MediAvataar's News Desk
While the mobile era has ushered in some wonderful bite-sized content formats to suit short attention spans, long-form content still has a crucial role to play in the decision making journey; especially when ranking on search engines.
I recently focused on the importance of an image strategy to satisfy the short attention spans of a mobile-connected audience, but it should not be at the expense of long-form content. A healthy balance needs to be struck.
1) Google and social love long-form content
Short-form content – such as images, infographics, videos and short blog posts under 1,000 words - is great for creating quick moments-in-time for target audiences, particularly when building brand awareness and increasing web traffic. It is perfect for a mobile-centric culture.
Long-form content is about building deeper engagement and findability.
Google’s In-Depth Articles feature rewards content longer than 2,000 words with prominence in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Short-form content has a role, and so does long-form. But search results = trust in the eyes of the surfing public, long-form content needs to play a role.
2) People are more likely to share long-form content
Check out these findings from Buzzsumo/OK Dork (2014), which clearly exposes the correlation between length of post and likeliness to be shared. And yet, the writers report that “there were 16 times more content with less than 1,000 words than there were content with 2,000+ words.”
How to create long-form content that converts
Apart from the obvious – remembering to create content that’s relevant, useful, based on keyword research and, critically, interesting – there are some other basic house rules to keep in mind.
Firstly, remember that people scan long-form content on screen, so break up your content with bullet points, images, infographics, impactful subtitles and emboldened quotes that draw the eye to the key points. Get that important info upfront.
This is why lists are so popular. Just look at the success enjoyed by the likes of BuzzFeed, Mashable and UsVsTh3m from their basic clickbait ‘listicle’ format.
Being useful is an essential part of ‘evergreen’ content – content that will remain relevant for longer due to its general interest nature. For example, searches of ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube have “exploded” among the Millennial age set, so long-form ‘how-to’ guides should be definitely be in your content calendar.
Also, amplification is key. To gain traction, be sure to seed content via social channels and influencers.
You will note that this post is way under 2,000 words, but I hope I made my point. If you’d like to learn more about how a content strategy can help your brand
Written by Chris Lee Head of Social Media Knowledge Grayling London
SVG Media and Komli Media India merge to make India’s largest independent mobile marketing platform
· Combined entity is on the path to become the first billion dollar digital marketing platform from India
· Combined entity will be the largest Mobile marketing company in India and SEAsia
· Komli to function as an standalone entity under SVG Media umbrella
· Combined entity to command over 60% share of digital marketing network spends in India
· Combined entity will be third largest by digital advertising revenues in India, after Google and Facebook
India’s largest digital media platform SVG Media today announced that it is merging Komli Media’s India media business and global brand rights with itself to create India’s largest mobile marketing company, with a combined share of 60% of digital ad-tech spends in India, and a reach of over 150 million Indian Internet users across all screens. Komli Media is APAC’s leading media technology company and this merger marks the biggest instance of industry consolidation in recent years, creating a giant independent mobile reach for advertisers in India and SEAsia.
Under the terms of the deal, Komli India will function independently alongside the existing SVG Media group businesses: Tyroo Technologies, DGM, and SeventyNine; while SVG Media will serve as an umbrella company. SVG Media through its operating brands will now have operations in India, Indonesia, Middle East, Singapore, Japan, Beijing and Australia. The group works with almost every online commerce, mobile first and consumer brand in the region; driving reach and performance to them through it products such as Product Listing Ads, Affiliate Marketing, Dynamic Re-Targeting, Video and Native Ads and Social. More than 75% of SVG Media’s business is now coming from mobile.
As a combined entity, the new SVG Media group’s consolidated India revenues stand at over US$50 million. Only Google and Facebook have more India revenues and reach than SVG Media after today’s announcement.
RevX, the mobile remarketing unit recently spun out of Komli Media expanding from India to global markets, will continue to operate as a standalone company that is unrelated to this merger.
Manish Vij, Founder and CEO, SVG Media said, “At SVG Media, we are determined to deliver to our advertisers a comprehensive suite of digital marketing products. Our vision is to be the most valued digital marketing platform for the high growth Asian mobile commerce industry. With Komli’s addition, our advertisers will also get highest reach in Social Media. We are working hard to be the first billion dollar digital marketing platform from India.”
