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If the Information Age is over, we’re now living in an Experience Age.
That was the key message from a recent ‘Future CX’ event, which revealed what top brands like Ocado, Virgin Trains, MicroSoft and LinkedIn to name just a few are doing within the realm of customer experience (CX) and engagement. The consensus was that emotion drives behaviour. If brands can be there instantly, effectively and meaningfully when customers need them most, they can create amazing online experiences and inspire positive emotions, influencing behaviour at scale.
Creating powerful online customer experiences and marketing ROI by harnessing emotional connections with customers is key and here are some key take-outs for everyone to consider for 2019 success….
Future-proof your CX
94% of companies across Europe agreed that customer experience is an absolutely key part of business strategy in 2019, with larger organisations of 1000+ employees placing the most focus on customer experience next year. Against this backdrop, responding quickly to customer queries is no longer enough for a truly future-proof CX strategy. Sales and marketing teams now need to mirror consumers by moving easily between online communication channels and conversations, while retaining linked records of those conversations to provide a greater level of personalisation.
AI – not everything that can be automated should be automated
With customer support channels are multiplying and dynamic shifts in consumer, AI is making contact centre roles easier work by automated repetitive, low value tasks, leaving humans to handle more complex, niche situations. AI and chatbots are transforming customer experience, but not everything that can be automated, should be automated. At the heart of every great consumer experience is a perfect synergy between human empathy and digital engagement. Achieving the perfect balance between ruthless efficiency and meaningful engagement is key.
Change behaviours and turn customers into advocates
By creating powerful experiences and inspiring positive emotions with customers, brands can influence behaviour at scale. Digital winners are experience-led but with deep human focus and, as consumers continue to adopt technology at a fast pace, the barriers to switching allegiance are becoming more non-existent. Digital economies have reset the balance of power between brand and consumer and by focusing on CX in 2019, marketers can turn valued customers into advocates.
Self-service customer support is vital
Customers are more interested in getting their issue resolved quickly, rather than using their preferred channel, and web chat is the easiest channel to resolve most queries, making this actively visible to customers provides an effortless experience.
Providing clearer guidance for customers to self-serve, and find the right channel for their queries where, for instance, web chat is not best suited, is key. Over the last few years, there has been a channel shift, with web chat outstripping social media as the communications platform of choice, and also reducing the number of calls, emails and social media queries received by brands. So, although web chat is the cheapest, don’t overlook other self-serve options.
Don’t be rendered obsolete by digital transformation
Keep up with the proliferation of data and communication channels or risk being left behind. This includes marketers focusing on customer experience in their social media strategies and noting how social initiatives impact a business/brand’s bottom line. Key metrics to keep an eye on include brand perception as social networks influence 74% of consumer buying decisions, while 75% of B2B buyers are influenced by information found on social channels. 62% of top salespeople attribute closing more deals to leveraging social technology and 55% of customers have a more favourable view of brands that respond to queries raised via social media.
Support holistic CX via new technologies
Conversations and data need to be interlinked (and not lost) which, hugely enhances customer understanding, satisfaction and value. Internally, this helps customer service and marketing teams to work in tandem, producing a better digital experience for the customer by breaking down internal silos in favour of a more joined-up approach. Orlo, for example, drives the creation of powerful online relationships and enhanced emotional connections with customers, bringing something new to the digital customer experience sector with an integrated social, live chat and CRM ‘conversation ecosystem’.
Social keeps your finger on the pulse
Resolving an issue as quickly and easily as possible is of a far higher priority to customers than resolving the issue via their channel of choice. Organisations are using social media to better connect with their customers, that means listening to what customers are saying, engaging with them, and leveraging broad social data sets to gain insights that can be used to support customers. Social is a great way to keep the pulse of what your customers are saying.
Empower organisations with the right social data
When customers are using all social channels to communicate with any organisation, employees must have the ability to respond using those same channels. Almost every person in any organisation can benefit from the rich data available from social media.
Whether it’s a marketer better understanding what topics are popular among customer conversations about the brand, business strategy team studying competitors, a product manager gleaning insights about feature requests and customer frustrations, or a service agent taking a quick pulse check to see if other customers are encountering similar issues to the one they’re working on, social data helps employees do their jobs better.
Measuring social value in terms of real return
Social media presents some measurement challenges, and it’s difficult for most businesses to establish precisely the ROI of various social media efforts. Many ignore the tough challenge of measuring their efforts in terms of business value in favour of focusing on vanity metrics: likes, comments, shares, retweets, and posts. However, social results can be measured in terms of real return to answer questions such as: “Are we increasing customer satisfaction?” and “Have we improved customer retention?”.
