Top 8 Tools for Online Reputation Monitoring

irrespective of the niche you operate in, it is important for you to constantly keep a watch on what your customers are talking about.

These positive or negative reviews are paramount to the success of any e-commerce business. Since customer reviews primarily dictate the performance of your brand, entrepreneurs should immediately address the gap between the ‘expected and the available’.

For you to build a strong goodwill, you should periodically track your online reputation.

All in an attempt to improve your online reputation, here are top 8 (paid and free) Online Reputation Management (ORM) tools that work wonders.

1. Reputology

You can effectively exercise control over your customer reviews using the Reputology platform.

This is a Review Management and Monitoring interface that can be used for healthcare, fitness, real estate, and hospitality businesses thriving in multiple locations.

Enabling your customers to voice their opinion, this tool comes with a unique feature which converts negative reviews into customer service tickets.

2. Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free tool that is very helpful to SEO professionals and digital marketers.

Through this tool, you can not only create engaging content but also monitor your brand very closely.

All you need to do is to key in the name of your company on the login page of Google Alerts so that you start getting alerts. Subsequently, you can lay hands on email notifications that Google sends out through the Google database.

3. Chatmeter

Recognized as a comprehensive local brand management platform, Chatmeter steps in to assist local agencies and brand track their online reputation.

Through this tool, SEO analysts will be able to collate and analyze customer feedback to improve customer experiences.

Exclusively crafted for multi-location agencies and brands, you will start receiving emails linked to any reviews that showed up on over 20 search sites. Additionally, Chatmeter also notifies you the moment there is a fresh content about your online offerings or brand.

4. ReviewTrackers

If you are looking for a perfect paid tool that can help you track your customers’ reviews featured on more than 80 sources, then ReviewTrackers is the top bet.

This tool segregates reviews into different patterns of customer feedback.

This feature enables you to effortlessly spot the most common issues/topics that your customers are talking about. This software provides a single dashboard that becomes the centralized source for all your reviews.

5. Review Push

Exclusively crafted to monitor the social media presence of your brand, Review Push is a brilliant online review management tool. This platform lends a helping hand to businesses operating in various locations by collating reviews featured on sites like Yellowpages, Facebook, Foursquare, Google and Yelp.

Through this software, you will be able to receive all the reviews from multiple sites in a centralized location.

Additionally, once you set up email alerts, Review Push allows you to respond to both the positive and negative reviews, straight from your inbox.

6. Reputation Health

If you engage in providing health services or you specialize in online marketing services for medical teams, then you can rely on Reputation Health.

This is a wonderful online reputation monitoring tool that is perfect for physicians.

Medical professionals can effortlessly monitor their online reputation by collating online reviews that show up on over 23 medical sites like Vitals, HealthGrades, DrScore and UcompareHealthcare.

Physicians will be able to get first-hand reviews about their services from patients in the form of email alerts.

7. Yotpo

Yotpo is one unique platform that improves your online reputation. Through this tool, you can encourage your customers to come up with positive reviews for your online offerings.

Available in both paid and free versions, the paid version allows you to lay hands on customer reviews linked to social media campaigns.

The free version steps in to mail out review requests immediately after a successful checkout, encouraging your customers to speak positively about your offerings.

8. Meltwater

It is your business to always keep a close watch on your competitors. With Meltwater by your side, you can make this ordeal an effortless practice. Offering real-time analytics,

Meltwater is the largest databank of global media reviews which shows up your reviews as news snippets.

In addition to alerting you about your competitors’ reviews, this tool helps you track and share your customer reviews with your teammates.

Key Takeaways

Manually searching for your brand’s name on search engines is passé.

Now is the age of automated tools that will show up consolidated customer reviews from multiple sites

. These easy and smart tools equip you with the market intelligence to address the multiple concerns of your customers and improve your online reputation.

Machine Learning in Search: How Does It Work?

It is very important that you understand the manner in which search algorithms work, how search engines crawl and index various websites and the ways in which search engines treat the intentions of users.

Apart from all these, you also need to understand the strong connection between Machine Learning and search.Contact Jointviews

Before you go into understanding the impact between these two concepts, you need to know what Machine Learning is all about.

Machine Learning is a technology that is employed in every segment of any system linked to major search engines like Bing or Google.

After having learnt about Machine Learning (ML), you will now be informed about the various applications of this technology especially with regard to search engines.

1. Helps To Understand Queries

It is an interesting piece of trivia to learn that ML can be applied to everything that demands the recognition of search queries. Through ML, it becomes a breeze to understand the search query that is keyed in by the user on the address bar. Here are a couple of instances that explain the significance of ML to search queries.

  • Classification of Queries

You should know that search engines operate through a number of classifiers that work on a search query. ML can help differentiate between a navigational query as against an informational query or a transactional query, news query in contrast to a local intent query or a shopping query.

  • Suggestions To Correct or Choose a Search Word Spelling

It is a common phenomenon for you to notice a list of suggestions that show up on your screen after you start keying in the first few alphabets of your search string. This is the gift from ML to search.

  • Expansion of Queries or Synonyms

ML helps search engines to use synonyms that can expand the query keywords, ultimately increasing the set of search results.

  • Query Intent Disambiguation

It is very important for search engines to furnish search results after understanding the primary intent of the user through Word-Sense Disambiguation techniques. For example: if ‘ice cream’ is the search word, should the search engine provide results relating to “ice cream parlours near me”, or “ice cream cake” or ice cream recipe”. Or should it furnish results for all the 3 options? That means, ML helps Google or Bing to satisfy a user’s intent by showing up options that are in sync with the most-frequently used search terms in the past.

2. ML Facilitates Search Ranking

You should know that search engines operate through multiple ranking phases that take place in a sequence. These are: initial retrieval, primary ranking, and contextual ranking along with personalized ranking. ML through the Learning to Rank application can be effectively used to provide ranks to all these different phases.

3. To Better Understand The Document or The URL

Anything that can be done to understand a search result can be possible through ML. That means, you can recognize the various types of pages whether it is a news site, a forum or a blog. You can detect spam and junk along with the identification of inferior-quality URLs. To explain this, as a user of any email system you are deriving the benefits of ML when it effectively blocks 99.99% of all the spam mails.

ML also steps in to perform Sentiment Analysis. This is an automatic process to identify whether a user-text is positively, negatively or neutrally inclined to a particular event, topic, person or product.

ML also helps you to detect various entities including places or people that show up on a web page and the relationships between them.

4. Allows to Come Up With Additional Content

ML helps to analyze the link structure of your site so that it can show up shortcuts which are called as Sitelinks. Through these links, users will be able to navigate your site without wasting time on unnecessary pages and immediately land on a page that they are looking for.

ML provides Related Searches and also offers Knowledge Graph Data for some search engines.

5. Crawlers Can Make the Most of ML

Through ML, crawlers can identify the importance of a particular URL depending on the number of updates it went through and then come up with an optimal rate to crawl that URL.


All the above features are available to search through the “intelligent” technology called Machine Learning which can be imagined as a Google Engineer. It is through this unseen Google Engineer that every web surfer can adjust what he/she sees before the search is made on a particular device.

Also Read :  How To Be Successful On Instagram

8 Popular Digital Skills In Demand For 2018

The rapid pace with which internet penetrated into every sphere of human life has opened up umpteen avenues for professionals to earn income from multiple sources.

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To rake in a fortune through the net, you should be in the know of some popular digital skills that will be in great demand until the end of 2018.

Once you are aware of these in-demand digital skills, you will be equipped with invaluable insights that will help you gain an edge over your competitors.

Here we shed light on the 8 must-have digital skills that are poised to make their strong presence felt in 2018.

1. Web Development – An Expansive Arena Promising Substantial Growth

This is the age of open source tools like Magneto, Drupal, WordPress and OpenCart.

All these tools help web developers make the most of online resources while tagging them with the technical knowledge they have in the spheres of CSS and HTML.

They are now in a comfortable position to build web applications or websites without sweating it out.

Some tools are so designer-friendly that they do not require you to write codes.

WordPress is one such tool that demands a special mention. You need to simply focus on the content of your website without bothering about the background code that is taken care of the WordPress tool.

2. The Opportunities with Blogging

When you hone your web development skills, you will be in a comfortable position to take home handsome paychecks that compensate you for your web solution deliverables.

Most of the companies will need your services to build e-commerce websites, corporate websites, while also earning through blogs and forums.

Amongst all these, blogging comes as a lucrative option when you can not only express your opinions about various topics but also earn monies.

Blogging in that sense is one such digital skill that will give a steady push to your career.

3. Digital Promotions – The New Age Marketing Strategies

If you are looking to attract the attention of prospective buyers for your products and services, you can start off with digital promotions. You can market your offerings on blogs and social media platforms. Email Marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are other forms of digital promotions that will promise you good results.

