Blog : Digital Advertising

Mobile App Marketing With Indexing & Deep-linking

Mobile App Marketing With Indexing & Deep-linking

Mobile search has been transformed from a simple search of the Internet’s content to an index that includes downloadable mobile applications into the results. The evolution is called mobile app indexing. Although Google introduced app indexing in 2013, businesses are only now realizing the advantages it produces. The benefits of app indexing do not only pertain to businesses, but to the entire marketplace, especially mobile users. As the awareness and understanding of app indexing increases, the installation of apps by businesses and users will skyrocket.

In prior years, the results of a Google search (via a mobile device) would primarily be a list of recommended website links. Due to the introduction of app indexing, the results will now include suggested applications pertaining to the search terms. Just as users can click on and connect to a web page link, users can also launch the app directly from the results page if that app has been installed on the device prior to the search. However, if the app is not downloaded onto the device, there will be an option to install the app to receive the desired content. This addition opens up a whole new and innovative way of mobile searching.

If your business does not have an app, it may be smart to adopt one, if you have a valid need. If your business does have an app, make indexing a priority. Since the majority of businesses have not yet adopted app indexing, this act will immediately set you apart from the competition. Now is the best time to take advantage of the numerous opportunities and benefits mobile app indexing will generate for your business. Advantages of app indexing include an increase in customer loyalty, app installations, and user traffic. Additionally, your business will become more visible to the eye of the user through the presence of the app on the results page.

For mobile users, app indexing has created an improved and advanced search experience. The indexing of both websites and apps broadens search results. The expansion of search potential will result in an increase in the amount of useful information that can be utilized by the mobile user. Not only a development in marketing for businesses, app indexing is also a way for mobile users to access information more effectively and efficiently. To help you define your mobile app indexing experience, contact Colure’s project management team. 

Vital customer engagement (or how not to leave your customers at the door)

Vital customer engagement (or how not to leave your customers at the door)

Customer engagement (CE) is the living and breathing relationship that exists between a customer and a company. This critical relationship is a critical factor that helps to determine the success or failure of a company. The challenge to every business is that almost all buyers have different needs and wants. Consumers aren’t unanimous, even within similar demographics. There are different ages, lifestyles, ethnic backgrounds, etc. There’s an excellent chance that the motivating factors for one middle-aged customer may differ significantly from another. It’s incredibly important for a business to operate with their customer base as individuals.

So how do we go about the act of engaging a client? Here’s a few starting points to orient your mobile app marketing and digital advertising efforts:

  • An engagement marketing strategy is crucial. How will your company reach out to potential customers? How will you respond to their inquiries? Detailed analytics are necessary to help answer these questions. Actively learning about a customer’s lifestyles, rather than lumping people together based on a singular demographic. Remember, numbers are cold, your customers are real people. Think of them in that fashion. The more accurate and detailed your customer database is, the stronger foundation you will have for engagement.
  • Learn to predict consumer behavior. When looking at the unique lifestyle of your consumers, where can you see areas where they can benefit from your service or product? Big-box retailers like Walmart and Target do so by using data mining to notice trends in purchases. Walmart used data mining and discovered that Strawberry Pop-tart sales increased sevenfold before a hurricane in southern states. The reaction? Place Strawberry Pop-tarts at the cashier area of a store. More exposure to the pop-tarts increases sales even more. In the end, all parties benefit. Walmart and Kellogg’s experience increased sales, while customers have an emergency food source in case of natural disasters.
  • The benefits of customer engagement are limitless. Customer retention is critical. Customers can see the value in a company that puts the effort into satisfying their customer base. Satisfied clients can be the most powerful form of marketing. The family and friends of current customers are potential future customers. Nothing is more valuable than a recommendation from peer-to-peer. One survey even concluded that 92% of customers trust peer recommendations, compared to 47% trusting TV or magazine ads.

Customer engagement is beneficial, if not necessary, to a company’s success. Perhaps one of the most satisfying aspects of customer engagement is the company-client relationships built upon it. Increasing interaction cultivates and grows these relationships. Knowing that your company makes a positive difference in the life of your customers is a huge reward.

The function of ad servers

The function of ad servers

Business Basics

When we pull up a webpage, the page in front of us appears to be a single, seamless webpage, seemingly created by a single computer. However, that page is actually the end product of several computers working in concert with each other. Together, these computers or servers, each provide content that is compiled to create the final webpage that a user sees.

Ad servers provide a specific set of advertisements to a web page. Websites provide content that draw an audience to a specific web page. Publishers monetize this content by running ads for companies looking to reach that audience. Those advertising spaces on the web pages begin as an empty space that are filled with the appropriate advertising only milliseconds before it loads. Ad servers make that selection possible.

In generic terms, each server has its own function. The publishing server provides the bulk of a webpage’s content. The ad server provides the specific advertisements that have been selected for that user at that moment. The function of an ad server is to place the most efficient advertisements in front of a user. The conversation between these computers is the function that creates the displayed webpage.

An ad server is a platform that stores information and manages the display of ads. It works in the background to determine which ad is selected through a process of analyzing the targeting criteria. The marketer has established these criteria and the performance goals of the campaign. In addition, ad servers provide a way to test which ads perform better, helping marketers optimize the campaign. Publishers, or content-producers, use ad servers to determine which advertiser will be promoted while advertisers use ad servers to select which specific ad from the campaign to show to each user.

Ad Server functions:

Ad servers provide several functions that make the marketing process convenient and efficient:

  • First, they allow marketers to specify which ads to run on which sites and provide them with an easy way to edit the creative elements. Instead of contacting every publisher to update an ad, the marketer can provide updates to a single server.

  • Secondly, they are useful in targeting advertisements based on user’s geographical location and time of day.