A business’ website, app or social media accounts all have the ability to leave a lasting impression on a customer. Whether that impression is good or bad depends on a lot of factors. Understanding how and why your users interact with your digital asset is key to providing a greater experience.
Using data to help customers navigate to information in as few clicks as possible, analysing heat maps to see the most used areas of your app, or scrutinising social media data to understand which advert to serve to your customers and when, are all useful and relevant applications that will improve user experience today, and in the future.
This article source is http://customerthink.com/future-cx-tips-for-2019-digital-marketing-success/
E-Commerce Trends And Insights For Planning Your 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy
POST WRITTEN BY T.J. Welsh
TJ Welsh is the VP of Marketing at Stryde, supports in the strategic business planning of the company with 12 years of marketing experience.
As brands strive to remain competitive, efficiency and customer experience are top priorities in marketing today. With so many tools on the market, marketers know they have to stay on top of things or risk being left behind. As 2019 rapidly approaches, you’re likely sitting down to plan out your own marketing strategy for the year.
With each passing year, technology continues to shift the way brands connect with customers. The first step is to identify the tools you will need, then find ways to use those tools to boost your own marketing campaigns. Before you can come up with an approach, though, you need to first identify the challenges you’re facing and find ways to plan in advance to overcome them.
Top Challenges For 2019
Every brand has limited funds for advertising and marketing each year, so the biggest challenge is figuring out how much and where to spend them. Should you put your money into paid social media ads or organic marketing? It is hard to say, but understanding changing trends can make a big difference.
These are a few of the top challenges I see brands facing in the coming year:
• Digital ad costs are increasing. One factor complicating advertising decisions is the fact that the price of digital advertising is increasing, five times faster than inflation, according to a report by Adobe Digital Insights. This means each ad dollar is potentially less effective, leaving you to decide whether to invest more to get your ad in front of the same audience size.
• Influencers are charging more and reaching fewer. Your budget will also see the strain of increased competition for influencers and the challenges social media algorithms pose on reaching their audiences. Furthermore, celebrity influencers on social media with large audiences reportedly command as much as $1 million per post — a cost that can put a significant dent in your marketing budget, without a clear path for measuring your return on investment. In addition to this is a growing customer distrust for businesses. This distrust could spread to influencers who come across as inauthentic.
• E-commerce competition is on the rise. Lastly, each year seems to bring more innovators to each space. From more established markets to new categories like athleisure wear, it’s easier than ever for competitors to start a new business, grow a following and win over customers that once were loyal to your own brand.
Six Trends Affecting Your 2019 Planning
Once you’ve identified your own unique challenges, you’ll need to look at the opportunities that will be available to you in 2019, hopefully, driven by current trends.
1. Video Marketing: As social media continues to evolve, I’ve taken note that video is becoming an increasingly popular way for businesses to get a marketing message across. I predict live streaming will become even more popular in 2019. Additionally, marketers should use personalized video messages and 360-degree videos to give brands more venues to reach customers in 2019.
2. Augmented Reality: Augmented reality (AR) is creating new ways for customers to try out products and services — letting customers interact with products as though they were standing directly in front of them. I think brands that can develop content that allows customers to truly experience their products may start to come out on top.
3. Mobile Search: If you aren’t catering to smartphone and tablet users, you’re missing a huge share of the market. In fact, more than half of all online U.S. traffic comes from mobile devices. But in addition to making your site mobile-friendly, you should also consider the way customers search today. They often ask Siri or Alexa a question rather than typing short search terms into a browser.
4. Advertising On Marketplaces: Customers are more likely to search for products on Amazon than come directly to your site. In fact, according to a study of 2,000 online consumers conducted by Survata as reported on by Bloomberg, nearly half start a search on Amazon, if only to read reviews and get a feel for what products are out there. Investing in paid and organic search on sites like Amazon could get your products in front of customers who wouldn’t have seen them otherwise.
5. Personalized Website Content: Based on my perspective, it’s more important than ever for marketers to personalize customer experiences. Your website should be targeted to each unique visitor, making sure they see the information that’s most relevant to them. Leverage dynamic website personalization (DWP) or adaptive landing pages to swap out content based on interests. For example, if you sell cookware to someone that is a vegetarian, they would likely prefer to see different images and messaging than someone who would be using the product to cook meat.
