iSmart Communications Blog

5 Reasons How Blogging Helps With Your SEO

Posted by Bryan Lim

Oct 18, 2018 4:50:00 PM

For just about any question or fix to a problem, Google is your answer. There, searchers look for answers and click through to websites which are relevant to their interest. One of the best things you can do to improve your chances of ranking high in search engines is to start a blog. Here are 5 ways how blogging helps with your SEO.

1. Keeps your website fresh and current

As a user, if you ever chanced upon a website which hasn’t been updated for years, you probably wouldn’t trust the information you are receiving. The company as represented by the website could have gone out of business or the information provided could be obsolete.

Google web crawlers constantly look for new web pages. Websites that are regularly pumping out new content signals to them that the website is alive and offering fresh content. Thereby, giving more reason to index your website more often, keeping it more on their radar over time.

As there is no reason to frequently update your homepage, a blog is a more practical tool for adding new content to your website on a regular basis. In other words, search engines would love to “feature” you more often!

2. Helps you target long-tail keywords

You should already know this: SEO is really competitive. Unless you are the biggest brand in the country, you’re probably going to have a hard time landing a top spot for particular keywords. Your best bet is to rank for longer specific keywords that people are searching for that are relevant to your business.

These are called long-tail keywords and are extremely important for any SEO strategy. While they are awkward to fit into product pages, they’re perfect to use in blog posts.

3. Internal Linking

Good SEO involves internal linkages between your content. Failing to include internal links on your website is one of the simplest SEO mistakes you can make.

While there are good internal linking possibilities on the main pages of your website, the real magic starts when you start publishing a blog post. As you add more pages relevant to your topic cluster, you add more opportunities to link those pages together.

Every time you do so, you strengthen the connection to your targeted keywords, thereby increasing your ranking. In other words, Google determines that you are an expert with regard to a particular topic. With that, they see you as an authority and grants you higher rankings in the results pages for that topic (or your targeted keywords)

4. Opportunity for external links

The hardest part of SEO is earning external links. In order to Google to see your website as trustworthy and authoritative, other sites have to link back to yours. While it’s possible to get external links without blogging, it is very difficult.

Blogging gives you the opportunity to fill your website with pages of valuable information. By producing informative and engaging content, other sites are compelled to backlink to your blog post if it provides useful information to their readers.

5. Helps you connect with your audience

When a reader loves your blog post, they are more likely to share it, helping you get more traffic. They are also more likely to revisit your website again to see more of your content and maybe even sign up for your email list. As your traffic and repeat visitors increases, Google understands that people like your website and would further rank you higher in terms of SEO.

As your readers feel more connected to your content, they might be persuaded to take the next step by completing a form or downloading an ebook, thereby becoming a lead.


There you have it, 5 reasons how blogging helps with your SEO. While good SEO is fundamental to your lead generation efforts, blogs can contribute to your marketing efforts as well. They are excellent drivers of inbound marketing. They also make excellent materials for fresh content on social media pages. To remain competitive in this digital landscape, companies realise that they must provide some sort of value to their customer base. This is where blogs come into play. And who says blogs have to be only words, engage your readers with gifs, infographics or even videos! Start by building a connection with the people you want to reach.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Trends, Social Media, Lead Generation, Lead Generation Asia, Lead Generation Singapore, Inbound Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Optimizing

Is A Good Meta Description Important For Your SEO?

Posted by Bryan Lim

Oct 16, 2018 5:15:00 PM

In case you are unfamiliar with the term “meta descriptions”, it is a short paragraph that provides a brief explanation of the content of the website. It is the snippet of information found below the link of a search result.

So, it helps to describe the contents of the page to the searcher. The objective is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website.

While meta descriptions don't exactly count towards SEO ranking, they shouldn't be ignored!

Instead of thinking of them as a ranking factor, think of them as a conversion factor. These short paragraphs are an opportunity to advertise content to searchers and let them know what the given page has with regard to what they’re looking for. So, here are 3 reasons why you need a good meta description.

1) Increase Click Through Rate (CTR)

While keywords used in the meta description may not lend a hand in search ranking, the results of a well-crafted meta description can boost a page’s ranking. When a link is frequently clicked on, it sends a signal to search engines telling them that a page is important and is relevant to searcher’s preference.

Therefore, having a relevant or an eye-catching meta description is important. In essence, the better it is, the more likely it is for you to have good click-through rates from organic searches.

2) Bolded Keywords in Search Results

Notice how Google bolds a particular keyword or phrases which you are searching for? Use it to your advantage. Think of your personas. How would they search? Include relevant keywords or phrases in the meta description. Allow Google to help you stand out.

Don’t be the one that has no bolded keywords for that search. So, include your top keyword phrase in your description as well. (and of course, in your meta tag) And ensure that it is written in a way that encourages the searchers to click on that result.

3) Social Networks Use It

Social sharing sites such as Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn, commonly uses a page’s meta description when the page is shared on their sites. The meta description will usually be shown in its entirety, but the first sentence or two of your post may be cut off. While it can be edited, not everyone sharing your post will do so.

If your first sentence or two does not sum up your page well, your shared content might not hit it well with people. This might not create a good user experience for users encountering your content via social sharing. So, if you want your shared content to get more clicks, consider creating a strong meta description to help you reach your goals.

But what constitutes a good meta description?

