How to get a break at 'digital' jobs at agencies and brands

how to get a digital job at agencies and brands

6m to read / 

There are an increasing amount of job openings for 'digital' positions at agencies and brands these days. How do you get a break at these 'digital' jobs? How do you get hired for these "digital" jobs? How do you move up the ladder?

What do you want to do, really?

What do you want to do in 'digital' at an agency? The first step is to have an idea of what you want to do in the 'digital' world at an agency? There are plenty of jobs across the whole digital spectrum and they may be in advertising, media, social media or PR. They may be in the creative area, in strategy, in media planning and buying for the digital age, in content creation and distribution, or in digital design and development. There are specializations and jobs in social media, in influencer marketing, in usability, performance marketing, in data and research, in Search (SEO, particularly), online marketing, mobile marketing (both mobile advertising and.or apps etc).

New jobs and titles opening up

There are now job titles and job openings every day. Some are new and unique and are reflective of the ever changing world of digital marketing. We used to have creative directors who did a bit of digital. We used to have digital specialists like coders and app creators. Today we have 'creative technologists'! In social media, we had community managers and strategists. Today we look for 'social insight managers' and in media we hunt down data miners and information engineers.

What kind of agency do you want to work for?

What kind of an agency do you really want to work for? Today there are several kinds of agencies that offer digital services – and are looking for digital people. They may be 'pure-play' digital agencies (only do digital such as online and mobile design and development and production) or 'hybrids' (do both offline and online). Pure-play agencies are often drilled down depending on their specializations – web design, web development and coding, SEO/SEM, mobile, UX, and social media.

I must mention here that while mainstream or brand agencies are heavily into social media these days, and offer services across all of social, there are specialized social media agencies as well. Two big agency models are 'mainstream advertising agencies and media agencies (here's what a media agency does). And, today, the lines are blurring, and media agencies, because of their huge bank of data and insights are also doing creative. That, is a whole new window of opportunity.

Of course, you'll hear a lot about "going back to the old days model" – which is really about how some agencies are fully integrated or 360°– and offer across the spectrum. Take a look at some of the jobs listed by MCN (Middle East Communications Network) – one of the largest advertising, media, PR and specialized communications agencies groups in the Middle East. You'll get a drift of some of the jobs that are on offer in digital at their different agencies.

Start with research

Research the job you have in mind. Research everything you can about the agency where you're thinking of applying. What do they do? Who are their clients? What are their real specializations? What's required of the role? Where do they have offices? Are they a local agency or regional? Or part of a global network.

All of this insight will help you not only get a foot in, but once in, that will give you an idea of how much 'ladder' there is, and how to climb that. What's most important is to try and figure out about their 'digital' capabilities – and their digital clients. What kind of work do they do in digital?

Your research should give you enough information to create a great first impression at an interview. Or even before that, it gives you all the word power you need to make your application cover letter effective and as well 'customize' your resum̩. What's the culture of the agency? What's the usual dress code? Which accounts did they win, or lose? You'll have to dig far deeper than just the company website to get proper insights Рso work hard on social media.

Identify specializations

The key is identifying your specialization in digital. Some jobs in agencies require specialized skills. Some specialized agencies today offer unique services in UX, usability and CRO – and needs certified skills at top levels.

You'll need a broad base understanding of digital first, and then a deeper knowledge of the specialization you are interested in. You won't be coding programs or building full websites as a digital agency person, but you will need to work with developers and designers or other web specialists to communicate your marketing design needs.

A basic knowledge of how the web works, HTML, and one or two programming languages, such as PHP, JavaScript, CSS and Ruby, will help you understand the current boundaries and opportunities that will affect your marketing campaigns. And of course, today, the basics of social media and Search.

Link with your contacts

Linked-in is a great place to start. Not only do agencies have career pages on LinkedIn, but you'll get a whole lot of insight on the agency, the people there from LinkedIn. Check to see if your contact bases across social media are somehow connected to the agency you want to apply to, and leverage that. Call people you know who may be able to offer you a tip on the job, the agency, the people you may be interviewed by. And, it's not just LinkedIn, look across all other social platforms. Both Facebook and Twitter are amazing sources of information.

Get your CV and your portfolio perfect

When you want to move to an agency, your CV and portfolio needs to be top notch. In the old days, the creative folks would have a 'bag' (a large flat black case with their creative work filed in clear acetate covers).