Harish Bahl, founder of Smile Group said, “The Indian mobile advertising industry is expected to be valued at three billion dollars by 2020. As per our estimate, SVG is now three times larger than its nearest competing mobile marketing platform in India. We are confident that the merger with Komli India will bolster the SVG platform to continue building and offering the best-in-the-industry media and technology infrastructure for its advertisers - owning the ability to deliver 100 Million mobile-commerce transactions every year.”
Amar Goel, Founder and CEO Komli Media said, “Joining hands with India’s largest digital marketing platform allows both of us to combine our best strengths to create unprecedented value for our customers. All of us at Komli India are excited to be a part of the SVG Media group and look forward to further consolidating our leadership in India.”
The Indian Express and Arré enter into a strategic partnership in creating video documentaries to be distributed across digital and linear platforms globally.
India’s foremost investigative news organization and the country’s most respected newspaper - The Indian Express and Arré, the digital media brand from the UDigital, will jointly produce investigative documentaries for a world audience.
The Indian Express Group has more than 8 decades of legacy and one of the finest collections of award winning journalism to its credit. It is reputed to be the most fearless news organization in South Asia. UDigital, the company that owns the brand Arré, is the digital media venture promoted by Indian media veterans Ronnie Screwvala, B Saikumar and Ajay Chacko. Arré aims to bring a new idiom of cross-genre & cross-format storytelling to India’s burgeoning digital audience of over 300million Internet consumers and over 700 million mobile consumers.
This unique collaboration will see a pioneering print media brand come together with a new age digital brand, to create a fresh idiom for journalism and documentary film making and story telling.
Over the decades The Indian Express and its journalists have offered unbiased, hard-hitting investigative reportage. Arré will bring its creative and video expertise in storytelling across digital multimedia platforms, to explore a range of subjects across the Indian subcontinent.
From human interest to geopolitics, to socio-cultural issues to crime and emerging youth culture, these documentaries will use fact-based reportage to connect with a discerning and demanding Indian audience as well as a global one interested in seeing impactful stories from India and the sub-continent.
Ronnie Screwvala, Co-Founder U Digital said, ‘ We are delighted to partner with an institution like The Indian Express Group, which has stood for journalism of courage and we hope to break new frontiers of storytelling for a new generation of Indian and global audiences. This collaboration represents a new generation of partnerships that bring together complimentary strengths in the digital era’.
B Sai Kumar, UDigital’s Co-Founder & MD said, “Arré is excited and honored to partner with India’s foremost news organization that has consistently set the bar for journalism. We admire Express’ exponential growth over the past few years on the digital medium and we are looking forward to bringing alive, across new media, the path-breaking work done by their team of fearless journalists. The raison d’etre of the partnership is to make documentaries that appeal to the mainstream and resonate with the youth.”
Commenting on the initiative Anant Goenka, Wholetime Director and Head – New Media, Indian Express said,
‘Arré is an ambitious and exciting project championed by a visionary leadership that understands the need for high-quality, original content produced in a made-for-digital format. Not digital-first, or digital-friendly, but digital-only. We believe that some of the journalism that we have been doing has the potential to reach an even wider audience. With Arré, there's a meeting of minds in terms of commitment to quality storytelling and the need for a different and disruptive tonality. We're excited by the potential of this powerful combination.’
The partnership with Arré adds an exciting new dimension to The Indian Express's investigative and explanatory journalism," said Raj Kamal Jha, Chief Editor, The Indian Express. "Arré's team has a formidable record of excellence in TV and cinema. Together, we shall work to translate our journalism -- done first for print to the highest standards of fairness and accuracy -- into the evocative language of a documentary. And ensure that the story always gains in translation.
We wrote about how the role of Indian women, as agents of change and as consumers, is growing as a result of economic change. As a result, companies need to understand the tensions that define the lives of Indian women today, and to help them realize their full economic and social potential.
Enabled by technology and social media, Indian women – supported by a growing number of men – are taking it upon themselves to force the changes that they need to thrive better and contribute more to a more prosperous India.
One of the most visible examples of Indian women’s use of technology to stimulate social change is the Rap Against Rape campaign. Built around a viral video featuring two female university students speaking out about sexism and rape, the campaign encouraged discussion and additional content creation around hashtag #rapagainstrape.