Answer: It should do everything possible to drive someone to make that decision and click.
Here are some of the things to take note of:

A. The optimal length
In order to be displayed fully on Google, keep your meta descriptions between 135 and 160 characters.

B. Use an active voice
Keep searchers interested and which enables them to visualise and understand.

C. Include a call to action
Encourage your searchers to take the next step.

D. It should be unique
Produce unique meta description for each page title to create a better user experience.

E. Provide value propositions
Be mindful of your user and clearly articulate what you have to offer in relation to what your page content promotes.

In conclusion, a meta description is very crucial for every page and is actually an important aspect of SEO. While they may not count towards the ranking process, it is your bridge to your customers. Just like with SEO, writing a good meta description isn’t a one-time process, it requires frequent optimisation. Strengthen your bridge and stand out more. Don’t settle for an okay meta. After all, SEO counts toward your lead generation efforts. Lastly, always remember to write for the user FIRST and then search engine next. 

 

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Topics: Digital Marketing Trends, Social Media, Lead Generation, Lead Generation Asia, Lead Generation Singapore, Inbound Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Optimizing

6 Reasons Why You Should Use Content Marketing!

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Oct 10, 2018 5:05:09 PM

The process of consistently producing quality content is termed as content marketing. You need not invest heavily in advertising. You can attract higher traffic to your website by providing quality lead magnets like ebooks, reports or conduct webinars free of cost in lieu of email addresses of your target audience. If you're not convinced about why you should start using content marketing, these few pointers will enlighten you on the benefits of content marketing.

1. It helps build your email list

Collecting email addresses gives you a direct link to your audience members. A robust email list can be utilized to share a wide range of information, which may help transform prospects into clients.

2. Build deeper customer relationships

Content marketing gives you the chance to help your target audience by finding solutions to their problem. It helps you to interface with them through content that is noteworthy and vital. When they like a piece of content, they share it with their colleagues or friends and recollect it for long. You can take advantage of Newsletter content to keep in contact with your leads and potential clients. You can nurture them into eventually purchasing from you by routinely conveying engaging content to their inbox.

3. Higher Domain Authority

High-quality content can give people an image of trustworthiness by perceiving your company's expertise, authority and relevance in your industry. Your website's domain authority will be beneficial by the number of inbound links from external sources. Part of the point of your search rankings are related to your domain authority, therefore the more content you produce, the higher possibility you are going to show up in people’s monitors.

4. More Referral Traffic

Indeed, this point is depending on your commitment to the guest publishing portion of your content strategy. However, when you participate in external publications, you will have the chance to link your own website over there. So, if the authoritative site gets a certain amount of traffic, it will benefit your website and people may read through your content.

5. Content lasts

Quality content still runs long after everyone has finished the marathon. It's the Willy Wonka everlasting gobstopper of the marketing world.

It's adaptable, you can change its flavour or make it more colourful. It can never be finished, never gets smaller, and some say it's indestructible!

Quality content generates traffic long after it's published, stretching years if updated regularly. To create mainstay, evergreen content, think about what's relevant to your target audience.
If you're growing a bike manufacturing business, what topics are relevant to bike traders? For example, they'll want information on biking trends to impress customers with inside knowledge.
As a growing business, you want a marketing method that can go the distance. Constant change doesn't breed consistency. Stability and commitment will help your business grow.

6. Provides a Low-Cost, Low-Risk Solution

Compared to other marketing strategies, content marketing is really not that pricey. In fact, it’s one of the most cost-effective solutions that involves minimal risk. Obviously, there are no costs incurred for publishing content on your own site, right? It only requires some effort to research and create interesting content. When you create excellent content, people will enjoy reading and you get the feel-good vibe.
If you get negative feedback on your first story, don't worry. It helps you form better content next time. Your audience’s feedback is a great way to learn about products/services and ways to improve.

On the other hand, if you display ads on other platforms or run a social media campaign, it will burn a hole in your pocket. That’s why you should up your content marketing game and stick to it for better results.

Then again, in the event that you do promotion on different platforms like running display ads or running social media campaigns, it will cost you a fortune. That is the reason you ought to up your content marketing game plan and stick to it for better outcomes.

 

 

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Topics: Digital Marketing Trends, Social Media, Lead Generation, Lead Generation Asia, Lead Generation Singapore, Inbound Marketing, Inbound Links, Content Creation, Content Marketing

3 Common Myths About Lead Generation! Busted!

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Oct 8, 2018 5:28:37 PM

You might have heard of the terms inbound marketing and inbound methodology. By using such an approach, you can attract strangers who become visitors, and successfully generate a huge amount of traffic to your website.

Are you satisfied with just looking at statistics or graphs about how the number of website visits keep increasing every day? Maybe, but that doesn’t really help you to grow your business yet.

After all, this is just the first stage of the inbound methodology – the attraction stage. You may have attracted a lot of visitors, but you still don’t know who is likely to buy your products or services.

That’s where the conversion stage steps in. Conversion, or lead generation, is the stage where if you want to turn visitors into your customers, you need them to opt-in, become your leads first and then nurture them.

Today I am going to share three common misconceptions that most marketers have about lead generation. If you still believe in any of these, it’s not too late to correct it!

1. Getting new leads is more important than maintaining the leads that I have

Common sense, right? Getting more leads, meaning higher chances of getting the deal?


