Power tips on how to get on Snapchat for brands

6m to read / 

Is your brand using Snapchat yet? Snapchat has a huge following with both Millennials and Gen Z users, so if those are the audeiences you’re trying to reach and engage, and tell a innovative brand story, Snapchat is the way to go.

As a brand manager, or agency lead, are you up with it (or down with it, as teens would say)? Do you what the whole Snapchat buzz is all about? And are you aware that some of the world's biggest brands like McDonald's, TacoBell, Evian, Mercedes (yes Mercedes), American Apparel, Intel all use Snapchat effectively?

About Snapchat as a marketing platform

Snapchat is the fastest growing social network in the history of social networks, and 63 percent of its more than 100,000 daily active users, are between the ages of 13-to-34 and a driving force behind the mobile revolution.

On Snapchat brands need to be able to understand the idea that users are looking to experience and share content in a unique and specific way. For brands, this means creating unique content in that format that stands out and stories that users want to talk about. You, as a brand will need to create content on the fly in unique and creative ways that you may not have done before, or aren't quite geared to do. But, it's time you did.

Snapchat have over the last year added functionality that helps brands tell less-fleeting stories and reach a wider audience. Snapchat celebrities are gaining massive followings … and letting brands in on some of the fun. Those are Snapchat influencers at play.

“With Snapchat, it feels less like a creator/viewer relationship and more like a friendship – like a text message between friends,” says Snapchat expert and celebrity Shaun McBride, who snaps under the handle Shonduras. He’s worked with many brands, including Disney and Red Bull. Snapchat videos have 10 billion views everyday (Facebook is at 8 million) with 100 million active users each month, according to Bloomberg.

What is Snapchat? Who uses it?

Snapchat is a 'photo sharing app' that allows users to take photos, record videos, add effects, text or drawings, send 'snaps' to controlled groups of recipients. 'Snaps' last between 1-10 seconds. 'Snap chat stories' – the ones brands usually use can last between 25 seconds to 24 hours. Today people still use the platform to share time-limited photos and videos, but a newer feature called Snapchat Stories lets users (and brands) post content that lasts 24 hours rather than immediately self-destructing.

Snapchat users are usually in the 13-24 age group. Most are iPhone users. They share funny photos and videos, their everyday life moments and thoughts, their moods and fancies. They share 400 million + snaps daily. A high percentage of snapchatters are women.

By putting together a series of photos or videos during a day, you can create longer, more engaging stories.  Snapchat earlier launched Discover, a new way for brands to reach viewers. Discover lets brands feature their editorial content within the app. This is mostly used by media channels to promote owned content but with plenty of opportunity for content-rich brands as well.

Choose your Snapchat brand ID carefully

Choose your identity carefully – Snapchat will need to make an exact match when they type in your company (or brand) name. Make sure your Snapchat ID is intuitive and simple.  You can find Dominoes Pizza UK by typing “Dominoes_UK” but not "Dominoes Pizza". To me, that's a bit of a difficult one. Coca Cola is "cocacola". Coke will not lead you there.

Images don't need to be perfect – but tell stories

You don't need photoshop perfect images. They should look real, and in the here and now. Your images or posts should tell great stories, cool stories. Like all other social channel, it’s all about great content. Plan your stories and unfold them. It's not about image quality, but about the storyline and the narrative. It should feel natural.

Snapchat should fit into your overall content strategy

Here again, realize that there should be content that's done right. Somehow, your content on Snapchat may be somewhat different in tonality and approach, but you should be speaking the same language across all your content channels.
Content Marketing Strategy: What kind of content should you create?

Don't re-purpose for Snapchat. Create fresh

Many brands out there are simply re-purposing existing content, or using their YouTube content by inserting commercials and “pre-roll” content into Snapchat's Discovery channel. This just doesn't resonate. Honestly, Snapchatters tend to ignore the "branded experience" for the most part. Your content should be fresh, created for Snapchat and keeping the user in mind. Audience and Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing.

Timing is everything. You don’t want to overload users with spam-y “Snaps”. If you have a lot of great content to share, create a Snapchat Story. This allows you to build a fluid narrative through multiple “Snaps” that users can view for up to 24 hours.

You could use the "Stories" feature to reach your entire audience of followers at once. But also use specifically created content to special groups of your audience to hyper-target them. They appreciate 'bespoke' content.

Reward your followers

This is a great way to keep your Snapchat audience engaged. Try regular compeitions, contests, unique to Snapchat product sneak peaks, cuopons. Do this on a specifically timed basis "Fun Fridays" could mean, that's the day you give away clues to a freebie. Sending “Snaps” around special promotions or events should help drive traction, especially if you include an exclusive coupon or freebie.

Building a Snapchat following or audience

It may not be difficult to get people to watch your snapchat stories, but what is key is to build a community around your brand that will engage with your stories and share them. Building a cooperative, participative audience requires your brand to become a source and a connector of everything that's cool. You share. They share. Simple, really.

Rather than relying on followers typing in your company name to find you, share your unique Snapchat ghost (Snapchat’s version of a QR code) so users can take a picture and connect.

4 ways to build a cool Snapchat audience for brands

As marketing on Snapchat is still fairly new, huge opportunities exist for companies that decide to take the leap now. Not only will you be able flex your creative muscles, but your campaign may also prompt media coverage, expanding reach and visibility for your brand.
Those are some points to keep in mind for your brand to successfully engage with the powerful audience group consisting of millennials and Gen Z folks. Remember they aren't just a powerful demographic. They're cool, savvy and hungry for content. Stay fresh. And that's the basics. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.

How to Engage your Audience with the Visual Power of Instagram

6m to read / 

People come to Instagram for visual inspiration and the simple design allows captivating visual storytelling. Here's how to best engage your audience and inspire them with the visual power of Instagram.

Instagram is a highly engaged community with more than 400 million active users. More than 40 billion photos have been shared – of which 75% are outside the US. Instagram sees 80 million_ photos uploaded every day and gets 3.5 billion Likes daily. The numbers are compelling. But even more compelling is the format and the possibilities for brands.

Before you embark on Instagram, find out more about your target audience. What kind of brands do they follow? What kind of images resonate with them? What kind of content are they looking for from a brand? Start with listening. The importance of listening in social media, and how to get it right.

Set up your brand on Instagram properly

This is important step one. Get your brand name right, and recognizable. It's important that your branding on Instagram is consistent with what you have on other social platforms. Make sure your profile pic is good quality and depicts your brand in the best way possible.

Write an interesting bio – that's what every one sees before they click to follow you. Make sure your proper brand name is in the bio. Your bio should be short and interesting, so people can see value and decide to follow you. Remember that your bio should resonate with the Instagram community.

