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It took me a while to get my head around blockchain, as there are so many complex explanations on how it works. But luckily, I found something that sums it up quite nicely and a very neat video from The New York Times on cryptocurrency.
So, in a nutshell everything is done online and instead of tangible money, crypto codes are created so that people can invest, trade and sell with a long string of numbers within the online world. When you purchase or exchange with blockchain you are essentially securing a transaction without any traditional process. No logging into a bank account that is password protected, carrying out activity on social-media networks or any liaison with a data company that may be trying to retrieve your details.
The most obvious industry disrupted by blockchain is finance, but there are many others on the cards, including content marketing.
As content marketers we write, edit and publish the best content we can possibly produce. But will this change thanks to blockchain and will the quality be compromised as it becomes difficult to regulate?
Most content agencies currently work with freelance writers, producers and possibly editors to make sure that client briefs are filled and quality content is produced. But in the future the marketing middleman could be cut out as content creators may connect with publishers directly. Freelancers could also exchange value propositions with one another in an online portal where smart contracts are signed and sent directly to the client.
According to Christoph Burgdorfer, Tech Director of This Place, “Blockchain technology will enable creators of content to capture the value from each piece more efficiently. Examples of such concepts are Steem.io and yoyow.org which enable users to earn value bearing tokens such as cryptocurrency for blog posts, social posts, comments and so on. This may encourage more people to get into content creation, which, if connected properly to marketing, provides potential to a vast array of new business models yet to be explored.”
There are already organisations popping up that are testing a new model. Take Socialmedia.market for example – an online portal simplifying transactions between businesses and influencers.
There is a lot of control over how and where content is consumed, because of brand affiliation and media control. But if you took this away and allowed consumers to pay for content directly from the publisher, without dealing with a media company, this would change.
Blockchain will also enable closer relationships between newsrooms and their audiences as there will be a protocol that is monitored by regulators.
Arthur Falls has a background in journalism, content marketing and media production, and has produced several popular blockchain-centric podcasts, most notably Beyond Bitcoin, The Ether Review, and The Third Web. He suggests that blockchain will help bring back quality journalism or limit the amount of fake news we are exposed to.
“In the simplest of descriptions, blockchain is powerful because it gives us a way to represent global truth. We can expect to see this used to trace the original source of media, ideas, and popular phraseology. This will increase the value of original content and reward quality and timeliness over strong distribution.”
However, does the rise of blockchain mean the internet will become cluttered with promotional content?
“When it comes to cryptocurrency payments, there are fewer regulations, less control over who pays whom, and bigger anonymity. It means, it’ll be easier for content creators, whether marketers or journalists, to receive payments directly from brands they’re covering in their stories,” says Krista Krumina from Truesix.
Brands will probably have more access to their audience as data is collated through third-party sites. This may mean that content creators will be able to reach a more targeted audience.
Jessica Oram, content and PR manager at Maxwell Scott, says that “Consumer trust is especially important within the luxury sector. Blockchain can aid content marketers to fulfil consumer needs. Validating ad spend and legitimising influencer content are just a few ways in which it can be used to support marketing. Making authenticity and transparency some of the most important factors when marketing a product or service – something that is bound to appeal to the consumer and provide them with a higher level of experience.”
It’s probably too early to tell what will happen to the content marketing world and how everything crypto will affect it. But it’s worth keeping an eye out for changes and being ready to get onboard with a new form of disruption.
*All persons interviewed in this post volunteered and were not paid.
I received an email with the following subject line: ‘Babe, those shoes you wanted are now on sale.’
Even though it caught my attention, it also made me cringe and feel a little uncomfortable.
Firstly, I simply don’t like the word. It’s grating, and is something I can only just about deal with when a friend addresses me in this way. A brand will never be my friend, so I can’t give it a similar pass.
It wasn’t just ‘babe’ I had a problem with – the retargeting was all off, too. The shoes weren’t the ones I wanted, so the attempt at coming across like a mate felt even more clunky.
If you’re going to try and act buddy-buddy with your customers, at least make sure you’re offering them something they actually wanted in the first place.
Finally, like it or not, babe is a gendered word. It presumes all females talk to each other in this way, and has the potential to turn a lot of customers who are sensitive to this kind of thing off – myself included.
When crafting an email subject line, it’s important to try and capture attention in as few words as possible. This isn’t always an easy job.
In order to succeed, you need to know your audience. To do this, marketers need to avoid alienating those who may not be familiar with colloquial or unnatural language – like ‘babe’, for example.
As the market becomes increasingly cluttered and we hear more and more about the importance of personalisation, marketers are trying harder than ever before to connect with their customers on a personal level, and make them feel more valued.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for this approach in theory, but somehow ‘babe’ seems to take things to the next level. It reads a that generic girly way of greeting someone, which outside of teen movies doesn’t actually exist. All it does is make me, as their consumers, think they don’t actually know me at all.