Indian women are using their newly amplified voices both to tackle the controversial issues that affect them, and to celebrate and promote the more positive aspects of their evolving identities. For example, Queen, a 2014 film, puts a completely new spin on the stereotype of the Indian woman who’s rejected for marriage. Queen shows how such a woman is able to come back from the experience empowered and independent, rather than broken – an example of pop culture finally catching up with the new realities. The (Hindi-language) trailer gives a good flavour.
Tensions and opportunities
In this context of rapid economic change, and slower but accelerating social change, Indian women’s consumption habits are being shaped by two important tensions that present opportunities for companies. Chief among these:
Tradition vs. modernity
While Indian women are pressing for social changes that improve their lot in life and their place in society, it doesn’t mean that they’re looking to reject tradition. In fact, our Global MONITOR research shows that 79% of Indian women believe that it is important to preserve their family’s cultural traditions. Instead, they’re looking for a new balance between tradition and modernity – a balance they’re beginning to explore and express through their consumption choices.
One manifestation of this tension is the rapid growth of two product categories that seem at odds with one another. On the one hand, there are skin-whitening products: Driven by continuing belief in traditions that endorse fair skin as a desirable characteristic among respectable and ultimately marriageable women, Indian women spent US$432 million on skin-whitening creams in 2010, a figure that has been growing at 18% per year.
At the same time, a 2013 study done by the India Centre for Alcoholic Studies revealed that the market for alcoholic beverages among Indian women is expected to grow 25% by 2018, much faster than the 10% projection for the overall industry. This growth is driven by the increasing incidence of independent, professional and happily single women who interact more heavily with their male counterparts in both social and professional settings, in a way that’s traditionally frowned upon.
Financial prudence vs. luxury and enjoyment
On the one hand, rapid economic change has accelerated Indian women’s appetite for products that highlight their status and taste: Our Global MONITOR research shows that, in 2014, 42% of Indian women endorsed purchasing luxury products as important in their personal lives.
On the other, much of India remains mired in poverty. Even for those ascending the socio-economic ladder, there are constant reminders of the need for financial prudence. For example, our Global MONITOR research finds that 76% of Indian women classify getting the best price on everything they buy as important (up from 68% in 2010).
There is a wealth of business challenges in just these two tensions. How to reinvent old categories to make them more relevant? Or to make new categories of interest more accessible? How to help Indian women balance a desire to enjoy their increasing economic power, with their need to secure their financial futures? The prize is large for businesses that get this right.
The poster for Queen is from Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, and is used with thanks.
In the accelerating world of business, the value of brand often is the key to acceptance and success. Apple, Google, Instagram emerged as hands-down leaders in their industries in no small part as the result of their brand. Brand is equally important in other companies large and small. As a result, alignment between Brand Owners and Brand Ambassadors has never been more critical.
For the purposes of this article Brand Ambassadors are defined as any customer-facing individual, group or organization who operates as an extension of your brand; who is often the face of your brand at a customer level. Brand owners are typically centrally located, and must balance the central corporate vision and initiatives with supporting various and often disparate brand ambassadors, be it subsidiaries, sales teams, distributors, location managers, etc., all who have less day-to-day immersion in strategic brand and marketing decisions.
Brand itself is a term that could use some framing. Those of us who are not marketers sometimes mistake the term “brand” as simply referring to the “look” of the logo, content, company, etc. That is certainly a part of the brand, however to marketers, brand has a much deeper meaning that permeates to the core of messaging, customer perspective and a company’s overall place in its industry.
In this context, representatives often fail to see themselves as the brand ambassadors they truly are. Their priorities and responsibilities are focused on making sales, responding quickly to the customer and ensuring no opportunities are lost. They often live in a world where proactive and reactive communications and interactions are occurring in real time and unless they have the tools to get them through their daily work AND to stay “on brand,” it is only natural that brand representatives take matters into their own hands and go a little… rogue.
This can be a frustration to marketers because without tight synchronicity it is all too easy for brand and strategic vision to become disjointed and diluted, no longer defined by the things that make that company a success.