Create and develop a following – an audience

Before we come to your Instagram content, you need to on an on-going basis reach out to a large following. Yes, you can only do that with great content, but you do need to work on this. Discoverability on Instagram is hashtag based. Use hashtags based on key words and phrases that are relevant to your brand story. Don't forget to research trending topics and hashtags regularly. Use them. Your hashtags should include specific tags as well as the wider topic tags. You can (and should) also develop unique hashtags just for your brand. You can also use the power of influencers and user generated content to expand your following and audience.

Post attractive, beautiful images and content that's interesting

This is the sure shot. Remember, again, that it's not about selling your product. Yes, your products will feature, but make sure they are done beautifully, cropped properly, and tagged with relevant hashtags. Creativity is key. Vary your product shots – using pro quality images, different types of angles, lighting etc. Images should be high-resolution and visually stunning.

Go beyond product to lifestyle. Intrigue is a great appeal factor. Show lifestyle images around your product that have wow value. Try unusual. Use life-inspired backgrounds, scenes, and models to add a scenario to your product so users can imagine "using the power of your visual" how great those photos would look like when shooting them with your camera, or transport them on to a sailing trip wearing your boat shoes. In marketing terms, by creating aura and stories around your products, using the culture and lifestyle that surround them, you’re strengthening your brand equity.

Don't forget to include special promotions and exclusives for your Instagram followers. Share inside stories, visually share your culture, your benefits and your moments of appeal. Promote events, promote other long form content on other social platforms using attractive visuals to guide your audience there.

Use the power of video: Instagram now has a 60 second video format. Video content is compelling and multi sensory. Make sure you have relevant, attractive, and entertaining video content for your account. The new long format on Instagram now makes it possible to make your video-told stories both beautiful and complete. Don't just resort to re-purposing your YouTube content. Create Instagram specific videos that appeal to the Instagrammers way of life.

The increased limit – now a full minute, definitely creates a whole new opportunity for brands. The 15 second limit was crisp, short, and brands needed to be quick in transmitting their message. It called for precise creativity. It also allowed for the 'insta' factor in instagram. Now with 60 seconds, brands have a lot more room to express themselves – hopefully, still, creatively.

The new limit allows for a wider range of content – from how-to demos, quick unboxings, sharing the 30 second or even a 60 second tv spot (careful, there), and more "live" coverage of events, launches, product demos etc.
Whether its a story in a single video, or a series of ads that lead to the next 'episode' you can tell a really interesting story in your ads. This is a far cry from the quick "Buy Me, Buy Me" product ad. This route takes a whole new road – a road that the consumer finds that he or she wants to take – and hopefully enjoy the journey. Because there is a reward – an interest generating, absorbing tale being told.

Read the details on the new Instagram video format here (and how to use it well):
Instagram's new video limit is now 60 seconds. How can brands benefit?

Encourage participation

Engagement on any social is about a dialog, about participation. Not selling. Instagram is a huge social culture, and selling, hard selling, just doesn't fit in to that culture. Write compelling captions that draw in your following to do something. To share your content. To become believers and ambassadors for your brand.  Today, any one with a decent smartphone has the power of a beautiful image in their hands. Use that power.

You must always respond to comments and queries – and as well, in particular to great image contributions to your brand by followers. You could run competitions, ask for user posts around your hashtags and about how they use your product – champion their stories. It's a lot about what your audience is looking form. You'll be better off when they participate, when you provide relevant content to their intent. Read how Consumer intent is key.

Track how you are doing. Measure and remodel

Which posts are doing well? What kind of images get the best engagement? Have you timed your posts right? Remember insights is key. Use a tool like Iconosquare.  It tells you your total number of likes received, your most liked photos ever, your average number of likes and comments per photo, your follower growth charts and more advanced analytics.

Not just for Instagram, but for any social media Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing. Be flexible here, because as you keep listening out for what your audience is looking for, the goal posts almost always move. Types of images that trend on Instagram often change quickly. Stay on trend.

When you have a plan, you'll need to focus on how to go forward – these are sign posts for along the way. 10 Digital Marketing Essentials to focus on in 2016.

Well, that's the gist of how to engage your audience. Remember, it's the visual power that makes Instagram an ever popular social platform. Use that power to your benefit.
And that's the basics. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.

See these Instagram case studies on creative for inspiration

Power up your Twitter content in these easy ways

6m to read / 

Twitter is still a very useful, easy to engage with your audience on social media channel for brands. Here are some simple ways to power up your twitter content. Twitter's mission on their website is: "To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers." How do you use that power?

Twitter just a couple of weeks ago switched its position from social network to 'News' on the App Store. While most of us can understand the new position – micro-blogging platform Twitter will no longer fight for pole position with the likes of Facebook on the Apple App Store. Twitter is well known for real time news feeds and events and unlike Facebook, it is preferred less when it comes to keeping in touch with friends. Read more here: With Twitter now positioned as a News App – and not a Social platform – how should brands react?

First of all, you should have a well spelt out Twitter strategy for yourself or your brand.
Build a Winning Twitter Strategy for your Brand in 2016. Once you know an overall perspective for your twitter presence, get down to kicking up your twitter content a notch or two. Twitter is really about what content you are posting out there, and getting it right is key. Here are some simple ways to powering up your twitter content...

1. Tell stories. Don't sell.

Just as you wouldn't just talk about yourself in real-world conversations, follow that common sense on Twitter. Have conversations about the things that really interest your followers. Talk to your Twitter audience the way you talk to people in real life. This is your chance to be open, honest, in the here and now and relevant. Conversations make twitter happen. Engagement on any social is about a dialog, about participation. Not selling.

Remember that good Twitter is about a narrative – a story. And your story, sometimes, even more interesting if told over multiple tweets. You don't have to tell your story in a single 140c tweet. Giving people something to look forward to is more enticing – use that technique cleverly by building anticipation.

2. Beyond 140c. Use visuals, use video. 

Engagement on twitter improves with graphics, images and video. If you're going to really tell stories, don't ignore the power of multimedia content. Today's connected consumer is looking for visual enhancements in all social conversations. Your target group on Twitter is likely to belong to a visual generation. Use added media such as images or short videos to support your tweets and attract people’s attention.

3. Design your content

Twitter's updated feed shows expanded photos in the timeline, instead of cropping them. Use that space to tell a more enhanced and enriched image-powered story. You can also use the GIF button to add some movement and fun – Twitter provides an amazing array of ready GIFs you can use.