Also Read : The Ideal Composition for a Successful Digital Marketing Team

Businesses are currently thrusting a lot of importance to digital promotion as one of the most-sought-after digital skills. You can alternatively sharpen other digital promotion skills like handling and managing social media pages and optimize websites so that your website ranks high on important search engines. You can additionally lend a helping hand to businesses to churn out rich viral content that can be posted on social media platforms as part of their “call-for-action”strategies.

4. Be A Winner In The Number Game With Data Mining / Data Analysis

You will agree with the fact that businesses rely a lot on statistics and business trends. Data Analysts are the promising professionals who will lead businesses to profits along with highlighting business trends. Data miners will also help you identify evident data patterns. Businesses employing the principles of data mining and data analysis will stand to gain when they will be in a better position to predict consumer behavior. These two strategies help you segment your customers into different compartments so that you can better target your products.

However, to thrive with this skill, you need technical expertise linked to Tableau, Python, and Power BI. After you master any of the above technologies, you will need to sharpen your skills associated with exploratory data analysis using data analysis tools like Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio and Python R. With all these in place, you will be in a sound position to make the most of Data Analysis and Data Mining skills that the arena of digital marketing demands.

5. IT Consulting – A Promising Digital Skill That Will Take You Places

IT consulting is another rewarding digital skill that will demand a lot of attention in 2018. As an IT consultant, you will be putting your domain knowledge and technical expertise to their ultimate use to benefit your clients.. Advising your clients as to the path they need to tread, you will be the point of contact for all such initiatives that will reduce business operational costs. You will also become an instrument for your client to increase their revenue.

You can step into the domain of IT consulting by conducting an extensive research on the lines of business of your potential clients. You also need to gather the pain points faced by every business. Enlisting all your observations in the form of a business proposal, you will be able to win over the confidence and goodwill of your target audience who will eventually become your clients. IT consulting is one such digital skill that calls for good presentation skills along with strong writing skills that help you come up with compelling proposals..

6. Chat Box Will be Talk of the Town

Chatbots are emerging to be the next new kid on the digital block. Digital marketing teams have already started incorporating chatbots into their brand positioning plans. Through chatbots, you will be able to not only provide efficient customer service, you will also be able to establish a strong proactive connect with your users. The year 2018 will hence see a number of websites relying on chatbots as the promising customer care executives draped in the garb of robots. All set to improve your brand equity in a number of time-saving and cost-effective means, chatbots are poised for the long haul.

7. User Experience – Another Significant Digital Skill That Builds Brand Image

For you to come up with a good user experience, it is time you understand the human sentiments that revolve around making an online choice. User Experience is a technique that is governed by the principles of human psychology; another priority digital skill in 2018. Digital marketers will go the extra mile in offering optimal user experience to their target audience by delving deep into how they engage with their websites. What is it that is needed by users should be answered by your User Experience strategy.

8. Digital Videos Will Be Narrating Compelling Stories

Last but not the least, it is for digital marketers to continue their efforts by blending videos with user-friendly content that comes in the form of compelling stories. The year 2018 will see the rising popularity of mobile videos which have already created ripples through social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. It is through these interfaces that users will be able to enjoy videos which are teamed with mobile-friendly content.

Storytelling will continue to call the shots, with more and more viewers getting attracted to informative videos. And if you are a digital marketer aiming to win the race, it is time you start sharpening your storytelling skills meant for a digital video. While doing so, you will also be in a position to differentiate between what types of stories work in favor of your brand and what don’t. Given the fact that is not a piece of cake to churn out a compelling 10 second video ad, you will be in a better position to garner the attention of your users when you dig deep into the various video needs of your audiences. Hence this skill of blending stories through mobile videos will be another top-ranking digital skill that you need to hone in 2018.


Having enlisted all the popular skills that will make their strong presence felt in the arena of digital marketing, it is time to pull up your socks and sharpen these skills. And once you begin to look at these skills as the life-blood of your marketing strategies, you will be in a favorable position to popularize your brand through a series of well-informed moves. So what are you waiting for? You already have the list of digital skills that are needed by you. All it takes is to extend efforts in the direction of these must-have abilities so as to stand ahead of your competitors. You will then be declared the fittest braving the heat of tough digital competition.

Why Website Design Is Important For SEO

If you are under the impression that website design and search engine optimization (SEO) are two independent activities, then it is not correct.

As a business owner, you must understand that both are related and any failure in recognizing the fact could adversely affect your business.

Aesthetics should be considered when designing your website, but it important to keep in mind the fact that website design encompasses much more than that.

It has the potential to impact everything from SEO and number of visitors to conversion rates and branding.

Good Website Design Is Important

The result of a study to determine whether the content factors and different design elements had an influence on the trust of visitors coming to the websites showed that website design is more important than content.

When the people who participated in the survey were asked as to why they mistrusted websites, the comments of 94 percent of the participants towards the website design elements. Only 6 percent of them made any reference to specific content.

Content Is Important

Website design might be very important, but content relevance and quality continue to be vital. When the participants of the abovementioned survey were asked as to why they trusted a particular website, the answers given by 83 percent of them revealed that content did have a key role to play.

People like websites that are informative, relevant, clear, unbiased, and fresh. Further, they like websites much better when age-specific information is given and answers to questions that come up often are provided.

Fonts and other typographic elements are also important, but the focus should be on delivering more accurate messages to your audience.

Anyway, overdoing these elements may not do any kind of additional good to your website. Too much content can mess up your web pages and affect the conversion rates.

Website Design Has Far-Reaching Effects

Both website design and content are important and they go hand-in-hand. However, it is the quality of design that attracts visitors to your website and makes them spend time and read the content you have provides.

According to website design and internet marketing experts, it is important to design your website, keeping the needs of your entire business in view. Or else, you will find it difficult to compete in the market.

Therefore, when you design your site to make it attractive to the visitors, it should also be kept in mind that it has the potential impact the other areas of your business.

Relationship Between Website Design and SEO

When creating your website, keeping SEO in mind, it is important that you think long term. Design trends keep changing, but the presence of your brand has to last for a much longer time.

Therefore, it is not wise to focus too much on the trends. It can cause problems for you. However, you should not completely neglect the prevailing styles.

To give you an example, a trending design style may be very attractive. Users may like the design because of the convenience the style provides. As a website owner, you may like to use the style because it keeps the users engaged.

However, what is more important is to determine whether the search engines like the trending style or not. As you remove the website structure that the search engines are traditionally used to crawling, you might be inviting problems for yourself.

On the other hand, you may really want to embrace the trending responsive designs for websites. This is because, in the near future, Internet searches are likely to be done more on smartphones rather than desktops and laptops.

There is a tremendous increase in the number of smartphone users around the world. Further, the search engines have started rewarding websites that invest in creating responsive web pages.

In addition to eliminating the need to run two separate websites and the risk of paying penalties for providing duplicate content, it helps you to greatly bring down the bounce rates.

The examples given above give you a fair idea as to why it is important to connect website design and SEO. However, there are a few other factors that need to be kept in mind when designing your website.

Website Design and Branding

You need to make a distinction between website design and branding. The design of your website cannot be considered as your brand at all.

Of course, it is a brand element that can help you to build trust among your target audience. Branding is actually an investment. It grows over time and makes people say that they have trust in your products and services.

Brands are perceptions and the elements of branding such as logos, trademarks, names, taglines, and packaging, are the shortcuts to reach those perceptions.

Typically, consumers tend to lean towards trusted brands. They will buy products and services when they are able to correlate with a strong brand.

As such, from the website design perspective, it is very clear that the elements of design you choose will have a direct impact on your overall branding strategy as well as market position.

Website Design and Conversion Rates

Website design also affects the conversion rates, particularly with respect to the elements listed below:

1. Navigation

It is very easy to understand as to how accessibility and navigation are related to the conversion rates. If your web site’s design is such that it presents challenges to the visitors, then they are likely to lose interest quickly.

On the other hand, an intuitive website structure will encourage users to remain on your site and continue browsing. Navigation assumes a lot of importance when there are several pages on your website.

Therefore, you need to include a menu that clearly shows the list of web pages or a well-labelled navigation bar. A well-developed navigation plan enables users to not only explore but also understand your website much better.

You are not required to use state-of-the-art typefaces at all. A simple and intuitive navigation arrangement makes visitors come back to your website again and again.

2. Words Used

According to experts, the words that you use in your calls-to-action statements have the potential to directly impact the conversion rates. For example, incorporating the word ‘Free’ when requesting visitors to either download something or sign up on your site often tends to increase conversions by about 4.2 perc3ent.

3. Colour

Colours do have a role to play in improving conversions. Research studies show that big, bold red colour is best suited for headlines. Navy blue colour helps to improve the feeling of trustworthiness when you use it in your call-to-action buttons.