These days, for digital, you'll need all your work on your laptop, or uploaded on to a website. In fact, the website is much better to show off your work, because the link always stays with the agency team, they can look at it, share it, and decide later. You don't necessarily need to have your own domain and owned website (that is a plus, though), because there are so many free online portfolio sharing options.

About your CV: customize it for each job, each agency. Make it look like you want that particular position at that particular agency. Keep your CV short, and to the point. But do be specific and ensure that it addresses what that digital position might require from both experience and expertise perspectives.

Spellcheck. Double spell check. Grammar check. Remember, if you're emailing, get your subject line to work for you. Brands and agencies know the importance of the email subject line. So should you.

Know your digital

Research your topic. Digital is constantly changing, evolving, and you need to be absolutely up to date with the latest trends, industry news, technology, consumer behavior and more. There's so much information available, that going in uninformed these days is stupid, really. If you are applying for a job in social media and you don't know anything about Snapchat. Stop. Learn. Stay tuned with digital focused portals like Mashable, Wireddigitaltrends, MediaPost, The Verge, etc.

Your interview, your cover letter, what you say across the table are all reflections of how much you really know about digital in general, and about the specialization you want to be in. It's key that you don't come across as shallow and that your information is out of date. Be on trend.

Be Digital

Ask questions, follow up, persist. Digitally. Ask questions that are relevant at the interview. Ask digital centric questions, that, somehow reflect both your interest in the field, in the niche you want to be in, in the agency and the position. Not about how much sick leave you'll get.

Follow up your interview with a thank-you email, again be specific, make it personal, and relevant to why you should be hired. If there's an interesting development in digital, mention it. If you haven't heard back, persist, but don't be annoying. Showing up at the agency reception is not a good idea – sending a quick email with a relevant bit of add-on value (digital info, perhaps) is better.

Play the part. Be 'digital' 24/7Not just at the interview, not just for your job hunt, you need to play the digital part 24/7. Be aware of what's going on. Attend conferences. Show up at tech fairs. Subscribe to digital newsletters and updates. You don't need to be a geek, but you need to have digital at the heart of everything you do.

Agencies today often search on LinkedIn and other social media for digital candidates. Be findable. Be visible. Be digitally eloquent across your social presence. Make sure you are passionate, without faking it. Speak the language.

I just want to say, from what I know because of where I work and what I do, that today, there are more digital job openings than proper qualified candidates. And don't forget that this whole post applies to digital jobs at brands these days as well.

MUST READ : List of Digital Roles at Agencies

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101.

Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today...

If you want to add to this, or feel I've missed something that's basic, please add your bit in comments. 

Dump your social media content calendar and go with inspired content

dump your social media content calendar

3m to read / 

A lot of brands and agencies are locked in to what content they publish on social media by what's on their social media content or editorial calendar. Perhaps it is a good idea to dump your social media content calendar.

This is a safety net that can well be put aside and used simply for planning content for major events and occasions. It's much better to rely on everyday content that's inspired and in-the-moment.

One of the most awkward moments I have experienced at some of our agencies is when I pass by a social media strategist or community manager staring disdainfully at a near blank calendar screen desperately praying that somehow, someone will inspire them to fill in those blanks. A social media editorial or content calendar is often a way to demotivate and deter from inspired content because it is a bunch of blanks on a spreadsheet or a calendar rather than a bunch of great ideas.

Earlier, I wrote a post on 6 ways to get content marketing right.

Yes, I did say you need to plan ahead, you need to have done your homework, your research, but I did not say that you really need to have cool content planned for National Dairy Farmers Day. Unless of course, you are the dairy that supplies Ben and Jerry's.

I am not really saying that you should dump your content calendar completely. It is useful as a tool to plan ahead for what you are going to publish that would meet your overall brand goals, gathering inputs from departments, project managing and having a disciplined approach. But when it boxes you in and stamps out room for inspiration, leaves little room for the here and now, being opportunistic and igniting sparks of creativity, it does more harm than good. Dump that social media content calendar, perhaps.

A brand's true content goal is engagement, but if the content is derived from filling in boxes on a spreadsheet, there's little value in that. Where's the right time, right audience factor in a spreadsheet filled in months in advance?