Twitter by itself is pretty powerful, but when you add well designed graphics, beautiful images, or a consistent style of visuals – it just ups the game a lot more.

4. Engage journalists, influencers and tweeters with common interests

Unless you're a mega brand or a huge personality with hundreds of thousands of followers, playing the team game helps. Find topics of common interests (use those hashtags) and support related content. This can be from reporters, from influencers and from tweeps who post on topics that are related or of interest to your followers. Tweet your posts to journalists and bloggers and retweet their stories—adding commentary – making it relevant to your own story line. This helps because in turn, they end up helping your content as well.

5. Be consistent, track performance of what and when

Posting or tweeting consistently, and regularly is key. Follow a schedule, stick by it. Your followers will get to expect it at that certain time of day, or day of week. Track every tweet that you have posted. How did they fare? On which day did your tweet reach more people?  If you do't have the tools to measure and monitor use a simple one like Tweetreach.

You need a fair idea on how you are doing – getting which ones right, and which wrong. And track timing. This is critical. Monitoring your tweets’ performance will give you insights into your Twitter strategy, and your audience’s preferences and motivations of engaging – and what they basically want to hear and know about – and when. Adapt. 'Tweaking your tweeting' as you learn helps your brand consistently perform, engage better, and have loyal following.

6. Be relevant in the here and now, and in context

Twitter is all about the here and now, so you can't keep tweeting about your brand, for your brand or product while asleep at the wheel. Stay on trend. Be aware of what the conversations are about and see if there's a fit. Tweet on those. And use those hashtags to invite user generated content.

This doesn't mean you try and hijack trending hashtags. No point on tweeting about hot trending global topics unless they mean something to you. Geo-fence your strategy. Your topics have to be in context and be current. No one likes yesterdays news other than fish-and-chips shops.

7. Provide value in your content. Give something away.

Always give something away in your twitter content. If it's a story, make sure it at least has entertainment value. And for your brand or product the tease-and-reveal works well. If you are just "selling product benefits and features", you are not really going to get much interest in your tweets.

Try and provide tips, useful information, useful links, re-shares of stuff that's relevant to your genre but not necessarily about your brand. Value is about knowledge, news, information. Have special offers? Twitter is the place to put those out. Remember that Winning Content Strategy paradigm: Always share something valuable and useful.

Whether it is information, entertainment or content built around news or riding a trend, value provision is key. You’ll know what that value looks like if you’ve been actively listening. When you add value to people’s lives, you become more relevant to them. And value for your audience is not necessarily built around what you do – it's about what they want to do. Read how Consumer intent is key.

If you haven't really gotten good results on Twitter, read about 3 quick ways to improve your Twitter performance.

Remember the Dont's as well: Do not spam. Do not spam. Don't overuse #hashtags. Never ever buy followers – that's shallow and deceitful to your audience and to yourself. Don't use software to auto-tweet – that's not just lazy, it's bad twietiquette.

Some quick twitter numbers you should know about:
• 310m monthly active users
• 1 billion unique visits to sites with embedded tweets (make sure your SEO is working)
• 83% active users on mobile – make sure your content is mobile friendly.

How often should you tweet? Read about social media frequency best practices here.
There are many other ways to boost your twitter content, but these are easy ones for you to start with. And that's the basics. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.

Digital Marketing Strategy and Execution Planning made Simple

5m to read / 

Digital marketing is an absolute essential in any marketers overall plan. Getting the basics right for a digital marketing strategy, and planning on how to use it isn't difficult. Here's how to keep it simple...

Ideally, your digital marketing strategy should not be separate from your overall marketing strategy, and it is not an after thought. Just that today, digital marketing has become an essential and large part of the overall marketing plan. 

Document your strategy

First of all, if you don't have a well documented digital marketing strategy, do that now. It doesn't have to be a huge document or a bunch of slides, a simple visual here-to-there plan with sign posts along the way may do. But do get one down. And get all stake holders involved.

Important key steps in developing a digital strategy

Define where you stand today, and how digital marketing will fit into the scheme of things. Review your opportunity – and remember to spot your weaknesses, strengths and threats to implementing that plan. Do a good, old fashioned SWOT analysis.

Define where you want to go. What are your objectives, what are your KPI's? Define who you want to target. You cannot do everything for everyone within your organization, and you cannot target the whole world as your audience. 

What's in your strategy?

Start with your audience. Who do you really want to target? More importantly, who ideally, should be buying your product or service and why? What are they looking for? The focus should not be your product and what it does, but what the customer or the audience is looking for. Then, you provide a solution. Remember Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing. Be flexible here, because as you keep listening out for what your audience is looking for, the goal posts almost always move.

Some basics you must cover

Basic elements in your digital marketing strategy should cover:
• Audience Targeting – defining your audience – based on insights (see above).

• Positioning your brand, product and/or service. What's your core proposition? What will you mean for the customer?

• What is your overall brand strategy and how does digital marketing fit in.

• Where and what are you going to say online? Across Paid, Owned and Earned. Start here with your website strategy. What's it going to say? How is it a means to the end you have in mind?

• What digital channels are you going to be on? Key channels include Search, Social Media, Partner and Affiliate marketing, Display advertising, and email marketing.

• Engagement strategy. What kind of content are you going to develop and distribute – and how? How is your content going to take you through the customer funnel? Remember, digital marketing is way beyond advertising, and engagement is key.

• Have a conversion strategy in place. How do you convert your audience to customers. How easy is it for them? How are you planning to convince them?

The Execution Plan

Once you have these in place, have a simple execution plan. For the most part the execution of your strategy will happen across:

• Search – both organic and Paid: (SEO and SEM)
Search Engine Optimization of your website. Get this right, right away. Your website is your big asset, and it should be optimized so that people can find solutions that you provide. Get your SEO right. 7 Things you need to bullet proof your SEO. Make sure you know the power of Google Analytics, and have someone tell you about how your site is performing. Focus on improving results from your website and landing page conversions.

• Work with Google Adwords. That's the very first thing you should look at for your Paid Search effort.

• Get your Social Media Marketing to be top class. Make sure at this point that your social media efforts are not just about the end game of selling your product. Very important to get this right. Improve your social media engagement. Move from Selling to building Relationships.

Once you know about what your audience is doing, set social goals. Track them. Setting Social Media Goals and Tracking Success Made Simple

• Mobile is key. Today, mobile is a most critical factor in digital marketing. 5 Simple Ways to get your Mobile Marketing Done Right

• Don't forget email marketing. Email is still a powerful marketing tool, and an important part of you strategy execution plan. Start with your subject line. 10 ways to get your Subject Line work harder in email marketing.