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In conclusion, it is important that you have a clear understanding of the impact of your website’s design on SEO. It is just not a simple matter of preference or making a minor choice. Your website’s design has the potential to make or break your online business.

It has to actually make a difference as to how your target audience perceives your business or brand and the visitors to your website need to be converted into your customers.

All said and done, using a design that provides an impressive and easy to navigate user interface will go a long way in enhancing your conversion rates, contributing to improving the bottom line of your business.

In today’s digital world, more and more businesses have started developing responsive websites to stay ahead of their competitors. So, the earlier you act the better for you.

12 Website Design Strategies To Improve Your Business

Technology is constantly changing and businesses have been constantly evolving to take in these changes. From traffic to content, conversion rates and branding, there are many aspects of a website’s design that affects the presence of the business on the Internet.

Two perspectives

It is a true fact that very few business owners realize the importance of building a well-designed website. Many business owners, big and small see the entire effort as more of a chore.

What they fail to realize is that a website is a fully separate channel that will bring in the leads for your organization. What is better is that it takes less effort to set up a well-designed website than train an entire sales team.

On the other end of the spectrum are those entrepreneurs that invest thousands or even millions of dollars on website design/redesign. Web design, though important from the aesthetic point of view, is much more than just being attractive.

This article chooses to explore why web design matters at all and what impacts it has on different aspects of an online business.

1. Trustworthiness and basic design elements

In some of the studies that were conducted one startling fact that was revealed was that respondents labelled a website as being trustworthy or otherwise more on the basis of the design elements present than its content.

The ratio was 94:6.

Websites that have small prints, those that displayed pop-up ads, complex website layout, all contributed to mistrust from the respondents.

Another aspect that was revealed was that whereas some colours were good when used for specific businesses, it would not suit certain others.

In case the business already has a logo or a colour scheme, it pays to use the same on the website for easy recognition and relatability.

Use of similar colours and similar fonts as the logo is important. Use highlighted text sparingly. Go for a simpler logo than a complex one if you are designing a new one.

2. Navigation should be easy and consistent

Site-wide navigation that is the same on every page is appealing for a website. Your visitors should know at any point in time as to where to start.

Display of a search box in direct view of the user always is recommended. If your website ends up challenging the visitors, there is a high chance that they will lose interest and quit browsing further.

Avoid displays that clutter up and provide the visitor with information without any interruptions.

3. Faster websites sell more

The speed with which a website loads is an important factor in satisfying the customer. Almost half the respondents in a survey said that they expected that the website would load in about 2 seconds’ time.

Any additional delay of a second in the loading time of a website is costly for the business and there is also a substantial reduction in the customer satisfaction.

It is important to give that experience to the customer which they will be happy to remember. If your website’s loading speed is good, they are likely to talk about it to their peers.

4. Make the Call-to-Action visible

Place the call-to-action button on every page of the website. Ensure that it is visible and the visitor does not have to scroll down to see it. More importantly, add a benefit to the call-to-action.

That is more than likely to get you more conversions. One research showed that use of the word ‘free’ along with the call-to-action button increased conversions by about 4.2 percent.

Other phrases which were seen as appealing ones included, “Buy now”, “Start the two-week trial”, etc., among others.

5. Make video stories

Include storytelling videos on your website. Studies have indicated that videos dramatically increase conversions in websites.

Great video ideas include those that tell the visitor what is happening behind the scene video that shows how your product is created and what work has gone into it, product tours and case studies about a specific problem that a customer encountered, the solution and the end result accompanied by a simple attractive script.

Testimonial videos are known to do their bit for your website. Allow people to announce how happy they are after using your product or service.

6. Improve the trust by displaying badges

Incorporate badges as part of your website. It is indeed a design element that can bring in more trust from your website visitors. They can be categorized into:

  • Trust badges: Procure and display trust badges from review sites. TripAdvisor and Trustpilot are popular badges.
  • Security badges: Companies such a McAfee show to the visitors that the link to your website is encrypted and allows for safe transactions to be sent through the website’s landing page by the visitor.
  • Award badges: Display industry’s best awards if you have any. Do not fail to announce the awards, if any have been won by the designers and developers of your website.

7. No distractions, please

To increase conversions, it should be easy for the customers to make decisions. Do not make the website journey a confusing one for our visitors. Offers, pop-ups and too much of movement are likely to confuse the visitor.

Too many offers will end up becoming counterproductive. When there are too many, the visitor will be confused as to which one to pick.

The website visitor has to be safely guided through the sales funnel and get them to make a purchase. The golden rule is to keep distractions to a minimum.

8. Website-SEO relationship is important

SEO is a good method to make your website more visible to the search engines and customers at large. Getting a top slot in the search engine listings gets you your prospective customers’ attention.

This translated to a higher amount of traffic and consequently more conversions. The first step of SEO is good website design. With a great website design, you have already announced your arrival.

The rule of the thumb is do not neglect traditional website design structures that search engines look for while crawling in favour of modern trends. Have a healthy mix of the two.

9. Become Mobile Friendly

Most buying decisions of today are made with the mobile. With most people using the web on mobile phones and tablets, you can lose out if your business website is not optimized for a mobile device.

If you want your website to be seen on a computer as well as a mobile device, then you should have only very little media that is attached to the website design.

This may not work out the way you want all the time. However, it is better to have a mobile-optimized version of your business website. The website should contain all the relevant information that the customer needs to see.

10. Keep your website design contemporary

The bounce rates are going t be higher if you have an outdated website design. Old-fashioned websites are likely to be a turn-off. If they feel that you are not up-to-date, in either your content or design, they are going to bounce off your pages.

It is a good idea to review your website once in a couple of years or every year and freshen it up to reflect the latest trends.

11. Content is still king

While website design is important, content is still the king. Websites that presented lucid, no-nonsense and unbiased information were liked by most users. Other popular designs included FAQ’s and sites giving information to specific age groups.

12. Website design is one of the most important of your brand elements

The design of a website does not equate to your brand. However, website design by itself is an important brand element that helps your customer to place trust in you.

Branding is that invisible factor, or a perception, that grows over time and gets your client to trust your product/service no matter what. Other brand elements can be logos, taglines, packaging, trademarks etc.

The dozen points discussed above are basic ideas that can get your web design on track and make a difference to your customers. How your website looks and functions are key factors that would influence the outcomes of your business decisions.


The Ideal Composition for a Successful Digital Marketing Team

Digital promotion is a crucial aspect of marketing strategies in every modern firm. If you are a business owner, you have two choices – either to hire a digital marketing agency or to build one in-house. Either way, you have to work closely with the team, and for that you need to understand the anatomy of a digital marketing team.

A Digital marketing team is a unique combination of individuals with varied skills. There are designers, creative heads, strategists, optimizers and marketers, although one person can wear many hats.

Let’s take a look at each role closely and understand why each of them is paramount for team functioning.


A website is the first step to having a digital presence. So let’s start from the skilled resources required for building and maintaining a website.

The Web Designer (UI/UX):

Role: An expert who head starts the process of website creation by carving out the blue print of the landing pages. The skeletal framework of the website also known as the wireframe marks the genesis of website development. The designer then creates a design mockup to illustrate the alignment of text and images.

The whole idea as projected by the designer is presented to the client or the stakeholders for approval.

The UI/UX designer could also be an expert in HTML, CSS and java script and capable of rapidly generating website prototypes.

The designer should fabricate the website bearing in mind the target audience and website objective.

Traits required: Confidence, Creativity, Colour Sense, User Psychology, Curiosity, Proactivity, attention to detail, good communication skills.

 Technical Skills Required: UI/UX Knowledge, HTML, CSS, Javascript and jQuery

Marketing skills: Knowledge of Google Analytics, Customer behavior

Web Developer

A web developer creates the websites from a blue print to a viable virtual function.

Developing website involves transcribing the UI/UX wireframes created by the designer to visual elements.

A developer is a pro in coding languages and would know how to work with one or more development frameworks.

In addition, he manages the hosting environment and makes changes in the functional websites as requested by . He also implements software testing and observes the ongoing progress of the website.

Furthermore an adequate knowledge of security principles and their application in E-commerce applications enhances the scope.

The web developer studies the back-end data and employs the information to improve and refine the specifications of the website.

He is expected to be flexible towards the demands of the clients and open to suggestions of the designer and the strategist.

Traits required: creativity, love for learning, analytical mindset, curiosity, pragmatism, proactivity, attention to detail, good communication skills.

 Technical Skills Required: Photoshop, Coding, HTML, CSS, jQuery, PHP, web user Interface design, object oriented design, software testing, SEO.


Ideally, research should happen as the first step. But most startups end up doing it at the later stages.

Market researcher/strategist

Technically these are two different roles, but as specified earlier in small firms, one person can wear many hats.