If you look at the inbound methodology above, leads are only positioned in the middle of the flow. To get the business deal, it’s important to reach the “close” stage, in order to turn them into customers. According to a report by the Aberdeen Group, over 80% of generated leads are never followed up on, are dropped, or even diminished. This implies that it is ineffective to seek out more leads. After all, some of the leads won’t turn into customers. Therefore, it is better for you to sustain the leads that you have, and keep nurturing them.

2. The more leads you generate = more money you can make; “more is better!”

Again, this seems to make sense, but it doesn't!

Similar to my first point, although you generate more customers, it doesn’t mean that your business will be more profitable.

In fact, returning customers are those who you should be focusing your attention on if you want your business to be more profitable and successful. According to research, returning customers are 60 to 70% easier to sell rather than new customers. Some even more convincing statistics reveals that it can boost business profit up to 95% by just increasing 5% in customer retention!

If you look at the inbound methodology again, this claim also makes sense!
The inbound methodology doesn’t stop at customers but focuses on delighting customers into promoters. The reason for this is because it's always better to let customers promote how good you are, rather than you selling yourself – just a matter of trust, right?

3. Creating different kinds of landing pages is a waste of time

Some business websites have only one landing page to convert visitors to leads, and they think that’s more than enough!

The landing page is a crucial part of the inbound methodology. It has a distinct URL linked to a CTA that directs your visitors to fill in a form that asks about their contact information, so that they become known leads for you. Without a landing page, you will have a really hard time turning your visitor into leads.

Although many business corporations know it, they create only one “universal” landing page for everyone – Is this the best way to generate leads?

According to a survey in 2013 done by HubSpot, companies with more than 30 landing pages can generate leads 7 times more than those that only have 1 to 5 landing pages. Results are even more stunning for those that have more than 40 pages – 12 times more!
Clearly, the number of landing pages and successful lead generation are positively correlated!

Putting all statistics aside, more landing pages also means more conversion opportunity. Simply looking from the SEO’s point of view, if you put more landing pages, more landing pages will be indexed in search. And if a user happens to click on any one of the search results that guides them to one of your landing pages, then you will have minimised the effort in acquiring a lead for your business.

One more benefit of having more landing pages is that there are more targeting opportunities, too! With more landing pages available, you can better appeal to the different needs and interests of the audience. So, if you really want to convert more leads, take some time to develop more landing pages because, segment-specific content that caters to the different needs of the audience stands higher chances of converting them into leads more easily!

And there you have it! I hope this blog post would clarify some of the misconceptions that you might have when it comes to lead generation! Be sure to check out 4 Common Lead Generation Mistakes to Watch Out for in 2018 to see if you have committed these mistakes that might prevent you from success too!

 

 

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Topics: Digital Marketing Trends, Social Media, Lead Generation, Lead Generation Asia, Lead Generation Singapore, Inbound Marketing, Inbound Links, HubSpot

7 Reasons Why You Should Include Videos In Your Content Marketing Strategy

Posted by Bryan Lim

Oct 5, 2018 5:45:00 PM

What is video marketing? Simply put, it is to integrate videos into your marketing campaigns to promote your company, product or service. According to a report from Hubspot Research, more than 50% of consumers want to watch videos from brands.

In fact, now that YouTube has become the second largest search engine on the web, so video marketing now demands greater emphasis in your content marketing strategy. Google owns Youtube, so there is a significance on how much videos affect your search engine.

So here are 7 reasons why you should include videos in your content marketing plan. (I.M.P.A.C.T.S)

 1)    Improved SEO 

Search engines love videos because they see them as high-quality content. So, using videos in different kinds of content such as your main page or landing pages can work wonders for your SEO. Of course, be sure to incorporate the right keywords, meta description and title. Also, according to Cisco, over 80% of traffic will consist of video by 2021.

 

2)    More Engagement 

Yes, visual content is key to greater engagement and videos are no exception. Ensure that your videos are shareable on social media. Audiences are more likely to share and comment on videos than on blogs or related social. Also, videos have been proven to demand more attention than any other medium.

However, in a social media context, video marketers must remember that people share emotions and not necessarily facts. In fact, people would share a branded video with their friends if it was entertaining. Emotions may not necessarily mean ROI but social shares can bring more traffic to your website. So, build from there!

 

3)    Produce More Conversions

So, why videos? Research shows that 71% of marketers say video conversion rates outperform other marketing content.

In short, videos can help you make money. Adding a product video on your landing page can increase conversions by 80%Another reason why videos are great for conversions on websites is that they actually keep people around for long enough to look around on the website.

 

4)    Achieve Optimisation

How much of your blog post do your readers consume? Did they re-read parts of it or come back later to read it? Did they share it with friends? It’s tough to answer these questions.

However, with videos, there is a built-in “feedback-loop”. It allows you to measure metrics such as view-count, play-rate, engagement, social sharing, click-through rate and even conversion rate. With this data, you what exactly what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to focus on segments which require optimisation.

 

5)    Competitiveness

According to Wyzowl, 90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile. As the number of smartphone users increases, your video audience also increases. Moreover, videos are a great tool for learning and easy to consume. People today are too busy to have time to read and dig deep into products or services your companies have to offer. The modern customer wants to see the product in action.