  • Third, ad servers let the marketer set a start and a stop time for a campaign. This time-limit is then used in the algorithm that determines which ads will be shown.

  • Finally, ad servers provide all the statistical reporting of performance in one place, making it easier to analyze than getting several reports from different websites.

How ad servers assist agencies and clients:

A person at the marketing agency, called a trafficker, will upload the ads onto the ad server before listing the ad space their buyer has reserved and the specific targeting criteria. The ad server will store this information and provide the trafficker with an ad tag (an HTML code) for the trafficker to send to the publishers. When the publishers decide to serve the tag, the ad server is called upon and selects the most relevant ad to pick based on the criteria. It takes into account the format of the ad (banner, mpu, etc), how many impressions, and how much time is left, amongst other factors. After the ad is published, the server tracks the impression and any associated clicks to establish how people are responding to the ad.

Several ad server systems are available for your business. The system you select will be determined by a number of factors including your products, market share, budgets, and other variables. Ad servers aid marketers by making trillions of decisions a year at a speed difficult to comprehend. The process is as complex as it is effective. The end result is a crafted page that loads in a blink of an eye.

Unlike print, websites allow for the ads that appear on a page to change based on who’s viewing it. This advantage makes online advertising a customizable and more cost-efficient experience. It allows marketers to bypass some of the steps in the purchase decision chain by targeting people closer to the end of it. The better you understand the function of an ad server, the more you’ll understand the process of placing an advertisement online. 

Project performance and KPI’s

Project performance and KPI’s

Business Basics

The success or failure of any project can be measured if you keep an open eye and know how to measure your company’s performance. You must have measurable data order to understand the significance of any market action. Goals must be set as benchmarks of success or failure. These goals should be realistic and attainable. These measurable benchmarks are referred to as “Key Performance Indicators” or KPIs. These are items that “help an organization assess progress toward declared goals.”-TechTarget.

What is a KPI?

These measurements “are used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization,” – TechTarget. KPIs allow organizations to measure the results of their campaigns. These items help to tweak current goals to better sell their product or service. Well set KPIs can determine the success of an organization. Simply stated – if you can’t accurately measure your established performance, there is no way you will be able to modify precisely those behaviors for growth toward your goals.

Differing from group to group

Because organizations in every industry vary, the KPI’s need to reflect those organizations must differ . Each KPI is relevant to a specific purpose. While the basic premise is the same, the goals for each team will be dependent on what the result needs to be. KPIs for a mobile marketing campaign can measure the lead generation and the capture of a customer, but those KPIs will differ from a hospital’s patient ER wait time. The goal of a KPI is to find the best possible way to gain success without spending enormous amounts of time, effort, and money to get there.

Why use a KPI?

When an organization thinks up a new idea, product, service, or campaign, the result and their needs goal has to be assessed. Which means, “before you start assigning KPI’s to everything you can think of, there needs to (be) a clear understanding of your business objectives and strategic directions,” Intouch Marketing. Organizations must ask questions before, during, and after the launch of the campaign to determine the importance of their KPIs.

For KPIs to be successful, an organization must know how to translate the data. “If management cannot translate the importance and understanding of the businesses KPI’s to their employees effectively, they will most likely fail,” Intouch Marketing. Management must be able to quantify the statistics to their employees, so those individuals can execute the campaign to drive success.

Success is something that every organization wants and needs. Measuring KPIs is a key tool to reach those achievements. Organizations must always have an action plan for end results whenever initiating and executing something new into the mix. Otherwise, not setting goals will inevitably end in failure. Be wise and use those KPIs!

If you need guidance on measuring your corporation’s growth and performance, contact Colure’s Project Managers to help you define your next step for corporate growth.

Projected advertising revenue trends for 2016 – TV vs. Digital

Projected advertising revenue trends for 2016 – TV vs. Digital

As new types of mobile devices are introduced, digital advertising and mobile app marketing are projected top television advertising trends and revenue in 2016. Previous advertising trends are becoming mundane as new kinds of technology are introduced to the public. Smart watches and virtual reality goggles have made their way into the mainstream. Users of all demographics are excited about them. Shifting mediums equate to shifting advertising markets.

The way in which information is delivered will be a driving force for the future of digital advertising. Device users are devouring both the flexibility and the speed at which information is provided. The choice of format and flexibility is driving users to change their buying habits.

Millennials

Millennials, also know as Gen Y’s, will shift advertising trends more towards digital than television. Prior generations had to park themselves in front of the tube to get their fair share of publicity. Millennials are taking those mobile ads everywhere, in every format. Marketers need to move their ads to where their audiences are going. Millennials like to be involved in a brand and a product. Advertising agencies can use this type of behavior to their advantage. “Millennials want their agencies to stand for something more than pushing products on consumers.”

Predictions

Forecasting trends and predictions are showing digital advertising surpassing television advertising. “Digital media will continue its meteoric rise. Digital ad spending will grow 17.2 percent this year, to nearly $160 billion, and 13.5 percent in 2016, and is expected to overtake TV as the biggest advertising category by the end of 2017,” according to Sydney Ember of the New York Times. One reason for this is how often an individual uses their mobile device. Advertising companies have taken full advantage of habits of consumers by engaging them where they spend most of their attention.

New Mobile Devices

Smart watches and virtual reality goggles are two of the new mobile devices to make their debut in the market recently. For something as small as a smart watch, advertising companies have taken advantage of it. “Smart watches advertisers grab consumers’ attention immediately, no matter what they are doing.” Even though it is a small space, advertising companies have utilized the space to their benefit. They have the ability to keep their brand/image fresh in the consumers’ mind by being able to consistently display ads on the smart watch. Companies will have to discover the users’ boundaries, learning to not overly advertise and annoy a consumer. Even though the medium is ready and available, doesn’t mean it should be overused. Be engaging, but not bothersome.

