Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Everything you wanted to know about Digital Transformation, but were too afraid to ask



As a citizen of the new age, which everyone is referring to as the ‘Digital era’, you must have been hearing a lot about how the world is ‘going Digital’.There is a big buzz around Digital and as you yourself would have noticed and experienced first hand, there are now multiple technologies that you are dealing, using and interacting with in your lives, both at home and beyond.

In the recent past you may even have heard of the term Digital Transformation’ (DT), which seems to be popping up everywhere. If you have been following the news of the day, you will know that the Prime Minister of India has himself initiated the ‘Digital India’ program that underscores the importance that DT will assume in national life in the years ahead. 




DT, it’s everywhere
At first glance ‘Digital Transformation’ sounds a bit complex and something that only the techies of the land need to know about. However, the fact of the matter is that this new phenomena is set to touch each one of us. Owing to this massive wave, which is now sweeping across nations including our own, we are all going to live very different lives from the ones our predecessors did. It is therefore not just important, but imperative that you make your peace with this new, hot buzzword, know what it’s all about, and most importantly, understand how you, as a Digital native need to prepare for this most critical phase of evolution. 


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Best Digital Marketing Courses - Training.com

Best Digital Marketing Courses

Training.com has the most comprehensive and best courses on digital marketing, ranging from advanced modular programs in PPCSocial Media MarketingAnalytics and  programs such as Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Marketing from DMI Ireland and Executive Program in Digital and Social Media Marketing Strategy from IIM Calcutta

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Coming Soon: Watch out for the Master Class on Viral Video Making. If you are doing a course on Training.com you would get a special front row seat to this Master Class.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

3 must-know ways to make your content and campaigns stick

As marketers, we are always on the lookout for the next big gig that can drive up our engagement factor. Brand engagement has become the mantra of 2016 with everyone gunning for more than just clicks and conversions. They are after the customer outcome that is more valuable than money – their time.

With deafening noise in the online world only increasing by the day, how can you be heard loud and clear? The answer lies on how you let your customer spend a little extra time with you. This comes as a direct outcome of a great content strategy. Here are three things you can do to make your content the ‘glue’ that holds it all together:

  Storify it
A good story can keep the reading journey interesting and keep us glued to the very end. Then why not use the same principle when it comes to your brand? Make your brand the typical (or not) movie ‘hero’ that we love and narrate how your brand is living its journey with its customers. There are three ways to do this
a)    Via your marketing material: Behind the scenes photos, insider stories, employee testimonials and even innovative solutions provided for a customer problem
b)    Via customer testimonials: Testimonials are a classic way to showcase the light at the end of the tunnel – that’s the destination you want to sell to your customer
c)     Via your “How it works” page: Some products require a little more ‘help’ with their demo before your customer can decide on the purchase. Storify your demographics with a persona and take him / her through the buying process with an animated video that has the classic before-after end

2    Gamify it
Gamifying content means that you’ll link the outcome of the customer / user’s action to a reward. Some great examples of gamified content are short quizzes, games, contests and surveys. While tangible incentives work best, even the chance of winning something interesting can keep your users hooked.

A popular apparel brand recently hosted a contest on social media, which had participants combing through its website to quickly find a particular outfit and shout out the link in the comments. This had a whole bunch of users accidently scanning thorough the site collection and a few came back to become customers!

3    Customify it
Okay, we just made up that word to rhymi-fy it! We’ve heard a lot about how your social media posts can’t sound like a something you shout out to a room full of individuals and instead needs to be customized like a one-on-one conversation. While this may not be possible in all contexts, personalizing your brands touch points like your customer service communication plays a key role in making your customers not feel like ‘just another guy’.


Thanks to user behavior tracking and proper segmentation through the customer lifecycle, even brands with millions of customers can choose to be up close and personal with their users.

Happy Learning

Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool

We all love a good story. We’ve been serenaded with Prince Charming fairytales as children and we’ve been fascinated with the rags to riches story of the Count of Monte Cristo. Stories have the ability to transport you into a world you want to believe in and eventually fall in love with – a world mostly filled with ‘happily ever afters’.

More than that, stories can keep you engaged. They draw you in and build up a nail biting climax that you simply can’t take off your mind.

Isn’t that all the things you want your brand to do? You want to serenade, fascinate, engage and hold your target audience’s attention enough to make them fall in love with you. Despite of knowing this and wanting to do it most brands have a positioning that looks like a factsheet from an accounts textbook desperately trying to sell to your customers on why they should like you.

Let’s start with what makes a good story by following the ‘Hero’s journey Monomyth’ by Joshph Campbell. Most popular stories are based on these stages in the hero’s life. Let’s explain with an example of the movie ‘Avatar’.

