Archive for July, 2012

Playing it Right with Keywords and SMO

Posted by on Jul 24 2012 | Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SMO

Social Media Optimization is the mantra in new-age marketing. To further your marketing campaign on the global virtual platform, the correct keyword is all that you need. SMO works its best when web users use certain phrases and keywords to fuel their searches. The words entered, are not mere phrases of the content designed for the specific web page, but are words that help place the website on a ranking scale on search engines. In this case, the social media operative must encode the content with the appropriate words to return maximum search results.

The Right Jargon

The content designer has to have the foresight to understand that the medium of delivering the content should be accessible to all, in terms of readability and comprehension. Thus he cannot choose to bombard the text with heavy-sounding words to garner aesthetic language appeal. The vocabulary needs to be simple and wound in a jargon that is understood by a wider audience. When it comes to reading content online, people would rather look at interactive elements like pictures, videos and graphics than read volumes of uninteresting text. Keeping it short and simple is the net idea to grasp. Short sentences using active voice and employing grammar in meticulous accuracy is what makes for a winning copy.

The Elusive Keyword

The concept of the elusive keyword arises from the intricate searching process. When a keyword is entered into a search engine website, it looks for similar content online, containing the relevant terms. The user is then redirected to the resulting page which might satisfy the query or might lead to further searches. Searching trends show that the most effective search results are the ones displayed as top 5 results in a listing. People rarely choose to look beyond the first five results to further their query. To be able to feature in the to           p 5 listings, the content needs to be optimized to achieve these results.

Getting it Right for SEO

Search Engine Optimization is the tool that makes or breaks your website on the virtual platform. When a mere word can shape or destroy your establishment, pulling out all stops to coin the right one will steer you clear of all hurdles.

 

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Exploring Alone: What to do to Enrich your Travel Writing

Posted by on Jul 21 2012 | Content Writing

It all started on a cozy afternoon of January winter, when I was in the process of reinventing myself and was looking for venues to explore my inner self. To tell you the truth, I was sitting idle, jobless with an elaborate research paper to be written. So, with a lot of bottled emotion, I decided to take the most random of journeys. I registered myself for the Jaipur Literature Festival on an online portal, got a ticket done for an early morning train from Delhi Cantonment to Jaipur and fixed an accommodation at army mess (courtesy: my colonel uncle).

While in Jaipur for a literature festival and travelling alone, I had plans of my own. First one being how am I going to archive this memorial journey? So, I thought of the strategy that was to be followed for the next three  days.

Day 1: Deciding on going local: To have my travel writing turn out a good read, I thought of taking the easiest and most sought after conveyance of the city. So, I ended up travelling in an auto rickshaw all by myself. For fellow travelers, it is good to try out the local ride which takes you through the heart of the city and you get to see much to write about.

Day 2: Grabbing the city highlights: While Oprah stole the scene on this day and being left out of the venue because of the enormous crowd, I decided to catch the very important sight-seeing session. Again, I just hired an auto for a complete day covering the City palace, Hawa mahal, Amber fort. In fact, a good suggestion is to go on foot while exploring the market (which I did). It gives the traveler a complete picture of the town, the feel of the local business and what’s popular.

Day 3: Taking the plunge to discover more: It was a decision which took some time but I jumped on the idea. This day was dedicated for the trip to Ajmer Sharif. I took the local bus that runs to and fro (and turned out a decent ride) from Jaipur to Ajmer Sharif and visited the ‘dargah’. While doing so I interacted with the local group of people, the ticket in-charge, the shop keeper, a man at the shrine, and it added to my knowledge of the place.

Before taking off from Jaipur, I had a clear idea as how my strategy of exploring the city has turned out and how good it is going to be when I get to pen down the experience. It turned out well it seems!

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The Dark Side of Social Media

Posted by on Jul 20 2012 | social media optimization

The business world is going gaga about social media and every new concept in it that promises a revolution. It is a time when if you exist then it must be because of social media. Could there be something wrong with a thing like social media, which is responsible for giving so many businesses an identity? Is it all a good thing or does it have its share of grey shades too? Let us explore.