YOU SHOULD: Transform your digital marketing by Being 'Right There, Right Then'. And a pre-set content plan that's rigid and safe, and pre-approved does not allow you to be there in the moment.

social media content calendar

Good content starts with good ideas and great insight. Today, insight is a must have, and we have no excuses, because there's so much data out there, that if we fail to utilize the power of information, we are not going to be able to engage consumers and deliver on what they want. A calendar delivers (usually) on what the brand manager may want, or what the marketing manager's agenda is. That? Ditch that.

A MUST READ ON HOW: Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

Insight leads to inspiration. What does your audience really want from you? What's going to resonate with them? What's hot with them now, today? And you know that two months ahead of time? Sure, you can plan ahead for New Years and Ramadan, but how are you going to react when the new iPhone launches and no one gives a hoot? Where's the room for newsrooming then? Imagine going on a date and planning your conversation a month in advance. Sure, you need to say all the right things, but you can't get them at hello if that hello is hollow.

REMEMBER THAT: Intent is the new black in digital marketing. In-the-moment marketing is what's hot.

Compelling content adds value. It is on trend. It is contextually relevant, not just to the channel and the medium, but more importantly to what is the surrounding context at that time. And, a editorial calendar stunts that a bit. Imagine if your online newsfeed was planned way ahead by someone filling in "June" in"March" on a Google calendar. Isn't your social, in many ways like a news feed?

READ ABOUT: How to Make your Social Media Rock Solid by Listening and Acting Quickly

Let consumers, customers, the competition inspire you every day. Track what they're doing now, research live what they're talking about, and deliver content that grows and glows around that. Be in the moment, not on an Excel sheet. Don't let blank boxes kill inspiration. So? Dump that social media content calendar, perhaps. Go with inspired content.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101.

Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

8 Cool Lessons Brands can Learn from Pokemon Go

8 lessons for brands from Pokemon Go

3m to read / 

Pokemon Go is a worldwide phenomenon. The success of the Pokemon Go app is a multi-point lesson for brands in our new mobile empowered age. Here are some things every brand can learn from Pokemon Go.

Average users of Pokemon Go are spending twice as much of time engaged than with other mobile apps like Snapchat. The AR (augmented reality) mobile-only game has pushed the boundaries of the traditional app user experience. Brands today can apply the same principles to create engaging apps that instantly resonate with their target audience.

What is Pokemon Go

It is the biggest mobile game ever. The object of the game is to walk around the real world to find and ‘catch’ Pokemon on your phone. Through the use of GPS technology, the player can see digital Pokemons in their surrounding area, walk up to the creature, and use the camera on their smartphone (which overlays the Pokemon on the real world) to capture it.

Here are some points to learn for brands from Pokemon Go:

1. Mobile only, mobile first of course

Pokemon Go is mobile only. It is made for an authentic mobile experience and not re-purposed from a console or computer game. The creators thought mobile first, and made it mobile centric for today's mobile focused consumer.

2. Use native functionality of the device

Apps today need to utilize and maximize the native functionality of the device to enrich and enhance the user experience.  Pokemon GO uses GPS technology and the smartphone’s camera to create a contextual user experience that’s only possible through a mobile app. Using a mobile's built in capabilities simplify but enhance the experience. You can use code scanners, camera, GPS, beacon-triggers, voice and more.

3. Focus on the consumer

Pokemon Go is totally consumer focused. It is simple and revolves around a need for the consumer to be entertained and engaged at the same time. This is based on insight. It resolves a need and delivers a hugely entertaining solution.

READ HOW: Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

4. Make it interactive

Pokemon Go augmented reality (AR) to reinvent an old popular game for a modern user experience. Pokemon GO is able to create interactive experiences that keep users engaged via the device's capabilities. Users are spending more minutes per day in Pokemon GO than in other popular mobile apps like Facebook – it is the interactivity, user involvement and entertainment that makes it huge.

Unlike VR, augmented reality doesn’t require expensive hardware – so brands can make use of the device already in the hands of all their customers. And make it totally interactive and immersive. That's what makes it a stand out app.

5. Make it emotional

There's both a historic and in-the-now emotional connection with the Pokemon Go app. An emotional connection is critical to the success of any campaign for brands, and Pokemon Go has been around for 20 years and has huge connections with its fans. Plus the lovable little creatures on the app, the power of gamification, the motional reward of the capture all add to the connections.