Uncomfortable home: Though this is not fully stated, you can see Jake Sully saddened by his brother’s loss and living the life of a cripple

Call to adventure: Jake Sully has to leave his old life and gets a chance to explore Pandora as a Navi-human Avatar

Refusal: Hesitance to join the program, unsure of own abilities

Learning more about the plot: Meeting the na’vis and learning their way of life

Receiving a special item:  The seed of the Hometree clustering on Jake giving an indication of the times to come

Meeting the mentor: Jake meets Neytiri

Crossing the threshold: Mastering becoming a true Na’vi

Test allies and enemies: Juggling between the two worlds understanding how one is working to destroy the other

Abyss: All is lost with the attack on the Na’vis and destruction of the Hometree

Return: Jake becomes the Toruk Mackto and wins back the trust of the Na’vis

Supernatural help: When all hope seems lost in the battle, Eywa draws the wildlife to tip the balance

The happy ending: Jake chooses to become a Na’vi permanently and returns to his people
Most popular movies from Harry Potter to Star Wars to Sholey to Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara borrow the Monomyth as a base of their story line.

This, in a nutshell, should be the way you should also construct the story behind your brand that can be conveyed to clients and customers. For most startups, the ‘Quest’ plot works superbly for their About Us page. Here, the hero is off to achieve a distant goal with a long, hazardous journey, goes through frustration and your triumphs so far.

For example, lay down your ‘quest’ behind the startup, the trials and tribulations, and finally the winning product that emerged out of it. This makes for a great read – for your customers and the press to show the ‘human’ side of your brand and allow an instant connect.

Try to rejig your boring ‘About Us’ page with a storyline and tell us if you see the difference.






Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Ideal Length for All Online Content

Are you writing the right length of content?

In the online world, size does matter. (It does in the offline world too, but let’s leave that for another time). And that doesn’t necessarily mean that bigger is better either. Google has time and again indicated that relevant, original content is the real king in the online world. It only then makes sense to find out what qualities this ‘king’ needs to embody to ensure our overall well being.

Content is used in various ways online. From  social media to blogs, there is a constant tug to make content more readable, clickable and likable. So here are some scientific insights on how you get your content length in order to make it better. Of course, you’ll have to try specific cases over time with close monitoring to know how things work for you.

1. Your website:

Domain name: Though most of us cannot go back and change the name of our website, this is a good rule of thumb for the future to have the domain name length at 8 chars which is short and easy to remember.

Title tags: Keeping this at 55 chars or fewer including your prime keyword which works well from an SEO perspective

Meta description: 155 characters of fewer is best to convey a summary in search results clearly

2. Your Blog:

Blog Headline: A good headline is the ‘hook’ to draw people into your blog. While we’ve discussed previously on the type of headline words that get attention, the ideal headline length is set at six words only. According to KISSmetrics, we tend to pick up only the first three and last three words. So keeping the length at 6 words makes for the entire headline to be read through

Blog content: We know of Google’s love for good quality original content filled with the right citations. But good things don’t come easy and you’ll have to push 1600+ words to get some SERP ( Search Engine Result Page) love which translates to a 7-minute reading time

Blog paragraphs: This comes more from an intuitive sense. People enjoy reading / sifting through when it is broken into small chunks of text. Rather than the number of words it’s the width of the paragraph that comes into play. Keep this at 40 -45 characters i.e. 8 – 11 words.

3. Your emails: Email subject line: We are on a dispute on this one. In a study by Mailchimp, it was found that the ideal length of a subject line is 4-15 characters. But subject lines that work better have timely and useful information even going up to 50 chars or more.

4. Your social channels

Twitter: Good tweets are those that can invoke engagement from its audience in the form of retweets. Ideal length of a tweet can be 100 chars minus the link and 124 with a link. Hashtags to be kept under 11 chars

Facebook: Did you know that Facebook allows you to write 63,206 characters in a status update! That’s around 15,000 words. Yikes! We sure hope not to come across someone who takes this as a challenge. On the ideal front, the best length of an update on FB is just 40 chars. Short, crisp and easy to scan through during a news feed surf.

G+: Do you still loyally post on G+ hoping someday Google will shower you with attention? (All of us debate it and yet do it)  If yes then keep your post length to 60 chars to gain maximum visibility.

All in all, while these can be a guideline, do share what works for your audience.

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Happy Learning
Training.com 

Monday, 19 September 2016

3 Big Email Marketing Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Campaigns

How many emails did you see in your Gmail inbox this morning? Like the rest of the world, you picked an order of visual priority and started with those that have an immediate impact on your work / life and slowly worked your way towards the others, eventually left some unread and then purged some without a second thought.

