In the last couple of years the focus of online marketing has shifted from purely English language based campaigns to more targeted multilingual and multicultural approaches. The focus of this post will be on the opportunities of three regions which have great potential for online marketing.
Yandex vs. Google in Russia
The online market in Russia is one of the most important growing markets that advertisers will have to monitor in the coming years. Especially online advertising has become more and more important. According to WebProNews.com, Russian online ad spend currently is estimated at 16 per cent and is still growing steadily.
In line with these results, Yandex, the most popular search engine in Russia, experienced60 per cent sales growth in 2011. Owning about 60 per cent market share and rated the most popular web site on the Russian web, Yandex is currently aiming to increase its global index.
Google managed to claim approximately 25 per cent of the market share as of May 2011 but has not kept up with Yandex’s growing market share just now. Russia is one of the promising future markets for online marketing activities, especially in social media which plays an important role for Internet users. Going into this market requires thorough monitoring of the potential users, the search engines and the potential market niches.
Investing in China
Another interesting and fast growing online environment is China. According to Mashableecommerce will be one of the fastest growing areas in China in the next three years. This makes the Chinese Internet a very profitable place for investment.
In the Chinese web Baidu is the biggest search engine, indexing around 740 million pages. But it is not alone in the very competitive Chinese search engine market. New competition comes from Jike, a government-owned search engine. It is already clear that a lot of content won’t be indexed by Jike as governmental-imposed censorship is in place and has a tight grip around users’ online experience.
Google has just recently announced that it will inform users if sites have been censored by the government. The censorship represents a huge challenge for Internet marketers to identify the right search queries and keywords for brands.
But China also offers a sizable opportunity for online marketers to reach the masses. According to the CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Centre) online marketers can potentially reach 420 million people online (31.6 per cent of the population in 2010).Entering the Chinese online market requires the understanding of how people search; the culture and certainly the language.
The Middle East shows major online marketing growth
The opportunities in the Middle Eastern online market are immense. The population of the Middle East is estimated at around 216 million people, and of these, about 77 million are frequent Internet users.
The massive growth of digital advertising is certainly a significant opportunity. A 50 per cent increase has been forecasted for 2012 which is just the beginning. In the coming years the digital market will grow and grow. The downside of this rapid growth is the lack of audience measurement systems but this will surely improve in due course.
Online marketers face challenges alongside opportunities. The economic and political situations, cultural circumstances as well as other factors have a major influence on the structuring of online marketing campaigns.
The potential of these three online markets is significant. Entering them requires a thorough understanding of the culture, the people, and the language and in more detailed terms, how people search.
Building brand affinity through a coherent marketing strategy is something that all companies hope to achieve. Many are turning to the online world of content marketing – the use of infographics, videos, microsites, webinars and other forms of content to engage with, attract and secure their target audience. The question we must ask then is: who is doing it well? And why are they succeeding? Here are three of the brands I think are embracing content marketing with optimum effect:
Burberry has established itself as an international retail powerhouse and its popularity cannot be questioned with 12 million Facebook likes and a wealth of Twitter followers as well. So how does it maintain this momentum and keep engaging users? The answer lies partially in successful content marketing and connection with a modern audience through digital media.
Let us take one example: the brand is particularly renowned for trench coats, which were invented by founder Thomas Burberry. This resulted in the launch of a social networking microsite – Art of the Trench – showcasing images from professional fashion photographers, Magnum photographers and the public, with specific focus upon Scott Schuman – otherwise known as The Sartorialist. Between November 2009 and the middle of 2010, the site gained more than seven million visits, a figure that certainly speaks for itself. Ultimately what made this project fly was Burberry’s ability to attract users with a story before allowing them to add to it themselves. People submitted their own photographs, creating a visual ‘history’ of the trench coat, as well as being able to comment on individual pictures and share them with others. Overall the brand constructed a beautifully designed site targeted at those who love looking at fashion online, linking it with the experience of wearing it offline.
Throughout the last year IKEA have focused on increasing their content marketing presence, for example launching a YouTube channel with original videos including ‘how to’ options and style tips. Another facet of their strategy has been described as a special version of Pinterest, a community photo-sharing website called Share Space where consumers can upload pictures of rooms they have redecorated, giving other users inspirational ideas and encouraging them to share content. This is supported by traditional written content on the IKEA blog, also accessible through the microsite.
IKEA are using appealing visual tools to connect with their customers, creating easily digestible chunks of information and, like Burberry, encouraging internet users to take pride in and share their own content. People like to feel valued, and this is precisely what IKEA have achieved, carrying out extensive research to extract precisely what the people in their shops actually want.
Coca-Cola have such faith in content marketing that they believe it can double global consumption of the fizzy drink by 2020. They released two internal videos with this strategy in mind, giving an insider’s view into their mindset (these videos are essential for all digital marketers). The videos outline how Coke will deliver ‘content excellence’, using storytelling, starting conversations and earning a disproportionate share of popular culture. Recent interactive examples include some neat and playful toys such as the Sticky Hand, the Coke Spinner, an experience drawing on images from Coke’s history, and Blowing Bubbles in the Sky. Generating a massive volume of social noise, this is just the start of what can only be described as a revolution in content marketing, and they are certainly not trying to hide it. We like to call them: ‘windows into happiness.’
