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What teenage social media usage says about future consumers

Published by on September 2, 2014
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(Image Courtesy of Shutterstock)

Teens are valuable customers, and they’re not like the generations of teenagers that have come before. Traditionally teens are early adopters with disposable income. In the past, if a brand wanted a few of those disposable pounds they would need to saturate the market with slick advertisements and marketing messages. Today’s teens, however, are very different.

Modern teenagers don’t let media or big brands dictate their buying experience. Instead, they seek recommendations from friends and family, as well as take a deeper look at what they want individually. They’re marketing savvy. They make up their own minds about new trends and decide what to follow and what to ignore.

As they age, these teenagers will become gatekeepers. Powered by social media and continuously evolving technology, they will speak loudly, especially with their money.

So, what will the consumers of the future want from brands?

Future consumers will… Demand that brands are technologically savvy. Today’s teenagers and Millennials are heavily tech-dependent. These are the first truly digital generations. Millennials, for example, check their smartphones 43 times a day. According to the “Teens and Technology 2013” report from the Pew Research Internet Project, 93% of teens have a computer or access to one. Future consumers will have grown up with technology at their fingertips. They will expect brands to be on the same level and “speak their language.” Brands should consider investing in new technology for the retail market, such as touchscreen ordering kiosks.

Future consumers will… Want brands to relate to them personally. Mr. Youth’s “Class of 2015” study interviewed more than 5000 incoming college freshmen in 2011 and found that these youths wanted to buy from and build relationships with brands that help them express themselves. Future consumers will want brands to communicate with them on a more personalized, individual level. Marketing communications will need to become more authentic as these consumers won’t want to feel “sold” to. Brands will need to ramp up social listening strategies in order to find individual customers and respond to their concerns and questions on a personal level rather than addressing them in broader context like a blog post.

Future consumers will… Think that brands should have values. The “Class of 2015” survey also showed that teenagers weren’t concerned with status, celebrity endorsements, or how expensive something was. Today’s teenagers hope to make the world a better place and they don’t define success through wealth. Future consumers will be brand and marketing savvy. They will want brands to share their philosophy on life, which focuses on quality, self-expression, originality, authenticity, and aspiration. Brands that haven’t already done so will need to add their mission statement and brand standards to their website, social media, and other marketing materials.

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Future consumers will… Ask for customization. Research from Technomic in 2013 showed that in the foodservice industry, specifically in hamburger restaurants, customization options were fueling growth – 64% of consumers said customization was important. Research suggests that teenagers present themselves in different contexts online, so it’s clear that customization doesn’t stop at menus – it bleeds over into all aspects of life. If they’re customizing themselves, they’ll certainly expect brands to offer them options unique to them.

Future consumers will… Need brands to be mobile-ready. Currently 78% of teens have smartphones that allow them to access the Internet and social media and, according to the January 2014 Mobile Technology Fact Sheet, 34% of all cell phone Internet users go online exclusively using their phone. Brands that operate without a mobile strategy should be warned: your time is up. As cell phone use continues to climb and more innovations are made within the “Internet of Things,” consumer’s mobile demands will increase. Mobile apps will be considered the bare minimum and they’ll need to be robust. Don’t just deliver coupons – use beacons to target customers as they wander by brand-relevant locations. Businesses looking to take advantage of this should ramp up their mobile marketing strategies and begin developing innovative uses for mobile technology, perhaps incorporating connected devices and leveraging the growing power of the “Internet of Things.”

To reach the consumer of the future brands will need to forget about hype. Instead, they should focus on telling authentic brand stories, develop a true appreciation for individualism, and work to foster genuine connections with consumers. Anything less and brands risk future consumers shaking their heads and saying, “That company just doesn’t get it.”

Categories: Social Media

Google Ranking Sites with https:// Higher in Search Ranking Results

Published by on August 11, 2014
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Google is constantly changing the SEO game for website owners, making it increasingly difficult to achieve the number one spot on their search results pages. The most recent change came last week, when Google announced it would now be ranking sites with ‘https://’ higher in it’s search ranking results.

From now on Google will be including https:// as a factor when ranking sites for its search results pages.

Making the web a safer place

Security is and always has been one of Google’s top priorities, with the company investing in HTTPS encryption as standard. With one of their goals being to make the internet a safer place for web users, Google wanted to make sure that the sites users were accessing from their search results were equally as secure. Along with creating resources to help webmasters fix and prevent security breaches, they have now taken things a step further and announced https:// as one of their ranking signals – something which they usually keep hush hush about!

The aim is basically to encourage webmasters all over the world to adopt HTTPS and greatly improve security for those visiting their websites.

‘A lightweight signal’

After receiving positive results in tests that took encrypted connections into account when ranking sites, Google decided to start using HTTPS as a ranking signal. As it currently stands, the search engine claims that it is only a lightweight signal and thus so far is only affecting less than one per cent of global queries. Google has also made the point that other ranking signals such as unique, high quality content still have more weight than HTTPS.

