The Hottest Digital Marketing Trends in China Right Now

China is a digital marketing powerhouse. It boasts the world's second-largest search advertising market and spends more on digital advertising than Japan, Australia, Indonesia and South Korea combined. With the world's largest population -- more than 1.4 billion people live in the "Land of the Red Dragon" -- breaking into this market could prove lucrative for your organization. Here are three of the hottest digital marketing trends in China right now.

1. China is a Global Player When it Comes to Voice Marketing

Chinese brands have invested heavily in voice marketing technology in recent years, and experts predicted that the country's intelligent voice market was worth more than 6.21 billion in 2015. Millions of consumers across the country use their smartphone to search for goods and services with just their voice.

"One of the obvious reasons for more rapid adoption is the complexity of the Chinese alphabet," says Eye for Travel. "With thousands of individual characters, typing on a small screen is rather more difficult than for those using the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet."

While intelligent voice assistants like Alexa and Siri dominate the U.S. market, innovations like Baidu's Raven H lets Chinese consumers access information with simple voice commands. Raven H looks nothing like the Amazon Echo or Google Home -- it's essentially a stack of multi-colored squares.

As more people in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen purchase smart speakers and voice-enabled mobile devices, expect China's intelligent market to grow even bigger in the next few years.

2. Artificial Intelligence Marketing in China is Booming

China uses more artificial intelligence (AI) devices than any other country in the world, according to a recent report. Twenty-one percent of the country's population already has an AI device like a home robot or autonomous car and 52 percent plan to buy one in the future. In the United States, only 16 percent of people own an AI device.

The booming AI market has prompted Chinese marketers to engage with consumers in new and exciting ways. Marketers here use the latest AI technologies to personalize communications and offer customers unique interactive experiences that increase brand awareness.

Take AI apps, for example. Customers can immerse themselves in virtual environments where they can learn more information about a brand's products and services.

3. Search Engine Optimization Still Dominates

China has the world's largest online population -- around 772 million and growing -- which proves profitable for brands who break into this market. Despite recent technological innovations like voice-enabled devices and AI, search engine optimization (SEO) is still one of the most popular (and powerful) digital marketing methods here.

Although SEO is a little different to the US and other Western countries, the process is essentially the same. Websites that rank the highest on search engines like Baidu, Sogou and Qihoo 360 generally receive the most traffic. Marketers optimize sites in order to increase their position on search engine results pages.

One of the biggest differences between SEO in China and SEO in the US is mobile search. Mobile device owners in China make up the bulk of search users, with 88 percent of the online population searching for information through their smartphone or tablet.

Want to grow your organization's impact in China? The three trends on this list are a great way to generate leads and improve brand awareness. Use voice search marketing technology to target potential customers, AI to enhance the customer experience and SEO to move buyers through your sales pipelines. Expect these three trends to keep dominating China's digital marketing landscape over the next few years.


Data-Driven Marketing is the Best Way to Improve Digital Performance

We live in a world driven by statistics and data. This new age we’re living in has made up-to-date metrics essential in companies deciding what's their next step. No longer do they need to rely on gut-instinct or intuition.

 

They have metrics do the job for them.

 

Modern technology has granted access to ubiquitous metrics that ultimately eliminate guessing over seemingly every aspect, in seemingly every industry. A retail giant can find which products sell and which don’t. A local government can judge the success of its funding efforts.

 

A digital marketing agency can base its entire philosophy on data. And for good reason. An agency’s job, after all, is to research, strategize, execute, and finally to report.

 

Notice what that proven plan is bookended by: Data-driven influencers. A marketer can’t begin to strategize and execute without first doing their research, nor can they report on their findings without heavily relying on data.

 

An agency without first doing its research would be the blind leading the blind. An agency then not reporting on their findings without utilizing data is misleading. It should be no surprise then that determining the successes and failings of a brand are contingent on what the metrics say.

 

Since statistics don’t lie, and never will, deciphering metrics for use in future campaign efforts is something every marketing agency should practice.

