How the Internet is Changing Consumer Behavior

Consumers are increasingly on mobile now. Its fast and highly responsive, and most important, feels personal.

If you’ve been in business long enough, you already know that the changing face of business today is nothing new. Over the decades, and centuries, innovations and new inventions have changed how people live and work from one generation to another.

Today, the Internet, and what the Internet brings is changing the landscape again.

For many, the Internet has been seen as channel where they can interact with their clientelle. For others, this is the new way of doing business. Still for others, it is just a passing fad that will never replace the good old brick and mortar stores. Regardless of where you’re coming from, everyone has their opinion of the Internet.

The Bottom Line

People are talking to their friends, and family and their recommendations are changing how we buy products and services

Despite the different opinions and perceived notions of what the Internet is and isn’t, one thing is for sure – The Internet is changing how people buy and sell goods – and that’s the bottom line.

Whether you admit or refute it, your customers are becoming more aware of what they want, they’re expressing their opinions about your products and services more openly, and are looking at what your competition has to offer. The current generation of consumers are more educated and enlightened than ever before. They are also more open-minded and liberal.

As you can imagine, selling to an educated client is very different and is more challenging, over selling to one who isn’t. The former is more aware of the facts, more influential, and cares deeply about the name behind the brand they purchase. They are also bombarded by new information and research in regards to their interests and purchases.

How you communicate and sell to them is thus a whole different ball game to clients who aren’t educated about your process and your cause.

If You Do Not Understand People, You Do Not Understand Business

What your consumers say about you online has a big impact on how people perceive your products, services, and overall brand outlook

As a business owner or entrepreneur, it is not enough to simply offer a product and expect clients will come flocking. Your potential clients now have more options being thrown at them than ever before. Their news-feeds and timelines are always screaming for their attention. They no longer have to go look for products and services. Instead, these products and services seek them.

And this is where the challenge lies.

You see, unless you are constantly trying to get your customers’ attention and looking for ways to remain top-of-mind on your clients, you run the risk of getting replaced by your more aggressive competitor. As much as we are passionate about what we do, we also have to remember that we live in a highly competitive world. Everybody wants to be seen first and seen constantly. This is the side that your potential customers see.

Unless you adapt to the changing business environment, you will die, eventually. It is not enough to simply have a website, a Facebook page, and an Instagram account. Your clients already expect that of you. It is what you project on these platforms that win your customers’ confidence, trust, and increasingly their time and eyeballs.

Your customers are human beings and human beings care about causes. Do you communicate these messages to your clients and potentials? What does your business stand for? Do you give back to the community in any way? Do you advocate for a cause that touches others? You need to connect on a more personal level with your clients in these and other ways as well. If you do not understand people, you do not understand business.

How you communicate is also just as important as what you communicate. A blog is a powerful medium of communication. A picture however is more powerful. Even more powerful is a video. Learning how to leverage these new content types will also go a long way in maintaining your business relevance.

Internet adoption across the globe continues to gain ground. The future is online. By default, this means the future of business will also be online. What are you doing about it?

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

 

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Samsung Galaxy S8 Launch

It’s always cool and exciting to attend launches of products and services that you like. The Samsung Galaxy S8 launch was no exception.

It was also the first time to attend and cover an event at the new Two Rivers Mall and sample out the beauty and grandeur of this magnificent architecture.

Check out our video below of the launch and be sure to visit the mall as it has some cool viewing points, especially the CK Square and the awesome waterfront where you get to enjoy a water show.

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Why Take Instagram Seriously

As you may have seen recently, we’re seeing a shift towards visual content on the Interwebs.

Among the most popular spaces when it comes to visual content is Instagram.

However, even more important is the fact that Instagram is becoming the de facto on where to discover and interact with brands.

Here are a few facts about Instagram worth mentioning in 2017:

  • More than one million active advertisers per month on Instagram.
  • More than 80 percent of people on Instagram follow a brand.
  • Roughly 20 percent of Instagram’s audiences use Instagram to visit a brand’s website, get directions, or contact a company.
  • Instagram is looking to add a way for people to communicate with businesses through the app such as booking services, or scheduling a haircut.

As you can see, Instagram is having a major influence on how people interact, and will be interacting with brands, moving forward.

One question though remains: How is your A-Game on Instagram?

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

 

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Documenting a Training – Nkaimurunya Primary School

It’s always great to work with organizations and people who want to change and improve the lives of others. You learn so much from that self-sacrificing spirit.

I worked with one such organization recently by offering sanitary pads to girls from Nkaimurunya Primary School – a school in Kajiado county.

I shot the video and photos of the event as well as the training. It was a new experience for me and I learned a few things, not only about sanitary pads, but also how to get good footage without using a lot of equipment and gear.

