Author: Bonnie Harris

A clear understanding of your target audience is essential to marketing success. It should shape everything from your brand’s tone and messaging to your content style and distribution. And knowing your audience isn’t as simple as having a typical customer in mind. True depth of...

Narratives compel us. They’re familiar. They’re memorable (22 times more memorable than facts, according to one psychologist). So it’s no wonder that in an era of constant digital sharing and connection, companies who master brand storytelling are achieving – and maintaining – a global following....

Social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, are attractive to marketers for obvious reasons. However, the popularity of mobile messaging apps surpassed that of social media apps back in 2015, and the gap only continues to widen. It’s no surprise then, that these apps offer serious message marketing potential. More than half of U.S. residents will use a messaging app by 2022, with the most popular Facebook Messenger app alone projected to reach 138.1 million users. Not only this, but when it comes to business, 56% of users would rather message a business than call and over 50% are more likely to shop with a business they can message.

Ever since the birth of the internet, consumer feedback on businesses have increased in quantity and importance. Online reviews expose the experiences—both positive and negative—of real customers to everyone. This means the perception of every single customer matters. Responding to negative reviews can affect their perception.   Some people take this new reality lightly and ignore online review sites like Yelp and Google My Business. However, this could be hurting their businesses more than these companies realize. Why? Because 86% of consumers reveal they read online reviews for local businesses, according to Bright Local

To be a functioning professional in the digital e-commerce environment it’s important to be as present and multi-functional as possible. Mobile apps offer the perfect opportunity for business owners to connect with their target audiences. APIs or Application Programming Interfaces are what allows one piece of software to share information with another. Although invisible to the user almost everyone has interacted with and most likely benefited from an API. APIs give businesses the ability to embed maps, process payments and run different apps in conjunction with each other. Using APIs with some or all of the following applications can help better integrate your business, improve customer interactions and streamline your business operations.

In the age of digital assistance, consumers plan before they experience, even if only for a moment. They want to know as much as they can about what they’ll be getting into and minimize unwanted surprises. Google reports that 91% of mobile users search for information on their phones in the middle of a task for ideas or inspiration. Those “intent-rich moments when a person turns to a device to act on a need to know, go, do or buy” are called micro-moments. Micro-moments aren’t merely a trend but a shift in buyer behavior, making a huge impact on consumer decisions. Understanding those micro-moments are key to successfully delivering what people want, when they want it. And your brand will stand out among the crowd if you can anticipate these moments, provide relevant content, and deliver an optimized, consistent experience across channels.

The gig is up. In the age of information access and social media sharing, consumers are all too familiar with gotcha marketing techniques and trickery. And when they spot it, they’re quick to blast their displeasure to the masses, potentially devastating brand reputation. Consumers demand brand transparency, and it’s an invigorating shift for marketers. With less pressure to portray your business as something it’s not, more resources can be spent showcasing your company’s true identity. And that’s reason to be excited.

The dreaded digital trash bin is the likely destination of even the most carefully crafted email campaigns if they fail to include one essential component – personalization. Today’s consumer expects personalized experiences, and the inbox is no exception. In an Adobe study, marketers responded that personalization would be the single most important capacity for marketing in the future. Many marketers already use some degree of personalized email content. However, these efforts often don’t go much further than the recipient’s first name in the subject line. Granted, personalized subject lines do increase an email’s chances of being opened by 26%. But you can go far beyond this simple technique to achieve higher click-through and conversion rates.

In a time when over 70 million U.S. internet users are using ad-blockers, native advertising is an extremely valuable and effective alternative to traditional ads. Most major brands use it in some capacity, as 53% of consumers are more likely to look at a native ad than a banner ad. What’s more, native advertising increases purchase intent by 18% over normal display ads. With formatting designed to match the surrounding content, native ads are much less obtrusive and more educational than traditional ads that disrupt the browsing experience. Though native advertising comes in many forms, a few have proven to be more profitable and worthwhile. Below, you will find the top three types of native advertising. These strategies will give your content a prominent stage to help you reach new and existing customers.

Trust isn’t easy to come by in today’s marketplace, where most consumers conduct online research before making a purchase. Thought leadership is one of the most worthwhile marketing strategies for attaining consumer trust and boosting brand value. Not only does this marketing strategy keep your content well from running dry, but it also helps your business attract website visitors, talented employees, potential partnerships and new customers. Despite its lofty title, thought leadership is essentially the sharing of industry expertise with the goal of establishing your business as an authoritative leader in the field. Successful thought leadership marketing is about harnessing your existing knowledge and sharing it to inform and inspire others, without specifically promoting your products/services (although you will undoubtedly see an increase in sales). So how is it done? Read on to learn the who, what, where, when and why of turning your brand into a trusted source that consumers turn to.