 

For example: Finding the right audience. According to Forbes…

 

“Whereas collecting and integrating large and disparate data sets to glean useful insights has been costly and time- and resource-prohibitive, technology has progressed such that the insights are ‘in the box’, can be tailored to the brand and business goal, inexpensive, and at your fingertips.”

 

These same technologies can be used to identify the best audience for a given campaign. Perform initial research into the brand by locating their audiences and then targeting them. You dilute your message less by sending it out to the broad masses. Instead, narrow the targeting to an audience that would be more receptive and inquisitive of the message for a more accurate perception.

 

Locating your audience is one of the most challenge parts of your campaign efforts because there seems to be a lot of guesswork involved. Technology, however, is catching up, as indicated by the same Forbes’ article:

 

“Front-end technology is catching up with the back-end such that ‘programmatic’ applies not just to the media buy, but also to the identification and creation of an audience.”

 

Targeting people who make $75,000 in the Northwest is good. But targeting people who make $75,000 per year, interested in mountain climbing, drive a Tesla, and likes Netflix and National Geographic is better. Your targeting yield might drop from 5 million to 1 million, but again you don’t want to dilute your message and waste it on those who it doesn’t speak to.

 

This way you can design campaigns around a 100% audience you know will listen.

 

This is all possible to identify through targeting. Facebook, in particular, allows marketers to target their campaigns through variables such as as income, location, interests, and behaviors.

 

Consider these before you run a campaign. That way you have a greater understanding of your target’s “actions, habits and propensities; their associations, networks and influencers; and the descriptive characteristics that influence and distinguish the group.”

 

That’s just one flap of the book, though. We can’t neglect the other side where we report on the campaign’s progress.

 

This is where metrics really start to shine, and where it showcases just how evolved this industry is. On the outside, metrics look to only be on the surface; likes, comments, replies, shares, retweets, etc. But indicating successes and failures goes far deeper, especially depending on the campaign’s purpose.

 

This isn’t to say those types of surface stats can be suitable indicators. They absolutely can predict which types of posts work well and which don’t. If one type of post is getting 100 likes on average, while another is getting only 25 on average, then it’s clear that one post obviously resonates and engages more with users.

 

But it’s the below-the-surface stats you really need to pay attention to; those available through deep insights and the tools needed to access them.

 

Surface stats won’t explicitly inform you of how many link clicks a post received. We actually saw this in practice with one of our premier clients. Although we were receiving tons of likes, comments, and shares, we noticed that we were basically garnering little-to-no link clicks on these same posts.

 

It wasn’t until we began to A/B test where we found the issue, and altered the posts. Only then were we able to boost our link clicks, albeit at the sacrifice of our engagement totals. Nevertheless, it was interesting to learn for future reference, such as running an awareness campaign vs. an engagement one.

 

But we can plunge even further into the sloping depths of digital metrics.

 

Metrics like bounce rates can indicate where users go after landing on your website. When you uncover and unleash the power of metrics, you can find out everything you need about the tendencies of people to improve your marketing approach.

 

As digital marketing grows, measurement platforms follow. With so many brands going digital, it only makes sense for ambitious entrepreneurs to take advantage by creating platforms that can measure and track metrics on their performance.

 

And since we live in a flourishing capitalist society, competition occurs that motivates these innovators to measure more metrics than the other. So when one platform can track how many seconds you spent on a specific website page, another platform sees that and creates a tool that does the same AND which page they’re going to after.

 

The insights just go deeper until marketers get the best available POV from their target audience. Remember that the greatest motivator to all of this is to nail down an audience’s behaviors and tendencies. That way a marketer can predict exactly what they do and how they make the transition from curious shopper to conversion.

 

This is the basis of what marketing was built on: Appealing to consumers within their sensibilities.

 

It was a lot more difficult to achieve that in the ancient time before measuring platforms came along. Marketers actually had to talk to people, hold focus groups, and stage surveys. Now they can pay a fee to have a website track what goes through the mind of their collective audience.

 

We wouldn’t want it any other way. Neither would you.

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Guide: How to Inject Personality Into Your Website and Stand Out

Your website is often the first impression a prospective buyer will garner of your business. And seeing as studies have reported that “you have less than 10 seconds to impress and engage a new visitor to your website”, it’s of extreme importance that your website is fully optimized.