Ultimately, the reminder for marketers here is the importance of language. If one small word has the potential to turn customers off for good, then you’d better make sure you’re paying attention to every single word you use to communicate.
Using smart and witty one liners can be a risky game. Sure, you might find bold headlines lead to more initial clicks, but are you really going to forge a genuine relationship through shock tactics and gratingly over-familiar language?
A/B testing is a great way to get around the uncertainty.
And when all is said and done, ask yourself the question: would you do the same in person? Or it is easier to push the boundaries a step too far because you’re behind a screen and can’t see them?
After all, would you dare call a customer babe if she walked into your shop?
This article was written for and published on Mumbrella
Make your online retail business a success with these seven easy steps.
While high street chains and independent stores continue to suffer in this tough economic climate, the ecommerce market is rapidly growing. As consumers turn to the web for their retail needs, now is the perfect time to see your online business soar. In order to entice, satisfy and retain your customers, you will need to be digitally savvy. Including everything from clever marketing to consumer experience – these are our seven digital tips to make your online shop thrive.
Customer reviews are beneficial for your ecommerce site in many different ways. They are helpful because they will assist the buyer with their decision making. Additionally, they are valued more than just basic product descriptions. In fact, 84% of people say that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Also, having user-generated content in the form of comments written by users actually boosts your Google ranking. Displaying your reviews in the form of a star rating is a great idea, as it’s a simple measuring scale that’s familiar to most users.
As of July 2017, 38.76% of all online UK content was viewed on a mobile. If your site isn’t optimised for mobile use and consumers are viewing your web page on their smartphone, they will at worst leave almost immediately, or at best, have a very bad user experience. So, if your website doesn’t operate correctly on mobiles, then you are essentially eliminating over a third of your potential customers. The easiest and slickest way to perfect your mobile site is to use a responsive design format that simply adjusts the layout depending on how the user is browsing.
You’ve succeeded at driving traffic to your website, but now you need that time online to convert into actual sales. In order to for this to happen as frequently as possible, you must prioritise the ease of the customer journey. If users can’t find how to select the colour, style or quantity of the product or have trouble using the shopping basket, they will lose interest very quickly. This is where sophisticated ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce come into play. They offer various levels of online shopping infrastructure – everything from a pre-set shopfront that organises your products in an easy-to-view display, to the backend functions like order processing and inventory management, so your transactions can run as seamlessly as possible.
The search tool is something that is utilised by the digital consumer a lot – especially if you have a wealth of products and extensive categories on your website. But, as well as enhancing the user experience, a search bar is crucial for you to track and analyse what your website visitors are looking for. If you use an ecommerce platform, then the search option may be inbuilt, but otherwise you can opt for an add-on like the Google search bar.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an all-singing, all-dancing website; if it doesn’t rank well on Google, then you aren’t going to get a lot of organic search engine traffic – and less traffic correlates to less sales. Firstly, it’s essential to keep your content updated, as a stagnant, uninteresting site will never get boosted. Also, get in the habit of using keywords wherever possible – not only in your product descriptions, but also in your image alt tags, as these will help to improve your searchability. Another search engine optimisation secret is the art of securing as many backlinks as possible, because the more people that are referencing your site, the more credible your business becomes. Reach out to bloggers to review your products and also ask your manufacturers to list you as a stockist on their web pages.
Newsflash: when online shops ask you to create an account, it isn’t just to make your life easier for future ordering purposes. Consumer data is the holy grail of marketing because having your customers’ email addresses on file means that you are free to pitch to them at any given time. With an email sign-up system, you’ll find yourself acquiring a substantial mailing list very quickly; then you can send newsletters to inform your customers of discounts and new products. Just be sure to keep the content relevant and perhaps add a capacity for the receiver to decide how frequently they get notified to prevent any unhappy clients from feeling bombarded.
As an online business, you simply cannot ignore the ever-growing juggernaut that is social media. There are 2.8 billion active social media users worldwide, so getting your brand into the social space is essential for success. The constant process of updating social media can be incredibly time consuming, so perhaps channel your focus and energy into one key social network that’s most relevant for your brand. If you’re selling products to 18–25 year old women, you will need to have an Instagram presence, but if your target audience is 30+, then consider a Facebook page.
With these tools and techniques under your belt, you’re now in the best position to excel in the ecommerce market and make your business a resounding success.
This post was a guest post from: Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer.
I work with online businesses and entrepreneurs to create valuable content and marketing strategies that yield strong results. I am always happy to share my knowledge and love discovering opportunities for collaboration.
It’s hard to capture images that look good and tell a story, especially if you don’t have the experience. Owen Harvey, professional photographer listed on the freelance website, Bidvine, shares a few tips on how to nail your blog photography.
When professional photographers work with models, they usually focus on giving guidance on what they want the models to do, but then let the model interpret that into their own style.