6. Make it Social

Pokemon Go is social both inherently and as well it has a huge social bearing physically. It is bringing people together in the physical world where they bond over a common interest. It is an open world and often collabortaive as people instantly share their exploits and wins. It is bringing people together in the real world – something that most 'digital' experiences lack. It is perfect as sharing material for social networks.

7. Make it Visible

The key to success for any app is high visibility and talkability. Groups of people hunting Pokemon, eyes glued to their phones. They are highly visible and obvious because they are disrupting the normal course of life – in an interesting way. This is arousing both curiosity and interest, prompting non Pokemon folks to to find out more, read about it, ask about it – all exponentially increasing awareness.

And the biggest contributor to extreme 'virality' is that it is grabbing the headlines on social networks and the daily news.

8. Make it Shareable

Pokemon Go is a social media phenomenon because users are sharing their experiences. There have been more than 6 million Twitter mentions in less than a week since launch. Users are sharing on their social networks their experiences on the app as the little creatures pop up in unexpected places. They are being both competitive as well as generous with hints and how-tos. That 's Pokemon's huge social win.

Pokemon Go is compelling, engaging and immersive as an experience. The app uses real world video (via the camera) and combines it with a fascinating and interactive AR layer. This is storytelling in a whole new way. And that's a great lesson for every brand out there.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

Now read this:

How to create a winning mobile App for your Brand

10 Critical Elements you must get right for Mobile Marketing Success

How to select the right Social Media platforms for your brand

select the right social media platforms for your brand

3m to read / 

You can't be everything for everybody on social media. Here's how to select the best social media channels for your brand.

Who makes the decision on which social media channel your brand or business should be on? Should you just jump on every new platform that comes your way? How does your agency (if you have one) help decide? Is your brand really relevant across all the channels you are on? Deciding on a social media channel mix isn't complicated if you follow some basic guidelines.

It's not just about resources, it is about how your brand aligns with each channel. It is about how your brand fits in to the ecosystem of the channel or platform, and then ensuring that your content resonates well within those parameters. There's no point trying too hard. You'll need some kind of audience segmentation strategy in place.

Who's on the channel?

Look at each channel's profile. Who's on there? What do the current users look like? Does the user profile fit your brand's target audience profile? If your targets or your customers are not using that channel, that's a first starting point – don't bother. If users of that amazing new platform are teens and your brand deals in retirement homes, that's an obvious no starter, a no brainer.

The other thing to look at is does the channel user profile aligns with the type of audience that will not only engage with your content, but also amplify it. Isn't that the basics of social? Start with user demographics for each channel that you want to be on, or are already on – and see if there's a fit. You'll need two things here – your target customer or current customer profile, and the channel user profile. These need to align closely.

READ ON Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

What kind of brands are on the channel? What does well?

That's important. Are your competitors on the channel you want to jump on? What – from a content perspective does well? Are you a visually expressive brand – well, Instagram and Pinterest sound good. Are their great stories around your brand told in video? YouTube then. You need to see what kind of content is doing well on that particular platform already. Your brand should be able to produce and engage with the type of content that does well on that platform. You cannot suddenly create a whole new type of content for a new channel that just doesn't align with your "brand speak"(the way you express, and as well, what you express).

Will your content resonate? Will it engage?

Once you know who is on the channel, and what type of content does well on that specific channel, you'll need an honest assessment of whether your type of content really fits in. A lot of brands simply either use the same content across multiple channels they are on simply by tweaking creative formats, or try and lamely re-purpose them. That just doesn't work any more.

Different channels have different audiences that will resonate to individualized, customized content that specifically speaks to them in the language of the platform – in ways they are used to.

If you are unable to produce relevant, resonating content because there's just no fit, or you think you'll find adapting to that new platform difficult for your brands message – stop. And you need to make sure that by opening up your brand on yet another new channel, you aren't hoping to plug in boxes on a new column in your editorial calendar. That's lame.

READ ON Improve your social media engagement. Move from Selling to building Relationships

Do you have the resources? The time? The effort?

Most brands today are already spread thin across the top social platforms. Adding on a new platform, a Snapchat for example – requires new thinking, new creative, fresh inputs, cool formats and most importantly a whole new sub set of content. Is your brand, or your social media agency, equipped to handle it?

Social media is about engaging with the community and you'll need a good strategy to engage, a good execution team to create content, and a good community management team that can handle the dialog in a timely, responsive manner. You have that? It's hugely important to make sure that you are not jumping on without checking resources. And that you won't end up posting once a month or so, and waste the whole effort. And, remember, often a social media agency that works with your brand may not have the expertise required to support your brand on that new channel, or simply, may themselves be already spread too thin. Ask.

