Step-by-step guide to keyword research for any business: 3 minute read

“One should be able to control and manipulate experiences with an informed and intelligent mind” – Sylvia Plath¬†

This quote should be every content marketer’s motto and it surely fits well in the context of this article. Research (which is often considered the lackluster part of marketing) is the key for businesses to make informed and intelligent content for their target audience. with the advent of SEO, we can now peep into the minds of consumers and see what they are searching for in your niche. And it is exciting times for businesses, to say the least, to stay informed and develop content that will definitely NOT go unnoticed.

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I believe this subject is agreeable to most, but a recent discussion on an online forum made me realize that Keyword research is not always an easy actionable in the to-do list. The breaking point could lie anywhere between How to begin? to what to select? from the inundating excel sheets.

While there is no cookie cutter approach to keyword research but here is simple step-by-step guide for beginners to help ramp-up your content.

Case in Point –¬†Zeina who is a budding interior designer has a slightly neglected blog. She wants to know what the potential customers¬† are searching online regarding interior designing services and use the keywords and phrases in her website content for better search engine ranking.

 

This is how she would do it…

1. Choose possible keywords to start with 

While Zeina doesn’t know what exact terms people are searching online, she can take a a guess what the searches might be like. So she decided to start with the following:

  • Interior decoration service
  • Home interior tips
  • Latest interior decoration trends
  • Office interior designing

Putting the starting keywords in a spreadsheet will help maintain the clarity and organization of the proceeding steps. With the initial step done, Zeina is good to go to the next step.

2. Determine the score of your keywords

She can use Google Keyword Tool to search about her selected keywords first. She will now evaluate her keyword choices basis the following parameters:

  • Average monthly searches –¬†shows the average number of searches for this keyword and its close variants based on the targeting settings and date ranges that you‚Äôve selected. You can use this information to see how popular your keywords are during different times of the year
  • Competition –¬†shows how competitive ad placement is for a keyword, specific to the location and Search Network targeting options that you’ve selected. The level of competition ‚Äď low, medium or high ‚Äď is determined by the number of advertisers bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google

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As you can see,three of her keywords fall in different categories of avg. monthly sales and competition. For global market topics it is essential that the average monthly search should be at least 100,000 which  means that particular topic is in high demand.Therefore she can cross off the first two keywords as they are low-volume ones. The third underlined topic is a widely searched one but is also is high competition type which means there is already a lot of content available for this and it  will be a challenge to highlight hers.

So, she should be looking for High average monthly search & low/medium competition keywords in the next step.

3. Discover other related keywords

The best part of using Google keyword planner is that it will suggest a whole of related keywords similar to your search. a thorough research of related keywords and their score is critical and is the step 3 of the process.

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After multiple words pairing, mix and matching Zeina could research 5 keywords that had high average monthly searches as well as low competition. She entered the following streamlined keywords in the spreadsheet along with the competition and search scores;

  • house decoration
  • room design
  • interior design
  • house designs
  • interior

4. Check the trending data on your keywords

Now that Zeina has shortlisted the most preferred keywords for her blog basis keyword research she can now check what the projected outlook of the shortlisted terms.

Google Trends¬†is a free tool to research the projection. she started with “room design” and “interior design” to start comparison in Google Trends:

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clearly, interior design is a more trending search term in comparison to room design and therefore will get a better weightage. Similar comparisons of two or more keywords will provide a relative comparison of keyword importance for Zeina’s blog.

5. Keyword research in social media environment

Zeina knows that researching social media networks for the keywords is an equally important exercise to know how, when and in what context are people using these keywords in their social media conversations.

she uses twitter to search first. In her search for the keyword “house design, she realized that this term was used mostly in architectural context and involved architecture expertise rather than interior designing!

She then runs the same test in Google+ and Facebook to see more such trends on the keywords while she is noting her findings in the spreadsheet.

After these 5 simple steps, Zeina is left with a detailed research of keywords that will allow her to filter out the best ones to start with. Including a similar research on competitors can give her an added advantage to make her keyword selection competitive.