Simply, a short explainer video can do a world of difference when it comes to educating people on the ins and outs of your particular product. Depending on your product offering, you may utilise animated videos to stand out from the crowd as well.

 

6)    Trust 

There are too many choices out there. Consumers and businesses simply don’t need to be sold to: instead, a quick check on the search engine will enable them to find their solution to their problems. Stop selling and let people come to you by providing informative and relevant information.

Create effective marketing videos which present your product or services in a conversational form. Furthermore, let your audiences know the hard work you put into your business. Use video to capture your achievements and capabilities. Let your audiences know you are the expert and you are the one to guide them forward.

 

7)    Show Your Personality

People crave connection and personality. They are keen to see and hear people in a real-life context. Videos are one of the best ways to get up close to your audience and give them an idea of what you and your business or your clients are doing. Think beyond profit and product: express your philosophy or even share some information on an interesting event. The more they know about your positive practices, the more likely they are to stick around.

 

The options are endless, they can serve as tools for salespeople throughout the entire customer buying journey. For the service team, it can help to onboard customers, provide knowledge-based videos, meet the team videos, support video calls and customer stories to create a personalised support experience. And HubSpot research has shown that consumers and customer prefer “authentic” lower quality videos over high-quality ones that seem artificial an inauthentic. This means video can actually benefit businesses of virtually any size. So, start producing more IMPACTS today!

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Topics: Lead Generation Singapore, Lead Generation Asia, Inbound Marketing, Singapore, Mobile Marketing, Digital Marketing Trends, Animated videos, Video Marketing, Content Marketing

6 Reasons Why Email Marketing Is Absolutely Crucial To Your Business

Posted by Bryan Lim

Oct 3, 2018 6:00:00 PM

As the number of media platforms increases, digital marketers also have to evolve. These days, people spend time online on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and others. Digital marketers then begin to ask themselves this question.

Is email marketing dead?”

The short answer to the question is “no.” Email will continue to be an important marketing medium, it isn’t like the others, it is special.

Internet users send or read email almost daily. Email is like the digital home for most internet users. Most sites would ask email address when signing up. Whether you want to attract, engage or delight customers, email remains one of the best medium to do so.

Google and Bing may kick you out of their search engines.
Facebook may reduce your visibility to zero.
Instagram and Twitter may ban you from their platforms.

Whereas for email, you are in control, and can always reach your customers via email. Most of your subscribers will most likely see your email. However, for other platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, there are no guarantees. Once a social media user misses your post, they may never see it again.

As inbound marketing tactics continue to evolve, more companies are finding that email is not only an important part of their strategies, but it is also one of the most effective. Long gone are the days of spam. In comes targeted, opt-in email marketing, which is seen to be a healthy contributor to a company’s overall success.
So here are some reasons why email marketing isn’t dead and is crucial to your business. In fact, it should absolutely be part of your marketing strategy.

1)    Mobile Device

This is 2018. Your desktop computer isn’t the only place to get email. With your mobile device, accessibility to an email is almost instant and pocket-friendly. Expectations have also increased. Ensure that your emails are crafted with quality. Through email marketing, you can deliver quality, personalised message to the right kind of customer. While texting and instant messenger services are often done on the go, who’s to say email cannot do the same.

2)    Information and offers

Humans are curious by nature. People like to stay informed about things that interest them, like when your company is launching its new product, but few spend time going back regularly to websites to stay up to date on a company’s happenings. However, if something informs them, they will visit your website if there is a reason to do so. Say, for example, an email with a coupon denoting a 10% off by pre-ordering the new product today.

The key is to be a positive source of information, rather than to be an annoyance in their inbox. To do so is via opting-in. However, make sure to segment your personas and ensure the email are tailored to different stages of the buyer’s journey. You do not want to appear pushy to buyers who are still in the awareness stage. You want to deliver helpful relevant content in a personalised way. This way, you maximise your efforts on an audience that’s more likely to make a purchase.

3)    Emails Won’t Cost You A Bomb 

As with any digital campaign, you are given a budget. With that, utilising the tools such as your creatives, communication and other tools available to achieve your targets. For email marketing, it is incredibly affordable. If the campaign underperforms, the cost is easily absorbed, corrections can be made and the next evolution can be sent out. With email marketing, revenue can be won but is rarely lost.

 

4)    Versatility

Email has the ability to seamlessly integrate to any of your current inbound marketing strategies, from social media to blogging. It helps to create interested buyer list and provides information.

Email can

  1. work with your blog to share latest post
  2. amalgamate trending social media post for those who hardly have a voice on social media
  3. alert people to webinars, deals and approaching offer deadlines

Of course, as long as you have segmented your list of recipients, you are committing time well spent to an interested audience. 

Ensure you marketing automation in place, such as automatically sending targeted emails to recipients when they sign up for your email newsletter, download an e-book or even purchase a product. It enables you to nurture leads, turn them into customers and free up time to concentrate on delivering relevant content.

5)    Relevant and Crucial

You should do it! People are still checking their inboxes. And many even spend their working hours with their inboxes open.

AND

Do it right! Email marketing is known to be an effective and powerful strategy because it allows you to keep in touch with your clients virtually. It is an opportunity for you to really state and say your piece. 

