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We Want Your Views On 'Who Won The Summer Of Sport?'

Posted By The Marketing Institute & Onside, 13 September 2016

 

You are invited to participate in an ONSIDE survey about sponsorship during the major summer sporting events of 2016, including the EUROS, the Olympic Games, and the GAA season. Your insight is highly valuable and, together with that of your peers in the marketing community, will help to gauge the industry’s view on brand involvement and commercial successes around these events. Some of the findings from this survey, in combination with other perspectives from consumers and enterprise leaders, will be shared at our upcoming Who Won the Summer of Sport? morning briefing, in partnership with ONSIDE.

We hope you will consider contributing to this exciting discourse and would very much appreciate your participation in this short survey. It is estimated to take less than ten minutes of your time and our date for completion is Friday, 23 September. 

All who complete the survey will be entered to win two free tickets to the Who Won the Summer of Sport? Morning briefing at Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, 11 October. The winner will be contacted by Friday, 28 September.

TAKE PART IN THE SURVEY HERE

Thank you in advance for your support.

 


 

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Local SEO – Optimising Your Website For Local Business

Posted By Sing!, 13 September 2016


WHAT IS LOCAL SEO? 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of formatting your website so it will rank highly on Google and other search engines. Local SEO, (or LSEO) refers to SEO practices specifically designed to get your website ranking high on Google in your geographical area.

If you have ever searched Google or any other engine with a geo-identifier, such as “mechanics in Dublin” “Local bakeries” or even “things to do nearby,” the result would have drawn on and displayed companies with strong Local SEO for the subsequent result. So how does it work? Like any aspect of SEO, there is no single solution or cheat code that will guarantee you an immediate spot on the front page. Instead, local rank is determined by a wide variety of factors all working together for a singular final result.

This article will provide an overview of the basics of what factors into strong Local SEO, and what factors you can control to get your website noticed.

WHY LOCAL SEO? 

For any brick-and-mortar business that relies on foot traffic such as restaurants, lawyers, plumbers, or anything with a physical presence; having strong skills in LSEO is a fantastic way to make sure that the time and effort put into optimising your business’ website yields results with the viewers who matter. Ranking highly with Local SEO does more than just ensure that your business is seen by the right people, it can also give you an edge over your competitors in the area.

THE SNACK PACK EXPLAINED 

Here, you can see a breakdown of a Google search, and how Local SEO results are displayed.

The top orange box shows results placed through Adwords, Google’s paid marketing platform. The bottom orange box show the organic results, those that appear without any sort of paid placement.

The majority of the page is taken up by what is referred to as the “Google Snack Pack.” This top real estate is reserved for the top three local results that Google believes best suit your search. In addition to being positioned at the very front of the page, these spots have additional information such as their company’s address, contact information, opening hours, and a plot on Google Maps marking their location.

In 2015, Google narrowed down the size of its Snack Pack from 7 to 5, and the competition is fierce. For any business looking to dominate Local SEO, snagging this spot and maintaining it should be the ultimate goal for optimum visibility and web traffic.

GETTING STARTED - GOOGLE MY BUSINESS 

One of the first steps any individual should take while optimising Local SEO is to make sure that your Google my Business page is up to date. Previously known as Google+ Local, this is the page that Google will be drawing information from when it is displaying the Snack Pack on a search result, making it one of the first points of contact a customer may have with your brand.

If your company has an address but no website (or is in the process of developing one) Google my Business can allow you to establish an online presence quickly and easily.

If you do not currently have a Google my Business page, you can start by claiming your business. During this process, it is important that the designated guidelines are followed to ensure maximum view-ability. Luckily, Google provides users with an exhaustive list of guides and resources to perfect your business page. 

RANKING FACTORS IN LOCAL SEO

So what determines how a website or business gets ranked? In 2015, the marketing and analytics company Moz released a survey showing some of the top factors in local SEO, and how heavily they weigh in determining overall rank. The result is a comprehensive rundown on some of the top points that any business can improve upon to develop strong Local SEO.

PLACE PAGE AND ON-PAGE SIGNALS 

When you are aiming to rank highly in SEO, one of the most fundamental ways to succeed is to always bear in mind what your customer will be searching for. For example, “Anne’s Bakery” will do much better online than only “Anne’s.” This brand knows that ‘bakery’ is what their customers are likely to be searching for, and so their business name works to promote their company in their field.

