedbacks act as catalysts for marketing the solutions further. Users of the products who are satisfied also promote them and the related content with their friends, families and acquaintances on various social media platforms. Social media and digital marketing strategies have changed the way products and services are marketed. Contrarily to earlier approaches to marketing that used aggressive methods such as frequent advertisements, modern day digital marketing follows a more subtle process that presents a product or service as a complete package that delivers solutions to the customers.

Content marketing and social media marketing play a major role in digital marketing processes. Another digital marketing method that will become even more prominent in the future is Influencer marketing. Influencers are individuals who have a high reputation and are followed by a large number of people. These could be famous persons or industry experts. When these experts publish a content on social media or share a content with their networks on social media platforms, there is a higher acceptability of the content among their followers. For example, if a doctor, who is considered an expert in the field publishes a content that points out positive aspect about a medical treatment or a drug, there is a better chance that this content will be considered as authentic and reliable by the followers of the doctor. It is easier for such prominent persons to influence people in their social network, which has resulted in the derivation of the term “Influencer” for such persons.

Social media marketers are increasingly using influencers as a part of their content and digital marketing strategies. It is much cheaper to hire an influencer to promote something through blog posts or other contents on various social media platforms including Facebook than to directly advertise through Facebook, which would cost the marketers more. Social media marketing is the present and the future of digital marketing and with new technologies, methods and channels, it is continuously disrupting older marketing methods.

The Top 6 Best and Worst Social Media Trends For 2015

The Top 6 Best and Worst Social Media Trends For 2015

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. But 2015 is definitely eventful for social media. Social media gurus have caught on to trends that can make a huge impact in the times to come. SixPL is a premier digital marketing agency that has the best (and the worst) trends for social media this year.

Vanishing Media: Facebook is for everyone but youngsters want more options. New online territories are being carved out because Facebook and Twitter have competition and it is not just Instagram which is threatening to upset the gravy train. Snapchat is looking to snap up more customers and as it is with other rapidly developing fields, yesterday’s social media now has to catch up with today’s.

Sophisticated Blogging: From a time when it was all about words alone to a point where blogging platforms even provide streamlined interfaces and approximate reading time, blogging has come a long, long way. While wordsmiths may bemoan this trend, Internet blog publishing platforms such as Medium are making hay while the sun shines. Creativity is just one aspect of packaging. Nowadays, it is all about packaging the blog so that readers have their fair share of knowledge and fun at the same time.

Private Networks: With changing times, social networks are also changing. While Twitter operates best if information is publicly shared, online users who want privacy can choose from many options. Lulu is a women-only app on iOS/Android which is catching on fast in Brazil, the football mecca. Lulu goes beyond FaceMash and it certainly works out for ladies who want to rate guys with numbers. This closed network gives users the privacy and security they need and cherish on an otherwise annoyingly public Internet.

Selfies Are In With Shots Of Me: Social media certainly won’t hit the high note when it comes to downsizing the human ego. Shots of Me has more than Justin Bieber rooting for them. This iOs app is perfect for sharing selfies. The restriction on comments does limit cyber-bulling but it is the height of self-centeredness.

Airbnb Soars To New Heights: The social media synergy has a new mix and It is Airbnb.  Social networks are built for sharing and Airbnb has caught on to this trend fast. Social networks are great if you want to book a dog-sitter(DogVacay) or rent stuff (Rentything).

Vine is Creeping In: Instagram may have taken to video, but the grapevine is that Vine has taken steps to edge them out. The 6 second witty apps are bringing users a novel experience which is the reason why there are so popular. Quick videos with fun and entertainment are the USP of this service. Vine celebrities are also adding their star power and platform integration has done what is was meant to do. This app is a boon for marketing as it can be easily shared on the 2Ts- Twitter and TumbIr.

With new trends catching on, the online social media space just got more exciting. Keeping tabs on this rapidly expanding media is all about connecting with the trends.

SEO Strategy in 2016 – White Hat Techniques that drive long term results

SEO Strategy in 2016 – White Hat Techniques that drive long term results

What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process of promoting your website so that it ranks higher on search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. Since Google is the most widely used search engine, the prime objective of SEO is to rank your website on 1st page of a Google search for particular keywords. Simply put, SEO is a technique to ensure that websites are ranked amongst top 10 results on Google for particular keywords. The exercise is aimed at increasing the traffic to your website and creating awareness about your brand. It is a cost-effective and long term internet marketing technique which amplifies your revenue over a period of time.

How do we achieve best results through affordable SEO services?

