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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Content Marketing: Interactivity the Secret Key


The phrase ‘content is king’ gets thrown around very frequently to highlight how important content is. In my view interactivity plays an important role and should not be discounted from the content creation process.

Interactive content is extremely beneficial for business as it attracts audience, boosts engagement, increases web traffic, and increases conversion rate. Businesses often neglect the importance of the interactive element as they are too driven to produce more content. Producing excessive content will make it seem generic and even make your audience lose interest when you see them swimming off to other competitors that are most focused on content that are engaging.

Think of it this way, if you’re planning to buy something online, what is the first thing you do? You'll want to make sure you check online to read reviews and when convinced you will try your level best to find the best deals you can get in the marketplace. Access to an array of information freely has caused today's consumers to be more savvy when making a purchase with online research taking a foothold in the decision making process before a buying decision is even made. This is different from conventional purchasing habits. However traditional recommendations from high-value connections in your network which consumers view and trust highly still play an integral role in the buying decision too. This is why ever more so you should facilitate a consumer's behavior by servicing their need for information with interactive thoughtful ideas to further enhance their decision to purchase from you.

Interactive content is the fundamentals of lead generation and conversion. It enriches your marketing plan as it elevates it to a different tier that creates an engaging experience for your customers.

Interactive content is different from traditional content as it seeks to engage and entertain its users. The mechanics of the internet and websites have allowed content to exist in different forms that can be presented in various ways.

The few common and effective interactive content are:

i) Infographics
ii) GIFs,
iii) Videos
iv) Podcasts
v) Webinars

The examples above do not represent the boundaries of interactive content. Interactivity should be embodied by creative freedom. Innovative elements with the guide of thought to engage the audience by providing an experience can unlock a lot of potential in the content you produce. Rather than taking the side of the informant, why not gamify, request for an opinion, or start a conversation, because these are some of the building blocks to making highly successful interactive content. Have your audience engage and interact with your content and you would have developed a valuable community that shares and relies on the information you recommend to them, and this can indirectly lead to better sales opportunities and strong positive brand perceptions.

Now, the million dollar question: Why, and how is interactive content beneficial?

Enriches The Appeal Of Your Website


Interactive content contributes heavily to make a website seem well-designed. We cannot deny that humans like to be satisfied visually. We like seeing beautiful things and are always mesmerised by things that are visually stunning. This is why the way a website looks is crucial in attracting and sustaining your audience.

With that being said, the thing that truly engages them is the interactive content you have distributed over your website. Interactive content emphasises more on visual elements, which is much more appealing than normal content. It enhances the overall ‘beauty’ of your website and has a higher chance in making page visitors to explore your website because let’s face it, no one would be interested in navigating through a boring website that is lackluster in its design and content.

Entices Your Audience To Buy


Interactive content grabs an online user’s attention. Furthermore, it’s extremely informative and educative. The interactive mechanism allows users to understand the product more in an innovative way, along with relevant information that drives the users to purchase.

It also important to intelligently incorporate your interactive content with your website’s call-to-action (CTAs) widgets. Delivering content that entices your audience should also be capitalized, build content so that it translates to measurable goals. By incorporating these in your strategy your audience will be more convinced to interact with the product or service in which you have to offer.

Increases Social Sharings & Engagements


When people had hands-on experience on how remarkable your interactive content is, they will surely share it with friends, either by mouth or through social media. Word of your business will reach more people, increasing brand awareness.

Keep up the momentum and provide updates constantly to entertain your audience and keep them on the hook. Utilise social media as a tool to spread the news about your interactive content and get more people to visit it.

Boosts Your Business Revenues


Successfully improving readership and website visits means that there are more people who will mostly likely end up buying your products/services. It exposes your content to more visibility and more people will visit it and experience it themselves. The increase in readers/viewership automatically translate it to higher sales for your business as the chances of people buying your products/services are higher.

Most companies put attracting customers/readers/viewership as their utmost priority because your business needs to get a notable amount of visibility and exposure in order to reach the right people that are interested in your products/services.

Interactive content is the key to acing your content marketing strategy. It drives leads and conversions, which ultimately results in the boost of business revenue. Devise your content marketing plan carefully and be sure to produce interactive content that will lay an impact to your audience.

You can find more information on how you can deploy your interactive content here through EVERWORKS unique mobile distribution gateways.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Website Changes to Prioritize


There are generally two ways websites change, big and small. There is the revolutionary change requiring a periodic 4 to 5 year redesign and there are the little evolutionary changes that happen in between the revolutionary change that are the enhancements, and support handling. Some changes to websites are simple content changes, while others are serious maintenance normally requiring new features and integration.

There are millions of things you can do with a website and each of them has a cost and benefit:


  1. The time/effort/costs needed to make changes varies in time. It can be finished quickly or can take months of planning, programming and testing.
  2. The results of the websites changes also vary wildly while some have a huge impact on marketing outcomes while others have none at all.


Adding a new title tag or modifying it, adding a new section or dropping a video has a return (benefit) on investment (time and cost). Together they can be plotted on a chart showing the relationship between benefits with time and costs.

Time and Money: The costs of website updates


Websites are magic, it allows anyone to interact with your business globally. However, it still does need time, and money or both. If you have an in-house marketing team, with a solid content management system (CMS), then changes to texts and images don't incur additional expenses. These are basically free website enhancements to the company.

Big design and programming changes normally mean calling your web developer.