A new mobile “toy” debuting this year is the “virtual reality goggles.” These goggles attach to most smartphones and allow for a virtual world to be seen through the goggles. What is expected to rise out of the virtual reality world is a new evolution of video ads. Even though video ads are not new, many still think of them as time-consuming and irrelevant. However, Google is incorporating video-based advertisements in their SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), rather than just pictures and text. By doing this, consumers are more susceptible to accepting video ads. Eventually, those ads will be second nature to users, not perceived as the annoyance they may be viewed as today.

2016 is proving to be a very exciting year for digital advertising. Millennials have set the stage for mobile advertising and will continue to do so for years to come. They want to be involved in the ‘life-cycle’ of a brand. Millennials want to be engaging with companies. This generation will lead the direction of new trends in digital advertising. As new mobile devices introduced, they will become a gateway to how mobile advertising will surpass television advertising. We will just have to wait and see how virtual reality and smart watch advertising will affect the future.

Advertising Budgets 2016: 4 Trends You Need To Know [Infographic]
Infographic
by MDG Advertising

What is a mobile application “cost per install”?

What is a mobile application “cost per install”?

Mobile apps are a critical component of our everyday lives. They affect our interaction with almost everything and everyone. Our actions often revolve around some type of mobile application. As companies maneuver to create new apps, they have to decide what is the most cost-efficient manner to market their application.

One question that surfaces is “which is the best way to measure the client acquisition and marketing costs for our mobile application?” One of such method of measurement called “Cost Per Install” (CPI).

The Cost Per Install model measures the net cost to the application developer for each download of their application to a single user. In other words – how much does it cost to deliver a single copy of an application to a single consumer. Media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, for example, might advertise your shiny, new, mobile app on their high traffic sites and garner countless numbers of clicks and impressions. With CPI, your advertising budget pays only when a user actually downloads and installs the application – not for the volume of click traffic on your advertisement (or Cost Per Click – CPC). Therefore, the more installs the advertisers gain for your app, the net cost per download to the application developer is reduced, thus creating greater profits. By using this method, it guarantees that you, as a client, pay for only as much as your campaign is actually producing. The downside is that your user loyalty or activeness volume is not accurately documented. This measurement is calculated through Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU).

In late 2015, Twitter introduced Cost Per Install as part of two models for clients to advertise on their platform for mobile downloads. According to their beta partners, the CPI model presents the highest cost efficiency – lowering the cost for advertising by nearly 30% compared to its previous model of Cost Per Click (CPC).

According to Fiksu’s Cost Per Install (CPI) Index  for November 2015, it measures the cost per app install due directly to its advertising to cost approximately $1.54 for iOS acquired users and $2.27 for Android acquired users.

As business owners, ideal conditions would call for acquiring the highest amount of quality users with expenses that would maximize their Return on Investment (ROI).

At Colure Media, a mobile app marketing firm based in New York City, we structure advertising campaigns that would guarantee downloads, lowering your cost per install and increasing your mobile app users. Contact our campaign advisors to discuss your operating costs for your next project.

How does your mobile app stand out from the millions in the app stores?

How does your mobile app stand out from the millions in the app stores?

Question: How well does your mobile app stand out from the competition? According to a Statista study, today there are more than 1.5 million apps in the Apple App Store and 1.6 million in the Google Play App Store. After the first mobile application appeared in 2008, the information marketplace faced a dramatic shift. The demand for instant access to data forever changed the expectations of the public.

Here at Colure Media, we understand the market movements and growth.  We take pride in being one of the best mobile app development agencies in New York City. Our team excels in helping our clients stand out in the marketplace. We help them drive mobile application downloads with in-app marketing, app store optimization, mobile marketing and search engine marketing. We use these tools, crystal clear ideas and a systematic approach in defining our tradecraft.

What’s unique about Colure’s approach is our ability to develop native applications which are very strong, from a technology point of view. At the same time, we never lose focus while engaging your target audience with your brand identity. UI/UX are crucial components of any app development.  Our focus upon the total user experience, project goals and overall functionality is our signature upon our client’s projects.

Mobile application developments are divided into two different categories: Android apps and iOS apps (which include iPhone apps and iPad applications). We design apps tailored to meet the needs of the enterprise and consumer markets.

The Android services we render include:

  • Designing and developing Android apps (SDK)
  • Java for Android development
  • GPS and Location Services
  • Push notifications
  • SOAP, RESTful, XML Parsing
  • Webkit, HTML5
  • MPEG4 AND H.264 over HTTP/RTSP streaming video
  • Market research
  • Product launches in app stores

Our iOS app developments are secure and scalable. They work comfortably on the ever-upgrading series of Apple mobile devices. These apps are crafted to achieve smooth functionality.

Our iOS development services include:

  • Application UI/UX designing and development
  • Redesigning apps for iOS compatibility
  • Porting for Android and Blackberry apps
  • Wireless networking
  • iPhone SDK XCode IDE
  • Superior quality Graphic Standards and Protocols
  • Objective-C Programming
  • Customized iPhone apps
  • iPhone enterprise software development

The success of our agency is built upon the success and growth of our clients. Contact Colure’s Mobile App Development Team to discuss your next project.

Republishing content extends audience reach

Republishing content extends audience reach

Social media is arguably the most crucial outlet to market any product or service. Publishing content on the internet is only the first step to market penetration. The re-publishing or re-marketing of that original content allows for a more specific, finite placement in front of the target audience.

