The Marriage of Content &; Technology in 2013 &; Beyond

Smartphone DeviceLet’s lead in with a fact shall we?  The Online Publishers Association (OPA) research has found that 57 % of technology users time is spent accessing content via the mobile Web, while the remaining 43 % is spent accessing content via apps.  Wow, one wonders what the future of PC’s will be at those increasing rates of usage of mobile devices in a manner that was once relegated to PC’s. Don’t bother pondering too long because according to Peter Thompson’s recent article it has been predicted that during 2013, mobile devices will overtake PCs as the most common technology to access the Internet.  That means smartphones & handheld device content will remain hand-in-hand and maintain quite the profitable marriage this coming year.

What it Looks Like
Based on the statistics above, the mobile device viewing of web content is growing at astronomical rates. Because of this, mobile operating systems and device specific websites require optimized content and high-quality imagery resolution for smartphone & tablet users.  So most web designers and content writers are trading in their traditional methods of web marketing (including HTML sites) and traveling down the aisle with other tools on their arms such as WordPress and SEO-rich platforms.

Entertainment Content
Now a days, “infotainment” (which is information-based media content or programming that also includes entertainment content in an effort to enhance popularity with audiences and consumers) is a premier reason enhanced mobile devices screen resolutions need to be what iPad with Retina display has achieved for games, music and video.  And just when you thought that was a match made in heaven, Chris Yewdall informed us that coming in 2015, software & mobile device giants like Samsung & HTC are releasing 3D phones that will not only enable consumers to shoot 3D content but to consume 2D content in 3D.  AND to watch the converted 3D content on their TV’s.  All of this innovations help us escape from the daily grind and enhance users experience.

  Entertainment on Mobile Devices

Free Apps
Although most weddings cost a fortune, when it comes to espousal of apps & mobility, cost-free remains the key to our hearts.  Many note that with the current economy, customers are increasingly on the hunt for free apps. Recent statistics show that Android free apps will continue to outnumber free iPhone apps into 2013. According to DISTIMO, a leader in app analytics, there are now more free apps available for Google’s mobile OS than the iPhone.

Distimo Free Apps Chart

Online ShoppingPurchase Power On The Go
After honeymoon bliss, couples go about the business of daily living and with most of our time spent on the go, our lives require mobile purchasing power.  The ability to make purchases when the customer is “on the go” requires mobilized versions of websites that are fully functional but with quick and easy purchasing directives. Vivid imagery & engaging content are required to move the consumer from enticed to committed buying making on-device purchasing easy & effective.

Jumping the Broom with Cars?
Getting hitched on the physical & technological mobility bandwagon, Hyundai is taking us to another level!  Ready for release in 2015, this car manufacturer will be coupling smartphone technology with their vehicles via the  Hyundai Connectivity Concept.  This new innovation is designed to wirelessly mirror the contents of your smartphone directly within your vehicle.  By 2015, Hyundai says it can replace a conventional key fob with the consumers’ smartphone to lock/unlock doors by placing it over the NFC (Near Field Communications) sticker on the window or door.  Inside, the smartphone is placed in a docking station within the center console where it activates the user’s profile & streams content to a touchscreen that displays all of the user’s music, radio stations and phone contacts.  It can even control the navigation and various other on-board infotainment and telematics systems.  Yes all that while recharging the phone’s battery wirelessly. And here’s the real gift of this technology and user interface nuptial, multiple users and their individual smartphones can access the same car in the same way.

So there you are folks…technology wed to content equals blissful & entertaining engagement for us.

Sharpen Your Content Writing Skills

Focus on Client Needs The whole point of writing content for your clients is to provide value whether on their website, via their print marketing materials or on a billboard.
#1. Know their needs – spend time with your client obtaining relevant industry information, current marketing materials and noting their business insight into the industry (if it’s unfamiliar) and lastly, their company’s goals & desires.
#2. Know & Convey How Your Services Can Make Their Company Better – Be clear yourself and then convey to the client the benefits your services can provide them.  Most importantly here is to establish a trustworthy relationship with them by making sure they know that:

  • they have a professional who has the talent and experience to fulfill their needs.  Provide references and previous examples of your work if needed.  AND
  • by connecting that experience & expertise to their content needs and how you can improve their professional credibility and financial line.

Stay Focused! – We may have our own ideas about a particular industry, political topic or the like, but you are being hired to do the job THEY want you to do.  You have been hired to write about this client’s business, needs, ideas and standpoints-not your own.  No matter how well you may write, you need to keep your writing focused on their area of expertise, products and/or services.

The Key to Keywords
#1. Remember to talk & write in the same industry language of your customers. A good tactic to employ here is to do some keyword research.
#2. Figure out how your customers (and their competition) think and how to write from that same level of expertise.  See more from one of my previous articles .
#3. Use a business based thesaurus.  Here you will find other related words for a particular term that will showcase your assumed business prowess as well as increasing your clients SEO success.

I hope these few tidbits have been helpful.  I’d love to hear what’s in your content writing toolbox and what tools you employ that I can add to sharpen my own content writing skills.

The reality of SEO and your shoestring budget

SEOOf the past few weeks I’ve been getting quite a few questions about SEO. With the growing consciousness of the power of search and keyword relevancy, all questions are pretty much valid. Let me start off though with stating that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a service all on its own. My personal recommendation is that you find a reputable company that provides these services almost exclusively.  They’ll work with your web designer or if you don’t have one, they’ll make the necessary updates for you in their marketing plan. Typically you’ll see prices range from $700 to $2,000 a month. And that’s where I notice a lot of people’s facial expressions drop.

For the average small business start-up, forking over $1,500 a month in SEO services may be a bit high. There are a few things I want to bring to light about SEO and the shoestring business.

  • SEO is not for every business on a budget. If you can only allow for a budget of $100 or less per month, you’ll be better off doing a local PR campaign, or an ad in your community newspaper, or social media.
  • Evaluate how much profit you make per each new customer before doing SEO. If each new client brings you a profit of $50 to $100 but you’re monthly invoice for proper SEO is over 1k, that SEO plan needs to bring in more than 10 new clients a month at least.
  • SEO should incorporate many online facets like, directory listings (DMOZ, Altavista, Google), local directories (Yelp, Superpages, Google Places).
  • There should be some goals and metrics involved before and during an SEO campaign. I’ve heard a few people say they’re doing SEO but have no idea what the increase of inbound links are from month to month or what their lead to conversion rates are.
  • Don’t think SEO is something you’re going to do for one or two weeks or months and then turn off or stop the service. Like any other marketing plan, SEO needs to be considered as an ongoing plan. You’ll want to monitor and even graph your traffic, leads, and conversions each month. Stopping altogether really isn’t an option, but switching providers due to bad performance may be.

There are other things a business owner can do to boost traffic on their own website. Some free tactics include Google Analytics and Website Grader from Hubpspot. The data that these two sites provide can really give you an in-depth look at the traffic coming into your site, what keywords are relevant, browser usage and more.

I do want to stress that SEO is fantastic when you’re ready to really compete against your competition. You’ll certainly want to expect more traffic to your physical brick and mortar store too. Having great sales reps and customer service already in place will help capitalize on all this new recognition too.