Other companies, such as “Dublin Area Plumbers” have business titles which work for them in establishing strong Local SEO. In this instance, their Business Title, and subsequently any online mention will include the area that they would be looking to target for customers, in this case – Dublin. This is also an easy way to make sure that your alt tags, URL, and other web elements contain strong keywords while avoiding “keyword stuffing” – the practice of loading up on keywords specifically to manipulate SEO. This is a poor practice in SEO that can end up in penalisations or banning from search engines.

EXTERNAL LOCAL SIGNALS - UNDERSTANDING NAP 

Most practices in SEO will typically be contained to your own website, or other channels that are owned by your business. With Local SEO however, one should also look to populate local internet resources with your brand name and information. The more your business is mentioned and featured, the more likely it is to be picked up by search engines as a quality company.

One of the most important elements in establishing local SEO with external sources is your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP). These three pieces of information are the primary elements that Google’s algorithm searches for when determining a business’ legitimacy. When working on local SEO, you want to make sure that your NAP is both consistent and widespread throughout the web. If your business has recently moved or changed phone numbers, re-visit any sites where you are listed to make sure this information is up to date and accurate. Once all of your existing citations (online references to your business) are uniform, try and build up the number of citations that exist. This should begin on your own website – making sure that your NAP is available on service pages and social media accounts, and then on various online resources around the web.

LINK SIGNALS

Having quality websites linking back to your own is a great way to improve your domain authority and overall SEO. When considering your rank locally, you’ll want to build up backlinks in your area. Below are a few different ways to consider growing your domain authority through link building.

Local Directories

  • Local directories refer to Yelp, Goldenpages and other online listings that provide business information to customers.  If you are a new business, get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce for an easy and authoritative link back to your site.

Submit to local awards

  • Do you make the best burger in town? Do you have a well-documented case study that people should know about? Even if your company doesn’t bring home the gold, just submitting to local contests will usually get your business added to a list or page on a contest’s website.

Local newspapers or online blogs

  • Remember that search engines rank quality before quantity when considering rank. Avoid poor quality websites offering an easy backlink, as this is more likely to get your SEO ranking penalised than promoted.

REVIEW SIGNALS 

While it is difficult to determine exactly how influential online reviews are for determining SEO (Moz’s online report lists it at around 10%) Most marketers agree that they can be an important deciding factor for those who search online. 90% of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews, and can either be a big help or a hindrance to your brand when left unregulated. In order to establish strong social proof for your company, consider encouraging or incentivising happy customers to go online and leave a review for future clients.

Little nudges, such as a reminder page at checkout, an email after a job well done can go a long way to leaving an impression and getting people to spread the word. Alternatively, negative reviews should be positively engaged, rather than ignored or worse – aggressively contested.

SOCIAL SIGNALS

Social media has quickly established itself as a staple for good online marketing practice.  Having a Facebook page with only one or two posts, or a Twitter feed with only a few number of followers is a red flag for potential customers, as well as search engines. While you don’t need to be a social media guru, investing time into social media channels will help build your online presence.

KEEPING UP TO DATE IS KEY

Optimising local SEO, like anything Google-related means constantly keeping on top of the curve with the latest changes and updates in Search Engine practice. Google will typically adjust its search algorithm 500-600 times per year. While most of these are minor, it does meant that the current means of evaluating local SEO is now drastically different than it was a year ago, and very different than the format that will be used in the future.  Staying at the top of the ranks means keeping yourself up-to-date and well-informed on changes and new developments in the system.

This post was originally published on sing.ie.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sing! is a performance digital marketing agency which focuses on improving sales performance through digital channels. Our team combines digital marketing strategists and specialists. We make sense of the bewildering array of digital marketing tactics and technologies to select the right ones to meet your business challenges head on and help you achieve your growth ambitions. Our goal is to see businesses prosper from the selection of business relevant digital marketing options. 

www.sing.ie


 

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5 Steps To Creating A Marketing Plan With Intelligent Content

Posted By iProspect, 06 September 2016
Did you know that only 1 in every 5 pieces of online content produced is ever seen by the target audience? That means 4 out of 5 are never returned in the 4,000,000 Google searches queries that happen every minute of every day.  Why content marketing fails?