6. Consumer Insights And Feedback: For large retailers with brick-and-mortar locations, I believe it’s more important than ever to use software that helps you track the customer journey. It is vital to know how customers interact with your brand — e.g., did they see a Facebook ad that drove an in-store visit to see the product before they purchased it? Utilize different tools to help you learn more about your customers, then use those insights in your efforts.
With so many tools available, brands can easily find a way to gather useful information about their customers and leverage this data to target them throughout the buying cycle. This will be extremely valuable when reaching potential customers who are looking for more personalized interactions with your brand.
How To Overcome The Challenges of Data-Driven Digital Marketing
Data is a key component in driving decisions when it comes to consumer behavior and marketing strategies. There is a lot that marketers can learn from data collection that can be helpful in creating a concise customer journey and increase conversions. However, with all this information comes challenges.
Here are a few of the biggest challenges marketers face when it comes to data and how to overcome those challenges.
Implementing a strategy
The objective of using data to drive marketing is to learn more about your audiences and acquire new leads using historical and real-time data and integrate this data across multiple platforms to have consistency with your marketing. However, deciding where to start and how to use it can be a difficult task for marketers. According to a recent survey, 81% of marketersconsider implementing a data-driven marketing strategy to be complicated.
The issue that is making it complicated for marketers is that they are not spending enough time using data to identify audiences. Marketers need to look at more than just past performance metrics to determine strategies but also look at predictive data and develop personas to personalize towards.
Start by identifying your organization’s overall goals and objectives and work backward. What are your main KPIs and what data would be helpful in getting there? Ensure that your goals are not just for marketing but aligned with the overall goals of the organization from stakeholders to sales. This means breaking down your silos from marketing, financial, customer service, and other initiatives to see the bigger picture. There needs to be a single view of how an organization would describe their customer and their measurement for ROI to make data-driven strategies a success.
Finding the right data and KPIs
Data is pointless if it cannot be used to serve a purpose. Any organization can track and collect data, but it’s the way they utilize that data is what matters. You need to give the data a meaning because without they are just numbers
After you have decided on a strategy, start tracking the chosen data points that help contribute to those KPIs. Metrics need to be determined to be able to track how successful the strategy is. The most effective KPIs to look at are traffic, engagement rates and conversions. Determine a timeline for when you will reevaluate and optimize the performance of the strategy. Make sure you choose the most actionable data items that you can accurately track and activate on. You should be able to identify patterns, correlations and can measure success and ROI.
One example is that you can use behavioral data to market to customers when they are in the process of making a purchase. Say a customer abandons their online shopping cart. You can use data, set triggers, and then automatically email the customer a reminder to follow through with a purchase. This practice is especially valuable considering 65 percent of abandoned carts can be recaptured within 24 hours.
It should work like an equation. If there is no true outcome that can come from that equation, then that is not your actionable data. The best way to see this is to use data visualizations to identify and show the data sets across platforms.
Having the right platforms and tools
Determining the right tools and platforms for the organization is important so that you make sure to have a source of truth to work from. You should have a platform that takes in all your data activity across all your channels, so you can see what is happening throughout the customer journey and make informed decisions from that.
Even the companies that have been collecting data for some time now, many of that data isn’t utilized. In fact, research shows that only 10 percent of data is structured enough for digital marketers to use. As data collection gets more advanced, timing becomes everything. It is important to have the right platforms like CMPs, DMPs, analytic tracking programs, etc. to be able to keep up with real-time insights
Bringing it all together
The key to the success of using data in marketing is the ability to collect, harmonize and analyze the data for results. This means integrating all systems and platforms together. According to research, however, 64% of marketers cited “improving data quality” as the single biggest challenge they encounter when attempting to personalize messaging for audiences. Double check that your data is correct by identifying and eliminating factors that could skew the data. Keep consistency in how you report and organize your data to ensure for the quality of data.
The best way to go about overcoming your data-driven challenges is to think of it as the scientific method.
- Start with the data.
- Ask a question of what information you have available to you.
- Construct a hypothesis.
- Test with an experiment.
- Confirm the test/procedure worked as planned.