If you are a blogger, it’s important to experiment and let your own style shine through the photoshoot. Don’t be scared of taking a photo from a bad angle; you’ll get to decide which shots to keep anyway. It’s going to be a journey. It will have a beginning and an end, with stop off’s on the way… just keep your mind on the end shot you want. Try different approaches, allow yourself to try new things and stray from your path a bit.
A lot of great things have come out of accidents.
Photographers can instinctively recognise the best angles for their subjects from studying their art form and practising it, a lot. The knowledge that comes from studying different photographers, painters and cinematographers, which then photographers practice, gives them the ability to see the shot before it happens. If you are also an aspiring photographer, that’s the best way you can learn photographing people other than yourself—by studying great artists across a range of visual disciplines.
Before the shoot, spend 5-10 minutes talking with your model and study their features. Over time you will get a feel for what works and what doesn’t for models with different types of features. If you only have a few moments, do what you can to study the model from afar while they are doing something else. Move around and see what angle you think will work best.
If you like to model OOTD shots or if you’re both the photographer and the subject, spend some time learning what feels natural to you. If you are uncomfortable, it will come through in the image!
Practice pushing poses to extremes. Be different! It is what will make you stand out. Obviously keep it classy though :) Get into a habit of picturing what you look like from the point of the camera.
Knowing what you want, is different to knowing how you go about getting it. This is where a professional photographer comes in. A professional photographer will know how to get the shots you want, quicker and better. Also because of the quality and range of kit they bring, you will find the shots are to a higher quality as well. If you only have a few moments to get the shot, a pro will stand a much better chance of getting the shots you want.
I would recommend getting a professional in at the beginning. Your blog will stand a much better chance of getting a bigger audience quicker, if you have great images.
Be sure to check all of the different photographers’ work, and choose the one whose work lines up with your vision the most.
There are many ways to liven up your photos. Shoot low, shoot high, shoot close, shoot far away. They will all have a different and interesting impact on your photos. You can also take some pictures when you’re in motion or try dynamic poses.
Research a wide range of photos beforehand and see what jumps out, and then try to figure out why it stands out, and then try to incorporate that into your images.
Switching up the location and involving prompts can also help make your photos unique.
What is the saying? “The best camera is the one you have with you”. I have seen amazing photos shot with all sorts of cameras. Smartphones, micro four thirds, crop, full frame, mirrored and mirrorless.
There is no perfect camera, and it will be a journey to see which camera best suits you. The best thing to do is to get your hands on as many different cameras as you can to see how they feel in your hands. If you have any friends or family who have cameras, they are a great place to start.
Personally I love mirrorless, as I can see my final exposure even before I have taken it, which makes for much quicker shooting. But that is just my opinion.
You will want something that you are comfortable with and that can become an extension of you. I have come to learn, it is the glass that is important. That is what will give you that nice shallow Depth of Field.
I can certainly recommend the 50mm F1.8. It is a fantastic lens quality wise, and it is also one of the cheapest. I know a lot of photographers are also fond of the 35mm F2.8. Again, it’s about playing with them and seeing which one suites you.
The hard work starts when your fingers hit the keys and you begin crafting a winning intro, moving on to a masterpiece of a middle and then finishing off with the best ending ever.
But it’s not just about the words going up on your website, you also need to think about how you are going to get people to see them.
I keep seeing posts on social media that are badly written, are too long, or have nothing to do with the actual content.
Well the short piece of copy that you post on social media is just as important as the writing on your blog. It acts as a sales pitch to intrigue the reader, encouraging them to click through to read more.
Before adding a bit of waffle to your post because you think it sounds good, think about how it will work for your audience and what they are interested in. Click bait can work if it’s done well, but if you are just writing something for the sake of click bait, people will see through this, get miffed and go elsewhere.
1. Keep the copy short and concise so that it captures the reader within a few seconds. After all, technology has reduced our attention span to 8 seconds, which is 1 second shorter than that of a goldfish.
2. Think about the words you use in this social copy. If you are posting from a brand page and want to keep a neutral opinion, phrases such as ‘better than’ or ‘x wins over x’ could mean you are siding with one part of the story over another.
3. Negative statements are good when used correctly, but remember to add something that relates to your content and make sure the argument is balanced out within the full article.
4. If you are not sure, check the meaning of words before you use them. Chronic can be confused with acute and compose with comprise. Have a look at this great article from the Guardian for more examples.
5. A funny post can gain lots of attention, but If you are going to use humour in copy, run it by someone to get a second opinion or even better, a LOL.
6. Make sure you read over the copy a couple of times before you click POST. This will minimise the risk of spelling mistakes or typos. Even better, if you have a sub editor or proof reader in your team, get them to have a look over it.
7. If you are using an image to sit alongside the copy. Make sure it’s relevant and doesn’t include anything that could be misleading or may upset your readers.
Images are often the first thing we spot before we even read the text so they are just as important. Remember ‘less is more’ at times.
If you have any examples of great posts! Please leave a comment below.