Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we've seen this week.
Statistics include Christmas shopping, eBay's referral traffic, mobile marketing, content marketing and how millennials use social.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
While Hummingbird has been much discussed, not many people understand it yet, or appreciate its benefits because it isn't an obvious feature of Google search. If you want to try it, go to Google on your smartphone and click on the microphone to activate a voice search.
For a bit of fun, say 'Tottenham Hotspur'. Google will search for the greatest team in the world (guest opinion - Ed), and then read out an up to date fact, perhaps the latest result and information about the next match.
Next, click the microphone again and ask a related question, such as 'how old are they?' Google will then show you the Wikipedia information about the club. Ask another question, such as 'where do they play?' and Google will show you information about White Hart Lane.
So, that is Hummingbird in a nutshell - a clever way of linking queries so that, instead of starting each search from scratch, Google can show you more pertinent information related to your previous search.
It’s no secret that video is quickly becoming an essential part of any content strategy, and the 2013 video marketing trends report only serves to concretise this.
This year has been fantastic for video, with the emergence of new, social video platforms like Vine and Instagram video soaring in popularity amongst consumers, making it easy for anyone to create a video and share it.
'The Information' makes a case for smaller publishers adopting a paywall.
This is just a brief companion to an article I wrote yesterday entitled do publishers' paywalls kill sociability?, in which I asked a few questions around the subject of online publications asking readers to pay for content which they have traditionally enjoyed for free.
As this focussed mainly on larger newspapers, at the end of the post I suggested that I would follow up the article with a focus on smaller, start-up publishers and whether a paywall might be suitable for them or not.
This recent example was brought to my attention and I feel it makes for an interesting case-study.
I really enjoyed reading Graham’s article about great ecommerce product page copy last week. It set me thinking all afternoon and all night.
Ecommerce is an area I spend most of my time working in, both on my own ecommerce websites, and my clients’ ecommerce websites.
While a lot of the people that contributed to Graham’s article represent 'the big boys' of ecommerce and online marketing, I wanted to share my personal experience with writing ecommerce copy.
My operations are a lot smaller than those of the contributors to Graham’s article, but at the same time my experience is just as important to 'the little guys' out there, running ecommerce websites on a shoestring budget.
You don’t necessarily have to add amazing functionality to your product pages in order to make sales. Perfect the copy and you’ll be well on the road to success.
There has, somewhat predictably, been a backlash against the hype that has surrounded content marketing.
However, though the backlash is understandable, this does not mean that content marketing has ceased to be useful, far from it.
Doug Kessler explores the issue in this excellent post, and debunks several of the arguments against.
Here, I've put the question to several agency and client side marketers, as well as the Econsultancy research team.
While there has been a slight backlash around content marketing, I think mainly due to the hype, brands in general have upped their game this year, and there are some great examples around.
i've asked agency and client side marketers, as well as the Econsultancy editorial team for their favourite examples of content campaigns and strategy from the past 12 months.
Blogging doesn’t come easy. A lot of effort goes into coming up with ideas each day and spinning them out into useful articles for our lovely readers.
Some days are certainly harder than others and everyone suffers from writer’s block every now and then.
To help other bloggers through those dark times, I’ve come up with 14 places to look for inspiration when you’ve got a blank page in front of you and a looming deadline.
There are undoubtedly other tricks of the trade that I’ve neglected to mention, so please share your own sources of inspiration in the comments.
If one of the things we’ve learnt so far within digital marketing is that becoming more social is a key ways to succeed, does the installing of a paywall on newspaper run websites effectively mean ‘killing’ their shareability?
The most topical example of this is The Sun’s recent introduction of its subscription service. Named Sun+, this has attracted 117,000 subscribers to its £2 a week service in approximately three months.
With The Times, The Telegraph, Financial Times all having already installed paywalls at various points in their online existences, with varying degrees of success, has this made a difference to how their material is shared?
Do they even care? If they are making enough money from subscribers, then perhaps the volume of traffic is unimportant to them.
Within your own social circles, will followers of your channel be annoyed that you’re posting a link to something they need to pay for? This obviously introduces a whole new argument about the value of content, and whether it should be free or otherwise.
Our editor-in-chief Graham Charlton (pictured above) took an in-depth look at The Telegraph's metered paywall in his article earlier in the year, so let’s take a look at the other newspaper paywalls and attempt to shed some light on the questions raised.
The idea of being helpful, of providing content and resources to prospective and current customers that may not have anything to do with your organization, is a new and radical concept for many marketers.
"You mean you want me to publish content that doesn't sell my product?" The idea is simple: give people want they want and eventually they consider you a trusted resource.
But is being helpful enough? Is helpfulness really useful? Or are marketers spinning their wheels creating content that, even though it's helpful, no one really wants?
Although being helpful is something marketers should strive towards as a way to foster engagement, useful should be the end-goal: giving people content they need to solve their problems, when they need it, and in the specific format they want.