• Today, it really is all about content. Across all your execution channels, content is key. You need to have a rock solid content strategy in place. Winning Content Strategy: Always share something valuable and useful.  No matter whether its for your website content, your social media, or how you use content to move your audience across from being just an audience to being loyal customers, getting content right is key today. Read up on:  6 ways to get Content Marketing done right.

The Essential Pillars and Focus Areas for Digital Marketing

 Once you have a basis framework in place both from a strategy and an execution plan perspective, make sure that your go-forward plan has got the essential foundation: 7 Essential Pillars for your Digital Marketing Strategy

When you have a plan, you'll need to focus on how to go forward – these are sign posts for along the way. 10 Digital Marketing Essentials to focus on in 2016

Whether you are starting off at a brand, or are agency side, the above points are useful reminders on how to get your digital marketing strategy working hard for you. That's the basics. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.

Please add your comments below, and do share this post with your friends and colleagues. 

Google Maps now open for Ads and Brand Pins: Great for Mobile

3m to read / 

Google is introducing ads that will pop up in search results in Google Maps. Pins marking advertisers' locations will also pop up directly on the map portion of the results screen. Google announced this in their blog post yesterday. Google is calling this a push for the mobile first world.

Promoted Pins and Ads on Maps

These are what Google calls "promoted pins," or companies that paid to appear in your map. Logos would appear as you look at a map, or could show up in your driving route suggested by Maps.  For example, the logo for Walgreens may appear as you follow on-screen directions from your office to a meeting. The business page, which appears at the bottom of the screen when you tap on a logo, could display coupons for items at that store or let you browse the store’s inventory.

Someone searching in Maps for a burger joint, hospitals or opticians, for example, will see ads for specific burger places, hospitals or opticians on top the list of results. The 'promoted pins' can also appear in the app's navigation mode, which adds to the on-screen directions with audio instructions. Navigation ads will be visual only, not spoken.

New opportunity for advertisers

The new opportunity gives advertisers, retailers in particular, a way to increase their mobile advertising as it relates to both search and navigation. Fast food companies, for example, will find good value in buying promoted pins in areas that have a lot of lunch time traffic. Advertisers will also have the option to not just advertise the location, but more details as well. Tapping a promoted pin will bring up a "business" page with offers and promotions at that location, as well as information already available for many locations in Google Maps such as address and hours. This extends the power of location based marketing combined with Search.

Search results in maps will start including more prominent ads for local businesses. This means that when you type something like "Pub near me" into your Google Maps app search bar, a pub that paid for an ad would appear first in your search results list. This business would be identified as an ad using a small, purple box and the word "Ad," and its related location on the map would be marked with a purple box.

Apparently, these ads will also be visible on desktop versions of Maps. The Google post says "Google Maps shows search ads in two places: within the search results list beneath the search box, and on the map. Ad locations appear on the map with a purple icon and business name.

If someone clicks the purple icon or your ad in the search box, your ad will expand to show details about your business. Your ad may also have a Directions button, so someone can easily get directions to your business."

Focus on mobile for Google

This reflects Google's clear focus on mobile. Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior VP-ads and commerce at Google, said this year is "all about mobile." Unlike previous years "of mobile," when people anticipated wide adoption, 2016 is about offering products to advertisers when that adoption has already happened, he said. "It's clear to all the advertisers that mobile is something that's already here," Ramaswamy said. "It is the mainstream."

"Trillions" of web searches happen every year, half of them on smartphones, he added. Nearly one-third of mobile searches on Google are related to location, according to Google, Google said, with location-related mobile searches growing 50% faster than all mobile searches.


Google really believes that we are in a world driven by 'micro moments'. Google has defined four key moments when we are online. When a need arises, consumers quickly turn to Search on, say a Google and a YouTube to find a resolution to that need. These needs arise when a consumer wants to know something, wants to go somewhere (on a holiday, to a restaurant, to a business location), wants to do something and wants to buy something. Simply put, these are the four basic need states that digital marketing needs to answer.

Read on 6 Ways to Be There in Today's Search Driven World

Read this if you want to know more about Search Marketing: Search Made Simple.

That's really quite a bit of opportunity right there with this new Google push, because Maps is something we all use – almost on a daily basis. That's good thinking, and that's the basics of good strategy. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.

Please add your point of view in Comments below, and please do share this with your friends and colleagues...

Winning Content Strategy: Always share something valuable and useful

5m to read / 

Content marketing, when done right, is about giving something away – for free – sharing something with your audience that is useful and valuable for them. That's how you create an experience that your target audience will enjoy, benefit from, and look forward for more.

Content is a leading element in 10 Digital Marketing Essentials to focus on in 2016. We all know that these days content is hugely valuable in our currency of marketing. How do you create a winning content plan for your brand? There are so many ways to use content to better market your products and services, to better connect to your target audiences, and engage consumers. Whichever way, whichever types of content you plan to create and share, remember that end-user value is critical.

As far as the types of content you can or should create, see Content Marketing Strategy: What kind of content should you create.

Overall, for your content strategy, read up on 6 ways to get Content Marketing done right.

No matter how you plan, and what you aim for, you'll need to keep in mind that  Customer Insights is your First Step in any form of Digital Marketing. This is particularly important for your content strategy. That's how you'll be able to work out what you need to 'give away' or share.

Content marketing is a long term effort

Content marketing isn't a quick play game. It takes time for a brand that uses content marketing to build trust and to be recognized as a source of useful, valuable, enjoyable and reliable information. You need to become a go-to brand for your audience and stay top of mind and in their focus on a continuum. In real life for example, remember how you walked into a Home Depot to buy a box of nails to hang some new pictures, and the guy took a good half an hour of his time to show you the best way to hang picture frames? And you ended up buying a $45 hammer because that's how he got his nails in perfect? Now think of content as that half an hour of show and tell of How To content.

Gain your audience's trust

Become a trusted, valued resource by giving away something. People like freebies. And I don't mean prizes and discounts (although discounts help somewhere along the conversion funnel). Giving something away means sharing content that is so useful to your audience that it really benefits them in their daily lives. That's beyond a price tag to that give away. And, that's what builds loyalty to your content, to your brand.

How and what to give away

Once you have audience and customer insights, you can plan on how you will add that value. Obviously, it will have to do with what your brand, your product, your service has to offer. For Coca Cola, it's built around their 'Open Happiness' theme. For Starbucks, it's not about their latte's but about the experience and those moments and how to get there, how to relax, how to, how to, what to... For Chevrolet, it's where you can go on a long drive, rather than fuel efficiency and horsepower. If you sell software, give away your 'mindware' – your knowledge.