The video was shot using just one camera, an external microphone, and a monopod.

Check out the video below:

 

Last Week documenting this training #254videoguy

A video posted by David Gitonga (@davidgitonga) on

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Attention is the arbitrage you need in 2017

As the world moves faster and faster online, the question becomes:

Who is going to win in a space that continues to get saturated every single day?

Outdoor media and basic websites no longer appeal to the masses. How often do you skip YouTube ads? Do you get irritated by TV ads?

Clearly, your answers above reveal a real disconnect between where we spend our marketing shillings and where the attention of your target customers are.

2017 and Mobile

It is no secret that mobile is at the core of everything. We now access email, communicate, and check out links sent to us via our mobile devices. 70 percent of people who access social networks do it on mobile and over 50 percent of all YouTube views happen on mobile.

Social

If you’re reading this, chances are that you use at least one social network, whether its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. In some spaces, social has almost become synonymous with the Internet, especially in places where Internet is just getting adopted.

Social networks have also become great places to brand or promote a product and get huge audiences as opposed to running ads. The thread of social extends beyond these spaces and most e-commerce sites, blogging platforms, and websites integrate social as part of their core design.

Building Brand Equity

Building your brand online is one of the best ways of play the game long-term. Most of our lives are being lived online and the earlier you can establish and start building a long-term brand equity, the faster and longer you are going to win.

Imagine if you could create influence for your brand and products through a weekly YouTube or Facebook show? Think of how much impact you’d have if you created regular original content for your Instagram followers.

Building brands around your businesses matters!

2017 should be the year you take the Internet seriously. Start creating long-term value through your brand and see where it takes you in the next 365 days.

I hope you have a great 2017 year of branding.

Talk to you soon, brands.

 

 

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Is Content Marketing Working for You?

You have to agree, this is an important question. More importantly, the answer.

Why?

Because the idea of content marketing has been preached by many bloggers and online marketers for years.

The result?

A majority of businesses do not really see the benefit, and quite frankly, there are no returns to show for it.

What could be the problem? Is it a lack of good strategy? Poor copywriting skills? or is content marketing just not cut out to what it’s preached to be?

Content Marketing is Not About Traffic

For a majority of us, we think the ultimate goal of content marketing is to bring attract and convert this traffic into sales.

Well, this is completely wrong, and very likely the reason why you’re not seeing any results from your efforts.

Here’s why:

Suppose you create a captivating blog post that generates 100,000 views. While this may seem like an impressive figure, it may not be valuable at all. Some people may visit your site for a minute or two, others may simply read and leave, while others may simply have seen an interesting link post on their social feed.

Traffic therefore does not guarantee sales.

The Next Step is What Matters

While a good written post may get you views and a highly-optimized post may rank you on top of Google, this does not guarantee sales. You may lack the persuasiveness or authority to convince your visitors to place an order or make a purchase, you may fail to gather the needed information to follow back, or you may never follow up and visitors forget you just as fast as they discovered you.

Any number of the above things can derail a sale.

For content marketing to be effective, it needs to help push your visitor to the next step in the purchase process.

Here are the steps to creating a successful content marketing strategy:

1. Build trust with website visitors

2. Give incentives like free e-book or access to your ‘premium’ content in exchange for their contact information

3. Keep reminding your prospects that you exist

4. Separate yourself from competition by offering examples of demos that differentiate you.

As you can see, content affects every stage of the sales process and those who make most money from content marketing leverage all of the above steps.

Here’s a table example demonstrating how to measure the effectiveness of your content:

Type of Content                            Indicator of Success                        Metric

Blog Post Headline                             Prospect Clicks Link                              Traffic

The Blog Post Itself                            Prospect Reads It                                  Time on Page

Free E-book Offer                              Email Subscribes                                   Opt-ins

First Email Subject Line                      Prospect opens email                             Open rate

First Email Body Copy                       Prospect Clicks Link                                 Email Clickthrough rate

 

As the above shows, metrics along are not important. The action the prospect takes is what matters most.

A piece of content that gets few readers who convert is more valuable than one that gets thousands of views with no action taken.

In order to do this, you need to to create content that influences and market it to prospects with the goal of getting them to take an action. To do this, you need to:

1. Map out your prospects process before they purchase from you.

2. Create content for every stage to build trust.

3. Behind every content created, market it by asking them to take the next step

4. Measure the success or failure of the above action step.

5. Improve and market continuously until you perfect the steps and actions needed.

If you do the above, you’ll have built a process and content strategy that brings you returns for years to come.

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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7 Content Marketing Lessons from Red Bull

Red Bull gives you wings

One of the biggest shifts in today’s marketing is in content creation. Brands and businesses must now think differently and create amazing content to attract audiences.

