Article | May 28, 2021
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series on SEO and accessibility. In the final installment, Cooper shows you how the technical SEO strategies you implement across your site can help make it more perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to the latest edition of Whiteboard Friday. I'm Cooper Hollmaier. I've been doing SEO since 2016, and today I work for a large outdoor retailer helping our technical SEO strategy come to life. Thank you so much for attending this series on SEO and accessibility.
I hope that you've gained a broad perspective and new tips and tricks for creating content that not only is resonating with your audience, performs well in search, but is also accessible to more people. Today we're going to talk about technical SEO and accessibility.
Technical SEO and accessibility
Let's dive in. Last time we talked about Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and you might remember that the four principles of WCAG are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
As a technical SEO, you're probably most concerned with perceivable because your day-to-day operations, your day-to-day work stream involves making sure that the pages, the content, the experiences you're creating are accessible to search engines and perceivable to search engines.
A lot of times when we go through SEO recommendations or SEO audits, I hear a lot of common themes, like the header tag is baked into the image and so a search engine can't see it, or the content I'm producing is visible to bots but it's not visible to people. These are issues with base level perception. I want you to take that mindset and consider if you apply that to your whole audience as well.
Article | May 28, 2021
We’re now living in a world dominated by technology and digitisation. Whatever the business or industry may be, technology is sure to be at the heart of it, and if it isn’t already, it will be very soon.
Thanks to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the entire world has been thrust into upping the ante when it comes to living much more digitally and often, virtually.
Not only are our usual get togethers being replaced by Zoom and FaceTime calls, but we are finding ourselves surrounded by technology in all aspects of life, and this will only continue.
Social media influencers kept the entire nation entertained throughout each and every lockdown, but now we’re seeing an influx in the number of virtual influencers filling our social media feeds, too.
Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at Influencer Matchmaker explains the role of AI within the influencer marketing industry and what we can expect from it, both now and in the future.
The rise of artificial intelligence
With the influencer marketing industry set to grow by 15% on a global scale, it is important for brands, agencies and influencers alike to adapt to the current times in order to see progression and boost sales.
Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t something we would necessarily associate with influencer marketing, but it is fast becoming a crucial aspect of many industries and businesses. And with that in mind, it is something we must utilise and understand, rather than shy away from.
Thanks to the effects of 2020, we have been forced to completely digitise our businesses quicker than we could have thought possible – but we did it, as did everybody else.
And with an influx of technologies becoming available to us, we’re able to develop our businesses and industries even further.
Although an unlikely partnership, AI-powered tools and influencer marketing could become quite the powerhouse, changing the landscape entirely.
AI and influencer marketing agencies
The relationship between artificial intelligence and influencer marketing has the potential to be quite literally, ground-breaking.
If used correctly, AI can be used to streamline the jobs of marketers and agencies, allowing them to focus on the human elements within influencer marketing.
Artificial intelligence can home in on problem-solving, data analysis and research, leaving the influencer marketing strategies to us, the experts.
AI-powered platforms can help agencies and brands identify fake followers, inauthentic engagement and unreliable social media influencers.
As well as this, AI is able to process and detect relevant and valuable content, and with the help of machine learning (MI) and natural language processing (NLP), can revolutionise the way brands and agencies conduct the way in which they work.
With the ability to generate likes, industries, demographics and interests of the influencer’s following, AI is not only beneficial for brands seeking to create collaborative campaigns, but also for influencers who are looking to understand their audience that little bit more.
By developing a better understanding of their audience and social media followers, influencers are able to ensure the content they put out is relevant and useful. This in turn, helps brands decide who they should work with.
Measuring success with AI
Not only can AI, MI and NLP help with the start of an influencer marketing campaign, but they also have the ability to collect data, analyse results and measure the levels of success.
Monitoring the results and performance of an influencer marketing campaign can be quite the task, and by using AI-powered tools, we are able to measure its success and more importantly, the return on investment (ROI).
Analysing a creator’s content and metrics, artificial intelligence is also able to examine the likes, comments, engagements rates and even conversion rates of a post, in whatever format.
AI has the power to predict ROI through performance benchmarking and forecasts, providing both influencers and brands with an estimated result based on their desired objectives.
A vision for the future
As we continue to see a rise in the use of artificial intelligence within the influencer marketing industry, we can also expect to see an influx in the number of virtual influencers filling our social media feeds.
Yes, you read that right – virtual influencers are becoming a force to be reckoned with, competing against the likes of real-life influencers.
Despite the fact that they don’t really exist, these influencers have most definitely made their mark on the industry, some of which have even worked with global brands such as Nike and Fenty Beauty.
This new wave of CGI influencer is fictional and generated by computers, however they have very realistic characteristics as well as the personalities of humans, and what’s more, brands are lining up to work with them.
It isn’t just virtual influencers that are becoming much more prominent as we enter a new decade of influencer marketing, though. Virtual assistants are now a part of the influencer marketing industry, too.
Whilst we may not typically associate Amazon’s Alexa or it's Google competitor with influencer marketing, they are in fact, influencers in a whole new form.
Now, consumers use their virtual assistants to ask for advice, or for product recommendations and for those that have one at home, they become a live-in influencer.
Supporting brands and businesses within the retail industry in particular, just how much more will we see of virtual assistants as influencers? Only time will tell, and we can’t wait to find out.
Whilst it may seem like AI can take over the roles of us as humans, it simply cannot replace the work we do, but rather, enhance it.
If influencer marketing agencies utilise the tools available to us in the form of artificial intelligence, it allows us to streamline our processes, work closely with other people and focus on what we do best - building long-lasting relationships and partnerships whilst creating innovative and impactful campaigns.