6)    Back it with data

Our goal as marketers is to inspire people to take the desired action. So, we need to constantly remind ourselves that email is a driver, not a conversion tool. You don’t convert people from email, you drive them to where you want them to go. Data analysis provides insights into the effectiveness of our emails. While we have clicks and conversion metrics, they don’t necessarily tell a full story. Take a look at engagement as well and measure the length of time spend before subscribers become disengaged. Work on lengthening that duration.

If it is not ideal. Ask questions: What are we doing differently? What content are we sending out? What are we not doing? Then we adjust accordingly? Data-backed approach allows for successful campaigns, testing new strategies and react in real-time to take advantage of attractive opportunities. By refining it time and again, you are working towards your best practices.

So that was a round-up of the reasons to anyone disapproving email marketing. No matter what people might say, email marketing is here to stay. It is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. If executed well and regularly reviewed, it can have a huge impact on your business.

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Topics: Lead Generation Singapore, Lead Generation Asia, Inbound Marketing, Singapore, Email Marketing, Emails, Mobile Marketing, Buyer Personas, Digital Marketing Trends

4 Reasons Why Telemarketing Won't Work In Singapore

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Oct 1, 2018 4:07:20 PM

According to Wikipedia, telemarketing is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson solicits leads to purchase their products or services, either over the phone or through a web conferencing appointment.

“The good news for people who hate telemarketing calls is that the industry may finally be dying” is a quote taken from an article titled “10 Businesses Facing Extinction in 10 Years”. It's not hard to understand – people don’t like to pick up sales calls, or cold-calls. But is that the sole reason why telemarketing industries are facing extinction?

1. Other channels are more profound and popular

Ask yourself this question: How many people do you think are still answering their phones and responding positively to telemarketing offers? In fact, nowadays most people use email, instant messaging and other online channels for communicating. In such a digitized world, people seldom pick up phone calls.

Consider the case of Singapore, there are almost 2 million people on LinkedIn, so you can basically connect to anyone on LinkedIn through multiple ways. Besides, 78% of salespeople are using social media platforms like LinkedIn and successfully out-sell their counterparts. Therefore, it is way easier to schedule the first meeting with your potential customers, if you have a personal LinkedIn connection.

2. People hate to be called

Many people don’t like to be called by telemarketers advertising different products and services. Data extracted from the Harvard Business Review stated that 90% of C-suite executives say they never respond to cold-calls. Thus, cold-calling is getting pretty close to becoming extinct.

Unfortunately, telemarketing is similar to having a group of people who are not aware of your business/not interested in your business/don’t understand your business, calling people that don’t care, offering them products and services that are mostly irrelevant and unlikely to resonate among them.

Telemarketers are hated in the US, but also in Singapore and generally all over the world. Therefore, some Singaporeans have decided to register themselves under the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry which was officially launched in December 2013, to protect their data from annoying telemarketers disturbing them while they were busy at work which basically excludes their numbers from the calling list of telemarketers.

All prospects registered in a “Do Not Call” list must not be contacted and advertised of various products and services. When someone asks you to take them off your calling list, telemarketers must update and maintain his/her record on regular basis.

3. Strict rules and regulations on telemarketing

Besides, according to the CCAS (Contact Centre Association of Singapore), there are certain telemarketing rules that the Singapore-based telemarketing industry must follow:

As you can see, telemarketing calls must only be done within the timeframe mentioned above, unless you have prior consent with the person being called.

(1) Provide proper identification
Telemarketers must identify himself or herself by stating the name of the company they are calling from and the purpose of the call.

(2) Supply information upon request of the party being called
If the call recipient requests for the following information, telemarketers must provide the information:
- Telemarketer’s name and contact details
- Name and contact details of telemarketer’s supervisor
- Nature of business of the organization
- Sources of the prospect’s contact information

With so many rules being set to restrict the power of telemarketing, along with the general negative attitude of the public towards telemarketing, using such an approach to reach your customers is hardly recommended, and thus it is highly advised to refrain from using telemarketing in Singapore!

4. People mix up telemarketing and telesales

In fact, many people have muddled up the idea of telemarketing and telesales. Even the definitions about telemarketing on Wikipedia is not very accurate.

Telemarketing is about serving your business by arousing interest, creating opportunities, and arranging appointments over the phone, thus it is a method of generating leads through a phone call. While telesales is selling the service directly to customers over the phone, regardless of their interest or not.

Therefore, telemarketing is not necessarily the exact same notion as “cold-calls”, but people just assume that they are the same. When people have perceptions like these in mind, it becomes extremely difficult for the telemarketing industry to erase such stereotypes.

Conclusion

Besides the problem of obtaining quality leads and the worthiness of investing in leads generated from telemarketing, but with so much negative public perception towards telemarketing, together with the strict rules and regulations established in Singapore, it is becoming quite challenging for telemarketers to use such an approach for lead generation.

So, in this digitized age, we should move from cold-calling to social-calling, i.e. using social media to engage with the audience, and using various methods in inbound methodology to build trust, build brand awareness and slowly converting your leads into potential customers who will purchase your goods/services and help you promote your business!

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Topics: Lead Generation Singapore, Lead Generation Asia, Inbound Marketing, Telemarketing, Social Media, Singapore, Telesales

8 Ways To Improve Lead Generation On Your Website

Posted by Bryan Lim

Sep 28, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Let’s be honest. Are you generating enough leads from your website? Hubspot reports that 63% of marketers found generating traffic and leads one of their top challenges. Your website is often the first point of contact your potential leads has with your business. With a multitude of websites and companies competing for the same business, is your company doing enough to make an impression?

