Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Growth of Video and How To Leverage It

Online video has shown tremendous growth over the last couple of years. From 2013 to 2014, the number of videos viewed increased by 49 percent, according to comScore’s 2014 U.S. Online Video Rankings. That upward trend is continuing into 2016.

In a recent report, Cisco found that by 2019, nearly three-quarters of the world’s mobile traffic will be video-based. This is a considerable jump from 55 percent in 2014. More so, video has grown as an important marketing medium. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 82 percent of B2C marketers use video as part of their content marketing tactics.

“In the digital age, your competitors expand beyond your own market.”

While online video has a certain prevalence, not everyone knows how to leverage its power. One of the biggest challenges is creating the content without spending a fortune. The other is standing out. In the digital age, your competitors expand beyond your own market – you’re in pursuit of someone’s attention against millions of other options.

However, there are a few ways you can make sure you’re producing quality content and using this rapidly expanding medium to best serve your marketing strategy. Here, we discuss four ways to do so:

1. Take an Integrated Approach
If you want to make sure your video content works with the rest of your marketing strategy, build your efforts around it. You want to offer consistency in your brand, which means no weak links in your content. According to Marketing Magazine, this means leveraging your budget to ensure that every aspect of your marketing strategy is working seamlessly.

2. Look At Your Competitors
If you want to stand out in an age so rich in video, you’ll need to study what your competitors are doing and see how you can do it differently or better. For even more inspiration, look beyond your industry at anyone making interesting video content. Marketing Magazine points to TV channels that create extra content for their websites. Ask yourself: How do they separate this media from what they air on TV? What about it reels in an audience? Identifying what makes good video content will help you create yours.

x_0_0_0_14125252_800Some marketing experts argue that content is more valuable than video quality when it comes to online videos.


3. Serve a Purpose
While video quality counts, the content is still worth more. Your videos should serve a purpose, like to educate or entertain. If the content is interesting, your viewers will respond to it. MediaMiser, a media monitoring and analysis software provider, said it’s better to focus on creating the content than perfecting it. While certain quality details – like sound – do make a difference, making videos that portray your brand identity and exhibit a passion for the subject or industry is what counts when it comes to captivating an audience.

4. Don’t Limit Yourself
If you’re creating video content, the last thing you’ll want to do is limit where you share it . Don’t just share your videos on your website – post them on YouTube and other social platforms and get them out there for people to see. The more exposure you seek, the more views you’ll get. You’ll also give your audience more chances to share the video themselves. You can further expand how you share by repurposing content so each platform gets a unique experience.

Despite any challenges, online video is a great platform for any company in virtually any industry. The ways that consumers engage are always evolving, but online video has maintained an impressive growth. Now is the right time to take advantage of this medium – when it can be cost-effective and show a return on investment.


4 Major Mistakes to Avoid in a Product Launch

A product launch isn’t as simple as anyone would like it to be. It’s about more than just releasing and hoping for the best – that approach often leads to failure, especially in a saturated digital marketplace where quality and accessibility are highly scrutinized. It’s all to easy for apps and tech tools to make a bad first impression and never recover.

To have a successful launch, you need to tackle the processes leading up to it with meticulous and strategic planning. To help you sidestep any fatal errors, we’ve outlined the four biggest mistakes you could make in a product launch:

1. Promising What You Can’t Deliver
From a marketing standpoint, announcing your product and its launch date is great for building excitement. However, there are a few ways this announcement could eventually work against you. In some instances, companies announce launch dates that they don’t actually adhere to. This is frustrating to customers in the digital age who are used to immediacy and easily grow tired of hearing that something is “coming soon.” In this case, hype and impatience are two very different sentiments. You’ll want to avoid the latter as much as possible. You can do so by delaying your launch date announcement until you’re close to the day. This way, you’ll have a better sense of how ready the product is. Plus, you can hold onto the excitement from the announcement if there’s little time in between for it to fade.

Another way this announcement could hurt your product’s success is if you promise features that you can’t actually deliver. In your launch, you want to establish trust with your customers, but failing to provide the results can tarnish your credibility. Instead, make sure you’re managing public perception and ensuring your product can live up to these expectations.

2. Not Having a Defined Market
Just as important as defining the purpose of your product is determining your target customers. Because this detail is key to your marketing strategy, you cannot launch a product without it. Determine your audience from the start by asking who will be using the product and how to best reach that demographic. You will also need to consider the size of the market, both in its current state and in its projected growth. These questions will guide you as you develop, launch and promote your product.

x_0_0_0_14123249_800Without knowing your target customers, your marketing strategy will suffer.


3. Not Taking Feedback
Your launch day shouldn’t be the first time someone uses your product. Pre-launch testing is essential to making sure you’re releasing something of good quality and usefulness. You’ll want to recruit pre-launch users who aren’t close to the project to give you important insight on how your product is received by others. Releasing a tech product, like an application, with a lot of glitches will give users a poor first impression, deterring future customers.

When fishing for feedback, make sure you’re also asking the right questions. The point of these tests shouldn’t just be to determine whether the product works, but how well it works and how easy it is to use. The more you ask, the better feedback you’ll get and the more effectively you can fix any issues before your launch.

4. Having Poor Internal Communication
It’s understandable that for a small portion of its life before launching, your product will live in obscurity from the rest of your company. There comes a point, though, when this secrecy is detrimental to its success. All teams within your company can be valuable in releasing this product, so it serves you to include them in the process.

This is why it’s also important to have thorough internal training on the product before its launched. With any tech product, there will be a learning curve, and you’ll want your colleagues to be able to effectively field customer service questions. That’s why ancillary team members should be more than well-versed in using your product, but you’re welcome to extend communications company-wide. That solidarity behind the launch can only strengthen it.