Even though the advantages of social media are far more than its disadvantages, it is always better to know both the sides of the coin well. Knowing the below mentioned disadvantages will only help you have a better control over your social media processes:

  • “It’s Free” is just a strategy: The social media sites my offer you free registration, but everything beyond that has a cost attached to it. Once you have signed-up, you will need to work on developing strategies for attracting people and then retaining them. Coming up with ideas (a lot of them), means added cost and time investment
  • It’s Risky:  Businesses will agree that a larger audience does not always bring positive results. It is also about increased chances of negative feedback. And, since we are talking “social media” the chances of getting negative feedback increase manifold.
  • Fraud Makes It More Risky: Social media is full of fraudulent people and fraudulent activities. It is very important that you monitor your social media activities regularly, even if you are not taking any third-party help to handle your twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or LinkedIn.
  • It Means More Competition: Unlike what it is considered, social media is really tough. Social media is a very competitive platform. It is not just about running an account but about continuous interaction with parties and keeping them engaged. Because almost everybody is “going social” it becomes extremely tough to emerge as a leader.
  • It Doesn’t Promise ROI in Initial Business Stages: The gestation period is higher in case you are selling your products and services online. This basically boils down to the fact that there is no surety of returns in short-term.

By this blog we are in no way steering you towards becoming “anti”-social media. We also do not want you to unfriend your Facebook account. The drawbacks only indicate that you be more careful with your approach towards social media henceforth.

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Thumb Rules of Grammar

Posted by on Jul 19 2012 | Content Writing

Do you also feel that good content is one that entails perfect grammar and punctuation? Every careful content writer would feel so! So, what are the points that you pay heed to when you write? Are the ones below among them?

1.    Active vs Passive. As far as possible, use the active voice. Using passive voice is necessary only if the object is unknown. So, if you were to write ‘Sita ate the grapes’, avoid writing “The grapes were eaten by Sita.” With the need for content to be more conversational and interactive, active scores much better over passive voice!
2.    The Subject-Verb Agreement. This often happens in long-winded sentences. While talking about the subject, the mind meanders and forgets that a singular subject always takes a singular verb, and a plural subject a plural verb. Starting a sentence with “It is a good source of energy…” and losing the way into “… and provide substantial amounts of…” is a clear indication of a writer lost in their own thoughts!
3.    Into vs in to. ‘Into’ is used to indicate movement from outside to inside of an object, e.g. ‘Hari dropped the coins into the jar.’ ‘In to’ is used when you wish to say, ‘The robber turned himself in to the police the next day.’
4.    ‘That vs ‘which’. The use of ‘that’ is for essential or known clauses, while ‘which’ is used when referring to non-essential or unknown clauses. Examples would be:
‘The soap that we buy is out of stock.’
‘The soap we bought from that market, which also has several wine shops, smells very good.’
‘The band that played the other night has a very young guitarist.’
‘The band playing now is from Dublin, which is where popular Irish music originated.’

5.    Correct Placement of Modifier.

a.    An action must be followed by the actor. Therefore, it would be incorrect to say ‘After buying the vegetables, the trolley hit Nelly.’ Now surely, trolleys don’t go veggie-shopping! The correct sentence formation would be:
‘After buying the vegetables, Nelly was hit by the trolley.’

b.    Modifiers should also always be inserted right next to the words they modify. So, it would be incorrect to say ‘My boss gave me the papers he had taken print-outs of in a file’. Obviously, print-outs cannot be taken out in files!. The correct sentence formation would be:
‘In a file, my boss gave me the print-outs had taken out.’

Now, don’t you think taking care of the above will help you write better and more effectively? Feel free to share more such instances of incorrect grammar of used.

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Reaching Out With LinkedIn

Posted by on Jul 18 2012 | Blogs, SEO, social media optimization

This blog is for anyone and everyone who is on LinkedIn and still not able to figure out “How the hell is it helping”. The contents of the blog are a must read if you have….