Why is optimizing your website important? The answer – Lead Generation.

Here are 8 things to help you optimize your lead generation efforts on your website.

1) Mobile-friendly
Mobile is omnipresent. If your website is yet to be mobile optimised, do it! Technology has changed the way people behave. More and more people accessing the web via their mobile devices. More people are also interacting with businesses through their mobile phones. By being mobile-friendly, you can capture mobile traffic and leads, thereby improving your lead generation power.

2) Speed Up
Most Internet users are impatient. They expect websites to load at lightning speed, mobile devices included. Many expect a load time of 2 seconds and will leave the website if it doesn’t load within 4-6 seconds. This drives visitor away and dissuades them from learning about your business. Not to mention, it also affects your company’s SEO ranking. To ensure your potential leads stay on your website, keep up to speed with tools such as Pingdom and Google’s Page Speed Insights. For a start, check your server’s speed and optimize any images.

3) Beef Up Your Contact Page
Remember our previous point on mobile-friendly? Having an interactive phone icon helps you to connect to prospects who prefer phone conversations instead of filling up a form. It also speaks about your credibility and your products or services you provide. While visitors to the site may never contact you, the fact that they can will put them at ease.

If your contact is simply a phone number, consider adding an email or even social media. The more channels you allow site visitors to contact you, the better!

4) Relevant Informative Content
Congratulations! Your site visitor may have found you through good SEO practices you have in place. 
BUT WAIT, are you providing them with what they want? Focus your content on how you are able to provide solutions to your customer’s problems.

Consider this.
People are exposed to a large amount of content daily, so there is competition for their attention. When a site visitor lands on your website, they want access to information which allows them to make an informed decision about your product or service. They will make quick decisions on whether it is worth their time to read your content.

Make use of intriguing and informative headings with short paragraphs. Use bullet points whenever possible. Don’t make your prospect hunt for information. If they are unable to figure it out, don’t be surprised if your competitor ends up converting that lead.

5) Calls-To-Actions
Not all visitors to your website will be a lead, some visit without a specific purpose. However, with careful considerations and placement of CTAs, even casual visitors might turn into leads.

Want your visitors to click for more information? Simply make a CTA that is easy to locate.
Have a great offer? Give your visitors a good reason to inquire.
Sometimes, they need a push. Ensure your CTAs are prominent with bold and contrasting colours. Texts should also be clear and persuasive.

Your objective is to get visitors to dig deeper into your website, moving them along the marketing funnel. With effective use of CTAs, you can turn your website into a powerful lead-generation machine.

6) Visually Appealing
Your website is key to portraying your professionalism, establishing trust and communicating the value that your company provides. The more attractive your website, the easier it is to lure in customers.

Ensure easy navigation throughout the site. Also, remember to include videos and images. They can sometimes communicate a feeling or idea about your business or information better than written words. Not to mention, they also help to improve SEO ranking. However, avoid cluttering your website with graphics and videos.

Don’t be afraid of white space. Instead, embrace it. It communicates expertise and organization.

7) Increase the number of landing pages
Your landing pages may be well done. However, being done greatly might not be enough. Having more landing pages may instead generate a greater number of leads. Especially if you have a great offer, get it out there. After all, research shows that sites with at least 40 landing pages generate 1200% more leads than websites that only have five or fewer.

8) Utilise your data and make changes
If you aren’t already using analytics, you should be doing so! There are a number of tools such as Google Analytics or Hotjar which allows you gather insights on your website performance. See what your visitors are doing. Optimise your pages. Page with short view times may signal a need for better content. Pages with long view times may help you generate more leads with a stronger offer. Continue to make use of analytics to improve your website to strengthen your lead generation efforts.

Use these 8 tips to improve your lead generation efforts starting today!

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Topics: Digital Marketing Trends, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation Singapore, Lead Generation Asia, Inbound Marketing, Inbound Links, Blogging, Website Design

The Top 5 "Boons" of Inbound Marketing

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 25, 2018 3:50:49 PM

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In today’s day and age, presentation is everything. Consumers want to hire companies that are modernized. By using inbound marketing strategies, potential customers will be able to see that your company is up-to-date with and in-the-know about contemporary concepts. Inbound marketing is about attracting the right customers, at the right time, with the right content. Instead of wasting valuable marketing resources on everyone, inbound focuses on connecting businesses to leads with the highest propensity to become customers, and ultimately long-time promoters of the business’ product.

Here are the 5 top benefits of inbound marketing:

1) Cost-effective marketing
Inbound marketing is definitely way more effective and cost-sensitive when compared to outbound marketing.
The reason is that instead of going on a wild-goose chase and blindly sending out messages to an entire audience, your target audience comes to you, you learn about your audience, and through this exchange, you'll be able to segment your audience and service them better.

As I said, the effort is only concentrated on attracting people who are specifically looking for something you offer. Spending marketing resources on individuals who don't need or want your products are useless, similar to asking out a date who constantly rejects you.
Content creation platforms such as writing blogs and social media promotions can be free of cost. So, when considering the benefits of inbound on your business, the invested dollars are used very effectively thus giving you the highest return on investment through greater lead conversions and lower costs.