If your company repairs iPhones, put out short form videos and how to tips on common problems, and how people can fix it themselves. Sure, they won't come to you for that fix, but you're building trust right there. Educate your audience – become a resource. Gain authority and trust. You also might post on your blog, or create Facebook videos on neat hacks and How-to use all the features of the latest iPhone. Share unboxings that reveal hidden features. That's how you build leverage for the future. That's how your relationship begins.

Make sure that when you create content that is useful, you make it shareable. When someone likes what you've given away, they will give it away as well. To their friends – and that's how your message, your brand gets around. Use all the right sharing tools for social. Empower your content for sharing the value you create.

Not just about your brand, you can code-share.

Useful, valuable content isn't necessarily built around just your brand or product. You should have the generosity of creating content that may involve other brands and bring your audience the benefit of a shared experience. In the airline industry it's called code-sharing. If you are Nutella, for example, your content could be about the Nutella with banana experience. Remember the Mentos and Diet Coke videos that went ape-viral? That was a shared content story. And Mentos got that totally right, Coke didn't.

If your brand is a hospital, your content shouldn't be just about what to do in an emergency, or who's the best surgeon at your hospital. Create content on wellness. Sounds like counter productive to your business goals? If you were thinking of some really advanced surgery, wouldn't you immediately think of the Mayo Clinic?

When you give, do not expect return. Or expect return right away. Content is not a QR code which someone redeems and you sell your product. Over time, you become a brand or a product that someone automatically should think of when they're looking for a genuine sellable solution that you can provide. Because over time, you've inched past being just another, to building a relationship by proving solutions every day. That's the pot at the end of the rainbow.

That's something fundamental to content. The value. The usefulness. And that's the basics. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.

Please add your comments below, and do share it with friends. People like value, after all...

Mobile Marketing: Native App or Responsive Website? Which one's right?

5m to read / 

Marketers today usually have to choose between developing a native app or a responsive website for their mobile marketing strategy. Here are the pros and cons of both to help you choose one, or go for both, depending on your strategic goals.

You don't need to rush and build a mobile app just because every one seems to be doing it. In most cases a mobile-ready site ("responsive" is ideal) will meet most requirements. Mobile apps in general, allow for more creativity, and better interaction with your target audience. Once you know, how your target audience or your customers use mobile to interact with your brand or any brand, you can decide whether you need a mobile-ready website, an app, or both. So start with point one: Insight.
In any form of digital marketing, consumer or customer insight is your first and most important step.

Mobile marketing basic: Native App or Responsive Website?

It's a basic decision: are you going to make your website or web presence 'mobile friendly' or 'mobile ready' or will you invest in developing a native mobile application? For 'mobile friendly' web content, you may choose a responsive website or a web app. For a native app, you'll need to develop a platform specific app (or apps across multiple platforms) that your audience will have to download from the app store.

Before you start, you need to make sure your mobile marketing fundamentals are done right. Here are 5 Simple Ways to get your Mobile Marketing Done Right.

Responsive and Adaptive websites

There are two types of mobile friendly websites: Responsive and Adaptive, and the Responsive option by far is the clear leader when it comes to which option most brands go for. A responsive website self-adapts or automatically adapts itself to the device it is being viewed on – from your web-tv at home to your smartphone. An adaptive website has pre-set sizes in which it is displayed. This gets complicated : if you plan to develop via adaptive web, you will have to develop for every screen size out there.

Image courtesy thenextweb.com

Responsive Website: The Pros and Cons

The first real advantages of developing a responsive website are both time and money. Compared to a native app, a responsive website involves a lot less effort and time, and naturally, costs a lot less.

The reason developing a responsive website requires less time and money is that just one development initiative allows your website to be viewed on most modern mobile browsers. Responsive web developers don’t need to adhere to any OS guidelines or permissions, as they are developing a website that isn’t distributed through the app stores.

Keep in mind however, that a responsive website has some limitations...

• An Internet Connection is a must for the responsive website to work. It pulls information directly from the browser, which means that your site won’t be available anytime, anywhere. This might disappoint your users and won’t be helpful for your business if your goal is to be found and be available in any context.

Intent is the new black in digital marketing. In-the-moment marketing is what's hot. This is absolutely critical to keep in mind, when you are developing a strategy. Will your decision between app vs responsive web answer to this important factor? An app may be better as an option here.

• Responsive doesn't always feel native or natural. The look and feel of the website is different because UI and UX conventions for iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and other operating systems are different. User expectations and navigation habits are different as well. Building a presence that is going to be the same for each OS and the web, often does not feel natural and native to users on individual OS platforms.

• Performance issues often arise with a common responsive site that works across desktops and mobiles. Depending on how the site is designed and developed, some aspects like larger images, animation, long form content, specially videos etc behave differently across desktop and mobile. Heavy content also causes a lot of data consumption, and slower downloads on mobile.

• Notifications and functionality are also problems with responsive. Push notifications are a immediately visible and extremely effective way to attract the user’s attention. They can only be used in mobile apps and will not work via responsive web. Functionality wise, your responsive website can’t access phone functions outside of the browser like the camera or calendar or say, a contact list. These limit both performance and creativity in the design of its functions. Technologies like QR codes, voice recognition, and augmented reality can’t be used with responsive web on mobile devices.  These need a native app to work.

Native Apps : Pros and Cons

Right off the bat, from an audience experience point of view, native apps are better off. Native apps are usually more expensive because developers create a unique design and code for each OS – iOS, Android etc. There are different approval processes that each OS requires, which often takes a lot of time. But, generally, when it comes to quality, speed, and ways of utilising capabilities of the smartphone – the native app comes out stronger.

• Internet connection is not always needed. Native app users don't always need an internet connection. After the app is downloaded, it is stored on their device, which means they can access it on the go, anytime, anywhere. That's the best part about mobile. And native apps deliver here.

• Performance and Functionality is better on a native app. Elements in a native app are designed specifically for mobile – so issues like load time, large file downloads, huge images etc are no issues because apps load faster and provide a better in-depth experience.

An app has access to all of the mobile device’s functions because the app is installed on it and works in tandem with other native tools on the device. A native app is also more secure. When users connect with your brand on a native app, they are't exposed to all the security issues and trackers on the web.

• Your brand is right there – and access is easy. Your brand, product or service will always be there with an app on your user's device. A responsive website is a 'pull' action – one has to go and find it, and access it via a browser. Once your app is downloaded, your presence will be on their screens and if you got your app strategy right, on top of mind – every time they use their smartphone.