When a company publishes a post it might not initially receive the anticipated web traffic. The next step is to re-post that content onto another social media platform to provide exposure to a new audience. When an idea is marketed multiple times, on multiple platforms, that idea will begin to ‘grow legs’. The danger with reposting is that you do not want to earn the title of ‘spammer’ by an email system. If your reposting is qualified as spam, it will go straight into the trash. All of your republishing efforts will be lost.

Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin are all necessary platforms for a company to reach its audience. When you have successfully connected with your audience, you can begin market your company with a specific audience penetration. The folks over at CoSchedule.com came up with a great video to explain how to republish across various social media platforms. Additionally, pcdigitalmarketing.com had a few interesting words on the topic.

When republishing your content you need to keep all facets of the process in mind:

  • Understand the correlation between the frequency of your posting and platforms you are using. If you republish a post every hour on two different platforms, the audiences will probably react in different ways. A Twitter audience may not mind the hourly update. A LinkedIn audience may find that tactic annoying.
  • Develop a tactical move to advance your content. What is the specific reason for republishing? Are you going after a unique demographic which the original platform doesn’t engage? Answer the following questions in regards to your next media move – WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN and HOW?
  • When a company decides to republish, it should not repeat the same exact caption. The content title is used to draw in a reader. It should be written differently to keep the audience alive and excited.
  • If a company decides to repost content, they should know their audience and know how many times a day or week they should republish their post. It is important to republish to increase the audience, but also very important to be considerate of the audience.
  • Republishing is the perfect approach to spreading a message, as long as the person reposting knows when and how to proceed.
  • Most importantly, be sure that you are tracking the progress of your republishing with some format of web analytics. If you are not counting the specific hits – where and when they are falling, you are just shooting into a dark room with no idea as to any progress toward your goal.

Communication is an interactive process. Take the time to map the process of moving your message from you to your audience. To help you move your company’s message, contact Colure’s Project Managers.

To many, video is the king of content.

To many, video is the king of content.

Chris Trimble, writer for The Guardian asked, “If it were five years in the future, would you be reading this article or would you be watching it?” Good question. Today, video is being selected by users as the preferable format of content on social media. “In 2015, video is predicted to dominate as the social media content format of choice.” In August 2014, Facebook surpassed YouTube in the number of video views via desktop according to ComScore. It’s important to note that YouTube still has more views on mobile apps and across all devices. As of September 2014, Facebook attracted a billion video views per day, a roughly 30-fold increase since July.

Video content is critical to anyone building a business or brand, big or small. Video has the ability to entertain and inform in a short amount of time. Currently video usage, “more than half of companies are already making use of video”. According to a Neilsen Neilson study, not only will 70% of brand marketers increase their usage of social media, but 64% of individuals indicated that video content will dominate mobile advertising strategies in the future.

As the information overload continues to pile on, the use of video will continue to play a vital role in relaying more information in a short amount of time. On many platforms, video is already a necessary format of content. Today we have the likes of Youtube, SnapChat, and Vine. All of these platforms depend upon video to deliver their services to their customers.

Most individuals use the internet to interact, consume or create information. How we choose to use the tools available to us will be critical to our success as storytellers.

The cost of running your own social media

The cost of running your own social media

Running your own business is more than a full-time job. If you are like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably already working between 40 to 60+ hours per week handling the day-to-day operations of your company. A huge question that frequently hits the corporate boardroom is “in addition to running my own company, should I also handle my company’s social media?”

First and foremost, we applaud the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s this drive that motivates each business owner to reach for their greatest dreams. Everyone has their own goals and abilities. The drive to “do it all” is often found at the core of success. But everyone has limits on two of their most basic resources – time and ability.

Let’s be frank – You probably would not try to fix your own transmission, perform a medical procedure on yourself or defend yourself in court. If you saw someone else trying to do this, you might be tempted to ask “Is that ego or ability?” The operations of your corporation and managing the corporation’s social media are two separate, full-time jobs. If you can honestly handle both of these corporate tasks, then we tip our hat to both you and your achievements. Not many individuals are able to muster both the time and intellectual resources needed to accomplish this set of tasks. If you cannot perform flawlessly in both arenas simultaneously, it’s only a matter of time before one or both of these two paths will become compromised.

Learning a new skill set, in order to communicate with other professionals, is critical for your growth and survival. However, there’s a huge difference between actually developing a functional skill set and “thinking” that you possess those skills. Understanding the differences between these two positions could be the line between success and failure.

Running a corporate social media mechanism requires time, industry perspective and a refined skill set. The social media manager must possess a social acuity, finesse and the undeniable ability to communicate with others. In most cases, this is NOT a part-time job. Unfortunately, these are not skills you’ll acquire ‘just because you have a Facebook account’.

Corporate owners might consider the actual cost of social media:
  • Do I actually understand what it takes to do the job? The wrong manager will kill a project. It’s that simple. Just because a manager understands some of some of the project parameters, does not guarantee that they possess a broader base of knowledge and experience required to manage the entire project. A solid project manager appreciates when they do not possess the expertise for a given objective. There is a time when knowledgeable experts are needed to facilitate a process or project. 
  • Can I do the job? You need to ask yourself – objectively – “Do I have the ability to dedicate myself full-time to my company’s social media needs?” Can an entrepreneur effectively fulfill the social media needs of their corporation and then spend an additional 60+ hours per week running their company?
  • What is your long-term objective? Do you want to be able to communicate with functioning teams or do you need to be in control of everything? There’s a huge difference between managing teams and trying to micromanage everything and everyone around you. One behavior is healthy. One is not.

A wise choice to consider is hiring a team who can objectively handle your social media needs. Whether this is an internal or an external team is the next question. That answer will be determined by your corporate needs, budget and audience. Knowing the limits of your own skill base is the first step in defining both your corporation and its social footprint.

If you are interested in exploring various social media possibilities for your corporation, contact Colure’s project managers.