Over time it is likely that the search engine will strengthen encrypted connections like HTTPS as a signal, so it is advised that webmasters switch from http:// to https:// in the near future.

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Is your website as secure as it could possibly be?

Guidelines for securing your website

The search engine has announced that they will soon be publishing a detailed list of best practices in order to assist those looking to switch from HTTP to HTTPS. The best practices will make it easier for website owners to boost the security of their website and prevent them from making common mistakes. For now they have outlined a few basic tips, which we have featured below.

  1. Decide what kind of certification your site requires (single, multi-domain, wildcard certificate)
  2. Use 2048-bit key certificates
  3. Make sure you use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  4. Do not block HTTPS site from search engine crawling using robots.txt
  5. Avoid using the noindex robots meta tag – you must allow indexing of your pages for this to work

Is https:// an essential feature?

Google giving away any SEO tips is a rarity, so in cases like this when they do, it is important to sit up and take notice! Whilst some believe this is simply a ploy by Google to get people to spend more money and make things more complex, it’s one of those cases where if you don’t do it, you could risk being overtaken by a competitor that has, in the near future.

Although it has been questioned whether Google is implementing this algorithm change as a way to keep webmasters on their toes, you could look at it as their way of making the internet a safer and more secure place for users. Here at Online Media Direct we always advise our clients to stay on the right side of Google and therefore encourage users to switch to HTTPS if they want to improve their website’s SEO and create a securer environment for site visitors.

Conclusion

This is an interesting and bold move by Google and one that is doubted by some, yet welcomed by many. For more information about securing your website and making SEO improvements, feel free to get in touch.

Image credits: Yuri Yu. Samoilov & perspec_photo88

Categories: SEO

5 Ways a window cleaner could use online marketing

Published by on August 6, 2014
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Today businesses of all sizes and from all industries can benefit from using online marketing – even window cleaners! If you have just set up your window cleaning business or are looking to expand your customer base, check out the five ways a window cleaner can use online marketing to get you off to a good start.

Window cleaners can use online marketing to increase awareness of their business and expand their customer base.

1.Build a website to attract local customers
Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that because they do not physically sell their products online; they do not need a website. For window cleaners, a professional website provides the perfect opportunity to generate meaningful leads. Today many people actually ‘Google’ a company name to check they are legitimate and obtain their contact details. If you don’t have a website for your window cleaning services, you could risk losing potential clients to your competitors. Building a website will not only help local customers to find you online but also go a long way in giving your business credibility.

2. Blogging and guest blogging
Creating a window cleaning blog for your website and guest blogging on other industry-relevant websites is a great way to market your business and improve your website’s SEO. Sharing window cleaning tips and industry news on your blog will help you to engage with your audience and build up their trust in your company. Writing a window cleaning blog will also allow you to show off your expertise. Both customers and search engines favour experts, so the more knowledgeable you appear, the more likely your site is to rank well in relevant searches.

Blogging is key to improving your website’s search engine optimisation. The higher your window cleaning website ranks in relevant local searches, the more traffic it will get, giving you a better chance of converting visitors into loyal clients.

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3.Market your services on Facebook

Window cleaners can also benefit from marketing their services on social media websites like Facebook. Setting up a Facebook page will provide a platform where you can interact with customers and market your services to potential new clients. Start by inviting your friends, family and existing clients and encouraging them to share your posts. You may also want to think about creating Facebook adverts targeted at a local audience and joining local groups as a way to generate leads.

Take pictures with your iphone while your on the job and share the results on your business page !

4. Use PPC to generate leads

Pay-per-click services like Google Adwords provide a fantastic way for generating leads. Using Google Adwords, you can create targeted ads

that feature keywords relevant to the window cleaning services you provide and the area you operate in. The great thing about pay per click marketing is that you will only pay when someone clicks through to your window cleaning website or landing page. This means you are only really paying for your advert when someone shows genuine interest in your services.

If you are thinking of trialing PPC marketing, we highly recommend creating optimised window cleaning service landing pages that provide visitors with your phone number or an online query form. This will help you to convert visitors and generate meaningful leads for your window cleaning business.

5. Retain customer loyalty using email marketing

Many self-employed window cleaners and owners of small window cleaning businesses fail to realise the potential of email marketing. Simply keeping in touch with clients and providing coupons and discounts via email will help you to retain their loyalty.

Just because you work offline, doesn’t mean you can’t effectively market your window cleaning business online. For more information about how your window cleaning business can benefit from online marketing, get in touch with a member of the Online Media Direct team today.

Image credits: udo geisler & Spencer E Holtaway

Categories: Help articles

Beach arrives in the town centre

Published by on August 4, 2014
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A touch of summer is set to arrive in the Valley Centre town square as locals will be able to enjoy a soft, sandy beach, ice creams and donkey rides.