 

It needs to be clean. It needs to be strategically concise in some areas, but lengthy and descriptive in others. It needs to be accessible. It needs to present a clear understanding of who you are, what you do, and why you’re the best for the job.

 

Basically, it needs to act as an extension of your business’s personality. Remember that this is essentially the first thing your next client (or buyer depending on what industry you serve) will see.

 

If I’m running a marketing agency and I can’t properly communicate my message, there’s a high likelihood that visitor will take their business elsewhere. How could they trust me to communicate their message when I can’t even communicate my own?

 

In broader terms, if you’re on a first date, are you not going to take the time to prepare yourself and put the best version of you out there? Of course you are! Because when your date sees you for the first time, you want to provide them with a clean, well-kept image before you even open your mouth.

 

Effectively communicating your services on a website goes beyond copy, which we’ll get to momentarily. Just like how you can communicate without saying a word, simply based on your appearance, mannerisms, and demeanor, you can do the same on a website through its design, layout, accessibility and quality.

 

Take pride in your website! After all, this is a representation of who you are. Ensure the photographs are colorful, original, and eye-catching. If you’re going for more of a sleeker, modern design, then be consistent. If you’re relying on neutral colors from the beginning, stay the course the entire website.

 

Accessibility, for both desktop and mobile, is perhaps the most notable and necessary website feature, in terms of the digital era we live in now. There is no better way to instantly lose website visitors than if your website is confusing, devoid of direction, and lacking key info.

 

Let’s step into the real world for a second again. Place yourself at the front of a large department store with a need to find a specific item. You enter and look up for the placards hanging from the ceiling to indicate which aisle has which items. They’re not there. Immediately your shopping experience is negative.

 

 

So you go through each and every aisle. You’d ask for help, but there are no employees in sight to reach out to. After awhile, you finally find your item. Now it’s checkout time. Oh, what’s that? You can’t even find the registers. Forget this. It’s too frustrating, so you just find somewhere else that’s easier to navigate.

 

Now apply the same principles to a website. You want something from a marketing agency—let’s say lead generation help—and you enter the website hoping to find if they can help. Instead, you can’t find anything. There’s information in there about lead generation, but you just can’t find it.

 

Maybe you can find someone to help? While it would be nice to have a ‘Live Chat’ or ‘Contact Us’ option, those, too, are nowhere in sight. After awhile, you get frustrated and leave to find a marketing agency that can actually cater to your needs.

 

Had your website been organized, helpful, easily navigable, and accessible, you wouldn’t have lost that potential client. This is the first step people are taking in this sort of territory and having them meet an inaccessible, confusing website is the worst possible scenario.

 

Make everything as clear as possible. In laymen’s terms, idiot-proof it. Ensure everything is right where it needs to be found and can easily be accessed. Place your contact information right at the top of your page so it’s the first thing they see. Have a search box available. Implement a live chat that pops up at the bottom of the screen. Give visitors a clear call-to-action button.

 

However you design it, just keep it simple and ensure it’s organized. The same goes for mobile, where “over 38% of web traffic now comes from”. That percentage may not seem like much, but it would be foolish to alienate four out of every ten visitors to your page because you’re not mobile optimized.

 

Once you have your layout setup and organized, you can begin the fun, and my favorite, part: Writing the copy.

 

Revisit what I said in the first paragraph: “You have less than 10 seconds to impress and engage a new visitor to your website.”

 

That quote applies to copy as much as it does your layout. You need to address what your business specializes in and it needs to be done in a dynamic way that’s going to get attention. Of course, this goes back to your layout. Copy can be stimulating, but layouts are the first thing people are going to notice.

 

Take for example our very own One Twelfth website. We capture the attention of our visitors immediately. The copy we place is concise, but it’s on a slideshow featuring several dynamic, interesting images that shifts every few seconds to the next one.

 

It’s quick. It’s efficient. It’s simple. You don’t want a wall of words as the first thing your visitors see. Making a creative, striking layout with branding and a basic readout of what your business serves does pass the test. However, you always want to offer your reader something that’s really going to capture their attention like, for instance, a slideshow.