Keep track on what's out there, and what's trending

Its important for you to know how social channels are performing – particularly in relevance to your brand vertical, your industry and your type of content. It's also important to be aware of what seems like up and coming, and trending towards a 'must-be-on'. Your audience may shift, their social habits may evolve with new trends, new interests, new platforms. You don't want to play catch up. In social media, catch up is a dangerous game.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

More essential reading on Social Media:

6 Key Essential Focus Areas in Social Media Strategy

How to Make your Social Media Rock Solid by Listening and Acting Quickly

Setting Social Media Goals and Tracking Success Made Simple

Use the Power of Native Video on Twitter for your Brand

Use the power of native video on twitter for your brand

2m to read / 

Top brands are shifting quickly to native video on Twitter from YouTube. Engagement is higher for native video, and we have seen how successful Facebook's native video format has been. The same native video trend is also doing well on Twitter, particularly since Autoplay was introduced. You too can benefit from the power of native video on twitter in the following ways:

1. Educate and Promote using Native Video

Educational content is the mainstay of video for brands – with over 90% of marketers believing that educational content is the real purpose of video. McDonald's does a real good job with this. They create fun and engaging videos on Twitter which includes their products as the center of every story they tell. It’s smart, innovative and playful and definitely drives engagement.

McDonald's uses video for Twitter

If you want to tell a story that’s fun, educational or even a promotional, video is an important tool to use because people respond well to visuals in audio+video format.

2. Share videos in Real Time

Twitter givens your brand the power of being in the here and now – sharing real time events as they unfold. Top brands use Twitter's native video format to cover events as they’re happening. Twitter video allows for more engagement and interactivity by involving followers in the big event if they can’t be there. Plus, Twitter video stands out in the fast-moving Twitter feed so your brand message gets more attention. Video content can also be created around a trending event on Twitter – when it has some connection to your brand or product.

READ THIS: 5 Cool Ways to use Twitter for Real Time Marketing

3. Push for User Generated Videos

Get your followers to create video content around your brand. Ask users to contribute video content that involves your product. Run a content creation contest for video which you can build around a hashtag. GoPro does this really well. It regularly asks followers to send in videos and shares a video of the day with followers.

GoPro asks users for Video content

4. Conversate and Respond in native video

Liven up your brand conversations in video format. It goes a lot further with engagement than a simple tweet. Video is a great way to use twitter for customer service. Imagine, quick solutions and answers in video format, rather than just a 14o character tweet. Your followers will really benefit from the actual demo or the how to video. You can create a series of video tweets built around a hashtag to develop a twitter chat.

Measure and Learn

With Twitter Engagement metrics, you'll know what type of video content resonates with your audience. The option is available in your profile and lets you view the metrics of every tweet you send. Now you can see how many views your video got, how many people engaged with it and whether it had any retweets. Include successful elements and styles in future videos that you put out on Twitter.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

ALSO READ ON: How VR and 360 degree video is changing advertising and content marketing

Transform your digital marketing by Being 'Right There, Right Then'

the power of right there right then for marketing

2m to read / 

Today's digitally savvy consumer (read as mobile powered) is looking for solutions 24/7, 365. Brands can transform their digital marketing by being 'Right There, Right Then' with their message to win them over.

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, they need to connect with the brands that have solutions right away. Simply put, these are the four basic need states that digital marketing needs to answer. And answer quickly and effectively. By being 'Right There, Right Then'.

micro moments by Google

Today's marketing needs to be in the here and now. It is about intent, and the answer to that intent needs to be there right away. Today's audience is starved of time, and have very little attention. Brands need to adopt the following five 'experiential' forces to transform their digital marketing.

1.  Synchronize

Today brands need to have a well synchronized multi channel strategy. In our world of Always On, it's important to be across all consumer touch points (including all offline) to lead the consumer towards becoming a customer. The process of learn, discover, research, socialize and buy is best optimized to be seamless and uniform. You can't transform your digital marketing unless it is founded on a one brand many channel strategy.

2.  Localize

Brands today need to have content to meet the demands of the consumer – in many forms. But what's critical is context. Consumer behavior is changing because of what mobile uniquely allows them to do – to find most answers when they need it, around where they are. Mobile's geo location technology empowers consumers more than ever. Brands need to focus on local first, specially those in retail.