In-App Advertising for Mobile Applications

In-App Advertising for Mobile Applications

Mobile devices have been described as ‘this generation’s fuel for their soul’. It seems as though every function, need or desire can be addressed, answered or satisfied by some type of mobile application. Being able to monetize these behaviors has been a point of significant focus by corporations both large and small. Competition in the marketplace is incredibly fierce. Successful market shares are measured in both time and dollars; the two are inextricably connected. The longer you keep a user engaged in your application, the better your odds are of generating revenue from that user. 

The big question that faced developers for years concerned both of these factors. How do you keep a user interested while engaging their wallets? In order to retain your clients, you need to hold their attention. A quality interface engages the user and won’t let them drift away from your application. Unfortunately, traditional advertising would do exactly that! When a user clicked on an advertisement inserted into a mobile application, they were whisked away to a distant website, often unable to find their way back to the place they started…the app. So how do you enjoy a mobile app without being taken to a web browser solely for advertiser content?

In 2009, Apple and Google got into a bidding war over a tech start-up which introduced a unique solution to that question. That solution integrated high-quality advertising directly into a mobile application’s operating platform. Google won the bidding war and acquired what would later be released as AdMob. The competitor of this was iAd, introduced as a new component of Apple’s iOS 4 operating system. Both provided customized, high-quality content, able to engage the user on many levels. This advertising platform, within a mobile platform, allowed the developer to engage the user with content, without taking them away from the app of their choice.

Both advertising platforms address a considerable business opportunity. Unfortunately, iAd was never able to conquer a majority of the market. After a few years on the market, iAd has had more than its share of challenges.

The market trends show that the demand for in-app advertising is strong. Users liked to be wooed right where they are, cradled comfortably inside of an app. As time passes, developers will have to continue the task of redeveloping advertising platforms.

Beginning with the earliest of spoken story tellers, advertisers have wanted the consumer right in the palm their hand. The mobile device has re-defined that for the foreseeable future – it is now the advertiser who is begging to be held by the consumer.

“Mobilegeddon” and Google’s algorithm update

“Mobilegeddon” and Google’s algorithm update

On April 21st, 2015, Google will release a major update to their search engine algorithms, significantly expanding the role of mobile-friendliness. This is widely considered by many, to be one of the largest game-changing events in the history of internet analytics. The announcement was made officially on Google’s blog in February of this year.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

Mobile access has already dominated the marketplace. Companies who have not integrated a mobile-mentality into their marketing plan are already being hurt because of the lack of customers who can view their website. The new shift in search results could significantly limit the remaining market share available to these companies. Companies without a mobile design will drop dramatically in the search engine rankings.

The purpose is to be sure that companies are adopting a mobile-friendly mentality to meet the expanding demands of the consumer. This event is about more than just having website with a Responsive Web Design. This is about companies embracing an entirely different mentality toward their marketing efforts. Next week’s shift will be monumental in the marketplace.

The event is significant enough to have been dubbed “Mobilegeddon” within the industry. This change will firmly establish what the industry already knows – mobility is not an “option”. It is a “must have” feature at the core of every application. The cost benefit of this move will re-enforce what many companies are already experiencing. Those who have not embraced the mobile movement will pay a significant price for not keeping up with the demands of the market and the consumer.

What will be changed? Google is keeping that a pretty tight secret. However, a recent post by Cindy Krum and Emily Grossman of MOZ, provides one of the best explanations I’ve seen of the upcoming changes. They discuss, in depth, how this will affect you and your company.

To assist companies in gauging these changes, Google has provided a test page for you to check your website’s mobile-friendliness.

Whether or not you have already modified your marketing plan, website and approach to mobile-friendliness, there’s an outstanding chance that next Tuesday should be pretty interesting. It’s sure to grab the attention of many CEO’s and stockholders.

Contact Colure’s Project Management Team to discuss your mobile concerns.

Protecting Your Brand Identity

Protecting Your Brand Identity

The increasing digital nature of the world has been a blessing to marketers. SEO-focused blogging and social media marketing have allowed companies to focus awareness and dramatically increase their profits for little cost. At the same time, the consumer-focused nature of this digital world has also threatened one thing, brand identity.

Establishing Your Brand Used to Be Simple

Before the internet placed so much power in the hands of consumers, your brand identity was in your hands. Businesses could control the messages about their company. They could control content, ensuring the perception of their brand remained positive and on-point.

A Plethora of Voices

Today anyone can go to social media and criticize your products and brand. They can write a blog posting that ranks higher in Google’s search results than you’d like. Control has left the hands of the marketer. The issue is multiplied in the service industry, where review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Angie’s List – all designed to improve customer experience – can seriously threaten your brand’s credibility and identity.

The consumer has a direct voice to connect quality to value. Now branding efforts must address both macro and micro management strategies. Companies must be responsive to individual voices of dissatisfied consumers, while focusing resources toward broader quality efforts and branding.

This is the price of doing business. Rightfully so, consumers can now put their mouth where their money is. The business community must do the same.

What Can You Do?

Successful companies leverage positive reviews into word-of-mouth advertising. This remains the single most effective type of advertising today.

If your company is being battered with negative reviews, what can you do? Here are a few ideas to start:

  • Find them. Use focused social media searches to discover what consumers are saying about your company. 
  • Respond diligently. Once you’ve found complaints, don’t just dismiss them. These reviews are actively read by consumers. Consumers are often more likely to embrace a review than an advertisement.  Respond to the feedback openly and solve the issue. Deal with it.
  • Improve. Don’t just make empty promises. Empty lip-service is the worst response you can provide to a complaint. If you have an issue, deal with it. If you get called on the carpet because of poor service – deal with it. If the customer is upset – deal with it. Don’t dismiss the complaint, resolve the issue. Even if it costs you a few dollars and a bit of time – solve the problem. At this point, damage from the mismanagement of a complaint only escalates.
  • Grow from your mistakes. Learn what the consumer wants. It’s that simple.
  • Take feedback. Make this an opportunity to improve your brand – your customers will thank you for it.