2) It generates quality leads
A quality lead refers to a person who is seeking out the product or service that your company offers. Because inbound marketing brings in only those with an interest in your areas of expertise, you are more likely to generate clientele. When you produce free, high-quality content, you will amass social media, blog, and email update followers who would otherwise not have connected with before. Higher the number of people who sign up to follow these outlets, greater will be the chances of reaching out to them individually. Since outbound marketing targets a broader audience, you will eventually end up paying huge sums to reach a large number of uninterested people.

3) Simplifies the jobs of sales and marketing
Using the inbound strategy, your sales and marketing teams can work hand-in-hand to create powerful content for your prospects. Salespeople are the source for gaining crucial insights into what customers need and want at different stages during their buyer's journey. Armed with that information, the marketing team can create highly-targeted content that educates the buyer, answers their questions and solves their problems. Clubbed together, sales and marketing can collate, distribute and utilise that information to drive leads, increase conversions and nurture existing customers.

4) It builds trust and brand awareness
Inbound marketing gives interested consumers free access to quality content without asking for anything in return. This gives even the smallest companies the opportunity to gain worldwide recognition. By continuously giving potential clients dependable, reliable information, you are building a relationship and reputation with these consumers. Then, when they are confident in your competence, they can take the leap towards purchasing your product or service.

5) Inbound customers are more likely to leave you a good review
The customers who research their facts using search engines are more tech-savvy than those who simply give their business to the first company to reach out to them. Thanks to modern Internet design and capability, these customers are much better equipped to write and post a testimonial outlining your second-to-none service, expertise, and credibility!

To sum up in a nutshell, it’s important to understand that inbound marketing is one of the most effective strategies in today's digital world – and if you’re not using it, chances are you’re missing out on an opportunity to develop relationships with your prospects.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Trends, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation Singapore, Lead Generation Asia, Inbound Marketing, Inbound Links, Blogging, Animated videos

3 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Lead Generation

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 25, 2018 11:19:01 AM

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Topics: Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google Marketing Tools, Inbound Marketing, Blogging

SEO VS SEM: Which One is Better for Your Business?

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 21, 2018 10:30:00 AM

Most businesses are aware that search engines can drive massive traffic to their web properties, and it is not just any random traffic, but traffic that actually converts into leads and sales.

However, there is one dilemma you may face as a business when trying to use the search engines to grow, and that is whether to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

In this post, I am going to dig deep into this problem and hope you will get some insight from it.

What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method to enhance a website’s ranking on SERP (Search Engine Results Page) to receive organic traffic and drive visitors.

Although organic traffic is free of charge, the course of SEO may still involve some kind of cost.

What is SEM?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a way to funnel in relevant traffic from the search engines by buying paid or sponsored ad listing.

SEM often refers to Pay-per-click advertising (PPC). While there are many PPC platforms on the web, the most popular and successful option is Google Adwords.

Now that you know what SEO and SEM is, let’s talk about the pros and cons of both.

SEO: Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Brand awareness

If your customer doesn’t recognize your brand, they don’t know it!

Takes more time

Longer time to see the results

Stronger branding

The Internet gives you the opportunity to connect to your target audience by providing information they are looking for.

Too competitive

Depending on the chosen keywords, it sometimes can be very competitive

Increased trust and credibility

By trusting Google, people also trust the websites that manage to rank high in Google’s SERP.

Need regular monitoring of backlinking

Your business has to regularly reach out to other websites to get backlinks that are worth-while.

Building numerous irrelevant links to trick the search engine no longer works.

More traffic

Needless to say, using SEO, you can drive a lot of targeted, ready-to-buy traffic to your website!

 

Lower cost and better ROI (Return on Investment), and higher sustainability

The cost is always lower than SEM

Helps you to improve your results over-time, thus having higher ROI in long-run.

 

 

SEM: Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Reaching the top

SEM allows your webpage to rank even higher than the organic search results

And usually, the first webpage catches the most attention!

Can be very expensive

Over time, the costs keep growing

 

Have more control

Sponsored listing of PPC ads gives you more control over the results you achieve.

Testing and fine-tuning the detail of the ad can certainly improve the overall performance.

Needs continual investment

PPC campaigns require you to keep investing money to keep it going.

No money, no results!

Increase brand visibility

Unlike SEO, where you may or may not get the right people to visit your website, your ads are very well-targeted towards users who are actually searching for similar products/services that you provide.

Allows competitors to review your campaign

PPC makes everything transparent – your ads, keywords, landing page – all will be known by your competitors

Quick, measurable results

With properly created PPC campaigns, the results can be analyzed, and conversion-related problems can be fixed within a short span of time

Expect to see significant results from the PPC campaign within several weeks.

 

So, are you confused about which one to choose?

Before you decide which one to use, you must understand your business and long-term goals.

If your business puts a lot of emphasis on creating a strong online presence and getting better returns in terms of both, short term and long run, then you should balance both SEO and SEM together.

Your SEO efforts can cover up some of the disadvantages that SEM has, and vice versa. By implementing these two marketing practices in your business, you will end up getting the best of both approaches.