In other words, brands now need to act like media companies in addition to doing what they do.

A classic example of this is the Red Bull brand.

According to Red Bull’s founder, Austrian founder Dietrich Mateschitz, “Red Bull is a media company that happens to sell energy drinks.”

And this is what has made Red Bull what it is today.

The company launched the Red Bull Media House back in 2007 with the goal of content creating that connects with customers. So far, its media department has done the following:

  • Launched the Online and Print magazine “The Red Bulletin,”
  • Spent $2 million making “The Art of Flight” movie.
  • Sponsored numerous action-related events such as the “Freefall from Space.”

What has been the results?

The Media House has not only started making profits, but the company already claims that the business value in form of awareness and media dollars saved, far outweighs the expense.

As online content consumption speeds up, we can expect to see more forward-thinking brands slowly transition into becoming media companies first.

Here are 7 lessons brands can learn from the Red Bull Media House:
  1. Marketing is the responsibility of the entire brand
  2. Content is ‘Core.” It should inspire and be effective.
  3. Businesses need to become media companies – literally. Red Bull casts a large net across adventure sports, video games, and music, and some of this content is sure to interest their 18-30 year olds and get them to talk about it and share.
  4. Content needs to support the core essence of the brand. For Red Bull it is “to give you wings,” literally.
  5. Become a media empire covering all media – video, mobile, online, print.
  6. While the media may become profitable, create brand value that offsets investments in paid advertising – The “jump from space” was so awesome that for every dollar they spent, they must have received $10 in free media, shares, and brand awareness.
  7. Make content that can be consumed by consumers any way they like – from short video snippets fit for mobile, to long-form movies fit for platforms like YouTube.

Stratos by Red Bull

The Stratos, Red Bull’s space jump, pictured above, is a great marketing example.

According to the company:

“We must create content so awesome the world stops a little to think about what we are doing.”

By extending its marketing and customer aspirations beyond its comfort zone,  Red Bull has been able to accomplish almost the impossible. It’s social media stream goes to show just how committed the company is to creating awesome content.

What about you?

Are you ready to take the leap of faith, like Red Bull, and be bold enough to become a media company?

The world is drowning in information and content. Only customer-focused, social businesses that deliver entertaining content will succeed.

To succeed you need to change how you market. Red Bull is a classic example of how to do this.

 

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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The Internet is Changing

The Internet is changing at a rapid rate. Just 10 years ago, most of us probably didn’t own a smartphone and we definitely never had a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account. Some probably didn’t even have an email account. Today, it’s difficult to imagine living without any of these tools.

It can correctly be assumed then that 10 years from now, you’ll likely own tools or website resources that do not exist at present. The Internet will be a more mature place and likely a lot of our lives and properties will live online.

Running a business has also changed. You now need a website and social media presence to attract and retain customers. While these tools may be important 10 years from now, the game could also change and new tools and resources may be required to keep your business relevant.

Social is Changing

Over the last few years, the most dramatic changes that have happened online are largely in the way people consume content online. Social networks have become go-to sources of news information and for letting customers know of new offers, promotions, or new stock.

Social continues to change in other ways and we can expect more changes to come. Increasingly, the trend has been towards creating more visual on social sites. Videos have become an almost necessity if you want to noticed on a newsfeed or timeline.

Live video feeds and updates have also started to appear on newsfeeds and timelines of many social networks. This is a good indication of how user behaviour is changing on social.

Devices are Changing

A few years ago, almost everybody owned a desktop computer. Today, a laptop is just as good and better. But even more importantly, is the rise of mobile in the current Internet age. More than half of all devices connected to the Internet are smartphones.

This shift in mobile device use has also affected how people consume content. Mobile devices have small screens and multi-purpose. They also enable notifications on a more personal level. This multi-level use means that content is consumed quickly and with less concentration. The more visual it is, the higher the chances that it will be seen and acted upon.

Search is Changing

Google has almost become synonymous with the Internet. Billions are conducted every single day. However, how search is done has also changed dramatically over the last few years. Search engines have also quickly changed to accommodate the changing search behaviors.

Searches are now increasingly done on mobile and are becoming very specific. People want specific answers to specific questions. Searches are also increasingly happening around events and news happenings. As a result, there are search results for news content as well as ever-green content. Social content has also been integrated into search results which make it even more important as a news outlet.

As the above examples show, the current Internet is changing rapidly and will continue to do so. As a business, you need to adapt and ensure you meet the changing needs of your consumers. It means creating new content types and hiring the right staff to keep your business relevant.

The market is the market. It will not change for you. Rather, the change needs to come from you. The faster you can adapt to changing consumer needs, the better your chances of survival in your market.

