Search marketers are shifting from the mindset of asking why they need a content marketing strategy to asking how to implement one -- and how to attribute the content to sales of products and services. Here are a few tips to get on track.
A Forrester Consulting study released Monday shows that some 24% of participating marketers spent between $1 million and $9.9 million on content marketing in 2013. Nearly one-quarter of survey respondents are expected to increase investment this year.
Consumers want consistency as they move between the Web and mobile channels and stores and digital devices, but more than half of brand marketers participating in a study released this week said their companies have yet to link technologies beyond the most basic integration. The reality of fully optimizing technology stacks remains a distant goal for too many marketers because of the complexity of the task.
The top five advertisers, in aggregate, spent about $20 million on mobile device keywords to run Google product listing ads from April to June, 2014, per a study released Wednesday.
Salesforce this week announced that it has inked deals with media agency Omnicom and MarketShare that demonstrate a shift in focus from IT to marketing and analytics. The company does not plan to discard its core customer base, but the move indicates a greater focus on marketing and data. The move to reach out to partners further cements the centralization of customer data, creating a hub for the company.
Typeface and color can boost conversions. Both have become more important to brands, especially through messages on smaller screens of digital devices such as smartphones and smartwatches. Last week, marketers read about the mobile ad network Todacell and its research on how a country's gross domestic product (GDP) and specific colors in advertisements and type running on mobile phones influence conversions. Search marketing should also consider these tips for their content strategy.
Affiliate marketing continues to play catch-up with search when it comes to tools and automation. Many marketers lack the tools that allow brands like Zappos to measure the number of consumers the media drives through the channel on its Web site, compare it to other marketing media, or serve up personal messages based on retargeting. Automation provides the means to take affiliate marketers beyond the analysis of top-line sales and metrics to mining the data on desktop and mobile to gain better results. One executive thinks her company can bridge the gap.
Visual content usually guides purchase decisions, especially video. It also prompts searches and sharing. We are more likely to remember brand messages with video. Some retailers have added spin photography that allows shoppers to get a 360-degree view of the product. Forrester Research says content is much more likely to land on page one in Google search query results if it includes video.
Robert Thomson, CEO at News Corp -- the publishing company that owns The Times, The Sun, and The Wall Street Journal -- wrote a letter to the European Commission urging regulators to reconsider their settlement with the Mountain View, Calif. company. He suggests the "shinning vision of Google's founders" was replaced by a "cynical management" that abuses its dominance in Internet search and stifles competition.
Marketers need to begin looking at data differently. I can't say it loud enough. For many retailers, marketers, and buyers, there is a huge missed opportunity in mobile apps -- not with cross-device attribution or location-based tracking and targeting with beacons, but in terms of search data in the app showing unmet demand. This was brought to my attention by Point Inside, a startup that built a mobile application for retailers to help consumers find products on their store shelves. The model would turn marketing into a revenue-generating business rather than one that spends.