Yes, native app development cost more time and money that a one-off responsive website, but there are many advantages to the app option as highlighted above.

Understand Mobile and App Marketing Strategy Essentials first before you jump into a decision between native app or responsive web.

I've been in several client meetings where I am asked which one's right. There is no short, quick, easy answer. Often brands do both, and sure, if you've got the time, the effort and the money, that's the best way to go. Do both. That's the basics of mobile. That's the fundamentals of digital marketing strategies 101.

If I missed something, please add in your comments. And please do share this information by using the social buttons below. Thanks.

Setting Social Media Goals and Tracking Success Made Simple

5m to read / 

One of the key elements of social media marketing is setting goals and tracking how you succeed at achieving them. It isn't difficult, but it needs a well planned approach and it needs a structure. Here we see how to simplify social media goal setting and tracking success, and what are the metrics you should be looking at.

Before you start with social media goal setting, you'll need to have a clear understanding of your target audience. Actually, whether you are using the power of social, or Search, or online advertising, you'll need to get a compass about your customer, your target audience. Remember that Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing.

Outline your main SMART goal

Remember that, like any goals you set for yourself – or your brand – they should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). Which means you need to have some sort of a social media map with the right metrics to track your goals. Your first step is to outline your target audience's Customer Journey, and to do that you need to first clearly outline your main goal. Do you want to create brand awareness? Increase sales?  Generate leads? Build a great reputation? Use social for customer service? Then you'll know what you want to achieve across the journey.

The Customer Journey and Objectives

Your objective is towards moving your audience through the main steps of the journey. Simply, in marketing terms this was the AIDA model (Awareness, Intent, Desire, Action). But today, with social media we have more.

Today we move from Awareness to Consideration, where you start with simply creating awareness about your brand or product. Then you want to generate demand where the audience moves from Awareness to Consideration where there is some sort of intent to engage with your brand and intend to buy the product or service you have. You need to move then to the Decision stage – where you convert consumers to customers. Your customers then move to the Adoption stage where you delight your customers with the experience. This is where you create positive impact so that your customers become loyal to your brand, and become fans, supporters – they move to the Advocacy stage where they inspire others about your brand and product or service.

Social Media Strategy Actions and KPI's through the funnel

Across the above stages in your customer journey, it's critical that you keep your brand ears open. You really have to listen out for what's being said about your brand, your competition, your vertical, the industry and more. That's how you plan what actions in social you'll take. The importance of listening in social media, and how to get it right.

Awareness: Expose your audience to brand content, related content, topics of interest that engages them, and where you become a trusted source of information. You do this via posts across your channels, boosted or promoted posts and content that is of interest to the audience at this stage. Here your KPI's are impressions and reach. How far did your tweet travel, for example? (check out this simple tool TweetReach here, I find it hugely useful).

Consideration: At this stage you'll want to engage the audience with brand content, with posts and responses to queries, listening out for what's being said, asked, discussed about the 'solutions' that your product can provide for example. Engagement is the keyword here, and your KPI's will include tracking the number of engagements and the types of engagement. Track visitors to your website, or the page where you wanted them to land on.

Decision: Now you want to push towards a positive decision about your main goal, whatever that you've set out to achieve. Here you'll post directly about the benefits of your brand or product, and you'll be aiming for conversion from consumer to customer. Your posts may include special offers, promotional content and testimonials that help drive conversion. Your KPI here is to track how many click throughs you get through to where they will purchase – and that's usually your website, your e-commerce page, your 'sales vehicle.

Adoption: Here you shift focus towards customer care and user satisfaction. This stage is very important. You cannot stop at just selling. Your responses, your sharing of the success is important here. At this stage social becomes very one-to-one. Your KPI's are positive earned mentions, how you respond to the negative ones, your response times, how much you respond and how effectively you handle your "customer". Improve your social media engagement. Move from Selling to building Relationships

Advocacy: At this stage, once you have a delighted and satisfied customer, your posts should inspire evangelism. Your posts encourage User Generated Content. Your posts asks for testimonials, for shares and reshares. Your KPI's here are earned impressions, earned reach (from your advocate customers doing social for you), and your social content that's being generated and shared by your customers (UGC). You can use influencer strategy and use the power of the positive word of mouth.

Other important goals for social media

Across these stages, you'll need to mix up your strategic action points – there will always be people across all the stages, so you can't put  a timeline to your type of action or post strategy. Unless you have a well spread out audience, you will find it difficult to achieve your goals. Brands need  good following to succeed on social. Here are • 11 simple ways for brands to build better following on social media.

Setting goals is a good place to start, and tracking what you achieve is important. Your social media strategy should also include a well planned decision on how often you should post:
• Social Media Frequency 2016: How often should you post.

Also, you need to have a channel strategy. You can't be everything for every one on every platform. Read about • Choosing the right social media channels for your brand.  You'll need to track your performance on each channel you have, and make sure that your content is sensitive to the platform your brand is on. 6 ways to get Content Marketing done right

Finally, social media today is all about content. Have a good content strategy planned out, but don't let goals come in the way of great content.  Is your editorial calendar holding you back from inspired content?

That's the basics on how to go about preparing a simple social media goal plan, and how to efficiently track your success. That's simple, and that's Digital Marketing 101.

15 Kinds of Advertising, Marketing, Media or Specialized Agencies

9m to read / 

What kind of agency is right for your brand? With at least 15 different types of agency models, it is important to know who does what.

The advertising, marketing and media agency and service scenario in our connected world today has evolved over the years. From a large behemoth ad agency model to various specializations today, the industry is being fragmented in certain segments and integrated in others. What type of agency or service will you need depends on the spectrum of work or assignment you need a solution for. Here are agency models both globally, and here in the Middle East region that are taking shape based on demand or market dynamics.

Here's How to Select an Agency or Consultant for your Digital Marketing... But beyond that, read about the 15 different kinds oaf agency models out there today.

1. The Full Service Advertising Agency

has been around forever. Large advertising and marketing agencies have always held sway in the region, but lately many of them have developed or grown into large networks, diversifying their services into segments and narrow niches. In the Middle East, for example, the ad agency is synonymous with tv advertising, and there are those who dominate this most used form. Even with media agencies splitting out into their own, it has been tv that is the main focus of the larger agencies.

Today, of course advertising agencies offer a wide spectrum of services including what we call 'through-the-line' advertising services such as tv, print, radio, online, PR, digital and online – but many chose to offer these divergent services under separate banners – mostly clubbed together under a 'network' or holding company banner. Most of the well recognized names in this category are part of larger international agency brands or networks, although here in the Middle East there are a few regional independents that have made their mark as well. Advertising agencies typically offer complete advertising solutions – from strategic planning through to execution of ads across various media.