FIVE OF THE MOST COMMON REASONS WE COME ACROSS FOR FAILURE OF CONTENT ARE: 

  1. There is no plan
  2. The plan is not data driven
  3. Content is inconsistent
  4. It’s not amplified enough
  5. It’s not measured

WHY A MARKETING STRATEGY MATTERS 

It is frightening to think almost 50% of Irish businesses do not have a written content strategy. It is completely understandable too. We are all too busy working in our business to work on our businesses.  

Although 80% of Irish businesses understand the value of their online marketing, for many, there isn’t as much as a whiteboard or scribbles on the back of an envelope on the kind of content they are publishing and who it is aimed at. 

If you recently watched our video on this topic (which you can find below) you will find more information and links to the tools mentioned in this post.

WHO NEEDS CONTENT MARKETING? 

If you have a business and need more customers then you could benefit from content marketing. Almost every audience is represented online. Research from Eurostat showed Irish adults are spending €8.5million online every day that is leaving the country.  

If you want to capture some of this audience creating a marketing strategy tailored to your business could be your key to success.

HOW INTELLIGENT CONTENT HELPS CREATE YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY 

Creating intelligent content involves a data driven process which when documented step by step will help you define a clear online marketing strategy for your business. 

So what are the steps I hear you cry? Well they are nicely summed up in the graphic below but I will also detail the points further below:

1. Researching marketing strategy

This is one of the most critical areas when it comes to developing a marketing strategy. Although it is time consuming, it is worth doing well. Well targeted content will pay dividends further down the line. 

To begin set SMART goals for your content that are aligned with your business goals. For example, your business goal is to double sales across the board. If online equates to 50% of sales at the moment, a SMART marketing goal could be to increase online sales of a particular product by 10% in the first quarter.  

Setting a goal like this gives you something to measure against. So if you have not increased sales by 7% or so by end of month 2, you might have trouble hitting your target!

Develop personas: use the data you have on existing customers, from previous campaigns or through speaking to sales to understand the type of people most likely to need your product. 

Name them, give them an age, job, some hobbies, where they are online (social media platforms, mobile, etc.) and list the problems they have that your product can solve and you are on your way to a successful digital persona. Having this person in mind is a great way to keep the content you create relevant and focused.

Understand search intent: understanding what your persona is searching for online is critical to success when it comes to generating content. In fact, answering the questions your target audience have for Google is a great place to start with content.

There are some tools that are really useful in establishing what your audience are searching for. Our starting points are always Google Keyword Planner for search volume, although be wary Google are now combining some synonyms in the results so they may not be as accurate. 

Once you have found a keyword or words you think will resonate with your audience move over to Answer the Public  a free tool that helps you see the related questions people ask Google around these terms.  Filter out the queries that are most relevant to the content you are creating and answer them!

2. Planning your content marketing

When it comes to planning content there are three things to be particularly aware of:

i. Resources: how many people do you have who can create content? Try and think outside the box for this one – are there any budding writers or film makers outside of the marketing department who might be willing to contribute? 

ii. Time: finding time to create content is challenging especially with the pressures of your day to day role. Be cognisant of this and try to give those who are helping out reasonable lead in times.

iii. Access to creative: to create quality content whether it is written, videos, infographics or something more sophisticated you are going to require creative. It may be as simple as access to images or creating a video

If budgets are tight there are inexpensive options but there is sometimes a learning curve around using this so allow for that in the planning stage.

3. Plan for creating content

Create a bank: having a number of pieces prepared before you begin publishing takes the pressure off initially and may get you out of a bind some time when you don’t have time to create new content

Be consistent: people don’t like change, if they are used to receiving your blog on a Wed morning they will disappear quickly if it isn’t there every Wednesday. So when it comes to content success, consistency is key.

Be inspiring: we hope you love what you do as much as we do. Let that enthusiasm show in your content, whether you are writing a blog or recording a video show your audience:

- Why it matters 
- How it impacts them
- What you want them to learn

Don’t forget a call to action at the end, subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook or call us if you need more information.