…just made your account on LinkedIn and hoping for someone to add to your connections

… been using LinkedIn for a while but have never really got a hang of it

…are looking for interesting ways to make a value addition via LinkedIn

Let us first get our facts right. LinkedIn, unlike what many people think, is not a job search board. It is definitely not a place to discuss personal matters and absolutely not a place for unlimited chit-chat. So what is it then? Well, firstly, LinkedIn is a social media site with the purpose of making business-to-business transactions/happenings/connections simpler, faster and convenient.

Why should you join it? Even if the rapidly rising share prices of LinkedIn fail to convince you to open an account then we give you another 100 plus reasons to join it. But for the sake of space, as well as to retain the essence of this blog, let us stick to 5 such ways to use LinkedIn that it enhances your social presence.

Have A Blog? Publish It

It is a very intelligent feature of LinkedIn that its users can publish their blogs and posts on it. This is not just a great way to divert more attention towards your LinkedIn profile but also a good strategy to grab more eyeballs for your blog. The ‘motive’ here is to establish a common platform for people and allow knowledge sharing. You social presence automatically gets established when people are drawn towards your works and would like to know more about you.

Build Brand “Me”

There are a zillion ways to build your personal brand on LinkedIn. We will share a secret here. LinkedIn works in a manner similar to the one that Google used a decade ago. So if you wonder where the rankings are being calculated, be assured it is just another SEO game. The wiser you are at using the keywords, the more searchable you are; therefore the rank-wise categorization. And, a better ranking means more visibility.

Be the First to be on Google’s Mind, Always!!

If you know the trick then creating a smart profile on LinkedIn won’t be much of a trouble. And, we have already given you the key to this secret, which is SEO. Apart from that, taking care of some basics will make your LinkedIn profile be at the top of the Google search page.  For enhancing your web presence, make sure that you make your profile public, give your profile a proper title, mention your website links accurately and keep adding to your list of skills in the “skill box”.

Get Involved

You have been an active participant of events and forums on Facebook, then what is holding you back from joining the rendezvous taking place on LinkedIn? When you participate in the discussions that are being held you enhance your social presence and reach out to a larger audience. You can debate, discuss, opinionate and share your views via LinkedIn and become a crucial part of various groups. For maximum benefit, target the most popular discussions happening, and also the recent ones.

Attend and Hold Conferences

You can also hold tradeshows here if you want to, but webinars are tried and tested. Since LinkedIn is a learning ground for professionals, it is always a good idea to get together and throw light upon some emerging business trends that are of interest to all. Doing this through web means time, place and space advantage. An increase social presence automatically spawns from dedicated social networking and interaction.

There is a lot more to LinkedIn than we can ever imagine and no matter how much is known about it at present, there will be something new about it the next time we explore it more. But to sum it precisely, if you want to build some truly influential connections online, LinkedIn is the place to be.

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Nuances of Web Content Writing

Posted by on Jul 17 2012 | Search Engine Optimization, Web Content Writing

Gone are the days, when people would queue up in departmental stores to pick up their t-shirts on sale. The principle custom of being physically present to buy, hand out the cash is now a fondly remembered memory. Now if someone has to buy anything under the sun, they need only log on to the internet and shop to their heart’s desire. Technology has increasingly mobilised the social functions and with the Internet, now deemed as the new virtual residence, it need not come as a surprise that most MNC’s would want to revamp their image to keep up.

Content is, therefore, the undisputed king of the virtual world. It will either put a website on the proverbial marketing pedestal, or will drown the website to oblivion. This leaves the web content writer with an immense responsibility. He is expected to have the required foresight to be able to predict the changing trends in search engine optimization and use them to the best of his abilities.

When writing for the masses, one requires finding ways to make them click, access and treat the content as per the website’s intentions. To do this the content writer must have an in-depth knowledge of the subject at hand and must strategise his appeal for the masses. Although writing content for a website does not have a standard set of rules, but if a content writer manages to grasp the subtle nuances he will be able to produce a winning copy. Marketing is just a game played to lure in mass attention and to be at the top of this game, one only needs to understand what makes the audience click. Thus targeting the audience and shaping the content to suit the tone of voice will make the reader feel a connection. In this regard, the appropriate use of words in the required frequency and tone is what will work in favour of the content. Even with all the technicalities in place, what makes content readable at the end of the day, is the language. So the writer cannot bombard the content with difficult words and phrases. The challenge however will be to create appealing content without compromising on quality.