2. Media Planning and Buying Agencies

basically offer the where, why and when of ad or message placement. They offer services such as strategic media planning, research and consumer insights, planning for reaching target audiences and buying space (the where aspect) on behalf of clients. Their main strength today in the region is media buying, because here in the Middle East, they are typically more adept at buying the space (in print, on tv, radio, outdoor, in social, in online etc) and offer better rates to clients based on negotiations with media suppliers.

Today media agencies are increasingly delivering creative services. This is because, typically, it is the media agency that is sitting on a lot of useful data, and they are already using it for their programmatic approach to advertising, and they are the first ones to have realised that 'programmatic buying' coupled with data-driven creative can deliver more effective digital advertising campaigns. Read here about how media agencies are doing creative.

3. PR Agencies

today are a lot more than just press releases and media relations. Today, the PR agency is a valuable ally in the Middle East marketing scenario, with several large and small PR agencies evolving and offering far more than what we knew as traditional PR. PR agencies were known for news announcements, article writing and placement, and organizing press conferences or events.

Today, PR agencies offer crisis management, thin-slice specializations by market segment, B2B communications, B2G (Business to Government relation managing) and as well G2C (an important aspect – Government to Consumer or even G2B – Government to Business communications). And, of course, many believe that social media and community managing, engaging the consumer on behalf of the brand is also a PR challenge. Middle East PR agencies offer solutions including product launches, event management, social media solutions and often are being called on to deliver SEO solutions as well. Globally, PR agencies are claiming the social media turf, and some of the best social media solutions are being delivered by PR agencies.

4. Digital, Interactive and Online Marketing Agencies

are really the new evolving must-have partnerships in the region. These agencies were typically founded to offer website development solutions but have grown their offering spectrum to include website content, analytics, social media including content management and community management, online advertising specializations including on-social ads, some levels of online media planning, SEO and SEM services, app development, gaming and advergaming and more.

With the rapid proliferation of technology driven changes, better bandwidth, smarter smartphones, this is a agency model that's here to stay and make its mark. Some agencies, like the globally renowned RG/A call themselves 'Agencies for the Digital Age' rather than Digital Agencies – meaning their offering is wide spectrum and dependent on what today's consumer is demanding from brands...

5. Promotional and Marketing Services Agencies

have an important role in the Middle East market place. These offer services in retail and packaged-goods environments with specialized activities including advertising, in-store, couponing, contests, loyalty driven incentives. While many large ad agencies offer these services as well, smaller specialized agencies often steal the show because their pricing models set them ahead of the game. Marketing Services agencies are actually wider in scope than 'Promotional' agencies – and a wide spectrum marketing agency is capable of offering through-the-line advertising, branding, photography, design, printing, collateral material services etc.

6. Branding and Identity Agencies

are specialized in developing a brand's identity and all collateral communication devices needed to establish the brand. The develop services including brand naming, logo development, packaging, stationery, retail and store design, signage, environmental design and more – and often do the preliminary work in establishing a brand's look and feel in advertising, online presence such as websites and social media, annual reports and publication design.

7. Design Agencies & Creative Boutiques

are typically smaller boutiques that offer specialized services in designing collaterals and/or specialized design challenges such as annual reports, event signage, tickets, website look and feel and more. While they can and often end up creating advertising communications, these agencies are typically geared to offer design only services rather than end-to-end solutions. There are also unique creative boutiques, who simply work on developing the creative output for brands, rather than the whole gamut of advertising services.

8. Social Media Agencies

in the Middle East aren't new any more, and several have already made their mark. This is a fast growth track agency model as increasingly brands are shifting budgets to social media. Social media marketing in the region is growing fast, and services offered by these specialized agencies include managing a brand's presence on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and other platforms. Social media agencies design and develop a brand's content strategy, their look and feel across various platforms, manage communities and engagement and often also offer services in social search, connected shopping, blogging, content management and more.

Even within this group, there are hyper-specialized agencies cropping up. Small social agencies often specialize, say, only on Facebook marketing. Or are experts on YouTube content. In the US market today, we see a couple of 'Snapchat specialized' agencies – who work on creating brand Snapchat Stories and helping build snapchat audiences for brands.

9. Search Marketing Agencies

Search Marketing agencies usually offer both SEO and SEM services. They work closely with clients' brands to develop a PPC strategy for Search (see Search Marketing explained here). Search Marketing has really evolved over the years, and today, there are some Search specialist agencies who only deliver Mobile Search consults. Most brands often reach out to their digital agencies, for SEO solutions, because they find it hard to commit to optimizing their owned media themselves. Here's how to bullet proof your SEO.

10. Specialized Agencies

are agency models that either offer solutions based on segment or offering specialization. Today specializations include Direct Marketing and CRM & Loyalty (used to be a standalone important segment earlier), Analytics and Insights, Merchandizing, Real Time Bidding, Data Mining, Video Marketing (there's an unique YouTube marketing agency, believe me) etc.  There are Content Marketing agencies. Here's how to get Content Marketing done right. CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) agencies. The list today, because of the way digital marketing has exploded goes on and on.

Specializations also include very narrow dedicated agency specializations like Commonwealth that is an agency that only serves one brand – Chevrolet – globally, or likeMcCann Health that is dedicated to the healthcare sector. Unique specialized agencies are carving out their own niche in the Middle East market and many brands are finding their specialized services unavailable with their larger mainstream or media agency partners. There are a new breed of UX focused agencies – geared to provide User Experience and Performance marketing solutions including UX and UI – again a demand driven offering that's here to stay.

11. Retail focused Agencies

Retail advertising agencies work for companies that market their products through retailers or distributors directly. They have creative and production teams that are capable of dealing with the development of detailed price-based advertising and can cope with frequent last minute changes to content. Retail agencies also develop and manage cooperative advertising programs that local branches of retail or distributor groups run in their own territories.

12. Financial Advertising Agencies

Financial advertising agencies are specialized service provisers for banks,financial services companies, insurance companies, IPO initiatives – and for company investor relations departments. Agencies that advertise financial services products operate in a tightly regulated market, so their ads must comply with the current legislation – and these agencies are well known in the US market. They also provide a service to investor relations departments, advertising share offers or communicating financial results. Although full service agencies often 

13. Recruitment Advertising Agencies

Recruitment specialized advertising agencies advertise job vacancies, and creative and media planning services for this specific vertical. Some specialize in senior management positions or temporary staff, others may focus on sectors such as jobs in accounting, IT, banking, specific industry sectors (like Oil & Gas) etc. 