4. Plan for amplification of content marketing

In a cluttered online world, one of the biggest challenges we face as businesses is getting our content seen by our target audience. Including amplification in your marketing strategy can help with this. How are you going to get the content you spent so much time creating in front of the right people? There are three main ways.

Owned: owned media are your business’s pages on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter where you already have a following of customers or potential customers following. Share all newly created content through any social media space you have. 

You can share some content multiple times with different posts that appeal to a slightly different audience, this is particularly applicable to Twitter where a single post won’t be picked up by everyone.

Earned: we are aiming to create great content and great content is going to be loved by other publishers too. Creating something that gets shared by others in your industry or those with a similar target audience is an amazing way of getting your content in front of new people. 

Make contacts and reach out to online publications or social media sites in your niche. Why not create something in their style that they might be willing to share?

Paid: 
don’t be afraid to put spend behind great content. There has been a move towards ‘pay to play’ by many social media platforms when it comes to commercial posts as a way of monetising social media. Amplifying content through paid social allows you to target very specific audiences. 

You may come across others who match your persona who may not already be engaged with your brand. There are other paid options like Outbrain for written content or native advertising where a paid piece of content looks like it is a piece of editorial content. 

5. Measuring success

There can be a feeling that it is difficult to measure content success but it can and should be measured in the same way as any other element of a business. The only difference is what we measure.  There are a number of free tools like Google Analytics which provide you with information on how a piece of content is performing. 

The first step is to have a goal for a piece of content, don’t always make this sales, it could be signups, downloading a document or phone calls. Then add annotations as you upload content to your website. Then when reporting on content look at more than the traffic to the content or your website; ideas for measurement include:

  • The pages visitors are viewing.
  • Where do they come from?
  • What landing pages do they arrive on?
  • How long do they stay?
  • Do they share the content?
  • How many pages do they look at per session.

Finally the key sign of content success is when there is a change in behaviour as a result of content. Have you been encouraging customers to contact you through your website rather than by phone – if there has been a reduction in phone calls you know that content is working! 

If you are seeing results keep doing what you are doing, if not try something else, the access to data really does make digital worth wile. Never again will you wonder which half of your advertising is working for you!

Documenting this information and reviewing it regularly will help you and your business create content that resonates with your target audience while improving your bottom line.

It is worth noting that content marketing is a long game, success is unlikely to be overnight but persistence and planning should deliver success in time.

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE

This post was originally published on iProspect.com.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

iProspect globally has 71 offices in 50 countries, operates in 70+ languages, has more than 2,500 members of staff and has global billings in excess of $2.1 billion.
iProspect Ireland is the only dedicated ‘performance digital’ agency in the country and the only digital agency in Ireland that is part of a global network. As part of the Dentsu Aegis Network Ireland, Prospect is part of a group that includes media agencies Carat and Vizeum, creative digital agency Isobar and online trading platform Amnet.



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How Important Is Social Media Listening In Understanding Customer Sentiment?

Posted By Kantar Media, 05 September 2016

Comments on social media can be skewed towards either gushing praise or damning criticism by a largely younger audience, but social listening is an important addition to the mix of customer feedback. So what are the options for businesses who want to keep an ear out on Twitter, Facebook and everything in-between?

Marcus Gault, Managing Director of Insight at Kantar Media, spoke to The Times Raconteur on the importance of using social media listening to understand consumer sentiment.

Raconteur: Can firms rely on what consumers say online? Are digital profiles always the best representation of consumer behaviour?

Marcus Gault: "Broadly speaking, yes they can. Digital platforms are one of the primary ways that consumers express their views, which makes them a valuable source of information for businesses. For example, in the past companies had to rely solely on consumer surveys to understand how they were perceived; now they can tap into a huge volume of detailed, real-time data on how they are being talked about. In turn, they can use this insight to direct their strategy. 
Of course, there are caveats. Firms must anticipate that consumer sentiment will be skewed towards the negative, because digital channels are a popular way to make a complaint or raise a customer service issue. Additionally, with social media use more prominent amongst some sections of society than others, this content will not always provide a true representation of the company’s customer base.

At Kantar Media, we advise companies to avoid treating online conversations in isolation and instead combine different types of measurement - including more traditional market research - as part of one holistic approach."