SEO Audit

We do a comprehensive SEO audit of your website to understand the current scenario. This is what a typical SEO audit looks like:

1Domain AgeX Years Y Months
2Meta tag optimization Need to be optimized
3Title TagTitle has 82 characters but it should be up to 60 Characters
4Keyword TagThere are 15 keywords in this tag but it should be 5-6 specific and targeted keywords
5Description TagDescription tag limit is 160 characters, but it has 226 characters
6URL StructureFine
7Image optimizationImages are optimized
8H1, H2, H3 TagNot present
9Robots.txt fileonly h4 tag Present on the website – Needs to be optimized
10Canonical issuePresent
11XML sitemapCanonical issue found
12HTML sitemapPresent
13Google Analytics CodePresent
14Social ButtonsPresent
15404 Error Present
16W3C validation65 Errors, 42 warning(s)
http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fmvpboxing.com
%2F&charset=%28detect+automatically%29&doctype=Inline&group=0
17BackLinksThis Page has 0 backlinks from External domains and 0 from Internal.

Keyword Planning

Keyword planning is the most critical stage of any SEO strategy. It is imperative to devote adequate time and efforts to choose the best keywords for your website. This will help in achieving higher ranks on search engines like Google for relevant keywords. If done incorrectly, the end results of SEO can be disastrous even if your site ranks well on Google temporarily.

The Adwords Keyword planner, an extended feature provided by Google, assists in finalising the foremost keywords for your website. Keywords should be chosen bearing in mind factors such as sufficient search volume, business relevance which in turn helps in producing tangible business value in the long run.

Our keywords planning look comprises the following elements:

KeywordAvg. Monthly Searches (exact match only)Competition
email marketing181000.97
ppc advertising29000.96
logo design905000.95
Website design495000.95
web development99000.94
app development99000.94
Mobile Development16000.94
professional logo design10000.93
software development services2100.92
content writing16000.91
digital marketing agency54000.91
business card design121000.89
SEO Services121000.89
Creative logo design2600.89
brochure design66000.88
online reputation management services4800.87
press releases36000.83
graphic design905000.81
research paper writing1400.81
Online marketing company8800.8
corporate identity design3900.76
visiting card design1100.75
Internet Marketing Company16000.75
Internet marketing services8800.74
ux ui design4800.74
corporate brochure design1700.74
Digital marketing experts1400.71

On-Page SEO:

On-page SEO plays a crucial role in the overall ranking process. Our On-page SEO services are aimed at ensuring your website appears to have good authority within the given industry. It also helps users identify your products and services quickly. This is, of course, done in strict compliance with the Google guidelines.

Our On-Page SEO services are an intrinsic mix of the following:

On-Page SEO Services
Title Tag
Meta Description
Meta Keywords
Content Optimization
XML Site Map creation & Submission
URL Structure
Anchor text & Internal Link Structure
Image & Alt tag Optimization
Broken link fixing
Duplicate content fixing
301 Redirect
H1, H2, H3 tag Optimization
Robots.txt file creation
Canonical Issue Testing
HTML Sitemap
Google Analytics Configuration
Google Search Console Configuration
404 Error page
Website speed
HTML/CSS/Java Script Code Analysis

Off-Page SEO :

This is ‘The Differentiator’ of our services in the SEO process and proves to be the most critical in ensuring long term benefits to our clients.

Through this part of the optimization process, Google is able to measure the relevance of your website in the respective industry, thereby, providing higher ranks in the results page.

SEO results need to be watched closely and frequently to measure output in terms of actual execution.

We do not resort to quick-fix SEO techniques which may result to higher ranking easily, as resorting to such unethical practices can lead to removal of the website from the search engine forever. Once removed, it is next to impossible to bring a website back on top of Google search results in the foreseeable future. This makes off-page optimization not only crucial but also a critical factor in the SEO process.

Our off-page SEO involves:

Off-Page Activites
Search Engine Submission
Social Media Pages Creation and Promotion
Bookmarking
Link Building
Article Submission
Web 2.0 Creation and Submission
Blog Promotion
PR Submission
Forum and Blog Commenting
Directory Submission
Guest Post Writing
Video Submission
Social Media Activities
Classified Posting
Image Submission
Forum Participation

A sound, long term white-hat technique may take up to three months or more to bring about the desired results but pays handsome dividends in the due course. Though tangible results take time surface, clients can measure the progress by the improved keyword rankings, on a weekly basis. We have achieved tremendous long term results by applying these techniques for our clients. Mentioned below is some of our work:

Case Study

Duration: 6 months

Our client’s sites were constructed on WordPress/PHP/Codeignitor. We were given 20 high-competitive keywords for which we had to make the website appear on first page of Google. After an SEO campaign run for 4-6 months, we were able to achieve almost 45 keywords (including 20 agreed keywords) on 1st page of Google. Today, even after 3 years, the rankings have not been affected despite several web spam updates by Google. This is the kind of output every webmaster should look for while preparing a comprehensive long-term SEO strategy.