How can you incorporate them together?
(1) Collect conversion-related data from your PPC campaign and use the statistics to optimize your organic search rankings.
(2) Work on both paid search and organic search listing to double your traffic! This can give better results especially if you are aiming for competitive keywords that need a bigger PPC campaign budget.
(3) Keywords that are too expensive to invest in, or are not really delivering much traffic should be put into SEO. This way, we can ensure that the SEM efforts are directed towards keywords that have a better ROI.

By focusing on SEO and SEM, you are automatically opting for a better approach than your competitors who are just focusing on either one of them. However, these approaches differ from one business to another, depending on the business goals. Therefore, if you want your business brand to be seen in the SERP, make sure you develop an optimum search engine marketing strategy, that would involve SEO, SEM or both together.

Read more: 3 Thing Your Competitors Can Teach You About Lead Generation

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Topics: Digital Marketing Trends, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing, Pay Per Click Ads, Lead Generation, Lead Generation Singapore, Lead Generation Asia

The 5 Best Practices of Email Marketing for Effective Lead Generation

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 20, 2018 9:54:40 AM

To some people, email marketing is an overlapping part of inbound and outbound marketing. “Spamming” is a word that is enough to scare people away from hitting the “send” button.

In fact, email marketing is still an effective practice that can consistently deliver a high Return on Investment (ROI) for your business if used properly. That is because using an appropriate way of delivering your email, can effectively build trust with the visitors, and trust itself is the most important “currency” in this era since word of mouth is how people develop trust in a brand.

Your customers are the ones who will help you to continue the buying process for others by sharing their experience with people they know – therefore the delight stage is crucial to turn them into promoters if you still remember the inbound methodology!

So, how can we send emails that build trust and convert? Let’s check out the points below:

1. Offer email with high value and relevant content

First, be sure to ask for the visitors’ contact information on landing pages. Many businesses do not collect email addresses anywhere on their site! While inbound marketing emphasizes that before we can close leads into customers, we have to nurture them until they are sales-ready, email is a channel that aids you in the nurturing phase. If you do not collect emails from your leads, how can you possibly nurture them?

Besides, make sure your content is relevant to them! Each lead should be nurtured based on their interests and lifecycle stages, and you can determine it by looking at the pages they have visited or content they have shared on social media platforms. Good nurturing can make your message relevant to the leads and potentially win you a new customer!

2. Set up Behavioural Emails

Behavioural emails can be defined as the practice of sending automated, targeted emails to your contacts based on historical interaction. This is all based on a user-focused approach to send an email – actions that your leads take would determine what kind of emails they receive.

This has proven to be effective. According to a study from MarketingSherpa, 39% of marketers said that “automatically sending emails based on triggers” was the most effective tactic for improving email engagement.

When you send a behavioural email, you are creating a highly personalized experience! Therefore, setting up triggered emails can make your leads or visitors feel like they are interacting with human beings, and not robots.

3. Segment emails according to subscriber behaviours

Okay, by now you probably understand that we have to create highly relevant content for the readers of our email so that they don't simply delete our email or worse, mark it as spam.
So, how can we determine the relevance of content to our respective readers?

This can be done by segmentation.

Segmenting makes your email more relevant to your readers, and thus the open rate, click rate and the number of sales can be increased.

There are several ways to segment your readers, such as based on:
- The time when the visitor signed up
- The pathway that the visitor signed up for

Segmentation is seemingly simple but an important part of your successful email marketing. Segmentation is what helps you send the right person, the right message, at the right time. The DMA, a Data & Marketing Association, found that 77% of email marketing ROI came from the segmented, targeted and triggered campaigns.

Therefore, using segmentation, you can combine content and context together which can help you write the best emails in the world and make sure they connect with your audience and don’t waste their time.

4. Design your Email

While developing email marketing tricks is geared at moving leads deeper into the sale funnel, there are three design and copywriting elements that marketers should be mindful of:

(1) Subject line
A subject line is the first thing that determines whether a person reads your email. Therefore, spend some more time thinking about ways to improve your subject line. Remember not to use sales-y words like “free” that much, or it would be easily marked as spam.

(2) Imagery
The human brain generally pays more attention to images than text, and we also comprehend images 60,000 times faster than text!

Therefore, using images that can convert and reinforce your idea is much better and quicker than giving your reader a paragraph of text.

(3) Call-to-action (CTA)
To effectively close leads into customers, lead nurturing is an important part of the process. The best way to educate and nurture them is to have them consume your content: whether in the form of eBooks, webinars or videos.

Therefore, your email needs to effectively advertise your CTA. Make use of action words, such as attend, download, read, try now, etc.

Also, make sure the CTA button is clickable and visible on all devices that people may use to check your email, especially mobile phones or tablets.

5. Make sure your emails are sharable

People would always forward emails to their friends, family or colleagues. Therefore, not only do you need to make it easy for them to read, but you should also encourage them to share and forward the email to someone they know.

There are some ways you can do this:
- Add a button that automatically formats an email for them to forward
- Add a sign-up link so people who get the forwarded emails can view and sign-up to your products/services easily
- Add social sharing buttons so people can share your email through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media channels

There you have it! Hope this post will help you master email marketing to convert and close leads!

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Topics: Digital Marketing Trends, Social Media, Lead Generation, Lead Generation Asia, Lead Generation Singapore, Blogging, Twitter, Instagram, Email Marketing, Emails, Lead Nurturing

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