 

Your website’s copy needs to consist of everything you can do in the most efficient way possible. But before even writing that copy, first create an outline and a flow that will effectively demonstrate your company’s services. Nail down all the pages you’ll be creating and what each will consist of, as well as which you think are the most important to your reader.

 

In the same way a retail business will showcase its best sellers at the top of its page, an agency can put its top services at the highest pedestal.

 

You want to separate yourself from the pack and there’s no better way to do this than through your copy. This is the opportunity to inject personality into your brand. That means avoiding common buzzwords you’d expect every other brand in your industry would use. It doesn’t mean to avoid them altogether, just not to harp on them continually.

 

Instead, have fun with it! Unless your brand is already well established and known, you have to find a way to stand out to convince clients to hire you. Here’s an explanation on how it works:

 

“People trust brands they know. If the voice of your website copy is bland, boring or cold you’re missing out on that magic connection. Use your personality to build that connection and draw people into what you’re talking about.”

 

That first point really rings true. It’s far more likely if you provide potential clients with transparency, as opposed to relying on the crutch of sterile information and cliché buzzwords, that you’re going to build a mini-relationship right then and there.

 

Plus, it gets them a little more intrigued. Again, you’re doing everything you can to stand out while still maintaining professionalism. You need to be informative and professional, but also instilling that unique personality only you can provide.

 

Pull back the curtain a little bit for visitors to see just who they’re dealing with. Exhibit how cohesive of a team you are by displaying pictures of your team taking part in after work activities; showcase any charitable work you’ve done; show life inside the office.

 

Transparency has become huge in today’s social media age. People now more than ever want to see who they could be potentially working with, simply because they know you can provide that.

 

Once it’s all said and done, give it time to see how well it performs. Use tools like heat maps to see where people are clicking and where they’re scrolling. That way you can make adjustments to your page to optimize it. You’d be surprised just how simple adding a CTA button can increase conversions. We’ve made numerous observations at our agency, when checking on a client’s website, where visitors click around on a certain space thinking it’ll redirect them to another page, only to leave disappointed.

 

And if you need any help doing this, I know of a certain marketing agency that specializes in website copy and design. Maybe you’ve heard of them.


Sending out an SEO!

What is SEO?

 

The objective of a search engine optimization is to improve target finds. It is in the general purpose of directing the searcher, towards the right direction; trough an overall action that allows a question a need and their demands to be fulfilled.

 

Importance of SEO

 

Based on the result of the flexibility to shape and change the optimization process in a search, relies on the broad relation of exchange generated by both users and providers. Where the variance of change amongst the information channels, facilitates the categorization of data; to fall under a liquid state; where transfers, uploads and new information, have no disconnection within the web that interlaces the whole unit of available data.

 

People & Search Engines

 

There are 3 types of search queries

 

Transactional queries, which give into a functional solutions.

 

Informational queries, represent the data reach.

 

Navigational queries, represent specific targets.

 

Statistics

 

The number one application, mostly used by the internet population is the email. Search engines follow after soon after, with a 2 percent shyness on measure. Google represents 65.4% of online searches, dominating the web. Yahoo has 17.2% of the shares and Microsoft search engine is at 13.4%

 

The Mechanics

 

Axioms are premises that allow evidence to be accepted as true without controversy. These form a part of an algorithm, which is a finite list of effective methodology to present a flow.

 

The search engines work hard to interconnect the network of links between involved users; to create a routine of optimization which allows the variance of the searches to be gathered.

 

It is not definable how each company develops their own strategy or methodology; but it is quiet logical to assume that the more information gathered the higher volume of leading placements within marketing can be pursued.


Qualities of a Great SEO Marketer

SEO and SEM are fairly new realms to the traditional marketing world. Many agencies are now looking to expand their departments by including digital marketing solutions. So what are some of the qualities a SEO marketer have?

 

The Ideal Digital Marketer

 

Ideally, this person should be a leader in their projects. They must be an excellent in communicating both verbally and written. They should think in terms of finding solutions and solving problems. Time management skills and organization is key with a focus on providing excellent customer service. The ideal candidate should be aware of things happening in all aspects of the online and technological world.