The analyst performs audits of various campaigning and promotional activities across platforms. The resultant audit figures are transcribed into attractive images to help the team assimilate how effectively their efforts are reciprocating.

On grounds of the conclusions drawn from the audit he provides suggestions for feasible utilization of resources and helps the team to tweak their efforts and avoid waste of time on ineffective strategies.

One of the significant activities carried out by the analyst is to scheme a calendar pre meditating the approximate time taken by each task at each stage. He follows up with the team to get the work done within the pre-decided time frame.

The strategist game plans the whole idea of the content, keeping in mind the aim of the website and target personas.

He provides writers with insights of what exactly the content should communicate to the audience.

He devises promotional strategies and decides the social platforms and channels to be used for content promotion. As a part of commercial marketing strategy new product launches, hike in market share and acquisitions are a few ideas schemed by the strategist.

He is responsible for creation, advertisement and administration of content that justifies company’s goals and values.

In case of small start ups, there is a need to boost the credibility and validate presence in the market. Guest posting, like popular websites helps to leverage their popularity to grow market and audience.

Traits required: Fluent English, writing skills, presentation skills.

Technical Skills Required: Proficiency with content management systems, SEO/SEM, Google Analytics, Google Adwords and social platforms, web design, html, URL architecting, email marketing.

Marketing skills: Content marketing, crisis management, guest posting, link building, digital campaign optimization, Influencer marketing.

 Content Creation

Content creators

The creative section of the team manifests the idea of the brand into words and images.

These include content writers, Graphic designers and animators.

The perception and central theme of the desired content is interpreted to the writers and graphics team by the strategist.

The writers then compose content relevant to the website or the brand.

Writers can be of different types.

Article writers research and write on various topics depending on the projects they receive and the website they work for.

Copywriters work for brands and e-commerce websites and write product descriptions, taglines while maintaining the credibility.

Similarly different kinds of content require different styles.

News writing demands AP style which has journalistic standards of spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Blogging is catchy, friendly and assertive.

Traits required: Adaptability, researching, Fluent English, presentation skill, Time management

Technical Skills Required: SEO, impeccable Editing, Microsoft word, Google docs,

Marketing skills: Online marketing, lead generation

Graphic designers and animators

The content written by the writer is loaded with images and videos by the graphics designers and the animators. It makes the content look vivacious.

The basic function of the designer is to create compelling images, charts and infographics.

Infographic designers create a visually attractive representation of the data. They design captivating flow charts for blogs and articles big time.

An Ad creator convincingly picturizes the value of articles, taglines and designs convertible images. They are involved in organic promotion which includes the social media jazz, as well as inorganic campaigns or paid promotion where in the brand or content is pushed or advertised on another website.

It is always a plus point to have a designer with the knowledge of headline writing and copywriting.

Traits required: creativity flair, versatility, visual ability, originality

 Technical Skills Required: Photoshop, CoralDRAW, illustrator, InDesign, 3D Aftereffects


The editor proofreads the content created by the creative team. Though the content is written by different writers the editor sees to it that the content quality and style is uniform throughout.

It is important that the content resonates with audience.

The web editor is also responsible for creating the editorial schedule depending on deadlines. Furthermore, he co-ordinates with content providers to close the activities as and when planned. Again due to the overlapping functions between various roles, this task can be carried out by the strategist.

Evaluation of content based on site objectives and building team focus on consistently providing valuable content are the major goals of the editor.

Editing is an intricate affair which requires good researching skill and strong attention to detail.

Traits required: Organizational skills, collaborative spirit, time management, detail oriented, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Technical Skills Required: HTML, MS office, CMS, Analytical skills, calculation of ROI, Social media, SEO

Marketing Skills: Conversant with calculation of ROI and written collateral


Bang the keys but the right ones! That is what SEOs do.

Once the content is finalized by the editor, it moves to the publishing team which consists of the SEOs.

The SEOs strive to modify the content created by the creators and elevate the quality in a manner that it comes under the lens of the search engine every time a search is carried out.

Predominantly involved in keyword research, understanding meta tags and page description, SEO specialist analyses the webpage structure and elements to recommend improvement in the design.

SEO works in close proximity with the content strategist to expand the traffic and deliver quality content to the audience.

Once the content has all the essential ingredients, SEO specialist hits the publish button.

Content writers essentially need to have the knowledge of SEO tools such as keyword analysis, as it would help them write a search engine friendly content. This would also cut down the efforts of the SEO specialist and help him dedicate more time to execute content expansion strategies.

Moreover it is important for the SEO to stay updated with latest analytics and keyword tools. The SEO should maintain strong media relations with mainstream and print publications and online media.

Traits required:   creative, proactive, information management, interpersonal skills, Enthusiastic.

Technical Skills Required:  HTML, CMS, site auditing, content migration.

Marketing Skills: Social media campaigns, content marketing and optimization.


Once published, we need maximum people to see what our website or brand has to offer. So it is important to promote it over various social media and email platforms.

The distributor pans the content across various media and channels to attract more visitors to the website.

It is important that the person understands the basic practices over channels and ensures proper distribution of content across respective channels.

The content posted on various platforms should have attractive and entertaining captions to easily catch the eye of your target audience.

The distributor integrates the research of the analyst and strategist to come up with effective marketing approaches.

Latest distribution techniques such as PPC (Pay per click) and other paid promotional techniques are used in addition to organic means to attract traffic.

He regularly monitors the promotion to enhance the reach of the content.

Major platforms for promotion include social media websites such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram and email marketing.

It is important that the distributor channelizes his efforts to maximize marketing and promotion effectively and fosters highly effective relationships with stakeholders.

Attracting visitors through email marketing is a tedious business as most audience does not view promotional emails. If the write up does not captivate the audience within first five seconds of reading, you have already dropped the ball there. The writers and distributors can slave over this together for a better output.

Traits required:  Well developed business operational, organizational, and administrative skills, Multi tasking

Technical Skills Required:   CMS, Analytical skills, Knowledge of tech and digital lifestyle, SEM, SEO.

Marketing Skills:  Mobile marketing, Deal making ability, project management, executing marketing strategies, aligning company’s goals with web content strategy.


The story does not end here. The website is ready, content is published and advertisement is being carried out. But how will we know if the content is being seen by the people? Or if the brand is attracting audience and making the desired profits?

This is where the analyst comes into play again.

He consistently monitors the traffic over the website in real time and over other time periods through analytics tools. Apps like Google analytics help you track the performance of your website and fine tune efforts of your team in the right direction.

Analysts are required to have this insatiable instinct to explore the figures perceive actionable areas.

The analyst should have expertise in building inbound organic search traffic and improving SERPs.

He should be familiar with the best tools of the times and knowledge of current, past and projected trends in the SEO industry.

Furthermore, comprehending which channel has led to most sales and acknowledging that channel as per its role in the sales cycle, is also the responsibility of the analyst.

Traits required: Creativity, curiosity, strategic perspective, statistical and technical expertise.

Technical Skills Required:  Advanced excel, Google Analytics, Keyword tool, SEO, Site catalyst, Google Adwords, Coremetrics etc.

Marketing Skills: PPC, mobile marketing, organic promotion, ROI analysis, interpreting trends, multi-channel attribution, analyzing online user behavior.

Check out this video to know more about content marketing methodology.

Tying It All Together

This is how the content is typically relayed in digital marketing business.

It starts with the client approaching the web designer with a proposal to build a website which is thematically relevant to his brand or business.

The designer and developers together fabricate the space over which content writers and graphic designers convey to the audience the features and credibility of the client’s services. Before publishing the content is scrutinized by the editor and enhanced by the SEO.

The analyst and strategist together find means to channelize the labour in the right direction. The promotion of the website over various channels ensures expansion of business domain.

Even though the website is ready, it doesn’t mean the task has ended there. In fact it has just begun. The website needs constant modification and maintenance based on insights provided by the strategist and the analyst with frequent updates in the appearance and themes.

The trick is to keep digging your creativity kit and employ new tools of innovation.

Your suggestions and insights are always welcome in comments. Please feel free to share.

A Complete Guide to Infographic Marketing

If you have a content marketing plan, there are good chances that it will have visual format of content such as video and infographic. Infographic became popular back in 2010 and have been here ever since.

Although marketers debated their survival with the internet becoming overcrowded with too many infographics, good quality infographics are still the cornerstone of a good content marketing plan.

Many successful marketers swear by them. They can get you tons of backlinks and some serious traffic. Marketing guru Neil Patel was able to pull in more than 2 million visitors and 41,142 backlinks by posting regular infographics on his Kissmetrics blog back in 2010. Most of leading digital marketing agencies and brands are using infographics by now.

According to a study by Infographic World, 56% of companies surveyed had used infographics and 84% considered them effective in marketing.