Have you seen an amazing piece of content marketing lately? Share it in the comments.
There’s no denying Bill Slawski is a bit difficult to understand. It doesn’t mean he’s not interesting and well worth the read if you can wade through it. So, to save you some time, I’ve summarised a few of his comments about web blocks and linguistic features.
Slawski writes about how a page can be broken down into segments such as the main content, header, footer, advertising, navigation, etc. Each of these blocks can be considered as “separate semantic units” that can be connected or standalone in relation to the page topic (they can also be physically connected or broken up into smaller segments).
In a patent filed on behalf of Microsoft in 2003, this analysis is described as an “…independent approach to detect content structure. It simulates how a user understands web layout structure based on his visual perception (emphasis mine).” If you think about how you read web pages (in a kind of zig-zag pattern, amiright?), the segmentation approach is not far off.
As a writer, I’m interested in the way content is structured and that includes the selection and placement of words and links. We already know that links in the middle of the page have more weight than those in footers, but what I didn’t know was that a search engine might actually assign PageRank for individual segments.
For example (according to the patent), a section of page with hyperlinked, capitalised words in short phrases, which appear in the sidebar or at the top of the page, indicates the main navigation. It sounds like common sense, but understanding how a search engine sees a page is really essential to SEO. These basic linguistic features – i.e. syntax and punctuation – are the means by which search engines are classifying and indexing pages.
*Puctuation Owl is impressed with your new-found wisdom:
So, if you write content for the web, it’s important to keep in mind how a search engine might segment it, but also remember that this patent was filed in 2003. A similar patent from Google followed in 2004. In other words, search engines have been thinking about segmentation for nearly a decade, and they’re continuing to improve their understanding of page semantics all the time. Watch this space!
We are very proud of Michael Briggs, Scott McLay, Ian Humphreys, Katie Wallace, Jaimie Bell, and Sabrina Hackenbracht for representing Caliber at TBU Umbria! We hope everyone else enjoyed the conference as much as we did and we are already looking forward to the next one!
Here are our presentations so you can re-visit and share as you like:
It’s that time of the year again, and we’re heading to one of our favourite conferences: Travel Bloggers Unite.
This annual gathering of the best and brightest in the travel blogging industry is taking place in lovely Umbria, where pizza, pasta and Peroni await. We’ll be there to listen, learn and meet some new faces while also contributing a few nuggets with presentations of our own.
Head of Strategy, Michael Briggs and Search Team Manager, Scott McLay will be laying down some epic SEO knowledge, while I will be doing two sessions on social media and online content. We’ll also be hosting one-to-one SEO workshops where the whole team (Katie Wallace, Jaimie Bell, and Sabrina Hackenbracht) will kick into action.
We’ll be tweeting throughout the conference so be sure to follow along on #TBUMBR. And if you’re lucky enough to be coming too – we’ll see you soon. A great weekend is ahead of us!
Infographics are the latest craze in the world of online marketing and SEO – an infographic being anything which visualises a data set.
This has been made abundantly clear over the last half year as a flood of companies have released infographics on a wide range of topics. A simple Google image search brings up a dazzling array of infographics (some good, some bad, some laughable) on social media, health issues, puppies and just about anything you would care to think about.
Does this flood devalue infographics in general? The answer is no, provided your visual is something truly captivating.
A year ago it was probably acceptable to throw out any old infographic safe in the assurance that it would be picked up by someone just on the merit of the medium. But in this saturated market we have to focus on creating pieces that are different, engaging and ultimately worth a reader spending time on. Here are a few crucial things to consider when developing an infographic:
Use this as your refrain whenever thinking up ideas; with so much data out there you need to ensure that there is an actual reason for people to read on. Does anyone really want to know how many clowns it would take to fill the Empire State Building to the brim? If the answer is no, don’t visualise it.
Companies which produce infographics just for the sake of it, tend to latch on to catchy topics – celebrities and social media being the most popular. This leads carpeting companies to comment on social media, and has pet stores informing us about the latest celeb trends. Wacky! When you create an infographic, do it on something that you have authority on, otherwise what is there to make your opinion/data stand out from everything else out there? People share data from trusted sources – so talk about things that you are trusted for.
The vast majority of infographics are incredibly inaccessible; they’re either long strips of images that take altogether too much scrolling to process, or overly complicated images that defy comprehension. Avoid falling into this trap by designing something that is easy to understand and appealing to the eye. Data visualisation is about making an issue easily understandable – never lose sight of this.
Many ingredients go into making a successful infographic. Yet these are some of the core principles we focus on whenever we kick off a project. By following them we create pieces which are easy to understand, simple and, most importantly, start a conversation which denizens of the internet world are keen to pick up; and that is the magic of infographics!
What’s your favourite infographic? Link it in the comments below.