Though the details of this scenario play themselves out differently from company to company or industry to industry, the challenges are remarkably similar, but the good news is, so are the solutions.
Going rogue happens under many titles, and can manifest internally, or externally. Let’s look at a few common examples to showcase exactly how and why, starting with a fairly obvious one: the sales person.
The Best Salesperson. Not the Best Marketer.
The reason you hired your sales force was not for their ability to be great marketers. It was for their skills as great salespeople. The best of who are, by definition, constantly pursuing opportunities to bring in more business, and when they need a marketing aid, they need it quickly; they won’t spend time tracking down or waiting for difficult-to-obtain or inaccessible marketing materials the brand managers have painstakingly created. They will ‘do what needs to be done’ to get the desired information into the hands of their prospect or customer now. And that has the potential for marketing mayhem. We’ve all seen it; ad-hoc sales sheets quickly built to match the particular needs of the moment, lodged in a Word document with an off-brand font and low-res logo. Or a PowerPoint deck with outdated images and a random color palette, and messaging that is off the cuff and, you got it, off brand. Through no fault on either side, both marketing and sales have lost an opportunity to utilize existing materials to present an approved message in an efficient and cohesive way. Your salesperson has spent valuable selling time trying to be a marketer, and marketing has a bank of underutilized assets. It’s an unintentional yet equally frustrating situation for both.
The Non-marketer Marketer
In addition to a traditional sales force, there are a variety of other stakeholders who interact with your customers on a daily basis – and they, too, are rarely marketers themselves. They’re your location managers, service delivery points, distributors, franchisees… They might be several degrees of separation away from central marketing resources. But they’re still the face of your brand. The dexterous marketer understands the importance of aligning these client-facing communication “channels” with corporate initiatives and brand standards, while ensuring marketing doesn’t unintentionally create roadblocks or make it difficult for them do their part in the business.
The Rogue Marketer
Then there are those within your own department who “go rogue.” The modern business world is complex and ever expanding; marketers must be nimble enough to navigate changes like new business acquisitions, and corporate expansion into additional product or service areas. They have their own set of responsibilities and expectations they need to meet. You may be well familiar with the marketing manager who has just been given responsibility for a newly acquired business that has yet to be fully developed or integrated with the core business and brand, but for which they are already receiving requests for marketing materials. Are they to answer the request, even if it means distributing a piece branded from the previous business? Consider global expansion too. Is central marketing – often responsible for disseminating information across a new region or culture – customizing materials that will resonate appropriately with that market? If central marketing isn’t handling execution, are local and regional marketers developing culturally-relevant materials that still align with the corporate brand?
Different Industry, Same Challenge
As we mentioned earlier, these issues are industry-agnostic. The needs of, let’s say for example, a health system acquiring previously independent, single-location hospitals may seem very different from a retail outlet with stores nationwide. But if you really think about it, the challenges they face are often the same, at their core. Whether the business is insurance, retail, manufacturing, or healthcare, the goal is to enable the faces of the brand – be they internal or independent sales reps, store owners, distributors, managers at satellite locations, etc. – to get what they need, when they need it, in a brand-consistent and easily accessible way.
Plan and Process are Key to the Solution
The bottom line is, rogue marketing affects the bottom line. There are tangible costs associated with having your employees searching for buried assets, creating inconsistent materials and recreating existing collateral, instead of focusing on their own jobs. Likewise, consider the time and effort marketing spends producing quality content, then calculate the waste when it goes unused or underutilized.
Today’s top performers recognize the critical role technology plays in stemming this loss in focus and ultimately, revenue. It’s why they proactively invest in disruptive and/or emerging technologies such as solutions that organize, control and disseminate marketing materials efficiently and effectively. The improvement in ease of business pays for itself quickly, giving them a real edge over their competitors.
In this day and age, the cost of inefficiency is exponentially higher, as the pace of business gets increasingly more rapid. Time diverted from core competencies costs real money, and lets competitors edge their way in through the cracks. Organizations that operate with dexterity, speed and agility are the ones better positioned to thrive in business today. And that’s precisely why Leaders vs. Laggards view marketing technologies not as “nice to haves,” but as “must haves.”
Authored by Jeff Sammak,President and Founder of Strata Company, a marketing, communications and technology company.