In this blog we will look at why infographic are so effective and how to be successful at infographic marketing. Let’s first look at what an infographic is and what are the various types of infographic you can design.

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What is Infographic?

Infographic is a visual image of information or data in its strictest sense. The visual representation could be process flow, timeline, comparison charts or sequential story too. There are many ways to represent information visually. Many infographics tell a story through the presentation of facts and statistics to add an element of surprise and evidence.

However, not all infographics should to have statistics and numbers. In fact, today, the types of infographics that we see are many. As long as it is an image that translates knowledge visually it counts as an infographic.

Types of Infographics

Here are some types of infographic and their examples.

1. Statistical  Infographics

These convey statistics in a visual way and have a story to it. They are great for getting backlinks and social shares.

Infographic Marketing

2. Informational Infographics

This is a blog post turned into a visual infographic. This can be a list-o-graphic, a process or educational guide. The idea here is to show visually what a blog post would say in text.

3. Timeline Infographics

These show the evolution of products, service, culture, etc.

Infographic Marketing

4. Comparison Infographic

These compare products, service, concepts or processes. They make it easy for our brain to compare by placing the compared ideas next to each other and bring out the difference.

Infographic Marketing

5. Geographic Infographic

This is an infographic putting together regional statistics or information on the corresponding map of a region. This is useful in representing information related to geography or showing geographical differences.

What makes Infographic So Effective?

Traffic to a website gets an average of 12% increase after uploading an infographic. So why are infographics so effective in getting traffic?

Infographics are visual

Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text according to 3M. 90% of information that goes to our brain is visual and we also easily retain what we see visually.

This is because the visual part of our brain has evolved for millions of years whereas the reading has been introduced to humans on recently in comparison.

We are naturally attracted to images and spend more time with articles/ blogs that have relevant images. In fact, eye-tracking studies show that readers spend more time looking at relevant images than they do reading text on a page.

Infographics are Shareable

People only share what they think will be enjoyed by their friends or help them. Since infographics are a story narrative with interesting facts and entertaining information they are perfect to share with your friends on social media.

Infographics are shared 3x times more than any other content on social media. They are easy to view, consume and share.

They Work for your SEO

Infographics do not directly translate into higher ranking but they do give out many signals that are great for your SEO. Informative infographics get lots of links from other sites. This not only increases traffic to your site but also tells Google that other people find your page helpful. This increases your domain authority, in turn boosting your visibility in Google.

Infographics also mean that visitors spend more time on your site and reduce bounce rate. This too is a factor affecting Google ranking directly.

Elements of Successful Infographic

Of course this does not mean that every infographic will be highly successful and get you links. Ever since the success of infographics online, the internet is flooded with infographics that are of poor quality (either in content or design or both) and are not successful by any measure.

Making an infographic that is not up to the mark will only waste your time and resources. Therefore, it is important to make high quality infographics if you want to succeed at infographic marketing.

There are many things that must be kept in mind for this. Let’s walk through the process of making and promoting a good quality infographic. We will discuss the best practices in each step as we come to it.

1. Set the Objective

What is the objective of making infographic? Is it to earn backlinks, convert leads or increase your brand authority?  Not every infographic is suitable for all purpose. For example, if you want to earn backlinks, an infographic with original data is your best bet.

The designing of your infographic will also depend on your objective. Infographics meant for PR or internal communication can have heavy branding whereas those built for social sharing cannot have much branding on them.

Before you set out decide on length of infographic, colour scheme, design and content, it is first important to set the context right.

2. Select  Topic

Knowing your audience is the key to creating the right content. The same is true for infographics. Infographic topics have to be either extremely helpful or entertaining.

The topic must answer your reader’s questions to be helpful and relatable to be entertaining. It should also be about a topic that has decent search traffic too.

One way to come up with a good topic is to look at the posts that are already popular in your sites. What posts drive maximum traffic and reader engagement? You may then repurpose old content or convert it into an infographic.

For example, if ‘Industry Stats for 2017’ was one of your best performing posts, you can consider making an infographic for ‘Industry Stats for 2018’.

Another way to pick a topic is to just tag along what’s trending. Topics or events that are in news are hot because media and social influencers are already covering it. If you can put a fresh angle to trending topics or add data to it, it is very likely to be picked up by journalists and bloggers and go viral.

3. Research Well

The next step after choosing a topic is to do a thorough research of the topic. Remember your content is only as good as the research that goes behind it. Talk to industry experts and try to dig out information that is not out yet.

There is nothing better than your own data from studies you have done. Bloggers and journalists love fresh content and stats to cite and prove their point.

Make sure your sources are credible and reputable. Wikipedia does not count as a credible source. You must also mention the sources at the bottom of your infographic to add credibility to your data.

5. Script and Story

The next step after you gathers data and information is to put it in a meaningful narrative. Most of the infographics fall flat here. Putting data and statistics in visual format is not a good infographic.

Content creators must tell a story through the information. This is what makes infographics captivating and shareable. Think of all the elements of story – a beginning state of things, struggle or objections and an end with a clear message of the story.

Sometimes you may want to develop a character to convey a story. At other times the reader’s journey itself can be a story. This stage requires lot of creativity and innovation.

At the end of this designers typically build a wireframe that puts all the information in a flow. By the end of this you should have a visual of how your infographic is going to look.

6. Designing

It’s time to convert your story into visuals and usually a designer works on this stage. There are many decisions that must be made when it comes to design.

What would be the best way to put the story in visuals? The infographic could be any of the type discussed above i.e. statistical, comparison, bar-chart, geographical or timeline.

The colours must be in line with the topic and appeal to the target audience. If you plan to brand your infographic the colours must also be in line with your branding.

The icons, 3D effects, fonts, formats and colours all will give your infographic a unique look and feel.

7. Editing

The next step is editing. By this stage you would have a first version of your infographic ready with you.  You must now improve on it and cut out all the information that is not central to your message.

Just like a good written copy, cutting out the extras is what makes an infographic great. Don’t put data just for the sake of length. It is better to aim for an infographic that is shorter, to the point and crisp. The flow of information should feel interesting and intuitive.

8. Promote

Left by itself, it will take some time for infographic to start ranking in Google. If there are already better infographics by more authoritative sites in your industry, then you can forget about ranking ever on Google.

Promoting infographics helps in getting quicker return and early discovery by search engines. There are steps that you must take to promote your infographic.

SEO for Infographic – Search engines cannot read images hence it is important to give them text and HTML tags that they can. This is how search engines view your page is about and whether of not to rank them for a query.

Insert your keywords in the title of the image as well as alt text. So if your infographic is about coffee name the image file as ‘benefits-of-coffee.png’ instead of ‘image1456.png’.

This way search engines can easily know what your infographic is about. Similarly, alternative text is what shows up when your image doesn’t load but it is also a signal on image content to Google.

Also add supporting text before and after your infographic. This way you can have Headings H1, introduction paragraph and a conclusion that will be enough for Google to rank you well.

Blogger Outreach – A good infographic will earn backlinks naturally but you can kick-start your efforts with an outreach campaign too. Get in touch with industry influencers and leaders and let them know of this new infographic you have posted.

They will link to it if they find it useful. If they do not, then take it as feedback for you to improve your infographic. Do be spammy with your request or post your link in the comments as that will only hurt your credibility.

Sharing on other Platforms – You can share your infographics on other platforms too. Posting on LinkedIn and SlideShare have proved successful for many brands. We will discuss more on how to optimize your infographic for different platforms in the next section.

Make it Easily Shareable – Your infographic must be shareable on social media with a single click. Put social sharing buttons on your page and mention an embed code below the infographic. This way anyone who wants to use your infographic can do so with a legitimate link to you.

9. Test

The last step of infographic marketing is of course monitoring and feedback collection. Each site will have unique visitor profile and hence different kinds of designs, topics and promotional strategies will work for each. By monitoring user engagement and feedback you can fine-tune your infographic content marketing to perfection.

Tips to get Maximum out of your Infographics

1. Create Quality Infographics

As you can see above there are plenty of things that can go wrong in each stage of creating an infographic. Since you are putting in so much effort, it’s worth ensuring that you end up with good quality infographic.

Many companies think that their good content writer will also make a good infographic. This is not true as the skill required for visualising and designing visuals are totally new to a content writer.

It’s recommended to get your infographic done from a professional designer or at least learn about design before you design it yourself.

Below is an example of confusing infographic. The numbers are all over the place and there is no flow of story to the visuals. The small font is also very difficult to read. Such infographics can actually annoy readers and spoil your brand name.

Infographic Marketing

2. Use Different Platforms to Promote

Post your infographic on more than just your blog. Take the example of below infographic by a security network company, Solera Networks. Their infographic on ‘Are you a Hacker’s Target?’ did not get a great response.