Raconteur: What methods are companies using to dig a little deeper than simply what pages Joe Bloggs 'likes' on Facebook?


Marcus Gault: "To capitalise on the rich insights that online platforms produce, companies have to go beyond counting up quantitative metrics such as ‘likes’ and understand the sentiment and topics of conversations.
There are two primary ways that firms are doing this. First, there are plenty of cost-effective, automated tools designed to isolate consumer conversations from other kinds of content, such as marketing content, and analyse what exactly is being said. But these have limitations when it comes to accurately identifying sentiment and analysing editorial content.

Second, many businesses are now choosing to make a bigger investment in services that offer human analysis of online conversations. This gives a much more sophisticated understanding of how and why consumers are talking about a company or subject, but does come at a higher cost.”

Raconteur: Are social listening strategies used by professional companies - banks, law firms - to garner information about their customers in the same way as the retail sector?

Marcus Gault: "Social media may be playing an ever-growing role in how businesses understand and engage with consumers, but it’s not equally relevant for all sectors and this is reflected in variations in how listening strategies are used.
For professional companies, such as wealth managers, accountants and law firms, their customers simply don’t discuss these services on social media channels in the same way as they do for B2C businesses, such as retailers, which means social listening doesn’t create such a high return on investment.

What we are increasingly seeing both consumer and professional services firms do is use social measurement as a tool to inform a range of different departments and functions - from marketing to customer service, PR and product development - rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach across the business. As social media becomes a more dominant part of consumer and business conversations, we anticipate this approach being replicated further across all sectors.”


This piece was originally published on kantarmedia.com


Read the full article from The Times Raconteur here


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kantar Media provides critical information that helps our clients make better decisions about communications. We enable the world’s leading brands, publishers, agencies and industry bodies to navigate and succeed in a rapidly evolving media industry. Our services and data include; analysis of paid media opportunities; counsel on brand reputation, corporate management and consumer engagement through owned media and evaluating consumers’ reactions in earned media. As the global house of expertise in media and marketing information, Kantar Media provides clients with a broad range of insights, from audience research, competitive intelligence, vital consumer behaviour and digital insights, marketing and advertising effectiveness to social media monitoring. Our experts currently work with 22,000 companies tracking over 4 million brands in 50 countries.

www.kantarmedia.com


 

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Featured Member: Oisineagh O'Donnell, Digital Marketing Manager, Davy

Posted By The Marketing Institute, 22 August 2016

The Marketing Institute recognises excellence at every level, and so we have introduced our Featured Member Series, featuring some of our most esteemed colleagues.


 

Oisíneagh graduated with an honours degree in marketing management from ITT.

She began her career on the marketing graduate programme in Electric Ireland where she spent her first year on the web development team, learning the fundamentals  of websites and their design.

From there, she jumped at the opportunity to join the digital marketing team and it was here that she really gained a love for all things digital. Working on some amazing projects such as digital activations for Electric Ireland's sponsorship of the Web Summit. 

Oisineagh worked alongside thebonkers.ie team and managed the build of the switching platform to allow users switch to Electric Ireland from the bonkers.ie website. It was the tracking of online sales and leads from this project, along with managing the AdWords campaigns for the team, where Oisineagh gained a true appreciation for the trackability of digital and the ability to show the return on investment for her campaigns. She then completed the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute.

After the digital experience gained in Electric Ireland, Oisíneagh took the opportunity to move to Cornmarket Group Financial Services. Straight away she worked on managing the redesign of their complex website that was required to suit each niche market of the Cornmarkets' client base.

After that, she worked alongside the UK senior management team to formulate and manage the digital strategy for Cornmarket insurances entry into the UK market,. This achieved great results from the social and digital campaigns in their first year to market. It was this project that helped Oisineagh to win the "Excellence in Service" award which is given by Cornmarket once annually to a  staff member who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to service. 

Recently, Oisíneagh joined the marketing team at Davy as the digital marketing manager. She is engaged in bringing and maximising Davy's brand refresh to into the digital world by managing the re-design of the Davy websites. Oisíneagh has also implemented successful content led digital campaigns to drive leads, reduce the age and increase the size of Davy’s database.

READ ABOUT OUR OTHER FEATURED MEMBERS HERE


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