Twitter continues to assert its importance and as a result, it receives a great deal of attention from SEO agencies, social media experts across the board, and us here at WebiMax. All social platforms are evolving and responding to what customers want, but Facebook and Twitter seem to trying to stay ahead of the curve constantly pushing their offerings and what can be done on their platforms. Case in point – Twitter’s new partnership with Pepsi whereby the social platform is the medium for connecting customers to Pepsi’s “Live for Now” global music campaign.
This is a great move for both parties. For Pepsi, it is functional, great for branding as a hip music supporter, and delivers compelling content to their customers. For Twitter, it is a perfect use of their technology and gets them working with a big name player like Pepsi and also exemplifies the relevance of their platform, and surely will give a bump to the number of users on the platform. For Twitter, the glowing endorsement and assertion of the platform as the “quintessential ‘now-time’ media” by Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo.’s Global Beverage Group is a huge positive and barometer of its place in social and internet activity
The “Live for Now” campaign brings music to Twitter users through multiple means. First, a short-form video series being made available every Wednesday over a 52 week period will profile music, artists, and news that is trending that particular week on Twitter. Users will also be able to access free music downloads from Amazon.com’s MP3 Store each week by following @pepsi and using #PepsiMusicNOW as a hashtag in their individual tweets. Additionally, a Pepsi pop-up concert series will occur in the US during the summer and fall months. The concerts will have big name artists and will be announced on twitter streamed on Pepsi’s profile page live.
Companies large and small can learn from this partnership. They do not necessarily need to partner with such a large player to make a difference, but can use Twitter in much the same way as the “Live for Now” campaign will. They can schedule compelling content, using various media…video, photos, music, and written content. It is up to the companies themselves and the quality SEO vendors and social media experts that they work with to determine exactly the content and frequency of the posts. If partnerships are possible though, do them, if not for anything else other than the fact that the follower bases will be joined increasing exposure and cross-over follower acquisition.
As I wrote about yesterday, the amount of web users and connected devices will greatly increase in the years to come, even just in the next four years. This will be experienced all over the globe only furthering the potential for marketing and increasing brand exposure to a new and increasing customer base. But another fold of the data is the connection speed predictions. Higher average connection speeds will bring about a more enjoyable experience for web users, but it will result in more being available in terms of what users can do online. Namely – video. And a lot of it. By 2016, video will make up 71% of all data that is used across the globe.
Video has become more important with SEO and branding for a company online as it is a another type of rich content that can be created and put on the web for the search engines to be crawled, indexed, given relevant authority, and most importantly enjoyed by members of a business’ publics/audiences. Let’s take a look at the remaining data from the Cisco study though. The speed of the internet around the world will increase from a level of 9 Mbps at present to 34 Mbps, essentially quadrupling. The time-frame of the 34 Mbps mark is not as specific but appears to be in the years closely following 2016. Lets go by region to look at the difference between developed and developing markets:
- North America: 3.5x growth, from 11 to 37 Mbps
- Western Europe: 3.8x growth, 11 to 42 Mbps
- Central/Eastern Europe: 3.1x growth, 10 to 29 Mbps
- Latin America: 2.8x growth, 4.2 to 12 Mbps
- Middle east & Africa: 2.5x growth, 3.4 to 8.4 Mbps
- Asia Pacific: 4.4x growth, 8.1 to 36 Mbps
The rise in speeds across the globe means that more videos across the world will be seen as well, it will not just be localized to a specific region. This provides opportunity for ISEO in terms of creating the videos with other languages and cultures in mind and marketing the videos efficiently across varying markets.
A Little Video Strategy
In terms of search engine optimization, natural keyword and related term mentions should be included in the descriptions and tags of videos (no stuffing) and the video should of course be quality in terms of unique, compelling content that your customers and followers will be interested in. HTML5 functionality on Youtube pushing away from Flash will only increase true SEO value. The quality and uniqueness of the videos will be essential giving your audience members reasons to go to watch your content, and keep coming back for more.
Additionally, it is important that you leverage the video in different locations from YouTube channels and a Vimeo presence to placements on your site. You want your content in different locations in order to get your audience and customers in varying areas depending on how they access your site and information. Also, you want to make sure that you profile the videos on social media, making sure that the followers, fans, and friends all are exposed to the video and its messages pushing more traffic.
The internet continues to grow and the world is becoming more interconnected throughout developing and developed markets. This has been clear to both individuals and businesses for some time in terms of how we are likely to individually and collectively increase web usage in the years to come. Cisco’s fifth annual assessment and accompanying prediction of global broadband growth on both wireless, managed, and fixed networks was released yesterday. In a sentence, the internet is going to be bigger and faster in the years to come – surprised?