READ THIS6 Ways to Be There in Today's Search Driven World

3.  Personalize

Mass marketing is fading fast to micro marketing where products and experiences that are created to treat customers individually—along with personalized marketing treatments—are what's winning the marketing battle. You really need to know your audience, and their intentions. Audience insight is your first key step. Insight is what transforms your digital marketing.

READ THISCustomer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

4.  Socialize

Today, it's absolutely essential for a brand to be there on social media. Consumers and customers want to be empowered by brands to be connected and be in the know. And social media is where they turn to for that connection and brand engagement. Social is where today's consumer gets informed and inspired.

READ THISHow to Make your Social Media Rock Solid by Listening and Acting Quickly

A website is no longer enough, and on your website you must include social sharing buttons and ensure that web content is always shared on social platforms that you are on. Social media interaction is key – you really cannot engage and interact on your website with your audience as you can on social. Make this your key channel and be relevant. With today's social "buy buttons" social has become a marketplace. But it's not about just selling.

Move from Selling to building Relationships – this is what will end up giving you a far more robust presence online. One that meets and engages today's audience.

5.  Maximize

Your brand's content marketing needs to be both relevant and engaging. That content, that information needs to be in the here and now. It needs to be current, always-on and outstanding to rise above the rest.

READ THIS8 Must Have Steps to Unleash the Power of Content Marketing for your Brand

Brands need to realize that one size does not fit all. The campaign is traditional. The TV spot is losing its impact. Localization is really becoming important. And personalization of brand message is what is cutting through. All these factors are critical to help transform your digital marketing.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

Now read this:

Intent is the new black in digital marketing. In-the-moment marketing is what's hot.

Use the Power of Here and Now: Convenience Marketing with Wearables

8 Must Have Steps to Unleash the Power of Content Marketing for your Brand

power of content marketing

3m to read / 

Today, content marketing is a key weapon in any marketers arsenal. 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. Here are eight crucial points to remember to get your content marketing to work its magic for your brand...

1. Make your content Useful

Content has to be useful for your target audience. No matter how well its written, if it doesn't solve a problem or provide an answer, it's meaningless. Every piece of content you create should be useful. That's how you get good following and people look forward to your content.

READ THIS LATER: Winning Content Strategy: Always share something valuable and useful

2. Fine tune your content for your target audience

Providing value, providing resolution to a need is what good content is all about. You can't do that without knowing your audience. Then you need to focus your content aimed at the audience you want to reach and engage. You really need to figure you what they want and deliver on that. Make it useful for them. Not you.  READ THIS LATER: Start with the right consumer insights.

3. Don't sell. Educate. Entertain.

Selling is secondary. Good content marketing focuses on sharing information, on educating, on entertaining, on engaging. Your goal is to educate your audience on how to solve a problem and who to reach out to for help. If readers or viewers want to know how to remove a carpet stain, they should know how to do so by the end of the article or video.

4. Be an Expert. Make content must-have.

You really need to come off as the go-to source for information that will add value to the audience. You need to be the expert they turn to. You can't do that without being the authority on what you write about. Get experts to create content if you or your content teams can't do it right. Remember that you can't be an expert on everything, so select your topics carefully. Your topics should always show how much you know, and that the content really is the best they can find.

5. Make content evergreen.

Your content is great when it has lasting value. Evergreen content is anything that provides a basic overview of a topic or provides information that is just as true years from now as it is today. Remember content has a long tail, it is going to be around, and people will find it via Search down the road, if you've done your homework – and they'll find it useful whenever. Content, which is about a current topic or trend does have its purpose, but it disappears from the value chain if it is specific to only a band of time.

6. Have a goal.

What does your content want to achieve? Are you building a brand? Selling a product. Every piece of content should have a goal – a result you want – an action that you want your audience to take, or something that the reader will remember.

7. Optimize your content for social

The power of content marketing sees it working full force when it resonates with the contexts of social media. remember that you may have a very useful blog, but people usually discover your content via social media. Make sure you distribute your content (provide links, mentions, posts) across the various social media channels that are appropriate for your audience.

Know how to tailor content distribution for Twitter, Facebook, and other social sites. Doing so could increase the odds of readers finding out about you or what you have to sell by finding your social media pages as well.