Again, keyword research is NOT a one time thing that guarantees¬†life long success for your content. A continuous addition of relevant keywords and¬†¬†keyword performance review is required to sustain the performance of Zeina’s blog.

 

Like Zeina, I hope you can also get cracking on some engaging content for your business using keyword research!

 

Digital Marketing for beginners: Tips and tricks to get you started!

Digital Marketing Tips for Beginners. Starting shouldn’t be frustrating. Inside you’ll find 7 of the hottest ways to market your brand online. Failing to follow these steps could cause disaster in your business. Start Today!

via Digital Marketing for beginners: Tips and tricks to get you started! ‚ÄĒ When Women Inspire

Chatbot Content Strategy: #5 tips to nail your chatbot content

Brands need to speak to their customers…I mean literally. And chatbots have made this requirement a necessity for¬† brands to be a human-like part of their customer’s social circle. I have read it more that often – chatbots are the new marketing trend! agree (to some extent) but the complete statement would be something like this – chatbot is the new channel to continue the trend of personalized/customized marketing .¬†I¬†feel its very important to differentiate the channel and source to be sure of the cause and effect.¬†

I am uber excited as we (read our company) are joining the bandwagon and it is my part to develop kick ass content for the chatbot. And as I am in the process of doing that, this blog could not have come at a better time than this. So, here’s my take on the #5 essentials to create great chatbot content.

#1 What a chatbot is NOT?

Are you still stuck with the following definition of a chatbot?

“A computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.”

Come out of it already! Step 1 of awesome chatbot content is to forget the mechanism behind it. Because if we are trying to humanize a machine language here, it will be almost like a human but not it. It is rather important for the chatbot content creator to take time and absorb the fact that he/she is not just providing mannered one liners to please the customer but is actually driving the conversation! when you realize that it changes the whole game. One very good example of this is Adidas Women UK –¬†https://www.messenger.com/t/adidasWomenUK

This chatbot leads the conversation by giving you all possible options and does not really wait for you to punch in the request. As a result the conversations are not redundant, the experience is not a typical service desk one and you look forward to keep in touch.

#2 Show your Personality 

Not yours, your manager’s or the CEO’s personality….But your brand’s personality. If you are or were a marketing student, you’d remember the exercise of giving human attributes to brands like Coca Cola (happy/friendly), J&J (caring), BMW (perfectionist) and so on. Like me if you asked yourself why on earth are we doing this?!…behold, we finally have an answer (eeehhhaaaaaa). For noobs, read here about Brand Personality –¬†https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/brand-personality.asp¬†

It is very important to take into consideration your brand personality when developing the chatbot content. Break out of the hackneyed tones of being overly friendly and pleasing (does not mean you be displeasing) but try out other befitting personality types like funny, witty, well informed, playful and spunky to name a few. JWOWW or Jenni from the reality show series Jersey Shores has infused her vivacious personality in the bot –¬†https://www.messenger.com/t/JWoww¬†¬†and its a superb way to connect.

#3 Don’t drag, put your best foot forward

People in services industry will relate to this. There are multiple services, for multiple requests, at multiple locations, during multiple times…you get the picture? It can be very tedious to frame all possible conversation scenarios and then make fitting content for each of them.¬†For such cases, be sure not to overload the bot with content and make the conversation a long series of clicks for the customer. It is a must to streamline your offerings and areas of expertise for chatbot as a channel like you do it for other digital or traditional channels.

Also, try to add value to your customer’s life by focusing on what they are really looking for. Case in point, if you are a retailer with 50 branches in a city don’t make your bot a location finder for obvious reasons!

#4 Complete the circle

Don’t just market, also sell.

Scenario 1

customer – tell me about the current offer

bot РOur current offer is 30% direct discount on all beauty brands. you can avail the offer at all our branches and online, valid till end of the month. 

Hope I have answered your question, would you like to go back to the main menu?