Web users are aware of how precious time is. Even when they choose to aimlessly surf the web, they would prefer to view content that takes the least effort to read. So the content writer cannot hope to hold their attention with volumes of text. It needs to be concise and interactive. Using an audio visual medium will do more than just enhance content. At the end of the day, establishing a connection with every John Doe is what every marketing enterprise roots for.

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Amazing Spider Man: Brand ‘Webb’ Sells… and How!

Posted by on Jul 12 2012 | branding, Cinema

Ok, for all those Spiderman fans out there, this reboot is definitely worth a million drools….no, not for the Lizard Man! It is for the all-new avatar of Peter Parker, adeptly played by Andrew Garfield. The swings, the webs and the zaps are all there – and in a brand new package.

So, what is it that makes one say, “Move over Tobey, your character’s been web-jacked”? Well, it’s a well-concocted blend of more realistic results of action sequences (remember the bruises that actually show till the day after?), the depth of emotions (scenes with Aunt May, Uncle Ben and of course, the love interest, Gwen Stacey, played by Emma Stone), and to top it all, the deliberately depicted inadequacies of the super-hero before he dons his role as the saviour of the city.

The story delves right into the root of how it all began. From the dilemma of separation from his parents at a young age, to growing up with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, dealing with the trauma of his parents’ mysterious disappearance, and the wound that this childhood circumstance leaves in a young Parker, the drama unfolds and does so adeptly. The emotional confabulations, the romantic impasses and the ever-raging inner turmoil are beautifully executed through the boyish charms of the dashing Garfield. A budding photographer cum scientific genius-in-the-making takes on the ambitious and almost evil-incarnate Dr. Connors, the Lizard Man. While good triumphs, it always has a cost attached to it – which unfortunately is in the form of human lives lost (viz. Captain Stacey).

So, what makes this whole package so sough after? Is it the stunts? Is it the raw emotions? Or is it simply brand ‘Webb’ that makes it all so delectable?  The flick is worth watching to find out.

 

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Sports Branding: Hinting Sales

Posted by on Jul 04 2012 | branding

http://loyaltyandcustomers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/nike-ambush-adidas.jpgSitting in the brand management class of my M.B.A. last semester, I always found the subject interesting but never in the world did I take it to be something so deep. Well there were a few roots and branches but deep…Nah! Something happened when I started observing how brands work strategies to deliver their message across countries, breaking barriers of language and races. So, I thought of sharing this very engaging story of two brands, better known to the world as Nike and Adidas. Both of them started off with shoes and are now into everything sports (apparels, bags, accessories).

The story though is not plain and I will not talk about how they came into being (I know you can Google that). The interesting facet to their rivalry is the sports that they both religiously follow and endorse and manufacture for. Yes, you guessed it right. Soccer, it is. Now, I would suggest go check the recent commercial for these two brands. Nike breaks the scene with a very energetic and on-the-edge-of-your-seat ad where players, professionals and just about every man who gets hit (with the ‘soccer’ idea) rushes to the field. It culminates where a puzzled player enters the scene in a discomfortingly unfit soccer jersey. So, the ad is all about adrenaline and more of it. Talking about one of the Adidas commercials, this ad features players at a restaurant/diner and the food on the menu is ‘the shoe’, which is immaculately cooked and served ‘fresh’.  A lovely concept of depicting what an original, fresh, and right out of the ‘oven’ dish would feel like.

Apart from how both the brands have played with the idea of sports and the product associated with it, one very important fact is none of them overdid it. For Nike the whole concept was to put the spirit of the game at front (though everywhere across the field the viewers see the players’ feet and hence, the inevitable, shoe). While for Adidas, the idea was to put across the image of a shoemaker who believes in delivering authenticity with every single piece. In both the cases, the shoe is not glorified, it remains there as part of the whole play. It is understood for anybody and everybody, who has followed these two brands that they would be talking about the ‘product’, but here, goes the smart marketing. They say, yes, we are marketing our product but you won’t know it because we are not talking straight. We are just hinting; a good concept, indeed. We can expect that coming from brands that have stood the test of time, have evolved and keep upgrading themselves with every passing minute. So, what is the take home for brands that babble too much? Just keep producing quality and advertise subtly. The essence lies in knowing what is intended and if you have to say that aloud, it is no more fun.