Contact Colure’s marketing team. Discover the art of crisis management. Learn from a team that can help you properly manage your corporate image.

Audience retargeting in social media

Audience retargeting in social media

Advertisers use the practice of ‘audience retargeting’ in order to market a product to the most relevant audience. Social media has become one of the most vital parts of modern society because of its focused ability to meet this need.

The practice of retargeting allows companies to specifically target consumers who have previously demonstrated an interest in their goods or services. Manipulated content allows companies to place their brand freshly into the audience’s mind.

It is significant to focus on consumers who are truly engaged with a brand. In order to grow a business, it is critical to interact, stand out and appeal to your audience.

Facebook is extremely successful in terms of rebranding. They have access to critical data covering a fifth of the entire population of the planet. Because of this powerful information, they are able to place a specific ad in front of a specific person at a specific moment.

The data entered on Facebook pages such as personal preferences, searches, interests, and likes is identified, indexed and stored. Once the information is processed, they match commercial clients to your interests. It is not coincidental that as you search the web for a new computer, ads from electronic companies begin appearing.

The concept of retargeting is essentially a cycle. It begins when a potential customer visits a website and make a request. An association is established between that person and certain markets. As that person continues to ‘surf’, greater amounts of detail about that individual is gathered by various groups. As that person spends time on the internet, much of the commercial results surrounding that person will be molded to their tastes. The cycle both begins and returns to the individual.

By placing focused advertisements in front of a specific audience, companies are able to achieve a couple of critical goals. They maximize the effectiveness of their advertising budget. They’re able to place their advertisements directly before the audience most apt to make a specific purchase decision.

In the end, retargeting is the main tool used to manipulate consumer traffic towards your website. Contact Colure’s marketing staff to discuss the most effective exposure for your company. 

Successful Content Marketing Campaigns

Successful Content Marketing Campaigns

Content marketing is the technique for creating and sharing free content to provide the consumer with an additional level of product interaction. It is meant to attract new customers and to encourage current customers into developing a loyal, repeat business. But, it should be more than a portion of a company or product. It should be used as a tool to engage your audience.

Four successful content marketing campaigns:

  • Birchbox – a monthly subscription service that provides an array of carefully selected beauty samples to customers. They use content marketing to enhance the online shopping experience for their customers. Birchbox features articles about personal grooming, fitness, and popular beauty products to engage its customers. This has been the key to Birchbox’s success, allowing Birchbox to create an interactive experience for customers as if they were in a store.
  • Red Bull – the energy drink maker uses its content marketing to blend in with the community that enjoys its products. Red Bull specifically chooses to be associated with extreme sports through their advertising. They provide featured videos, films and photos of extreme sports and stunts to associate high energy with the essence of its community.
  • MasterCard – the financial institution uses their content marketing to create a hassle-free, convenient way for costumers to enjoy MasterCard’s features. On the MasterCard website, MasterCard offers features such as a saving calculator and debt FAQs to assist customers with their finances. To minimize inconvenience for it’s customers, helpful videos and ATM locators are located in its “Priceless Pointers” section on its website.
  • Kraft – the international food conglomerate, mastered the use of content long before it was a popular marketing technique. Kraft’s website features recipes, tips, ideas, and videos to assist customers with their products. They understand the power of connecting with their customers. Kraft has created a forum where customers can go beyond simply sharing their recipes. Customers experience those products on a most basic human level – while breaking bread. Kraft expanded its brand from simply selling their products to forming an online community that has become ingrained in the lives of its consumers.

A company’s content marketing has to be relevant to the company’s mission, products, and services. It should allow customers to consistently learn and engage with a brand. As content marketing continues to grow, it proves to be more of a long-lasting relationship than a trend. Content marketing will continue to be a necessity for companies to grow and actively engage their customers.

Contact Colure’s team to discuss marketing strategies for your business. See how a focused approach on your project can dramatically modify your performance in the marketplace.

SEO For Small Businesses

SEO For Small Businesses

Efficient search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to every business. Regardless of size or industry, the critical need to analyze your internet data is key to every business owner. Small business owners are often challenged by not having a staffer dedicated to looking after these affairs. This frequently leaves business owners facilitating both the mechanical end of their business and needing to extend themselves to cover their digital concerns.

Keeping a few tips in mind can help you as wade through these waters:

  1. Never consider you website complete. Because of the dynamic nature of the market, your clients, and your business, you need to constantly tweak your site. It cannot be seen as static, nor can your business.
  2. Learn the mechanics of Google. They’re a dominant force in the internet industry today. In order to understand how your site will interact with the internet, you need to learn how Google operates. Here are three SEO tools to investigate:
      1. Google Webmaster Tools – Explore these tools. They will help you understand how Google views your site and provides you the tools to interact with Google.
      2. Google Analytics – Here you will learn the statistical background of your customers.
      3. Google My Business – Set up a ‘Google My Business’ account. This is a social networking platform to share digital content with businesses and customers. By establishing an account, you increase your visibility across the entire Google network. One of the most critical things to do here is to categorize your business properly. Google allows you to place your business into two of five categories. The purpose for this is so Goggle can better understand your business and is able to provide cleaner search placement results.
  1. Be sure that your content is relevant and up to date. When a customer looks at your page you’ll have less than eight seconds to hold their attention. Make the effort to keep your data current and competitive. It’s important to have clean, easy-to-access information for your customer’s needs.