8. Use SEO to boost your content marketing

SEO is what will help drive traffic and help you better acquire a following. SEO is more than just using keywords or phrases. Use key words and phrases consistently throughout your page, which includes using them in title tags and in paragraph headings.

Overall, make sure your content is great content. Not just anything that your audience can stumble across just about anywhere else. Be consistent in style. Check for typos and grammar. If in video, make sure the quality is the best around. Go HD. And remember to provide usefulness and meaning each and every time.

That's something fundamental to content. The value. The usefulness. And that's the basics. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.
Please share this with your colleagues and friends. This is an important list to keep handy.

More useful reading on Content Marketing

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

6 ways to get Content Marketing done right

11 Amazingly Easy Ways to Skyrocket your Content Marketing Results

How to Make your Social Media Rock Solid by Listening and Acting Quickly

5m to read / 

Social media listening is not only an everyday task these days, it's a 24/7 job. And the key to social media success is being able to act quickly on what is being said out there.

The process of identifying and analyzing what is being said about your brand, your product, your service (or you, for that matter) on the internet is crucial for any social media effort. There are hundreds of tools out there for this – some simple, free, and some complicated and detailed. Either way, you need to monitor what's being said out there. So, why is it important? And how do you get it right? And how do you act on what's being said?

Why listening is important

With the right listening strategy you can achieve a lot to help your social media efforts. Right way, you'll get to know where and when your target audience (your community) is – which platforms they prefer so you can then have conversations with them. You can identify influencers and advocates. You cannot ignore the part social listening plays in improving customer care. It's a great source for feedback. You can target and attract new customers. It helps you generate leads. Overall, listening is the most important component in your social media strategy. It helps and build every other thing you do on social.

Decide what you are listening for

What is your listening strategy based on? This is the first step, and it's important to have a framework that guides you when you monitor what's out there. Are you monitoring consumer behavior? Sentiment about your brands and products – negative or positive – or the absence of it? Are you listening to generate leads and drive sales? Are you monitoring trends and news? All of this will help you decide how you will turn social voices into consumer insights for your brand. These insights drive your content.

Create a list of keywords and terms and develop queries based on those. Be as accurate as possible. This isn't a shotgun approach, its sniper. The more-accurate your social listening is, the better you will be at finding sentiments, comments, actions, trends and opportunities to engage with fans.

Define how you are going to use what you listen to

Once you know what's being said out there, you'll need a clear plan on how you'll be using the insights that you get out of what's being said out there. Being said about you, your brand, product, service, customer care, your competition, the industry you're in.

Insights help you create content, and it helps you define your content forward plan. You can go to your client (if you're an agency), your management, your stakeholders and defend your content, the platforms you socialize on, if it's based on listening. Listening gives you data, and data is insight. It helps you ride trending topics, and build future content. It's being aware, and that's what should help you define what you'll say. I have said this earlier – God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Convert Big Data into Insight to make really useful Marketing Decisions

And remember, social listening is not only applicable to social media that your brand is on, but to all of online – where information about your brand, product, competition or industry may appear. These includes any website, blogs, forums, other social networks and search engines.

Listen all the time

You cannot turn off your ears. That makes you deaf. And dumb. Use tools to listen round the clock. Automate if necessary. Actually, automation is a great idea. There are several tools that not only help you automate listening, but improve your whole social effort. You cannot go in once a week and dig through your Facebook insights. It's a 24/7 job. Social media fans love when you are listening to and responding, building conversations around what's hot and happening. This also helps you expand your base – folks in social who don't fan or follow you but discover you based on the immediacy and context of your content. Real time helps, real good.

Listen better

Pay attention. Find out who is talking about you, in what capacity, and where. And why. Do they have a beef? A compliment? How important is it for your business? Look at most brand's listening strategy – and you'll notice that they often are listening almost entirely for mentions of their brand name. That’s listening with noise cancelling headphones on. In their social conversations, customers do not necessarily mention your brand or product in precise and perfectly phrased ways. Make sure your listening caters to those whims. It just asks for better listening.

Better listening better requires people who know how to listen

You may have the right listening strategies and tools in place, but do have people who know the art of listening. There's a difference between listening and hearing. Listening requires focus, understanding, and interpretation. You need the right people, the right teams who are able to convert the "chatter" into useful data and insights. Your efforts will only be as good as the people running them. So make sure you have structured your social team with people who know how to listen, what to listen for, and what to do with what they discover.