SEO Results 1 SEO Results2 SEO Results3 SEO Results4 SEO Results5

SEO Results6 SEO Results7

How a Digital Marketing Agency can Help Your Business Grow?

How a Digital Marketing Agency can Help Your Business Grow?

Digital marketing is an immensely powerful tool indeed that you-a business owner can use to reach out to your customers and prospects. The ability to interact directly and converse with potential customers as offered by digital marketing makes this tool far more effective than conventional marketing.

To bridge the gap between the businesses and the digital world, digital marketing agencies come into picture. A digital marketing agency is a company that leverages everything digital to drive results for your business. So what does a digital marketing agency do?

A digital marketing agency first analyzes your business, understands your business objectives then based on that analysis and understanding formulates a digital marketing strategy in collaboration with you and implements the same across the technological communication channels like social networks, mobile devices, PPC advertising, websites, SEO, SEM etc. It holds itself responsible and accountable for the digital marketing strategy being implemented and ensures that the implementations reap desired results for your business.

What are the services offered by a Digital Marketing Agency?

It is highly impossible to come up with an exhaustive list of the various services offered by a typical digital marketing agency. From search engine optimization to social media management to PPC advertising the complete spectrum of digital marketing avenues are simply listless. But as a business owner you may want to be sure that your agency offers the required set of services that your specific business needs. The typical services offered by a agency are briefly explained below:

SEO: In addition to getting traffic and improving search engine rankings, Search Engine Optimization helps your site to be useful to your customers and prospects in terms of the content you create and the way you organize it.

Social Media: Your DMA should ensure that you generate leads, revenue and new customers from social media and they should make sure that you get great returns on your investment out there. The goal is to reach out to your audience, retain their loyalty and drive conversions of followers into buyers. Managing a positive reputation for your enterprise across the social platforms is a crucial service offered by your agency. They do it by increasing customer satisfaction and by halting smear campaigns. Leads and sales get increased by increasing conversion rates. This is achieved by removing usability frustrations from your websites, removing the road blocks to conversion and putting the efforts into test and regular measurement so as to derive insight into further enhancements. Thus conversion rate optimization is achieved.

Email Marketing, digital advertising and analytics are the other important areas where agencies play crucial role so as to derive the maximum from the digital platform.

A full service DMA submits you a detailed digital marketing plan and takes care of the successful implementation of the same. The implementations are analyzed, tested and measured regularly to ensure their effectiveness and continuous improvements.

Digital marketing is not a replacement to the conventional marketing, it adds further value to the existing marketing plan and operates in cohesion with it to leverage the digital platform for added business values like increased sales, increased customer satisfaction, improved corporate repute, enhanced brand awareness, needless to say more revenue!

How to Start Making Money As a Freelancer?

How to Start Making Money As a Freelancer?

The job of a freelancer is best suited to persons who want to be their own bosses and manage their work with their own rules. Working as a freelancer has been great fun and rewarding for those who understand theirself-worth, and know how to unlock the doors of opportunities.  There are numerous freelancing opportunities available, especially in creative fieldssuch as music, writing, web development, filmmaking and consulting, etc.

There are several ways you can start earning as a freelancer. For most freelancers, online portals are one of the major gateways to get hired. Many websites are dedicated to providing the freelance projects. These include freelancer.com, upwork.com and guru.com among many others. It isa brilliant way tochannelize your skills into a rewarding career.  There is plenty of work available there, and you just need to register to start working. But if you want to earn big and get work on a regular basis, you need to convert yourself into a ‘brand’. These websites might provide you with work, but having your own identity in the market will surely serve your interests better. In a fast growing competitive environment of freelancers, only sheer talent can’t provide you with the desired result. You must be an expert in a particular field, and if employers can know exactly what you can provide with credibility, it will enhance your brand value in the market.

You might have figured out what we are talking about, and you are right. We are talking about having your website. It will enhance your position in the market and even clients who are looking for experts can directly find you.

There are many essential benefits for freelancers who have their website:

  • As I have talked earlier, branding your services will help differentiate you from others. You are not only one to offer your services as a freelancer and what makes a difference between them and you, is your identity in a virtual world.
  • Secondly, websites will serve as a virtual office of your work, where employers can easily see their work
  • Thirdly, it gives you thefreedom to decide your rates because you are the boss and you know your value better than anyone else.
  • Online presence also enables you to get customers much more easily, and most people would ask you to work for them because they admire your work and appreciate your skills.