Why Mobile Marketers Need a Carrier Billing Solution

DigiWorld Partners invited Wister, one of our trusted partners, to share their knowledge on the place of direct carrier billing in mobile marketing. Here, you can read the highlights of this conversation and apply them to your marketing strategy.

Marketers today put a high premium on mobile traffic. More consumers are connected to the world through mobile devices, so it’s become a huge platform for marketing, yet there remain so many unknowns. The most important aspect of any mobile marketing strategy is being able to monetize traffic. For companies trying to launch products overseas, this goal only becomes trickier.

An effective strategy in monetizing traffic is capitalizing on impulse buys, meaning you can’t give your consumers too much time to consider their purchase. Worldwide, that instant payment comes from direct carrier billing. For this reason, Joey Gabra, the managing director of Wister, an international mobile services provider headquartered in Paris, urges marketers to have a plan for direct carrier billing.

The Global Significance of Carrier Billing

Direct carrier billing, or what’s sometimes known as direct operator billing, is often overlooked in North America. However, on a global scale, this payment method is massive. Research firm Analysys Mason predicted that carrier billing will provide telecoms worldwide with more than $12 billion in revenue in 2022. Juniper Research forecasts that the the value of digital content billed directly through carriers in Europe will reach more than $7.1 billion (or 5.2 billion Euros) in 2017.

Gabra explains that credit cards aren’t as prevalent in other parts of the world, which is why direct carrier billing is a more popular payment method in certain countries. It’s also especially important for consumers in emerging markets who may not have the Internet or computer access to use other types of payments.

Technology for carrier billing has expanded for these reasons. What was once a way for consumers to buy ringtones has become a one-click payment avenue for all sorts of products on different devices and consoles. Because it doesn’t require credit or debit card information from customers and creates one-time passwords for authentication, it’s also considered safer than other billing methods.

Carrier billing sounds like the obvious choice for anyone trying to market on a global scale, but there are downsides. The biggest complaints against it are that obtaining authorization from each individual mobile carrier is a tedious process and payment cycles can last up to 120 days. That’s not a great plan for businesses that are trying to get off the ground and in need of cash flow.

The Various Solutions
So what are companies to do? Clearly it’s not ideal to look for a carrier billing solution on your own. It’s a long, risky process that can take up to six months per carrier.

Luckily, there are solutions that can give a business access to these mobile carrier connections without having to do all the complicated legwork. These services can also help you get paid regularly, which mobile carriers often cannot do.

Gabra’s company, Wister, does just that, but he encourages companies to do their own research and make informed decisions about the services they choose to partner with. That’s why Wister created – an educational resource for everything mobile.

Now that this billing method has become so intrinsic to successful mobile marketing, there are a rising number of global payment companies out there that marketers need to learn about.

To learn more about Wister and carrier billing solutions, please watch our interview with Joey Gabra.


Search Engine Marketing Outside the “Big 3”

DigiWorld Partners invited one of our trusted partners, Mistral Media CEO Avi Slavin, to explain premium search traffic beyond the biggest names in search engines. Here, we explore the ideas that Avi introduced to us and how you can rethink your search engine marketing strategy.

What Are the Alternative Search Engines?
For the most part, search engine marketing efforts target the “Big 3”: Google, Yahoo and Bing. While these sites certainly account for a hefty portion of online searches, the Internet has evolved far beyond them.

Now, it’s fairly common to visit a site with its own search engine, like how Facebook revamped its search bar in late 2015. Unlike Google or any other major search engine, Facebook’s platform has indexed all content on the site so when users conduct a search, posts and comments come up with news stories in the results.

Essentially, these alternative search engines allow marketers to reach a more focused audience. Advertising on particular websites gives you access to a targeted market that a more general search engine simply cannot.

Which Verticals Will Benefit?The Difference in Cost and Quality
Of course, a media buyer’s first question would be the cost-effectiveness of going beyond the Big 3. While it’s true that the cost-per-click on these lesser known search engines is comparatively inexpensive, it’s actually quality that makes the biggest difference. Avi pointed out that it’s in the nature of the engine. These searches are originating from real people typing the search, so their intended action remains a significant factor.

Luckily, there isn’t any industry that can’t stand to benefit from this kind of search engine marketing. As a media search partner, Mistral works with a number of different verticals, serving searches that range from “cheap auto insurance” and “cheap sneakers” to “travel deals.” However varied these verticals may be, Avi said that Mistral does frequently work with dating services.

Where Traditional Search Engine Marketing Falls
One consideration that Mistral makes that is typically overlooked in Big 3 search engines is language. For companies looking to expand their exposure to other markets all over the world, language barriers easily become search engine marketing barriers. The problem with basic digital translators is that they rarely factor in the true meaning or context of the term, which can make a big difference in search keywords.

To overcome this challenge, Mistral has a team of linguists that can translate keywords into different languages and maintain the original meaning. Mistral has worked with markets all over the world, so they know how important it is to search engine marketing to conquer these language obstacles.

Another challenge that marketers face is ad blockers. With more users installing ad blocker software, the technology has become a threat to the industry as a whole, except for those working exclusively with text ads. Because this advertising format is unaffected by ad blockers, it’s become a cornerstone in these Tier 2 and 3 search engines.

So why do these types of engines seem like such a secret in marketing? That’s because it’s fairly complex and requires a certain level of education on the topic. Avi explained that even the most seasoned media buyers don’t fully understand search engines beyond the Big 3. That’s why Mistral offers educational materials, like demos, to media buyers who are looking to expand search engine exposure.

If you’d like to learn more about Mistral and marketing outside major search engines, please watch our interview with Avi Slavin.