Why every brand and every agency needs a Digital Insights Manager

Respond to what you listen to

Your response strategy is really an extension of your listening strategy. To make your social listening work, you have to be able to and be willing to respond very quickly in response to what's being said. This may mean giving the social media team authority to respond in real-time, or developing a social newsroom specially-equipped to produce content rapidly for social sharing. You should have a clear tiered response strategy – perhaps with bands like 'critical-immediate', 'urgent-within 4 hours', 'critical-but needs input from team', 'customer care-urgent' 'ok to respond next day' etc.

By the way here are some free listening tools:

Google Alerts
Social Mention

Act on it quickly

The success of your response strategy is dependent on the speed of your response and the solution you provide.

Your new age mantras: Be There. Be Useful. Add Value. Do it Right Away.

When your target audience is saying something and looking for a solution to their need, you need to first be there. Just being there with the right content, the right message is key.

What you really must focus on is to be useful for your audience at that moment – that's providing value in the immediate, in the now. You need to really think seriously about unique, tangible ways your brand can help solve a problem or make life easier in real-time during a micro-moment.

 And, you can only do that if you start with the right consumer insights. Providing value, providing resolution to a need in the moment is key. You need to act on it quickly.

Intent is the new black in digital marketing. In-the-moment marketing is what's hot.

Listen. Analyse. Respond. Build on what you hear. And generate interesting engagement driven content around that. That's how you can improve your social media engagement, and get better ROI on your efforts.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

10 Critical Elements you must get right for Mobile Marketing Success

2m to read / 

Mobile usage will exceed that of all other devices combined by 2018 according to Global Web Index. A quality mobile experience is a must have for any brand today. Here are 10 important points to remember when developing a mobile strategy.

1. Focus on the audience.

You need to really understand what your audience wants as an experience on mobile. Remember, that they'll want that something almost there and then – that's the very nature of mobile.

2. Understand the experience - from awareness to purchase

Today's process is not as simple as Awareness to Intent to Desire to Action. There's a lot of research and social interaction involved in between.
Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

3. The rule of thumb

Remember to plan the experience based on the mobile screen itself. Plan for thumb action. Make interactions easy.

4. Be there on mobile.

Whether on a responsive website or an app, or both, you need to be there when your audience is looking for a solution.
6 Ways to Be There in Today's Search Driven World

5. Develop a mobile centric and mobile specific strategy

Mobile should not be a lat point to tick off on your marketing strategy list. Today you need to have a mobile specific strategy for your brand that focuses on the consumer – your target audience.

5 Ways to Develop a Consumer Focused Mobile Marketing Strategy

6. Provide the mobile experience 

Develop an engagement strategy and decide what serves your purpose better – a responsive website or an app – or both. Regardless, you have to have clear insights on what your audience needs are and provide appropriate information and content. 30% of visitors immediately switch to another site if they don’t get what they need.

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

Lean Forward : Mobile and App Marketing Strategy Essentials

7. Ease the process

This experience needs to bale to provide for quick interaction and be easy to navigate through.  Reduce steps and layers for the user. Make information easy to access. Make calls to action easy to see and respond to. Remember to plan for the thumb as interaction tool.

How to create a winning mobile App for your Brand

8. Use all aspects of mobile

Don't stop at making your website mobile friendly. Your emails should be responsive and mobile friendly as well. Your social media content should be geared for mobile engagement. Your video content should be mobile ready. Some brands are actually creating vertical videos these days, keeping mobile in mind.

9. Be prepared for the multi screen experience

Remember that today's audiences move from one screen to another for convenience and ease of use. They pick whatever device suits them at whatever time of day. This is both a challenge and an opportunity.

Audience attention is a real challenge with multi screen, multi device marketing

Understand and use the Power of Multiscreen Marketing Strategy today

10. Don't ignore Wearables. They are the most immediate form of Mobile.

Wearables provide a huge opportunity for here and now engagement. Wearables aren’t a fad or trend that can be ignored. Like mobile, the technology is here to stay—and to transform digital marketing as we know it. Wearables help gather insightful customer data—including location, behavior and activity levels—which can be used to deliver personalized marketing messages. And, remember that wearable is wheneverable and whereverable!

Use the Power of Here and Now: Convenience Marketing with Wearables

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

Read more on mobile marketing:

5 Simple Ways to get your Mobile Marketing Done Right