 

The Entry Level Candidate

 

This candidate should possess all the qualities mentioned above but also have basic knowledge of technology and a willingness to put effort in learning quickly.

 

The Senior Level Candidate

 

The senior should have a strong foundation with knowledge of all markets and techniques both traditional and modern. They should be able to lead a team, teach newcomers and entry-level employees as well as communicate well on complex projects.

 

Find a person or team who collectively possess these qualities and your digital marketing department will be complete.

 


Proving SEO Will Bring Traffic to Your Client’s Site.

Any person that works in the SEO business knows that there is a certain level of reluctance when it comes to believing that search traffic will come from the work that is done in optimizing a site. Here are 5 ways to make your client aware that your SEO work is paying off!

 

  1. Reports on ranking and keyword improvements. SEO reports are done for each one of our clients on a monthly basis. This gives the client raw data on numerical increases coming straight from Google Analytics. Aside from raw data and mumbo jumbo that the client usually does not understand, we take the time to set up a one-hour call to relay the feedback. We also use this data to make improvements on keywords that are not performing as we would expect or to look for new keywords.

 

  1. Keeping Track of Time. Its important to keep your client in the loop of every single task you work on when it comes to their SEO or SEM campaign. For this reason, we use a project management system called Basecamp, in which we log in every hour of work and the specific task accomplished within that timeframe. This way you keep track of all your work and your client is able to view it as well. This not only keeps your client informed but it builds trust.
  1. Scheduled Meetings. Whether it is once a month or once every two weeks, we always contact all of our clients for a scheduled call to update them on what has been going on with the progress of the projects that we are working on. We either speak with them in person or on the phone. That interaction alone gives the client a sense of trust and the information that they need to know that SEO work is being done properly.
  1. Using other metrics. Aside from Google Analytics, you can prove to your client that your SEO work is being done in other departments other than just keyword rankings. You can use MOZ.com to show them how their errors and warnings have gone down to a minimum. You can also use tools to record the improvement in their social media. Another facet of  SEO is link building. You can track your link building efforts by recording how many links have pointed to their site since your started their campaign.
  1. Proving that SEO takes time. Not many clients are informed of the amount of work, time and effort that goes into getting them the organic traffic they need to make conversions. Most clients seek instant gratification. That’s simply not the way SEO works. You can inform your clients of the time factor by sending them articles or referring them to blog posts that talk about SEO and all the work and time that is involved. If the source is a trusted one, there should be no reason why they would still be skeptical about the work being done.

Link Building Strategies

It seems to me that the most challenging part of SEO comes in after all the optimizations to a website have been made. Tools can guide you to make recommendations on technical issues and keyword usage, but what happens after those changes have been implemented? The real fun starts when its time to get other people to link to your site.

 

Quick Definition: Link building refers to the process and actions intended to increase the number and quality of inbound links to page. In the past we have discussed the importance of link building and what it can do to your domain and page authority and how it can ultimately lead you to a higher rank on search engines. To read more about this click here: Link Building - The Road to a Higher Rank

 

THE PROCESS OF LINK BUILDING

The process of link building always begins with planing. Each one of our clients is different, which means that a different link building strategy will be required for each.

 

The first thing that I do when preparing a link building strategy is to brain storm on the client, their industry and glance at the competition and who is linking to them. Afterwards I go through a pre-made list of strategies and filter through strategies and identify which links that can be considered "low hanging fruit" or "prime" links.

 

I won't bore anyone to death with a plethora of strategies. Remember, not all strategies work for everyone. I present to you three basic link building strategies that apply to most, regardless of the industry.

 

BASIC STRATEGIES

1. USE KNOWN RESOURCES

 

This is a basic strategy that applies to everyone. Whether it be partners or bloggers that you may know that put out relevant content to your industry, the easiest and fastest way to acquire links is through using the resources available. For example, I asked on of our clients for a list of partners or known bloggers. The client in turn provided me with a blogger who creates content that is very relevant to the industry and their page rank is good. Just from that, I already have one link in the bag. This strategy should be fairly quick and could potentially yield several valuable links.