But it became immensely successful after they cut the graphic into slides and shared it on SlideShare platform getting them 40,000 views and organic links.

Infographic Marketing

The lesson is to re-design your infographic and share it on different platforms your audience is on. You never know, the infographic that is not getting any traffic to your site might just hit it off on Facebook or Pinterest.

The key is to repurpose your content to match the mood of each social sharing platform. Pinterest is highly design based so too many numbers and data will not do well there.

Similarly, Facebook needs photos that are interesting and entertaining and too much of branding will not work in this social site.

There are also many niche sites for each target audience that you should explore. Imgur is a great platform for millennial males. You can also find sub-reddits on almost any topic.

3. Make it a Part of your overall Content Strategy

This is perhaps the most common mistake marketers make. You cannot treat your infographic like a stand alone piece of content. Infographics have to fit into your overall content marketing strategy. They must still address you target audience and target the questions they are asking.

Also infographics marketing cannot be your only content strategy. Build supporting text posts, images and videos that together form your content plan.

It is also important to keep in mind what format your audience prefers, if your audience prefers only ‘how to videos’, then building infographics just for the sake of it is a loss making idea.

How much does it cost to make an Infographic?

Infographics can cost anywhere from $5 to $5000. There is a lot of work from research to designing to promoting an infographic. The cost will also depend on the amount of work you need to get done.

You can expect less cost if you already have the data and just need the designer to put it together visually. However if you want research, content, designing, promotion of the infographic you can expect a significantly higher quote.

Here are your options at different price points if you want to get an infographic done:

1. Do It Yourself

This is the cheapest but obviously requires your time and effort. This option is suitable for small start-ups, independent bloggers and home run businesses.

You can choose many online tools available to design your own infographic. Sites like Picktochart and Canva are almost free and come with many free templates, design ideas and inspirations.

You can get started for free on both the tools, although there is limited you can do with Picktochart on the free model. They have a $15, $29 and $99 plan which give you access to templates, hundreds of images, watermark removal and much more.

Canva allows you to do much more with their free plan and is by far the best option to create drag and drop free infographic yourself.

You can also learn to operate tools such as illustrator and coral draw to create your own infographics but they will take up a lot of time to learn.

Remember that for this option you will have no help with designing and storytelling and will have to do everything on your own.

2. Hire a Freelancer

Your next option is to hire an infographic designer on project basis. You can hire one from your contacts of go to numerous freelancing sites online to hire freelancers from across the globe.

Sites like Upwork, Fivver, Design Hill , and many more will give you many options to choose designers. Design Hill runs a contest for you starting at $289 where you get to pick from more than 40 designs submitted by designers competing for your project.

You can find freelance infographic designer anywhere in the range of $100 to $2000 depending on their quality of work, experience and demand.

Terms of payment, timely completion of work, negotiations, and dispute handling are some of the tricky things when it comes to hiring a freelancer on the other end of the globe.

3. Hire a full time Designer

You could also hire a full time designer in your company. This is only suitable if you have an internal content team and expect to churn our high number of infographics regularly.

The cost of hiring a full time infographic designer can vary anywhere from $800 to $3000 a month. Cost of hiring, training and employee benefits are some extra charges that you will have to bear.

4. Hire a Professional Agency

This is perhaps the best option if you have the budget. There is no risk of unfinished work and unprofessional services as in the case of freelancer. You can find reputable digital marketing agencies that will design infographics within your overall content marketing strategy.

There are even niche digital marketing companies that only make infographics. Check out Neomam’s work on interactive Infographics to see the possibilities with Infographics

These agencies may charge you anywhere from $500 to $5000 per infographic. You may get a better deal if your agency handles all of your content marketing and charges you for the whole package.

Some of the known names in field are Only Infographics, and DKNewMedia. DKNewMedia and are premium agencies and are known to charge in the range of $4000 and above.

Not all agencies are expensive though. There are many lesser known agencies that do an excellent job minus the exorbitant price.

Bringing It All Together

Infographics are great to capture your audience because they are visual stories that people love to read. By inserting data and statistics you can make them helpful as well as interesting for your readers. They work because visual, are sharable and easily digestible.

Creating an effective infographic that gets you tons of traffic requires that you set a clear objective for it. The infographic must answer what your audience is interested in and have a compelling story and design. Promoting infographic on various platforms is equally important to get early traffic.

Lastly remember to treat infographics as a part of your overall content marketing strategy and not a standalone piece.

Whether you decide to make your own Infographic or hire and agency, a good quality and helpful infographic is sure to get you backlinks, earn traffic and improve your brand awareness.

10 Distinct Benefits of Video Marketing for Small Businesses

‘Less is more’ is the thumb rule of marketing.  There is no better way than a video to convey your brand message in lesser time with a deeper meaning to a broader audience.

Videos are the best marketing tool for small businesses. It has high ROI and a better reach. With many marketers vying for the small internet space, videos are a useful tool to make your presence felt online.

There is no denying the fact that video marketing is one of the newest entrants in the promotion mix, something that gained popularity after the advent of digital marketing. However, small marketers still have many doubts before venturing into video marketing.

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Is it worth the time and effort to consider using videos for promotion or not? Do I have enough resource to create one?  Such questions regularly pop up in their minds to which they do not always get a satisfactory answer.

Here are 10 reasons why video marketing is a profitable way to promote business for small business owners and how they can use it to their advantage.

1. Videos generate trust:

Based on building relationships, video marketing works on the simple fact that ‘Action speaks louder than words.’ When you convey your message to your audience through a video, you establish an emotional connection with them.

Videos give you the flexibility to capture the sentiments of your audience. Therefore, it empowers you to build a long-term relationship with your clients.

2. Boost conversion:

Yes, videos boost conversion by 80%. When you add a product video to your landing page, it helps your viewers make an instant and informed decision. They make the purchase which eventually increases your conversion and your sales.  It is, therefore, a wise decision to add videos to your promotion box and consider it more of an investment rather than an expense.

3. Google finds it easily: Ever searched for ‘How To’ on Google observed the striking results it offers. It is because Google loves videos and display them instantly when someone searches for it.

Videos, when embedded on your website or present via a Youtube link, have a higher chance of drawing customers to your website. This results in more traffic and more ROI.

4. Videos are self-explanatory:

While website content and blogs can sometimes be long to read, videos engage a customer for a few seconds to a minute to explain the concept.

Consider a new product you have just launched and want to inform customers about the same, which option you would choose, a blog or a video. Certainly creating a video works like 98% users say that they watch an explainer video to learn about a product or service.

5. Easy to share on social platforms:

When we talk about viral content, it is always the video that comes to our mind. Videos score over any other marketing tool when it comes to create viral content. Since videos are easy to share on social platforms and also on platforms such as Whatsapp and Hangouts, it has a wider reach and chances of more people viewing it are always high.

Today, more than 60% of social marketers make use of video content to convey their message and finds it more effective than any other marketing tool.

6. Improves search engine rank:

We all love to watch videos, and it is a great tool when it comes to sales and conversion. It is also good for how search engine evaluates your website.

With tools like Google Analytics, you can check the number of times visitors accessed your website and how long they stay by checking the bounce rate. You will observe a stark difference in the bounce rate and other parameters after you have implemented your video marketing strategy.

7. It makes you look modern:

Video marketing is considered as the latest and the most advanced marketing tool. When customers saw your product or brand video, they perceive your company as one with a modern approach. They appreciate businesses which are up-to-date and want to associate with such companies.

8. Videos are still not used by many small businesses:

Accept it or not, there are marketers who despite knowing the importance of video marketing, are not using it in their promotion mix. This gives you an advantage over other small businesses and even your competitors. You can create your niche with the help of videos and customers will remember you for a long time because of your video marketing strategy.

9. Power of Live videos:

Everyone is using Live streaming via Periscope or Facebook Live. Although a bit difficult and not everyone’s cup of tea, it is still prevalent among business owners and celebrities. The most significant benefit is it encourages people to engage and post comments. It instantly involves people as they can see response to their comments. It becomes easy to reach your target audience with such a tool.

10.Video appeal to mobile users:

Mobile phones and videos go hand in hand. Most of the consumers watch videos on their mobile, and since the number of mobile users is increasing, videos will gain more popularity.

Tying It All Together

Video advertising has now become more widespread and affordable too. It has a global reach and has the potential of reaching every consumer, be it any location, age and interest group. The key however still lies in creating an enticing video with precise content. It requires a creative mindset and knowledge of human psychology to create a video.

Small business owners should make it an integral part of their business promotion and use it to the maximum of their advantage.

Get Ready for Voice Search Revolution

Imagine shopping for grocery, cooking and watering your garden all at the same time. With voice search and voice command technology this is absolutely possible today.