No matter your size or need, clean and efficient SEO operations are critical to everyone. Contact Colure about helping your organization rise to the surface in the search engine rankings.

Project management tools for advertising agencies

Project management tools for advertising agencies

Project management tools are designed to help agencies to bring their projects from conception to completion. The ways in which you manage every idea, resource, and staffer will affect your ultimate destination. Given the span of variables in the creation process, it’s impossible to find one simple answer to meet everyone’s needs. Whether you are a team of one or 50 members, success is built upon a systematic approach.

A simple starting point to determine your PM (project management) needs, is to look back at your last three projects. What went wrong? What worked well? Was your problem time management? Was it information management? Was it the way you utilized your teams? Were you able to reconcile your billable hours against your accounts? Did you have an organized plan of attack or did you feel as though you were trying to round-up a bunch of wild cats?

The completion of your project is based on the premise that you have a solid footing in project management. This requires being able to wear multiple managerial hats. When it comes to project management skills, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s critical to identify what skills you have mastered and which may need a bit of help. It’s safe to say that almost everyone needs a bit of assistance with at least one skill.

An organized approach to your project is critical. Here are a few tools that can help you and your team better understand your project needs. Each of these applications has their own feel; all of these are strong tools to move you closer to a successful completion.

Suggested Project Management Tools:
  • Tomsplanner.com This is a simple, Gantt chart subscription service. This offers a strong starting point to organize your thoughts. This is a great place to organize a project’s multiple needs and resources.
  • Basecamp.com Organize your teams’ efforts around multiple projects. This system works well by internalizing conversations.
  • Wrike.com This platform likes to expand its communications across email platforms.
  • Getharvest.com This system does a great job of integrating your various finances.
  • Pivotstack.com offers a multitude of services from PM, accounting, and communications.

Every journey begins with a first step. Be sure that you move your project forward, towards a successful destination. Contact Colure’s Project Managers to discuss your visions for successful software development, marketing and concept development.

The power of the “Alex From Target” Campaign

In November 2014, a simple photo of some guy at working at Target was posted on the internet. As a result, untold thousands of people have been going crazy trying to learn more about him. The now cultural icon #alexfromtarget was born. Who is he? Where’s he from? And a lot of girls are asking “Is he single?” The simple answers to a number of those basic questions are answered in a posting from LinkedIn.

The amazing aspect of this story is not that a lot of folks are interested in this guy from Texas. The take-home message is the recognition of how a simple moment in life was specifically manipulated into a breathing, growing internet sensation. It became a very successful media campaign. This is the untapped potential energy (and financial value) of the Internet. This highlights the specific resource that every marketer and advertiser dreams of manipulating.

What is the “Alex From Target” campaign and ‘does it actually matter’?

Consider the implications of being able to motivate millions to comment, to have them make a social comment about their own lives. Imagine bringing people to action just because they saw an image of some guy putting something into a bag. ‘What is the purpose of this campaign?’ That question falls into a far distant second place behind the reality that focused social media has motivated masses of people to action.

As content creators and storytellers, we must know how to share our ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Being able to motivate your audience is a mission-critical goal. Connecting with your audience is at the heart of any media campaign.

In 1989, film director Phil Alden took a group of moviegoers to an obscure cornfield in northeastern Iowa. There, a voice told us “If you build it, he will come…” Those simple words became a catch-phrase that changed the cultural landscape of a generation. If you ever have the pleasure to actually stand upon home-plate at the ‘Field of Dreams’, in Dyersville, IA (as I have), you will feel the magic.

Both of these are strong examples of how a simple idea became a cultural event. Have faith in your ideas, belief in your dreams and clarity in your visions. Whether you plan to write a simple blog or to engineer the most incredible mobile application, keep in mind that any social movement begins with a simple idea.

Contact Colure’s storytellers and software engineers to express your dreams. We hope 2015 will bring your dreams to fruition.

Marketing mobile applications

Marketing mobile applications

How should you approach the marketing of your newly designed mobile application? Competition within the mobile apps market has never been more fierce. Both Google Play and The Apple Store each offer over 1.3 million apps available for download. Each day, the competition grows tighter. The fight for market share grows tougher. At every turn, someone smarter, faster, and possessing a potentially better mouse trap releases a new application.

So how do you compete? How do you possibly fight for elbow room on the worldwide stage? How do you struggle against a competition with seemingly endless resources? The answer is to be smart in the way you prepare for the fight. To paraphrase an ancient (4th or 5th Century) text ‘the best victory is achieved when the war is won before the battle begins.’

Create a Marketing Strategy

  • Establish a solid Pre-Launch Strategy

Before you spend your limited resources on development, you need to know if you have a place in the market. Do your homework with a competitive market analysis. Find out if there is a viable market for your product. If so, use this exercise to define that market. You must know exactly who are your customers, the market, and your competition. Learn these things before you begin your development. If not, you are wasting your resources.

  • Maximize social media

Create an impressive demo video of your product or service. Utilize social media to maximize your message. Craft your message to reach a very specific audience. Be sure that you are marketing your ideas is a way that communicates to your customer base. You can’t just toss out an app and expect people to find it. Create media kits you’ll provide to industry icons who review and promote new applications.

  • Maximize the resources of the app stores

If you plan to release in one of the major application stores, be sure to research how to best make use of their resources. Find out how other competitors have marketed their products and learn from their experiences.

Regardless of your strengths, you must first understand your own weaknesses. No matter how smart, how fast, or how rich you are, there is always someone faster, smarter, better and less expensive than yourself. That’s a reality of life. Position yourself to compete in the marketplace wisely. Learn from the mistakes of others. Grow from the guidance of those who have successfully completed the process. Be sure you understand that while you may feel your plan may be battle-ready, your competition will do everything they can, to destroy your market share.