Scenario 2

customer – tell me about the current offer

bot РOur current offer is 30% direct discount on all beauty brands. you can avail the offer at all our branches and online, valid till end of the month. 

Follow us/ Subscribe to never miss an offer update

Make the most of this offer now and get shopping online on www…

See the subtle but huge difference in the possible outcome of the two conversations?! Make sure the content is not just an information center but a resource that will benefit both the customer and the company.

Also, here are some amazing statistics to support the business profitability aspects:

Learn how chatbots can help your business be more profitable

  • 47% of consumers would buy items from a chatbot. (HubSpot, 2017)
  • 26-36 year olds are willing to spend up to ¬£481.15 with a business via a chatbot interaction. (ubisend, 2017)
  • 37% of consumers would rather buy items via a company’s Facebook page than their website. (HubSpot, 2017)
  • Chatbots are expected to save banks between $0.50 and $0.70 per interaction. (Foye, 2017)
  • 45.8% of consumers would rather communicate with a business through a messaging app than email. (ubisend, 2016)
  • Chatbots could save businesses up to ¬£6 billion per year cross industries. (Juniper Research, 2017)
  • 34% of executives say the time they freed up using chatbots allows them to focus on deep thinking and creating. (PwC, 2017)

source: https://blog.ubisend.com/optimise-chatbots/chatbot-statistics 

#5 Visuals before words

A debate on Human Vs Bots, bots will get a point for having visual content which (in today’s times) speaks louder than words…much louder. Here are some eye opening stats that prove visual content is the way to go;

  • An estimated¬†84 percent¬†of communications will be visual by 2018.
  • An estimated¬†79 percent¬†of internet traffic will be video content by 2018.
  • Posts that include images produce¬†650 percent¬†higher engagement than text-only posts.
  • People are¬†85 percent¬†more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video.
  • Posts with videos attract¬†3X¬†more links than text-only posts.
  • Tumblr‚Äôs active user base has grown by¬†120 percent.
  • Pinterest‚Äôs active user base has grown by¬†111 percent.
  • Instagram‚Äôs active user base has grown by¬†64 percent.

source: https://medium.com/marketing-and-entrepreneurship/16-visual-content-marketing-statistics-that-will-wake-you-up-59c4c0b80465

This blog and my chatbot content exercise took a lot of dedicated effort and research. I am keen to know if this is helpful and you thoughts for further discussion.

b01c3-thank-you

 

 

 

HOW GRUBHUB ANALYZED 4,000 DISHES TO PREDICT YOUR NEXT ORDER

For someone whose survival depends on food delivery services, I found this article extremely fascinating. I’ve always admired data diggers who make mounds of numbers and excel sheet columns understandable but Grubhub’s story is on another level. One line of the article describes their challenge so well – “Grubhub had 14 million menu items and the only thing they had in common was that sometimes people ate them”

https://www.wired.com/story/how-grubhub-analyzed-4000-dishes-to-predict-your-next-order/?mbid=social_twitter

How to Write a Marketing Plan: A Comprehensive Guide [w/ Templates] ‚ÄĒ NCMA

Written by: Sarah Brady Preparation is key. Abraham Lincoln once said, ‚ÄúGive me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.‚ÄĚ Whether you are chopping down a tree or executing an integrated marketing plan, the steps you take ahead of time to lay out your plan and¬†[‚Ķ]

via How to Write a Marketing Plan: A Comprehensive Guide [w/ Templates] ‚ÄĒ NCMA

Integrated Marketing Communication: Part I

I feel Integrated Marketing Communication as a concept is like the movie Inception. You feel like you know what it is about but you always want to double check before explaining it to someone else.

So, What is Integrated Marketing communication (IMC)?

It¬†is the use of¬†marketing¬†strategies to optimize the communication of a consistent message of the company’s brands to stakeholders.¬†Coupling methods together improves communication as it harnesses the benefits of each channel, which when combined together builds a clearer and vaster impact than if used individually.¬†IMC requires marketers to identify the boundaries around the promotional mix elements and to consider the effectiveness of the campaign’s message.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_marketing_communications

But if your mind is still spinning like the totem with questions like what, why, how…the quote below by Philip Kotler will save you for sure.