Article | May 28, 2021
Across the country, local networks known as Education Innovation Clusters (EdClusters) are bringing together partners and resources to meet urgent needs and envision a new future for teaching and learning. Many of these efforts are rooted in long-standing partnerships across sectors and institutions. As COVID-19 disrupted the lives of students, educators, and families earlier this year, EdClusters sprang into action, leveraging their capacity and reach in ways their networks were uniquely ready to do. Their collective efforts are meeting a range of needs—from internet access to devices to social-emotional supports. As schools prepare for uncertain and complex reopenings, we turn to Kansas City and Rhode Island for powerful examples of community in action.
Article | May 28, 2021
Servicing - It is the Keyword of all the keywords for businesses. Have you ever wondered the reason phrases like “the customer is always right” or “the customer is king” are often quoted by industrial leaders? The answer to this question is that increasingly, the customers have become the main advocates of selling your products.
Customers have become one of the most primary marketing tools for businesses across the globe. As the buyers and potential customers are increasingly expecting more knowledgeable insights about the services and products offered by businesses, it is the customers whose advocacy matters the most.
Businesses are actively putting their happy customers at the forefront of their marketing campaigns and potential customers to present the value of their services and products. Advertising satisfied customers in creative ways like community marketing, testimonial videos, interactive stories, customer blogging, etc., has become as imperative as ever for businesses. Some businesses take it even a step further by participating in consortiums, communities, associations, and guest speaking at big events in the industry.
Hence, the marketing & sales teams and leaders across every industry have been trying to fill in the increasing demand for showcasing more customer advocates.
Now, the main question in mind for many people is how exactly to fill in this demand and capture more customer advocates? Is it through providing incentives to the customers? Is it some other way? Let us understand the crux of what makes customer advocacy a major draw and answer these questions along the way.
Customer Advocacy - The What and Why of Its Significance
The definition of customer advocacy is putting in immaculate focus on the needs and requirements of the customers. The customers in 2020 are smart and have many other alternatives to avail the services or products you are selling. Hence, the conception of pulling a fast one over any of your customers just to make easy money is not even an option in today’s age. In a marketplace with intense competition, businesses have no other choice than to provide exceptional customer services and experience.
It is no surprise that word travels at the speed of light in the age of social media, and any review can go viral worldwide in an instant. Therefore, customer advocacy programs have become such an integral part of businesses, providing them with a competitive advantage and acting as a secret weapon for increasing customer servicing standards in the industry.
Best Ways of Generating Innovative Service to Capture Customer Advocates
The paradigm shift in the demands of the customers in today’s age has urged businesses to dig deeper into customer insights and find the best ways to enhance their customer experience. To optimally achieve exceptional customer servicing, businesses need to be creative, intuitive, and innovative with their strategies, which would subsequently help them in generating customer advocates. Here are some of the best-proven ways to ensure peak service innovation:
Deliver on Your Promises and Acknowledge Your Mistakes: Many businesses lost sight of the primary goal of offering promises to their customers - They must be delivered on. An undelivered promise will leave a much worse taste in the mouth of a customer than lousy servicing. Hence, acknowledging your mistakes (if you make any) is a crucial part of generating customer advocacy, as it establishes trust within the customer of expecting complete honesty from a business. Building a solid foundation based on service, customer experience, responsive delivery, and in-person experiences are the main pillars of building customer advocacy.
Know the Problems of Your Customers: Market research is, perhaps, one of the greatest tools for gaining informative customer insights. An industrial leader once said that “The most important thing you can bring to a dialogue with me is knowing my problems”. This is the exact thing that the customers are looking for from businesses. Developing a customer as a viable reference requires businesses to know everything about their problems, their needs, and their expectations. Once a business knows all of this, they can excellently service their customers.
Customer References Should Be Put Together with Their Peers: Executives and managers who might be dealing with similar issues as the customers should relate to your firm for presenting a holistic view of their experience and expectations. So, how can your business connect these two forces you might be wondering? The most convenient way to connect them is via live events, the Internet, teleconferences, consortiums, and events. Here, they can not only connect, but also exchange their ideas while learning various new approaches to customer servicing.
Smartly Market Your Customers: Case studies and whitepapers are the primary sources of marketing for many businesses. Smartly incorporating customers’ achievements in advocating your business and their testimonials can pull in a much bigger number of prospects for businesses. Prospects are not looking for exaggerated descriptions of the services offered by your firm, but the real-life applications of them, which grounds the services and presents them with a real oversight of what to expect.
Coordinating PR Messaging along the Lines of the Customer’s: Customer advocacy has the word “customer” in it for a reason. Aligning your PR messaging with what the customer wants to convey about your business is very imperative. These customers will be providing their time to advocate for your business. Hence, it is important that the core takeaway of the PR messaging is properly aligned with what the customer wants to advocate about your business.
Success is a Two-Way Street: As mentioned previously, it is important to emphasize the fact that the customer advocates are devoting their time and resources for your business. Hence, their expectations for your business succeeding is for the obvious reasons. If your business falls in the category of an SME, then you are more likely to thrive for a longer time. If your business falls in the category of a large enterprise, then you are more than likely to invest your capital in product development and market research for enhancing the services your business provides. Therefore, do not feel intimidation in asking for legitimate reference support, even from your customer advocates.
Now that you are aware of how to implement innovative service for generating customer advocates effectively, all that remains is for you to practice the techniques. Businesses should understand that getting advocacy from customers is significantly different than getting purchases from them. Fresh value propositions, along with optimum future involvement, is the key to getting customer advocates. Embracing this is the most important step in realizing the true potential of the customers, and it can help your business in recording exceptional growth.