- Analyze the data and draw conclusions
- Present results and determine the next steps
Remember that this will not be an overnight task. Just like science experiments it will take going back to previous steps and reconfiguring your hypothesis and a lot of testing to achieve results, but in the end, data will help drive marketing success.Nicole Martin is the owner of NR Digital Consulting and has worked in many different industries on customer journeys, website management, social media, and content strategy. Starting out as a journalist, Nicole has a BA in Print Journalism from Penn State University
Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolemartin1/2018/12/18/how-to-overcome-the-challenges-of-data-driven-digital-marketing
Digital Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Cannabis Business On E-Commerce
POST WRITTEN BY Lin Grosman
Lin is Director of Communications & PR at GoDataFeed, a multichannel platform that helps retailers sell more on e-commerce channels.
Even without federal legalization, the cannabis industry is proving to be fast-growing in the U.S. In fact, despite being legal in fewer than a dozen states, consumer spending in the legal cannabis market is projected to hit $11 billion by the end of this year, and it’s projected to top $23 billion by 2022. This is according to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics’ The State of Legal Marijuana Markets, 6th Edition, as reported by Forbes.
Demand for the product isn’t the only driving force behind this success story, though. As more cannabis companies join the market, I believe e-commerce will continue to drive innovation throughout this growing industry in three ways.
1. Companies and customers can buy (almost) everything they need online. While cannabis itself isn’t available through online avenues, just about every other product tied to the industry is. This includes personal use items like bongs, pipes, rolling papers and vaporizers as well as growing supplies. Cannabis companies and customers are enjoying almost the same shopping experience found in just about every other industry, making the industry more accessible to everyone.
2. Engagement is happening on digital platforms. Based on my observations, a number of e-commerce platforms are directly helping the industry, as well. For example, LeafLink is a wholesale online marketplace and selling tools’ suite, and Baker is a CRM designed specifically for the cannabis industry.
3. Compensation technology is connecting — and protecting — everyone. Of course, the cannabis industry still faces barriers, not the least of which is legalization on the federal level. The specter of a Drug Enforcement Administration crackdown is still enough to keep banks from accommodating state-licensed sellers. While this is far from ideal, e-commerce has once again provided solutions like digital e-wallets designed to meet the financial needs of cannabis-industry professionals.
Digital Marketing Strategies Cannabis Companies Should Implement
With these three drivers in mind and based on my own experience in the e-commerce space, I see some specific areas where cannabis companies can find success in their digital marketing efforts.
1. Facebook Groups
Social media is still unfriendly (subscription required) to cannabis companies. None of the big platforms will support their ads, even when they’re for perfectly legal companies. Nonetheless, Facebook did recently lift its ban on marijuana-related pages. This is still a relatively new turn of events, so it will be interesting to see if cannabis companies can leverage this opportunity.
One way to use these social media groups would be to post links to helpful content, providing expert input of your own, on behalf of your brand.
While many industries are just starting to realize how powerful an influencer’s endorsement can be, I’ve noticed that cannabis companies have been quick to adopt this e-commerce marketing practice. AdWeek even went so far as to call influencers “the secret to marketing marijuana” (subscription required).
Cannabis brands looking to work with influencers should find those who can help craft campaigns that are sensitive to current issues and won’t inadvertently get their social or ad account shut down. Important elements of a quality influencer or microinfluencer are someone who has grown their audience organically, creates original content and reports high levels of engagement and social reach with that audience.
Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies for cannabis companies are similar to those used in other industries. In fact, there are even specific companies out there that serve the unique SEO-related needs of this industry.
Dispensaries and brick-and-mortar shops can create a profile on Google My Business, making it easier for Google to understand what these companies offer and to show up on those all-important Google Maps.
Then, platforms like SEMRush and Ahrefs are helpful in finding relevant keywords people are searching for when they are in the market for cannabis-related products.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has long been a fantastic and affordable marketing method, so it makes sense that many cannabis companies offer these programs.
Best of all, a cannabis company only needs to list the details for its affiliate program on its website to start recruiting marketers to work purely on commission. Companies can also actively promote their affiliate programs by contacting influencers, joining affiliate networks or buying space on websites frequented by cannabis users.
5. Local Directories
In any state that legalizes marijuana — either for adult or medicinal use — dispensaries begin popping up everywhere.
While this is great for people who want to purchase cannabis products, it also poses a bit of a challenge. Cannabis connoisseurs are a lot like beer lovers when it comes to their breweries: They like to put a lot of thought into the dispensaries they’ll frequent.
With dozens of cannabis-specific online directories out there, it’s worth ensuring your business is listed so that potential customers have another avenue to find you. Aside from that obvious benefit, directories are great for SEO.