Image result for integrated marketing communication philip kotler

It will be a crime to add anything to his explanation about IMC but I’ll suggest you read, re-read and read aloud the statement for it to reveal the different layers of reality in it.

As a marketer I try to upskill myself and be up to date with new trends, practices, case studies, success stories and ideas to be able to really contribute to what I do.¬† And this statement was like a self realization journey when I questioned myself – how often do I make a marketing plan with the customer’s view point in mind?!

Every time when a marketing communication missed including a channel where my customer was expecting to see me (as in the brand/s I work for) it was NOT an integrated marketing communication from my end.

<sigh>

So, I have decided to take up this small activity to understand better a customer’s view point of the marketing process. I will observe, question and note the different channels a customer resorts to, trusts and prefers while making a brand choice. Do watch out for the Part II of this blog and do let me know your thoughts on this topic.

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I’ll be back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difference between Goal, Objective, Strategy & Tactic

The purpose of my blogs is to take inspiration from my everyday chores, events, scenarios and try to relate it to those marketing lessons which were once crucial to clear college tests with flying colors. That was back in the post-grad days when tests were taken (simple) and now I am put to test everyday in real business situations (not that simple). Marketing jargon, fancy presentations topped with promising case studies can be an impressive start for your marketing career but you have got to produce results. That is usually the unwanted question or exclamation mark while evaluating your marketing campaign.

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One of my favorite dialogues from House of Cards puts it just right…”One has to be smart to know what they don’t know.” So when going gets tough ask yourself what you have been pretending to know all this while because now is the time to actually know it!

This post is about the four pillars of every marketing campaign that are often misused, overused, underused or used for no reason at all. It’s the GOST…Goal, Objective, Strategy, Tactic.

  1. GOAL

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Or more precisely business goal. This is a very long term of view of what the business should become or should accomplish. Goals are meant to be ambitious and to some extent far fetched that can keep the work force motivated forever. for example, the goal of a cooking oil company would be to become the number 1 cooking oil of the world. Even if the brand ends up being the least used cooking oil in its geographical region, the goal will always be same.

2. OBJECTIVE

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When your boss asks the objective behind your strategy…make sure you have a number in mind. That’s right, objective is where you define the way to achieving the business goal using concrete and justified numbers. Taking the above example, when the cooking oil company comes to me with the goal…it expects me (the marketer) to figure out HOW?

So one of the objectives would be to double the sales in one year. If we are presently we are selling 100 bottles we have to increase the sales to 200 bottles. There can be multiple objectives in a campaign. Like in this case, the new cooking oil company might want to achieve considerable brand awareness as a part of this campaign.

3. STRATEGY

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This according to me is the most misused word of all! so now you know that growing your business is not a strategy and so is increasing product sales. Strategy is a critical bridge that connects you to the objectives and subsequently the goal. when i say bridge…picture one of those hanging bridge connecting two mountain cliffs and not the concrete modern day bridge just to maintain the thrill of this crucial step ūüėÄ

It is true that strategy can make or break your campaign that’s because it answers the very important WHY? Strategy should answer why you are doing what you are doing and if the answer is not aligned with your objective and goal…you know what’s wrong. For example, sampling would be a good marketing strategy for increasing the sales of cooking oil. And so would be reviews by influential cooks and food connoisseurs. Strategy constitutes multiple steps that individually and all together contribute to coming close to the goals.

4. TACTICS

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Tactics will take you to the white board and multicolored excel sheets. That’s because when you are working on your tactics you need every little detail to action the campaign. If the cooking oil company plans to use sampling as a strategy to let people try out their product for free, the tactics would include the plan of action to make this happen. For example, where to give free samples – malls, hypermarkets, mini marts ,etc. key locations to target, number of stalls and other minute details.

Hope you have got the GOST figured out now and with the basics in place the result will be… YOU ON TOP!!

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