 

2. CREATE A BLOG

 

This is my opinion is probably one of the most (if not THE MOST) single important strategies to obtaining worthy links to your site. Coming up with content on a regular basis builds links internally by linking out from your posts, but the content also serves as a natural link bait. Creating new, good content regularly gives you opportunities to utilized relevant keywords and adds value to any site. It is a MUST. This is an ongoing strategy that can yield very high quality links but the dependencies require that you develop content and design.

 

3. SCOPE OUT THE COMPETITION

 

A great strategy for deciding which links you want to target is to look into what your competitors are doing. Who is pointing to their site? You can use tools such as Open Site Explorer to identify inbound links. (Remember that "nofollow" links will not pass SEO juice. Look for only "follow" links.) This takes a lot of the legwork out of searching for valuable links. If people are linking to your competition, why shouldn't they link to you?

 

The three strategies that I provided should be a good starting point for any brand/company/person who is beginning the link building process. Together, those three strategies can help you lay the foundation of link building. Once you get one link, it only becomes easier to get the next link and so forth.


Link Building - The Road To A Higher Rank

Link Building

 

For search engines that crawl the web, links are the streets between pages. Using sophisticated link analysis, the engines discover how pages are related to each other and in what ways.

 

Links pointing to your site do several things for you:

 

  • Links make it easier for search engines to find the page. As the search bots travel around the Web, they follow links. They index a page, follow the links on that page to other pages, index those pages, follow the links on those pages, and so on. The more links to page, the more likely the page is picked up and indexed search engines, and the more quickly it happens

 

  • Search engines use the number of links pointing to a page as an indication of the page’s value. If lots of pages link to your page, search engines place a greater value on your page than pages with few links pointing to them. If you have lots of links from sites that are themselves linked to many other sites, search engines could conclude that your site must be really important. Google calls this value the page’s PageRank, but Google isn’t the only search engine to use links as an indication of value; Yahoo! calls it Web Rank, and Bing calls it Page Score

 

  • Links provide information to search engines about the page they’re pointing to. The link text often contains keywords that search engines can use to glean additional information about your page. The theme of the site linking to your site may also give search engines an indication of your site’s theme. For that reason it is important to acquire links that have relevant keywords to point to your site

 

  • Links not only bring search bots to a page, but may also bring people to a page. The whole purpose of a search engine campaign is to bring people to your website. The goal is for people to click on these links that will take them to the site.

 

Link building can prove to be quite a difficult task at times but, if your team plans wisely and creates a well thought strategy, the benefits are tremendous in terms of page and domain authority. This process is one that involves PR work and can take quite some time to see said benefits but it is definitely a necessary process of SEO.


SEO 101 - Commonly Made Mistakes

SEO 101 - Commonly Made Mistakes

 

Boys and Girls, when it comes to SEO, there is a world wide web of knowledge out there. It can be hard to digest all this new information, but luckily, we have some commonly made errors and pitfalls that can leave you... well... ass backwards.

 

Mistake #1: Everything revolves around tags and submissions. Many web designers believe that all you need is coding your pages with the right meta tags such as keywords and descriptions and then just submitting it to search engines. WRONG. while this is an important factor, without the proper keywords in your page's content search engines will not index your page with the authority that it needs and deserves.

Mistake # 2: Creating a website and then incorporating SEO. We strongly urge against this. Most companies build a website and then realize the important of SEO afterwards. A rule of thumb is you should build your website with an understanding of search engines that is going to generate traffic that is valuable to your site. Planning and thinking ahead with your SEO expert is the right way to go and will save you money, time and headaches!

Mistake # 3: Not having pages optimized for specific keywords. What are your most important keywords? Have you done your keyword research. This involves thinking like the searcher and choosing keywords that are likely to be typed in to Google or Bing at the beginning of the search process. We think that this is solely one of the most important factors.

 

It involves some time and thinking but remember everything begins at the search bar. Think about your most important phrases, do your research and optimize your site to include those key phrases in the titles, URL, and content of your site. Think like the searcher and get to #1 on those ranks where you belong!

 

Stay tuned children, for more SEO 101 tips & tricks.