14. In-House Agencies

These are advertising, creative, and even media services specializations that are set up within the brand's or company's marketing structure. These usually are like full service agencies except that they work only for a specific company's marketing effort. Bigger businesses often prefer having in-house agencies which are in built and work only for them, and which usually work out to be far more cost effective for them.

15. Can Do Agencies

are small-to-medium sized agencies that are incredibly nimble and can provide any of the above depending on how, where, and why you ask them. In this region, one outstanding example is Xische & Co who according to their website "combine management consulting, design thinking and technology to solve modern-day business challenges. This could mean building a business strategy, board-level advisory or financial modeling". These are not small shops that claim to do anything and everything. They are simply agile and nimble enough to be able to deliver.

Often based on a 'need-to-staff' insourcing talent from a wide pool of freelances as needed, these agencies are able to quickly turnaround their services and offering model to be able to bespoke themselves to need. They are extremely adept, often far less expensive, and most often very attentive to a brand's ask. Thus, this model is actually hyper-specialized because it's need or demand based and can form a model quickly and efficiently as needed. Some of these call themselves 'hybrid consultants', some call themselves 'idea consultants' and some 'integrated' and 'end-to-end'.

Whichever way the wind blows, both the two emerging trends are fighting tooth and nail. One is for the large agency model offering total integration and end to end solutions – sometimes as one or sometimes as a network. The other is for thin-slice specialization. And, there's rather little room in the middle. MCN (Middle East Communications Network), the group that I work for, is part of the Interpublic Group, and has 14 different kinds of agencies in The Middle East region under its umbrella.

That's the spectrum of advertising and marketing agencies. That's the basics. That's Marketing Strategy 101.

Content Marketing Strategy: What kind of content should you create?

5m to read / 

Content marketing is today an essential weapon in your digital marketing arsenal. How do you create a winning content plan for your brand? There are so many ways to use content to better market your products and services, to better connect to your target audiences, and engage consumers. But let's look at some of the essential elements, and the types of content that resonates with your target audience and your customers.

Start with having a clear content goal. Research your content plan ahead of time to meet these goals. And your content should really be focused on what your customer, your target audience is looking for. You also need to select the right content channels where your audience will best engage with it. And, remember, great content isn't at all about selling, but about an experience. Today, we'll look at the types of content that a brand should focus on. And overall, here's more details on 6 Ways to get your Content Marketing done Right.

Purpose of Content Marketing

Ideally, any content you create as a brand should be able to attract your target audience. That's the opening position. You need to come across as someone who's there with the right information for what they're looking for, and that you are the authority on that information, that topic. Your content needs to engage and build a sense of 'need' – that's how you build affinity or loyalty to your content. Finally, a brand's content after all, isn't there for charity. You want your audience to take some sort of action – to buy your product, to share your content, to believe in your brand. You need to drive towards that end game.

Content usually responds to a need. Your content should be there as a solution, as a response to that need. Your content needs to be there in our search driven world.  Before you set out on developing a content calendar or create a content strategy, you need to have a grasp on what your audience expects from you as a brand. A good content plan is built around the customer, the audience you want to talk to, and getting proper insights about your customer, the consumer, their needs is what should be your first and fundamental step.

Once you have the basic insights on your audience and have developed a framework of the general direction of the content you will create, you'll have to accept that one size does not fit all. You need to create different kinds of content for different types of your audience – and for a brand, it's across the various stages of your audience's customer journey. Your content should ideally fall into the following three categories...

What Is ? Who Is, Where Is

What Is type of content informs, educates and entertains the audience. It is like an introduction to your brand's products or services – or even the industry. Use this type of content to establish both your position of being the authority (the best there is in that category, for example), and trust. At any level, you must provide value with content, and this is basic value.

Often this type of 'What Is' content is aimed at the primary level of audiences across the customer journey. It's called beginner level content. Here you set up a platform for more advanced level content. You set the tone, the groundwork. You can define this type of content by creating material dependent on what's being said in social media, what's being discussed, referenced, asked about. Social listening is key to this type of content.

What Is, Who Is, Where Is types of content:
• What is mobile marketing
• What is an algorithm?
• What is newsjacking?
• Who is a good neurosurgeon in Los Angeles
• Where is the nearest hospital in North London?
• Search made Simple: Understanding SEO and SEM in 2016

How do I,  Where do I, Who do I

How do I type of content is your next tier of information. Here you are not just providing a context, but you are creating content that delivers a higher level of value. Information here is insight. The level of interest from the audience is higher here, they want to know a bit more. They want to be involved, and be engaged. Create content that answers to this need. Essentially, they want to know about how to use what they are learning from your content. This is also called 'intermediate content' or action driving content.

How do I, Where do I, Who do I types of content:
• How to use the power of mobile for your brand
• How do I use simple algorithms for my decision making?
• How does a brand use 'newsjacking' in social media?
• Who do I need to refer a neurosurgeon? How does my GP decide?
• How do you choose a good hospital for your family?
• Where do I go to get leather handbags repaired?
Understand and use the Power of Multiscreen Marketing Strategy today

How do I improve, where can I get better at, what do I need to do to 

This is your advanced engagement, deeper insight, higher value content. Usually your audience now sees you as a reliable source of information, a dependable go-to source for content created around the topic that you create content on. Here your audience wants to absorb your content to be good at something, to improve what they've already learnt, and to be the best at what they're doing. Here you partner in that journey by providing deeper insights, facts, figures, tips, and hold their hands through their journey. From a business perspective, if you create content in this area, and have unique resolutions to their needs that only your brand or product can offer, you're on a win-win.

How do I improve, where can I get better at, what do I need to do to content:
• 5 Ways to improve your mobile marketing strategy today
• Use 'newsjacking' to stand out in the social crowd
• How to prepare so that your spinal fusion surgery is a success
• Recover faster from a hangover with these simple steps
• Bring back the shine to your leather handbag at home
7 Things you need to bullet proof your SEO

When you start planning your content strategy, make sure that you deliver across all three of the above, otherwise your audience narrows down. The three buckets mentioned take you from setting a context for the beginner level all the way to completion and achievement for the highest level of the content hungry audience.

Remember, content in any of the above buckets can be via a blog post, a video you create for your brand YouTube channel, a simple Facebook post, or even a tweet. No matter which platform you chose to create your content for, remember the context of it. Content for Facebook is very different from content for Instagram. A blog needs carefully crafted writing skills. A video has to be quality – both from a content and a format (quality of the resolution, delivery etc) point of view.

That's the basics of what types of content you should create. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.