 

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7 Tips on How to Get Your Video on ‘YouTube Suggested Videos’ Section

Did you know that the majority of viewership on YouTube is largely driven through the suggested videos column watch pages? It is no surprise therefore that dominating this section will guarantee increased video views and more referrals from your video strategy.

YouTube suggested videos include:

  • 4 videos algorithmically selected from the creator
  • Related videos similar to yours
  • Recommended videos based on viewer

How does YouTube determine which video to place?

It uses the following:

  • Video watch time
  • Relevancy
  • Viewership history
  • Engagements

So, if you want to dominate the suggested video section, you definitely need to hack these four metrics. Your videos need to tell YouTube that they are worth watching and recommending. How do you do that?

Here are 7 ways on how you can influence the above metrics:

 

1.  Make Engaging Videos

YouTube’s algorithms are highly optimized to promote videos with long watch times. To create such engaging videos, ensure you are clear about what viewers can expect in the first five to 10 seconds, demonstrate passion and energy in the video to grab attention.  Don’t be afraid to take risks with videos and to think unconventionally. People love that.Other ways to create engagement include using B-roll, adding music to your videos, adding open and close loops, storytelling, and jump cutting,

 

2.  Encourage Engagement

According to a report published by Novel Concept, videos with lots of Likes, Dislikes, and comments rank higher than all other types of videos. When a viewer has an emotional connection with your video, they are more likely to express it with either a Like, a Dislike or a comment.

You can promote commenting on your own videos by not only replying to comments, but also posting your own comments. For example, you can post a relevant question in the comments section that pertains to what is being discussed. This will not only let others reply with relevant keywords, but also help the algorithm determine the property surrounding those keywords, further helping with the ranking.

 

3.  Optimize Your Video Titles

Just like Google Search, keywords are important in YouTube videos. The more targeted a video keyword is, the more likely it will appear on top of search results and on the suggested videos column for other peoples’ videos. The right titles get people to click on your videos and tell the algorithm the relevancy of such videos to other video types.

  • One of the suggested ways of doing this, especially if you discuss a variety of topics, is to include the following in the video title:
  • The name of the show
  • The episode number of the show
  • The name of the Channel

Check out how Channel Frederator and Gary V have successfully implemented this approach.

 

4.  Optimize the Meta Data

  • Many, if not all, of the principles around SEO apply to the suggested videos algorithm. To optimize your meta data section, here are some guidelines to follow:
  • A video description of not less than 3 sentences. This should be placed at the top of the description before any links.
  • Always include a generic 3-5 sentence description of what the video is all about.
  • Focus on one primary keyword in your descriptions and tags
  • Limit tags to 10-12 primary keywords
  • Always include the same 4-6 ‘generic tags’ about the show and channel.

For example, if you’re searching for Nairobi Malls, specific keywords would include: Nairobi malls, 7 popular malls in Nairobi, Facts about Nairobi malls, best Nairobi malls.

 

5.  Interlink Videos

Interlinking of videos is a smart way of getting people to view your other videos on your channel. You can do this through annotations with the help of YouTube Cards, playlists that automatically play the next video on your channel, links in descriptions, and even commenting on older videos with newer video links.

By getting more people discovering your other content types, this will, in turn, get the video algorithm ranking these other videos as well under the suggested column based on view and session duration.

 

6.  Use Compelling Thumbnails

In my view, compelling thumbnails are generally the single most important element that gets someone to click on a video based on search or suggested videos. Thumbnails are usually the first introduction to your content and you need to make it really stand out.

  • Some tips for creating compelling thumbnails include:
  • Use bright colors or increase saturation to make colors stand out.
  • Use a human face to add emotion to the thumbnail.
  • Go for the action shot for videos that lend themselves to it.
  • Include text to give context
  • Adding some consistency to build awareness and differentiation.

 

7.  Start YouTube Sessions

YouTube loves channels and videos that start viewing sessions on the site. If a show session gets people to watch other similar or related video, that video will be frequently suggested for other viewers.

Building touchpoints outside of YouTube can also help start viewing sessions.  We can do this by using social, media embeds, email lists, websites, and connecting with other YouTubers. These approaches act as catalysts for communicating our schedules which will, in turn, start sessions.

It goes without saying that the more videos we post on YouTube, the higher the chances that our videos will be featured in suggested videos section. When we combine our video frequency with the above insights, were guaranteed of a killer video strategy.

 

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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Gaming Event at the iHub

What a great time it was. We not only enjoyed gaming with gamers, we also got to take great footage of gamers in action.

The event included gamers from across Nairobi as they went all out and hard on PCs and consoles the entire night battling it out, in style.

Check out the video below:

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