No industry can be said to fully embrace the potential of e-commerce until it’s flooded with apps. Popular social media apps in this space include MassRoots and High There. Another popular app, called MyDx, is a diagnostic app that comes with a companion device so users can test cannabis samples before imbibing.
Like all of the other aspects covered above, the introduction of apps is mirroring how so many e-commerce solutions have long helped other industries. These apps make it easier for users to find and enjoy cannabis products.
To better market your cannabis brand, you can either create your own branded app that helps promote push notifications, reminders, sale promos and highly personalized messages. Otherwise, consider purchasing ads on other popular apps like Leafly, Weedmaps or MassRoots to reach potential customers.
In many ways, the ongoing evolution of the cannabis industry has e-commerce to thank. At the same time, innovative e-commerce companies are breaking new ground, which may have never been done had it not been for the unique challenges facing the industry. Either way, the future should prove to be exciting for the marriage of e-commerce and cannabis.
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HTTP to HTTPS MOVE IT NOW!
Despite the numerous benefits of switching to HTTPS, many SEOs and website owners have not done so.
July is turning out to be a major month for Google. Not long ago, the organization reported its Speed Update set to take off in July, and today declared it will then additionally check all destinations that have not moved to HTTPS as “not secure.”
In case you will gather data or purchase and make transactions on the web, you should anticipate changing from http to https on your site.
To find why, how about we begin with a few definitions:
Http (or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is the technique by which information is moved around the Web. You can see exactly how fundamental http is to the online world by taking a gander toward the start of any Web address.
In addition, http is quick and solid. On the short side, it’s as secure as a jewel at a feline robber’s tradition. There are bunches of approaches to hack your way into information being exchanged by means of http and keeping in mind that is not an issue for some, online information exchanges (e.g. viewing a video, seeing a site), it is an issue on the off chance that you have to secure the information that is being sent.
- Over 68% of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows is now protected.
- Over 78% of Chrome traffic on both Chrome OS and Mac is now protected.
- 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default.
Effective July 2018, Google’s Chrome browser will mark non-HTTPS
Https (or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is the response to the information assurance issue. Utilized on sites that includes eCommerce, saving money, and even only a login page, https ensures information by scrambling it before sending it whichever way by utilizing a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate.
A SSL endorsement contains both open and private encryption keys that are long strings of alphanumeric characters used to encode information in a way that is difficult to split in this way making it perfect for ensuring touchy information.
The Process of Changing From Http to Https
At first glance, changing from http to https is quite direct:
Buy a SSL testament,
Introduce your SSL testament on your site’s facilitating account,
Ensure that any site joins are changed from http to https so they are not broken after you flip the https switch, and
Set up 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS with the goal that web search tools are told that your webpage’s locations have changed thus that any individual who has bookmarked a page on your website is consequently diverted to the https address after you flip the switch.
It’s simply that simple. Be that as it may, on account of the staggering number of choices offered by SSL authentication sellers and bundles offered by facilitating organizations, this clear procedure can turn out to be extreme.
The circumstance isn’t helped by the way that moving your site from http to https requires managing more tech than most private company people feel incline toward.
That is the reason we will jump into the four stages above just as profoundly as important to settle on the business choices that should be made and to comprehend the specialized subtle elements on an essential level.
This move will correspond with the arrival of Chrome 68 and will resemble on browsers
Google has been driving website admins to roll out the improvement to non-secure sites throughout recent years – including indicating at little rankings lift to assist boost the move. The battle has demonstrated effective.
As indicated by their blog entry:
More than 68% of Chrome movement on both Android and Windows is presently secured
More than 78% of Chrome movement on both Chrome OS and Mac is currently ensured
81 of the main 100 sites on the web utilize HTTPS as a matter of course.
Based on the size of a site and extent of the task, a relocation from HTTP to HTTPS can be a significant endeavor. Look at the assets beneath for top to bottom advisers for rolling out this improvement on your or your customer’s locales, alongside assets for approval and managing blended substance issues.
HTTP to HTTPS: A SEO’s manual for anchoring a site
A far reaching manual for SSL authentications
Utilizing the Mixed Content review device.
Regular issues with HTTPS relocations
Things that can turn out badly include:
Keeping Google from creeping the HTTP variant of the site, or averting site slithers by and large (as a rule happens in view of inability to refresh the test server to permit bots); Content duplication issues, with the two HTTPS and HTTP variants of the pages appearing; and adaptations of the page appearing on HTTP and HTTPS.
The greater part of the normal issues with HTTPS movements is the consequence of improper redirects.
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