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Clever Advertisement in the Age of Smart Technology

Posted by on Jul 03 2012 | Advertising

It’s a time when innovations fade much faster than they arrive. The fate of some concepts is such that they rarely even manage to create a buzz about their existence. Be it through product cannibalization or competition from substitutes, product life-span is shrinking. The point, however, is that technology is being merciless and its time to get devilish with advertisements. THAT would be the only way to catch hold of an audience that doesn’t really care much about what you are selling and why until it really makes sense to them. But wait; let’s first get to know the new age marketing mantras.

 

 

Logic assumes that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs plays a vital role in consumer’s product purchase decision; and, that could be the only reason why people are no longer in the grip of 2-minute-and-some-fifteen second advertisement boasting about product features on the television. But then why buy a Parker over a Pierre Cardin? Or why not call that bottle of fizz a “soft-drink” instead of being too picky about a thumbs-up or a coke? Believe me both taste almost same in case you are blind tasting them.

Where downright chatty advertisements have failed to lure masses a cleverly sneaked appearance into their virtual world has done the trick pretty easily. I guess it all started with “Sex and the City” movie winning the 2008 product placement award (or it could have begin earlier) but the unexpected mentions or usage of products in movies, commercials has been one of the most talked about advertising strategy. Guess what’s, that’s not even a fraction of the entire product placement strategy gamut. Marketers have played very well with the tender psychology of a certain section of society known as die-hard fans. “Emma Watson wears Prada to the Oscars, OMG I got to get one today”, that’s the power play that marketers are feeding on today.

Technologically speaking, the collapsible banners and pop-ups are no longer serving the purpose. Blame it on Avatar 3D movie for creating havoc in the successfully running digital world of advertisement.  Having revolutionized movie experiences Avatar has indirectly (and directly) changed the way we place our products. The challenge that remains with 3D product placements is to give the audience a “jump-on-your-seat” experience. How you do it is up to you.

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Writing E-books – Is it that Simple?

Posted by on Jul 01 2012 | Content Writing

E-books, as we know it are the published books in digital format. They consist of both text and images and are readable on devices such as computers and mobile phones.  With an easy access to the Internet to a lot of readers, a large number is shifting from printed books to e-books. The young writers of this day are aiming at getting their e-books published rather than the printed versions due to the reach of the former. But is it that easy to write an e-book?

Writing an e-book, first of all is not a child’s play. It requires an equal amount of dedication and commitment as it is required in penning down a printed version of a book. Writing an e-book is different from the conventional book writing in terms of its purpose. It may be intended to promote a business, bringing traffic to a brand’s website or to create a specific image for a brand. There are three P’s associated with an e-book- Promise, Purpose and Price.

1.    Promise - Before starting to work on your e-book, you need to think of the promise that you are delivering to your readers. Why will a reader buy your e-book? Do you have the content that may be interesting to a specific set of people? Put yourself in the shoes of your target readers and ask yourself- what length of the book will be apt? Do I need pictures also? It is then, that you will be able to see through it clearly.

2.    Purpose - What is the purpose of you writing the e-book? Do you want to publish your book to promote a specific brand or a product? Well, reasons may vary. But as a writer, you need to figure out the length of the book depending on the purpose and the subject.

3.    Price - Based on the promise delivery and purpose of your e-book, you need to decide on the price of your work. Itis one of the trickiest parts but is indispensable too. The price of your e-book also depends on the length of the book. Of course you can’t charge peanuts for a book 300 pages long or a many dollars for a book of 30-40 pages for that instance. Some of the points that must be considered before you fix up on a price are- the recovery of the cost, the ‘feel good factor’ being delivered and the subject of the book.

Though it’s not difficult to get your e- book published, but make sure you follow these points to successfully get your first e-book published with a well known website.

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