Voice search is simply searching the web by speaking to a device instead of typing it out. You may have already used this technology in your android phone while searching Google or in Google keyboard to convert speech to text in WhatsApp .In fact Location World estimates that 2 in 5 adults use voice search once daily.

Here are some statistics on voice search to get you up to date on how people are talking (or will be talking) to devices:

  • 20 % of queries on Google mobile app and on Android devices were voice searches back in 2016 (Google)
  • Voice search will be 50% of total searches by 2020 (ComScore)
  • About 30% of all searches will be done without a screen by 2020, (Gartner)
  •  There will be an estimated 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020
  • As of January 2018, there were an estimated one billion voice searches per month (Alpine.AI)
  • 1 in 4 shoppers used voice assistants in their holiday shopping during the 2017 season (CTA)
  • 35.8% of millennials already use voice-enabled digital assistants at least once a month (eMarketer)

The rise of Voice Search

The rise of Voice Search

It is clear from the statistics that voice search is gaining momentum and will be at its peak by 2020. Sales of smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home are skyrocketing. Echo Dot was the best selling product on Amazon for the holiday season of 2018.

Even without the statistics it is easy to anticipate that voice search will increase. We humans can speak 3x times faster than we can write. It also allows people to multitask while they are driving, cooking or doing household chores.

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This is great for millennials who are hard pressed for time and like to multi-task. But this is also extremely convenient for older generation who will prefer speaking to typing it out. For example, it would be really easy for senior citizens to tell virtual assistants to order medicine rather than going out and getting it.

Although, only 10% of baby boomers use voice search compared to 35% of millennials, the habit will catch up soon with every generation because of voice as more natural communication channel.

This does not however mean that text search will completely fade off any time soon. There are some limitations to voice search because of which visual results will always have its own share.

Limitations of Voice Search

Users don’t always want one best answer

Voice search gives only one best answer always. But users are sometimes looking for options rather than one best result. Consider shopping for shoes on Amazon. You would definitely like to see a few options before telling Alexa to place an order.

As of now voice search results seem best for day to day transactional and informational searches. Until there is a way to overcome this limitation, users will prefer to screen to shop for products and services.

Voice search does not give visual information

What about ‘How to’ searches? Some information is best absorbed visually rather than auditorily. You would like to see how to bake a cake rather than hear it. This is why Google has started ranking videos and images over text for ‘How to’ searches wherever possible.

Users cannot surf the Internet

Surfing the internet is an experience in itself. Some people do this to learn about interesting things or pass their time. It is an interesting place where you can stumble upon something unexpected and new. This again cannot be replaced by voice results.

For the purpose of research and in-depth learning too, text is better. You can re-read the article at your own pace while making mental models of what is being read.

Voice search doesn’t give Privacy

Nobody will be comfortable with Google announcing their search results to the whole house every time. This limitation can be overcome by smart earphones, but until then people will prefer visual results on their private screens.

How does voice search work?

how does voice search work

The groundbreaking part about voice search is the speech recognition technology. Search ability is nothing new and we have been searching the internet for many years. Voice search is powered by the same search engine but by converting voice into text.

The interesting part is that machines can now talk and understand like humans. Human communication is unique on this planet and there are many layers to our communication.

There are so many dialects, nuances and intricacies to our language that we are surprised when a machine answers us correctly just like a human.

Just the tone of ‘everything is fine’ said by a woman can give you an idea that nothing is fine, even though she is saying completely the opposite.

For machines to learn language, various fields of computing, linguistics, mathematics and engineering have had to come together. Machines must pick up on the right sound, convert it into bits and bytes and recognize them as meaningful data. This is done through several processes like

Language modelling -likelihood of certain words following others is used  to improve accuracy

Artificial neural networks – network models that can recognize sound pattern after extensive training

Sound Matching – Simple matching of words based on memory of sounds

Pattern and Feature analysis – where each word is broken down into bits and recognized from its key features like vowels or syllables

Major Players In Voice Search

Major Players In Voice Search

IBM was probably one of the first players to jump into voice recognition and showcased Shoebox, a machine understood up to 16 words, at the 1962 Seattle’s World Fair.

Voice search technology had a breakthrough in 1970 when Lenny Baum invented the ‘The Hidden Markov Modelling (HMM)’ approach to speech recognition. IBM continued to better itself using this model to improve speech recognition of more words.

Microsoft and IBM continued to launch software with voice recognition technology but most of us probably remember Google’s voice search app for iPhone and then Apple’s virtual assistant Siri in 2011.

Today Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Apple are major players in voice search. Each has its own advantages to play upon. Google has undoubtedly the best search results for Google Assistant while Amazon is a master of customer behaviour and data.

All are competing fiercely to be the market leader in speech and voice recognition market which is estimated to be worth $18.03 billion by 2023. Microsoft is collecting huge amount of data to teach its AI.

They have rented apartments in New York to pick up on sounds and dialects of languages. The idea is to be able to distinguish train noise, traffic and sirens from human voice.

Currently China’s search engine, Baidu, is at the top with 96% word accuracy. Google Now, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft Cortana are close at 95% accuracy.

Amazon Alexa too is almost on the same mark plus it has over 30,000 apps or ‘skills’ with 5000 new skills added every 100 days.

Industry experts are eying the 99% accuracy rate and say that use of voice search will explode at this level. With the current level of research and money that is going into voice recognition technology that time is not far.

Voice search changes everything

Voice search changes everything Voice search changes a lot for businesses. All the rules of advertising, online shopping and digital marketing are going to change for brands.

Advertising and Voice search

Voice search has little to no scope for advertising right now. Even in future customers will likely be annoyed if they hear an ad before getting the result. The visual screen allows marketers to place their ads in various spaces on the screen (banner ads, sidebar, affiliate links etc), but voice medium will not have any such option.

Brands will have to step up their content marketing to be the most helpful answer users are looking for.

Voice Search and Localisation

Mobile voice search are 3x times more likely to be local compared to text search. Hound, a voice query app, noted that more than 22% of information searched fell in the local search category (local restaurants, services, pet shops, ATMs, etc,). This is an opportunity for brick and mortar stores to grab.

Those that optimise for voice search and integrate their delivery channel with online ordering will be able to profit from this technology. We will share more on local voice search optimization in below section.

Voice Search and Buyer’s Journey

Human conversations are very contextual and hence our voice searchs are also going to be same. For example the questions ‘ which is the best speaker’ and ‘ how much is it for?’ are meaningful only when considered together. Without the context of first question the second question will be meaningless.

Virtual assistants also consider data on what apps the user is using and what his browsing history was.  For this reason businesses will have to shift their focus from keywords to customer context. Touching the customer at the right time with the right message on the right device will be of essence.

To be found in voice searches companies will have to understand voice search optimization. Let us look what it is and how brands should optimize best for voice.

What is Voice Search Optimization

voice search optimization

Voice search optimization is practices that make your content to appear in the voice search result. You must be familiar with keyword targeting for SEO, but how do you optimize for voice search?

Honestly, it is too early to answer this question already. We do not know how virtual assistants are picking results and how they will decide which result to voice in future. Google, Apple and IBM are probably figuring out a way themselves.

Google featured snippet and answer box is the search engine’s way to suggest one best answer for users in text search. Google assistant probably uses similar algorithm to pick a result for voice searches.

For now all we can do is study how people are searching by voice and what results Alexa and Siri are voicing.

A study of Voice Searches so Far

A survey of MindMeld found that 40% of users had started using voice in past six months. But what exactly are people searching for?

Voice searches can be broadly categorised into four buckets which are –

Transactional Searches – “Alexa, buy 2 pizza base”

Informational Searches – “ Google, who was the actress in Happy Days?”

Navigational Searches – “Show me comparison of best phones in Amazon” These searches direct you to other apps.

Voice searches also tend to be more of question phrases. We are more likely to ask “How to bake a cake” than say “cake recipe”. Accordingly most of the voice searches start with ‘How to’, ‘When was’, ‘which’, ‘what’, ‘who’ and ‘why’.

Voice searches are also longer with more number of words and long tail keywords. This will help marketers to go niche in their content and target specific needs of users.

Meditative spotlight found out that 89% of people search for local business on their smartphone once a week. This means that local business optimization will work when it comes to voice search. After years of being dominated by big corporations, local businesses will finally have a level playing field to reach their customers.

Since users are looking for quick solutions around them while multi-tasking, mobile voice search is three times more likely to be local based compared to text search.

So far study of voice searches shows that they are long- tailed, specific, local and dominated by question phrases. Let us now look at what you can do as a business to optimize your site and content for voice search.

How to Optimize for Voice Search

How to Optimize for Voice Search

Keep in mind that virtual assistants only give one best answer in voice search. So it’s all about being the relevant answer in different contexts instead of ranking for keywords. It is expected that search engines will consider customer data before suggesting a result. So, the result will not depend on just helpful content but also on user’s location, history and apps he/she is using currently.