Here is a quick overview of possible website enhancements and whether marketing time or there is a required investment into design or development incurred:


Relationship between traffic, conversions and website changes: the benefits

Before making any changes to your current website you should ask this question. What is the outcome you expect to achieve out of this change? Is it to enhance your brand, gain better conversions or you are responding to feedback you have received from your users?

Each and every investment into your website should align with a goal. These business goals lead to website needs, where commerce sites are usually higher sales transactions or information sites are for lead generation through better traffic and a higher conversion rate. That is how essentially websites make money.

Here are some main goals of websites that people use as a benchmark:


  1. Increase conversion rates: Maximize the percentage of visitors who visit the site to take action through the website that align with the visitors' perspective and psychology.
  2. Increase traffic: Grow brand awareness and top line traffic levels through better alignment between website, search, social, email and paid marketing activities.
  3. Easier management: make the website more efficient marketing tool with more flexible templates and tools so no update takes longer than expected and the ability to integrate actively with other systems when practical.
  4. Website uptime: Ensure that the website is up during critical times when customers meet most often. Find out more about great hosting here.
  5. Internal politics: Keep people happy, especially highly-opinionated people, and people with power. Some website changes don't have any practical marketing purpose.


Beware of opinions! When an opinion is stated look for evidence to support or refute that opinion. You could probably find it in Analytics which is a great tool for making better decisions about website updates.

Below are some examples of website changes that align with goals mentioned above and we see how the benefits matchup according to our experience:


There are a few updates to your website that could potentially hurt the marketing results (yes this is true and can happen to you too!) and here are some common examples:


  1. Adding a design element that pulls the visitors attention from the call-to-action.
  2. Building an expensive feature that isn't rarely used.
  3. Updating the title tag of a page that already ranks high for a valuable phrase.


Set priorities


Things by now should be clear. Look at every possible change to your website in context of costs and benefits and you should be well on your way to determine objectively what business goals need to be solved and what changes potentially have a negative impact on the site or could potentially hurt marketing results. Create a worksheet with some of the points above that is simple. The most important aspect of this exercise is to have a clear statement of purpose. The risks of action without outcomes without a clear direction can be bad.

Not sure? Test.


There is no certain answer to every method. You can still be clear about the goals and look carefully at the costs that might be incurred.

If costs are marginal then try quickly and measure the impact of the change over a fixed time to compare with other changes that occur on the site. If costs are high, weigh the risk and proceed with the test or you can choose to prioritize the lower cost updates, only making the bigger changes after you've exhausted the smaller, simpler updates.

When Updates Reach Limits


Eventually you will hit the point where updates have reached their limit and it is possibly a time for a redesign. An updated website has a lifespan of around 3 to 5 years depending on the business and the industry, and updates might not be keeping in line with market trends. This should be a clear indication to stop making updates and proceed with plans for a new redesign.

I'm sure some of you have your own thoughts on this. We'd love to hear them in the comments below.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Announcement - MyIX Maintenance - 22 October 2016

Dear MyIX members/peers,

Please take note that AIMS-CYBERJAYA link (74km) will be brought down for final UAT.  The details as below :-

Date      :  22/10/2016 (Saturday)
Time      : 0000 to 0400
Activity  :  UAT

However, there is no impact to peering as traffic will be will diverted to another path during the activity.

Any inconvenience is regretted.

For management inquiries please email info@everworks.com
For technical inquiries please email cvs@everworks.com

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Website Redesign ROI


The ROI of website redesign can be hard to quantify with no concrete metric that can be used to directly relate to ROI measurement. Like any ROI the calculations are based on cost and results.

Costs


Website pricing really varies. The costs range from free DIY tools to millions of dollars for high-end digital agencies. Web designers can start low for a freelancer or expensive for a complex website from a big web development firm. Generally the price of a website relates to the amount of time it takes to create it, as there are very little or no material costs, since pixels and code aren't bought like inventory the costs are based on the estimates of time required for design, programming, communication, and license purchase.

The content (writing and images) also takes time, whether handled by the web firm or a freelance team or the company itself. This adds up to a total amount of hours that must be used multiply with the hourly rate equating to the total project fee.

Here are some of the major cost factors:

  • Project management and communication: How many people required to work on your project.
  • Design: Is this an off-the-shelf template being used or something made custom.
  • Programming: Is it a standard feature or more custom?
  • Team: Are there a lot of specialists required?
  • Content: Is it a site that requires a lot of new writing? Is there photography or video production needed?
  • CMS Platform: This isn't really a factor because different platforms can still be made use to achieve complex things. WordPress is also used for sites like CNN.com
  • Licenses: Important thing to factor in when using some features or functions or images on your site. This can incur an additional cost to the project.

Results


There is a clear distinction between the objectives of the website where revenue generating metrics can be calculated directly from e-commerce sites or in the value of leads for a lead generation website.

There are many factors that affect the calculation for the return on investment, but generally they are:

  • The cost of creating the website
  • The cost of maintaining the website - post-launch operating expense (content marketing and advertising)
  • The traffic - number of visitors is normally a measure of a successful marketing activity not web design.
  • Conversion rate - this is a web design metric and not a marketing activity as this has an impact on conversions but together the traffic times the conversion rate equals results.
  • The website lifespan.

Just compare objectively costs and returns over a period of time to identify if the right marketing strategies are in place to drive relevant traffic for conversion to occur.

Ensure that you suffer from very little downtime to ensure that your website investment is given sufficient opportunity to display its potential conversion capabilities to your target customers here.