If your marketing email is towards the latter half of that sentence, it’s time to re-look at your email marketing strategy and change things around to see results. Here are the three big no-nos:

1. Not customizing your email:

When you send out an email, you have a real person on the other end reading it. That person doesn’t want to be addressed as ‘Dear Member’. It’s cold and impersonal.
That person doesn’t want a random product you are selling or have a scheme on. As much enthused as you may be as a business about your product launch, you may be among the 50 people approaching your customer to sell your ware via email. More importantly, this person wants you to not sign off as “Customer support team”. And the biggest pointer here is to not sell from a do-not-reply email id. It’s a way of saying “I’m shouting to anyone who’ll listen but I’m not listening back.
While people don’t like to fill out long info forms during their sign up process, you may still be able to do a few quick classifications and update your email database. Start by offering a great ‘Welcome’ interface and giving your customers some bonus incentives for filling out details like age, location and preferences. Sync your email marketing software with these details and then sort your send-out list.

This also gives you a neat way to experiment with the types of emails you send.

2. Not doing text only emails

Some of the best marketing emails you receive are text emails. They don’t contain images or flashy animation. And best of all, they are less likely to reach the spam box.
Interesting text emails will draw you in with a great value proposition, give you a great insider story and share testimonials from people in a way that you’ll want to be that person featured with the success story. For example, emails from popular marketing gurus on the internet often draw you in by telling you how their consultation has generated millions of dollars in revenue for businesses similar to yours and the only difference between them and you is a few hundred dollars’ worth consultation.

3. Not having a great CTA

According to Elizabeth Yin, CEO of LaunchBit, an average marketing email has 23 links while some have zero. The good place to be is to have 5-6 links with proper CTAs not just focused on selling. It is also important to link each of these CTAs to a custom landing page to make the transition easy for the reader to become your customer.

Remember that sweaty chimp finger about to press the ‘Send’ button in MailChimp? If you aren’t sweating before you hit send to a 25000 database, it’s time for a double check.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Big Data and Data Analytics : Why 'YOU' should know about it ?

About Big Data & Big Data Analytics:

To start with Big Data Analytics, we must know what Big Data is as compared to our real world. Practically, Big Data is something that we frequently face in our day to day life. If a data has outgrown the storage and processing capabilities of a single host, then such data is considered as a Big Data .As the name indicates, Data with an enormous size and high complexity that is difficult to store and process is a Big Data.


Challenges faced with Big Data and Big Data Analytics

Functionally Big Data is similar to ‘small data’ , but bigger in size. Bigger data requires different approaches in terms of techniques , tools and architecture. Fundamental challenges involve are : How to store and How to work with voluminous data sizes. Most importantly is how to understand data and turn into a competitive challenge.

Let’s figure out where we are lacking behind in this field that become a root cause for such mass trouble. Below mentioned is the statistics about growth and technology changes in past few years in terms of CPU speeds, RAM memory , Disk Capacity and Disk Latency


The above data clearly shows that we had made adequate contribution towards factors like CPU Speeds, RAM etc. but we are still lagging behind in terms of Disk Latency.
The key responsibility is to introduce specialized algorithms that will enhance the processing speed and capabilities of our systems which can understand more complex data well enough to process them.

Big Data Analytics is the modern day subject that takes birth as a remedy tool for Big Data. It includes specialized techniques that are different from our traditional techniques for handling data. Away from only database and programming skills, multiple skill sets are required in this field. It’s a combination of statistics, programming and database skills.

Business Impacts through Big Data

As already discussed Big Data is something that causes malfunctioning of our data management systems. On the other hand it’s the part of the day to day general data and nobody wants to lose even a single piece of data. Each and every data is important in terms of business. Hence rather than skipping such data they require to store them which stands very costly and difficult to process. Every firm now-a- days are in a very urge need of Big Data Analytics.

Tools to handle Big Data

Modern frameworks are introduced to handle Big Data like HADOOP, SPARK etc.
These technologies use a different approach to analyse and process data. Instead of using physical data base they use virtual database that reduces the storage cost and processing time up to a great extent. Unlike traditional systems , Hadoop implements multiple individual processes iteratively instead of one single batch process that makes it lot efficient and faster for processing and storing data .Below diagrams shows the difference.



Scope of Big Data & Data Analytics:

A McKinsey Global Institute study states that the US will face a shortage of about 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million managers and analysts who can understand and make decisions using Big Data by 2018.For people interested in this field, it will be a job assurance field with higher salary packages and perks.

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