The failure to plan is planning to fail.

Contact Colure to speak to our team about establishing a focused plan of attack for your mobile application.

Application (app) Store Optimization – ASO

Application (app) Store Optimization – ASO

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the act of improving the visibility of an app amongst the competition.

Proper marketing for your application is critical to your business’ success. Customers must be able to

easily find your app, and have all of their questions answered within a very limited space.

 

According to a 2013 Forrester Research report, 63% of apps are located in app store searches.

Today’s app marketplace is ruled by two major app stores – Google Play and the Apple Store.

Millions of apps are being marketed to an ever growing audience. How you position yourself against

the competition can determine your success in the marketplace.

 

Before you start, you must have a crystal clear vision of your company, your application’s functions,

your specific audience, and the mechanisms you’ll use to bring those parties together. The way in

which you craft the release of your new application is as critical as the design of the application itself.

 

ASO Ideas

These are a few key themes for your app store listing:

  • Optimize your Title – be sure that the title is clean and simple. This is the biggest opportunity to describe your application and its function to the audience. Try to keep it under 25 characters. It’s tempting to be ‘cute’ with an app name. Be sure you keep your focus when you select the name.
  • Optimize your Keywords – Separate all keywords with commas, no spaces. Be sure to leave no empty spaces in keywords area. Empty spaces are wasted characters – don’t waste opportunities to squeeze in possibly one more word into the keyword area. Maximize your searchability with crafted words.
  • Description – This is your key opportunity to explain your app to the world. Be sure that you are focused in your words. Check the limits for text allowed in each posting. If you need, hire someone who writes professionally, to maximize this opportunity. Here, you must be crystal clear with your customer. Be sure to address the ASO needs of both your human and search engine audiences.
  • Unique Icon – Each app should have a unique visual icon that identifies the application. Try to avoid words in the icon.
  • Screenshots – Most customers examine the screenshots to see if they like the ‘feel’ of the app’s layout.
  • Fill out the “What’s New” area – Update this area frequently, as changes are made to your app. This demonstrates that you are actively listening to the needs of the customers and the industry.
  • Preview everything – Be sure the layouts are displayed the way you intended, before publication.

 

These are the foundations for any ASO effort. Be sure that you enter the marketplace with a strong

footing. Contact the Colure staff about both building and marketing your next mobile application.

Why is the mobile app industry worth $25 billion?

Why is the mobile app industry worth $25 billion?

 

Mobile apps usage continues to grow. They’re a tool used by more and more companies. As the volume of applications grow in the business world, so do the dollars spent on app development. In a MarketsandMarkets report, the mobile app industry will be worth an estimated $25 billion (US) in 2015. Does your company need a mobile app developed? If so, how will you proceed?

You need to keep a few thoughts in mind while you consider developing an app:

  • The first questions you should ask yourself are, “Is this a task-oriented mobile app?” “Does it have a function, a purpose?” “Is it filling some void in the market?” “If so, specifically – what is that need?” Don’t put out an app ‘just to put out an app’.
  • This app should be the justification for all of the effort, pain, time, money and stress that you and your staff will allocate for its creation. In other words, ‘will it be worth all of the effort?’
  • Who is my target audience? Am I putting this together to help my customers understand my services or products? Am I creating this to aid my sales staff to better market their products? Will this app help streamline our employee’s workflow by eliminating paperwork?
  • Is it affordable? Should we try to do this ourselves or hire an outside firm to do the work? Is it possible to go mobile on a budget?

Your answers will help shape your course of action.

Here are several other considerations that may modify your choices. Remember that:

  • customers establish a strong connection between the value of your website and the value of your company. They will make the same connection between the quality of your app and quality of your company. If your app comes off as cheesy, or as having little value, that same correlation may very well be made to your company.
  • affordable apps can be made quickly and cheaply, but the real value is measured in terms how that app connects to your customer. If your customers see ‘older looking’ graphics, or find less functionality in the application (than should be reasonably expected), those deficiencies will translate into a loss of customer trust in your company.
  • To you, what is the true value of your customers’ experience? To which level do you honestly appreciate their quality of interaction with your company? To which extent are you willing to invest to provide a positive, proactive experience to your customer?
  • What happens if there are problems with you mobile app? Will you have support, if any (in terms of expertise and time) to help you? What happens if things go sideways?

In the end, the questions of quality, support, cost (expenses vs. effort), and the cost-benefits gained will determine how you establish your budgets for the application. You know your business better than anyone else. If you are not impressed with the application, there’s a good chance you customers too, will not be impressed.

With that said, apps have a critical role in today’s business world. They facilitate function and access. As with everything in life, you only have one chance to make a good 1st impression. Be sure that your app is the finest that it can be, for both you and your customer. Embrace the challenge. Speak with Colure to define your application’s development and marketing.

 

 

Advertising Rule of Thumb

Advertising Rule of Thumb

Advertising Rule of Thumb “Advertising expenditures account for $5.8 trillion in economic output in the U.S. or 20 percent of the $29.6 trillion in total economic output in the nation. Advertising driven sales of products and services help support 19,753,994 jobs, or 15%, of the 133.4 million jobs in the United States.  Every dollar spent on advertising generates just under $20 of economic output, and every million dollars of ad spending supports 69 American jobs.”

(Source: IHS Global Insight found that in 2010)

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Yesterday’s Old Phone Book

Yesterday’s Old Phone Book

Yesterdays old phone book is today’s new “search engine”

Have you used a search engine in the last week? 95% of the searches used a search engine to find their product (67% alone on Google) 1.2 trillion – Number of searches on Google in 2012. Where is your product when your consumers search for it online? Are you truly optimized? (Source: Google Official History, Comscore)

phone book