Although this is surely expected, the rate of increase may not be. Let’s take a look at the projections, last year there were 31 exabytes of data used per month from 10.3 billion connections around the world, then looking to 2016, Cisco predicts that there will be 110 exabytes used per month from 18.9 billion connections. This is a sharp increase which has a range of impacts including network improvements, data plan cap increases, and most important to the marketer, more users and devices to engage with.
The numbers specifically tell us that current users are going to use the web more, more devices will be put into action, and many new users will come online. Looking specifically at individual data usage, average personal use is 11.5 gigabytes per month, and Cisco predicts that will grow to an average of 32.3 gigabytes per month presumably by 2016.
In terms of devices, the greatest expected jump is with business connections from the current number of 2.2 billion connected devices to 5.1 billion in 2016 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%. Next, is residential with 2011 number s at 2.4 billion connected devices jumping to 5.4 billion by 2016 with a CAGR of 17.3%.
With such rapid growth, there is great potential for further opportunity in social media marketing, search engine optimization, and paid search as more new users in all corners of the globe come online with many more devices. With that said more opportunity to promote businesses and market their missions will exist as expertise to address this need will be great. An element of this growth will be the convergence of various marketing solutions and campaigns across platforms and devices given the drastic increase in the amount of different ways people will be accessing online content. Marketers will need to respond to this by connecting the activity between the different platforms maximizing existing strategies and utilizing new social platforms and technologies that are yet to be created.
Check back often as I will come back to this topic again and specifically look at ways to coordinate such SEO and marketing activity in light of the web’s rapid expansion. Reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen(at)webimax.com and @ryanwbudd for further comment or questions.
The internet is expansive and it reaches all corners of the globe, and thus most languages in use have found their way online to some degree. As such, it is a popular thought that businesses marketing both their presence and product online want to have language-specific sites in order to cater to specific audiences offering content that they can readily consume. This remains entirely true, however, the behavior of web users in relation to their language use and web searching looks a bit different than previously expected now, considering recent research by UK marketing firm Greenlight.
Their study of 500 consumers (70% were Europeans, 25% North Americans, 3% Asian, and 2% were from other regions) showed overwhelmingly that although people may prefer to speak a certain language or do so out of the norms within the culture in which they live, once online it is a different story. The figures are quite telling: 76% of all study respondents occasionally search on the web in more than one language. In Europe, more than 90% of consumers responded that they have searched in a language other than their dominant one – 100% in Belgium, Italy, and Spain.
The researchers point out that this is not surprising for countries such as Belgium which has three official languages, but it is more surprising for countries like Spain and Italy whose respective Spanish and Italian language use is fully dominant. The researchers say contends that this is an indication of English being a “quasi-official” language of Europe as that is the language that was seen as the common denominator. They also point to a previous Geenlight study that showed the country with the most web pages per person was the UK, signaling that there is simply more quality English webpages than those in other languages across Europe.
Opportunities Abound for Quality English AND Language-Specific Content
This brings to light the inherent differences in spoken versus written language and its use, particularly online. The reality is, once online, people can search and consume information with a degree of comfort that they likely would not have in conversing in the language in person. This presents opportunities for businesses to extend English content as well as that in specific languages catered to their markets. If the English content is compelling enough, people will come to it. By the same token, it presents the added opportunity to be different in catering to specific languages, making it more comfortable for people and showing your care and attention to consumers of that market.
Essentially, businesses can supply one kind of content, the other, or both. But in the end, my main recommendation is for businesses to cater to each specific market they are in (which I have written about before), but at the same time not shying away from English content that is available on separate sites or related pages (considering the survey results). With these pages, the businesses would want to make the conscious decision to have the language less complex for easier comprehension or fully developed as that may be more enjoyable for the users in terms of learning and language exposure.
The aims of the company would need to be weighed up in order to make this decision, which has implications for international search engine optimization as companies need to balance the different opportunities. ISEO and internet marketing agencies can assist in this process – reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen(at)webimax.com and @ryanwbudd for more information or connect with us through our contact page.
Here is a look at the percentages of web searching in a second language for the countries that had enough respondents to base conclusions off of:
- Belgium, 100%
- Spain, 100%
- Italy, 100%
- Portugal, 95%
- Netherlands, 94%
- Germany, 91%
- Canada, 44%
- United Kingdom, 42%
- United States, 35%
Baidu, China’s homegrown and dominant search engine, delivers users results to their search queries based largely on the context and the semantic inferences that can be drawn from the keywords and keyword phrases used. This semantic search functionality has been a part of Baidu’s offering for some time and it now is the main driver in the search engine’s “box computing” approach that they have put forward. This approach looks to directly address the type of information that searchers are looking for by breaking information into three categories (content, data, and applications) using the semantic mechanism in the algo to determine which is most relevant.