Focus on Long Tail Keywords and short, snappy answers

Until now everybody has told you that long form blogs do well. That is about to change with voice search. For transactional and informational queries users will like to listen to a one line answer. For everything that they want to learn on they would prefer visual information in the form of videos or pictures.

Ranking in voice search answer will be about giving one -line answers specific to demographics of the users. It will not be surprising if Google takes in account your business location, customer demographic and site visitor profiles before selecting your answer.

Your optimization for voice search will depend on how well you can understand the user intent and answer it. Use tools like AnswerThePublic to come up with common questions that user can ask on your topic.

Think of all the questions possible about your industry, product or services and answer them in a direct way. This will also make it more likely for you to be at the position 0 or featured snippet in Google.

Even if you do write a long form blog make sure that the answer is at the beginning of the post. You can also mark the main answer in your post so that Google finds it easier to pick. This brings us to the next point.

Schema Markup

Along with content on your page Google also reads your structured data or structured data to understand the relevancy of content. This is HTML tags that go into your site’s source code.

Big search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex have come together to accept a common language of mark-up data that tells them the relevancy of content.

Because of schema mark-up Google is able to display snippets of search results with image of products, reviews and description arranged all neatly.

Though schema markup does not affect your search ranking directly (according to Google), having your information displayed conveniently does have a huge impact on your click through rate.

Also the information on opening hours, directions and reviews when you search for a local business is all because of schema markup. This is important for voice search because when users find you on searching they want to know directions to the store and opening hours etc.

Listing your business in Google My Business is also a great way to be found in local searches. Additionally optimize your content for your area, ‘near me’ and famous landmarks near your store.

Focus on questions

As mentioned above majority of voice searches are questions that start with how, who, what, when and why. Optimizing for voice search therefore means answering these questions in the most helpful way.

Start with studying all the questions your customers have. You may have already done this for your FAQ section. The next step is to turn these questions into blog posts so that search engines can easily find answers. You could also repurpose your existing content to answer voice search queries better.

Optimize for all Search Engines

Google has more than 90% share in text search. So optimizing for search engine essentially means optimising for Google. However, this is not the case with voice search.

Apple, Amazon and IBM have started on a level ground with Google this time and some are even ahead of Google in certain types of searches.

Therefore it is important to understand how Alexa, Siri and Cortana work with voice searches. For example, Alexa only buys product that are marked with ‘Amazon’s Choice’ badge.

Not much information is available on how other search engines work, but as voice search on these platforms rise experts will analyse what makes results heard in voice search.

Ethical Implications

Before we close the topic there are some fears regarding voice search technology that are being raised by thinkers. Although equally dangerous, these fears are not receiving as much attention as issues in Artificial Intelligence or Data Privacy.

The ethical question is this- are we putting our decision making power in the hands of big corporations? Are we being robbed of options in name of convenience?

The idea of Alexa buying grocery for you is not comforting to everyone. It is possible for big corporations to push their own agenda (of profit), by recommending you a sugar loaded cereal that compromises on your health. This technology is perfect to mask the knowledge we need to hear and just feed us the information that conditions our minds.

Then there’s also the issue of data privacy. To optimize voice search for you, voice assistants will have complete access to what you say, do and buy on all devices. It will be an ever-present character in your life that learns more about you every day.

Tying It All Together

Voice search is going to disrupt how brands have been attracting leads and telling stories. This is not just about ranking in voice search but about changing your customer experience altogether. Users are going to expect 100% accuracy from voice recognition software and ready answers to all their queries.

This does mean however that visual content is going to go away. Visuals will always be important considering the fact that it is the most important medium for us to learn new things and connect with others.

Visual media will probably be dominated by videos and images though. Voice search fits in perfectly where the need is informational or the command is transactional.

Voice search market is still at its nascent stage with big players such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM and Amazon trying to dominate. Only players who perfect their voice recognition and learn from huge amounts of data will become the leader.

As far as impact on businesses is concerned the change is going to be significant. From ad placement to content creation, brands will have to rethink everything they are doing now.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact localization of search and contextual content will level the playing ground between large corporations and local businesses.

To stay relevant and be found by customers, brands must give out the right message at the right time on the right device. This involves answering relevant questions specifically using long tail keywords. Schema markup and local search optimization are also important for voice search optimization.

How Much Does It Cost to Make a Promotional Video

A promotional video has inherent great worth in it. Those appear genuine as characters in them display real facial expressions and body language.

The dialogue of the characters in the video simply adds meaning and power to the ideas behind the creation of the product. Lending the product a bit of candor, the promotional videos lend credence to the concepts of utilities in the product.

More often than not, promotional videos are most effective in giving detailed product demonstrations. Moreover, the videos have proven their mettle in engaging the attention of the viewers.

As entertainment and educational values are ingrained in them, the videos are great marketing tools.

As the videos are really persuasive, the messages in the products and services stay etched in the minds of the customers forever.

Making a commercial video includes several types of costs.

Let’s make a list of them.

  • Cost of camera
  • Selection of location and cost involved
  • Fees of models or actors
  • Post production costs

Although the above costs would vary from case to case, there are certain factors that influence the costs. Let’s know them one-by-one.

Script and the idea behind it

“Ideation” or generation of an idea is the most important part of making of a promotional video. For this, a creative script writer could literally cast a magic spell through an interesting script. Usually, a good idea leads to compilation of a good script.

A witty script writer simply transforms the idea to an interesting script. A good script writer could charge between 4000 to 10000 rupees. For a commercial video, a good script is the first stepping-stone for making a successful commercial video.

Shooting of the video project

Cost of transportation

This part of the making of the commercial video is the costliest. It has many things that simply add to the piling of the expenses. Let’s begin with the cost of transportation.

The production houses charge 20 to 30 rupees per kilometer. They could even charge a fixed amount for the same.

Cost of camera

The cost of camera with the operator could cost an additional expense of 20,000 to 30,000 rupees in a day. This amount is applicable for a commercial in a national television.

But if the commercial video is being made for a local television or simply for a cable network, the complete all inclusive costs could come to 30,000 rupees.

Cost of additional equipment

Besides the above, the producer would have to incur additional types of costs, such as charges for track and trolley, chains and jibs, and lights etc.

Actors and models & their fees

The popularity of actors and models plays decisive part in the cost of making promotional videos. When the advertiser makes up his mind to hire popular models and actors, it certainly adds to the cost of video. If the budget for the promotional video is less, the producer could opt to hire new faces in the industry.

While the budding actresses or models would, of course, work for the producer for a paltry sum of five or ten thousand rupees, the fees of the established models or actors could come in huge amounts. Nowadays, successful television actors charge whopping amounts for their roles in the videos.

Post-production expenses

Usually, the making of a video goes through three phases, such as pre-production, production, and post-production. Editing matters the most in the aftermath of production.

The video production companies could charge up to 5000 rupees per hour for editing the video.

In some cities in India, the production companies charge 2000 to 3000 rupees for editing the video. In case the producers include motion graphics or animations, the expenses for editing even could go higher.

2D & 3D Promotional videos- a new dimension in product’s marketing

As new technology is breaking ground, 2D & 3D animation technology helps a lot to showcase products in concise and clear way.

As multi-media and video animation services are now going through a boom time, the animated videos could literally bring revolution in products’ marketing.

Moreover, animation videos are literally wonderful to explain products and concepts or ideas in the marketability of services.

To add to it, the videos are fully entertaining and those have the versatility to deliver the messages to the core audience.

No need to hire models, actors, and select location and props-great advantage in cost

The promotional videos made with the help of 2D and 3D technology have great advantages in the cost of its production. Those are as follows;

  • The advertisers could create animated videos by completely adhering it to the brand guidelines.
  • In case of necessity, the advertiser could make such videos without hiring actors and models.
  • As locations and props add great expenses to the making of promotional videos, those are not even necessary, when videos have the applications of 2D and 3D technology.
  • Last but not least, the making of 2D and 3D promotional videos could take place completely through in-house productions.
Other benefits of 2D Animated Video
  • As business houses functions in stiff competition, brand building has now become tougher. Invariably, the business leaders look for means for simple but effective business promotion. A 2D animation video works in a simpler way, establishing a quicker rapport with the customers.
  • The moving objects and characters in the 2D animation video literally work wonders by keeping the viewers engrossed for longer periods.
The power of 3D Animated Video- simply unbelievable
  • The integration of 3d promotional video could integrate an immediate sense of production value as it has proven its mettle for adding a sense of depth and special effects of lighting. With apt movement of camera in 3D technology, the video seems to acquire a new high of professionalism.
  • The 3D animation not only adds dynamic movement to the video but also makes the video clip colorful with varying compositions. As a result, the transitions in the video could easily catch the attention of the viewers and convince them to buy the products and services.