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Organisations are employing a variety of digital sales and marketing tools, channels, content and practices to generate awareness and traffic to their web assets, but the percentage of that traffic converted to contacts, prospects, leads and actual business is woeful.
Why is that, and what can we do?
This post presents the idea of an 'Engagement Zone' that integrates content access, next steps, calls-to-action and marketing automation into a custom conversion solution.
Using a freelance copywriter isn't just about flexibility and convenience. It's often the best way to get a quality result.
A few weeks ago, Sharon Flaherty wrote a guest post here entitled Want quality content? Produce it in-house. As her title suggests, Sharon argues that the best way to get high-quality content is to employ an in-house copywriter.
Although I commented on the post, I feel it deserves a more considered response, so here it is.
The debates over what constitutes journalism, and what the future of journalism will look like, rages on.
Last week, a firestorm erupted when TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington announced that he was launching a fund to invest in technology startups.
TechCrunch, of course, which is now owned by AOL, is a blog focused on technology startups, and while Arrington will apparently be off the editorial payroll, he'll still be able to contribute as an unpaid blogger.
Adding fuel to the firestorm: the fact that AOL itself is investing in Arrington's fund.
As the social media space matures, more and more businesses are looking to social networks as a way to better engage with and understand their customers.
Increasingly therefore, companies need to focus on how best to invest in the right staff and processes so they can build future-proofed, socially active businesses.
For journalists, the present day may seem like both the best of times and the worst of times.
Traditional news organizations, disrupted by the internet, are struggling, making it harder to turn journalism into profit.
But at the same time, change brought about by the internet is creating exciting new opportunities for journalism.
It's easy to forget that more than a decade ago, when 'blog' was still a nascent buzzword, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams launched a service that would help propel blogging into the mainstream.
That service, Blogger, was acquired by Google in 2003, and a year later, Williams left to pursue new opportunities.
Online, 'linkbait', well done, is a proven source of traffic. Those catchy, often scandalous-sounding and sometimes deceptive headlines, coupled with juicy gossip, wild speculation or blood-boiling content may not necessarily deliver much in the way of value to advertisers, but for many publishers, it's a staple diet.
But what about print-based linkbait? Can some of the tried and true linkbait techniques work for, say, a magazine?
Just as you can use traditional Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques to make your web pages more visible in online searches, you can optimise your videos to make them more visible on YouTube.
This is certainly a desirable goal. Research has found that video is the universal search category that is most visible in Google searches, and YouTube content was found to be most prominent when video integrations do appear on Google.
And of course, as the most important video platform and video search engine in the world, YouTube has the potential to be a powerful marketing tool. So what factors do you need to consider?
When it comes to the mediums that it plays in, Google could sit back and remain content with its strong position on the desktop and mobile devices.
But as successful as it is, the company stiill sees opportunity to create a bigger footprint.
One of the mediums in which it's hoping its footprint can extend: television.
The world is smaller than ever thanks to the internet, and while growing numbers speak a handful of 'languages of business', such as English, there's still a huge need for localization.
A big part of localization, and one of the most costly, is translation. For businesses praying for better automated translation solutions, Google hopes to be of help.
For years, privacy issues have dogged the world's largest social network, Facebook.
From changes that have gradually made the once-closed network more open to the world to advertising programs that were are little too creepy for comfort, Facebook arguably has more experience dealing with privacy flubs than any other company in the world.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Facebook continues to tweak its privacy features, as it preparing to do in a big way soon.
Most major media companies have accepted that digital is here to stay, and many are embracing digital, recognizing that it could some day soon be their most important channel.
But that doesn't mean that they have stopped making poor digital decisions.