All of search is going this semantic direction, using semantic inference and context to judge what exactly searchers are looking for. It appears that this more efficient mode of search is the way of the future, never going back to the narrow and literal keyword searching. Search engine optimization professionals have spent time adjusting to this new kind of search offering services to create content both on and off-site to naturally display keywords and their related terms and phrases. It is important to point out Baidu’s apparent jumpstart on semantic search and their “box computing” as Google has recently pushed forward with similar initiatives. Google has prioritized semantic search for several months now and their new “knowledge graph” feature that delivers relevant data results and related media about the specific elements within search queries.
But back to Baidu’s “box computing” which gathers information based on the inferred intent of the search query and privileges data, content, or applications in the search results. With data, for example, if someone is searching “weather” while in Shanghai, current weather and forecasts for the city will come up in search results. If the city itself is searched, then data about the city as well as travel information will result along with data provided by travel platform Qunar, which Baidu has acquired, according to Search Engine Watch.
Essentially, those queries that look for data will return relevant data. The searchers that are looking for content, like “home design” or an artist, will return content in the form of various media that suites the query. Lastly, applications have been built into the results, so searches will result with built-in apps or other searches for specific apps will return downloadable options to play or use the app. For quality SEOs, it is finding the right balance of information to supply for businesses to get the searchers the information they want in relation to the business and products they are looking for.
Google has been trying to break further into the Chinese market for some time with limited success. Baidu holds the dominant position by far at over 75% search market share and looks to be staying firmly put in that position. Google will try and ramp up its presence in the country as Baidu looks to expand into others, taking their search offerings, that they feel are superior, and offering them in new contexts. Further competition between the two giants in new markets for search will surely result.
Also, the Baidu – I2R Research Centre (BIRC) is an investment in developing technological language resources for Southeast Asian languages that will only improve Baidu’s ability to deliver quality results in their most immediate neighboring markets. Further, mobile will be a new battle ground for Baidu and Google. Baidu has just released a new smartphone to compete against the iPhone and Google’s Android phones, and they are rolling out features similar to each with their own stamp on them. We may be starting to see the beginning of a rising Baidu outside of their Chinese and search markets both expanding into new countries and sectors (mobile). We shall wait and see.
When brands are built up effectively over time and used purposefully, they can have a tremendous impact on the company and deliver considerable financial gain, supplementing the primary revenue generation from the sale of their actual products. Ford, one of the biggest and most recognizable name brands in the country and world, is a shining example of this. The Ford brand is worth billions and the company is a leader in the process of licensing out the various elements of the brand. Their activity provides lessons for other companies both large and small in how they can leverage the equity they have built in their brand for financial gain and valuable exposure.
Yes, Ford is enormous and many companies do not have the same name recognition (and everything that goes with it) or find themselves in such a position as Ford does. They built up to their current position over time, creating slogans such as “Built Ford Tough” and establishing the “tough, long-lasting, strong” identity that they have been promoting for years. With that said, other companies can strategically build their name in the same way to represent something, an idea, a feeling, an emotion – marketing, advertising, and branding 101.
According to a recent Forbes article, the company has 400 licenses at present and has granted roughly 18,000 product approvals during the past year, which is a sizeable increase from 3,000 from two years prior. 45 million pieces of merchandise that had the Ford brand were sold last year totaling $1.5 billion. This is a lot of money to say the least from an additional revenue stream.
What types of products does the brand show up in? Well the “Built Ford Tough” slogan was licensed to Forever 21, a young women’s clothing store for one, another is ford-branded Tervis Tumblers for Bed, Bath, & Beyond. But the big winners are those that replicate the products, the cars themselves. This is exemplified in licensing the sounds and look of the vehicles for video-games, like the 2013 Ford Focus ST for the Forza 4 game. Similarly, they have been traditionally doing this with toy versions of the cars and trucks, most popular being the remote-controlled vehicles. This makes a connection to the actual products they sell. Jim Farley, Ford’s global CMO, describes how interest from various “licensees” to use a company’s brand is one of the best ways to understand and measure the value and health of the brand.
Takeaway – Building the Brand
The lesson here is the value in investing in building the brand – making it a priority. For smaller companies this starts with beginning with creating a core message and making sure in all communications, the company details the name, what they do, and the core message/slogan/why they are different. From there, local companies can solidify themselves as the place for a certain product or the place to support a local area business.
Companies can lean on reputable marketing agencies and SEO companies in order strategically build the message between social platforms and have it stick with customers, the hardest part. Social media is perfect for this and several platforms can be leveraged alongside each other to support the campaign. Reach out to us via our contact page for more information on how this can be done on both the small and large scale.