For a two week period the town centre will be transformed into Rawtenstall-on-Sea as a temporary seaside location is created in a bid to draw in more visitors.

Deckchairs

Organisers are hoping that the recent hot spell of weather will continue as they work hard to bring a real feel of the seaside to the Valley Centre town square.

A venue often used for fairs and other events, the beach-themed makeover is hoped to draw the crowds.

Rawtenstall on Sea, for all the family this summer

Foster Cubbins Funfairs are one of the organisers, and said that they had deliberately kept costs down to make it accessible for all families, with offers for both children and adults.

Some of the features on offer will include a giant sandpit, donkey rides, ice cream, a food court, kid’s characters walking around plus stalls selling bucket and spades and other beach-themed merchandise. 

Local residents are being urged to bring along their deckchairs and spend some time relaxing in the newly-created resort.

A fun-filled fortnight

But if you want to make the most of Rawtenstall-on-Sea you will have to be quick as the beach will only be in town for a fortnight. 

A spokesperson for the Rossendale Revival Group, Barry Hyde, said that the transformation was intended to make people “..sit up and take notice” and would hopefully “..get people into town”.

The beach and town centre entertainment will be open from 1-10th August.

Image Credit: Rossendale Free Press

Image Source:

http://i3.rossendalefreepress.co.uk/incoming/article7517752.ece/alternates/s615/JS31115023.jpg 
Categories: Local news

More than 200 jobs to be created at Hapton Business Park

Published by on August 4, 2014
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In excess of 200 jobs are expected to be created at Burnley Bridge Business Park in Hapton as a second client signs up to occupy one of the spaces.

It’s not yet been publicly announced who the business will be but it’s widely expected to bring in more than 200 jobs to the area, providing a much-needed boost. 

£30 million investment

Burnley Council leader, Mark Townsend, confirmed the news at a recent council meeting, assuring listeners that the arrival of the latest tenant would ensure that ‘real results’ would be delivered.

Although the deal is believed to be secure, it’s too early for the council to announce who the tenant will be.

Mark Townsend confirmed real results would be delivered

However, they are expected to bring a whopping £30 million of investment into the area as they take up occupation of the 400,000 square foot site. 

Fantastic opportunities

Burnley Bridge Business Park has been built just off Junction 9 of the M65 and is the largest industrial park to have been constructed in the M65 corridor during the last ten years. 

Electric wholesaler YESSS has already been confirmed as the first tenant to occupy the site, and Councillor Townsend was quick to describe the ‘fantastic opportunities’ that the 70 acre development is delivering to the area. 

The council leader went on to describe the impact the business development could have both on Burnley and the whole country, but warned that many households in the area were still battling against ‘increasing hardship and falling living standards’ despite this recent investment. 

Image Credit: Burnley Council

Categories: Local news

Superfast broadband arrives in Darwen

Published by on August 4, 2014
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Two Lancashire businesses have joined forces to create a cutting edge technology which will deliver a superfast broadband connection to residents all over the local area. 

Pro Light Concepts and internet specialists 6G have combined their services to create a new transmission site which will route the speedy broadband connection to both homes and business all over the borough. 

Different technology

Unlike many internet providers, 6G don’t use underground cables, instead preferring to rely on air fibre technology to transmit its service.

This means the broadband is delivered through the air, rather than underground, a revolutionary new way to achieve the result without disrupting roads all around the region.

Broadband speeds are set to soar under new proposals for Blackburn and Darwen

Using the iconic chimney at Pro Lights Concept’s Olive Lane property, a new superfast connection has been created. 6G believes this could provide speeds of up to 100Mbps, a vast increase on the current average of 2-5Mbps which is currently experienced by both homes and businesses in Darwen and Blackburn. 

Benefits for businesses

Although residents will undoubtedly be looking forward to being able to surf the internet in double-quick time, its businesses who may receive the biggest benefits. 

The managing director of Pro Light, Andrew Jeffery, described the problems that having a slow internet connection had on his business, reducing the amount of work that could be done or customers that could be dealt with. 

Mr Jeffery said that he believes the arrival of the new 6G service could be a ‘major boost’ for the whole Darwen business community.

Image Credit: Sean MacEntee

 

Categories: Local news

Support for Rossendale rail link gathers pace

Published by on August 1, 2014
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The campaign to bring a rail link to Rossendale has been given a boost after MPs pledged their support for the move. 

More than 1500 local residents have indicated their support for a park and ride facility, plus a new rail link, and MPs from Rossendale, Bury, Rochdale and Greater Manchester have all thrown their weight behind the request.

Local economy

At present, Rossendale is the only borough in Lancashire which remains without a mainline connection and politicians believe this could be hurting the local economy.

Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale has been a supporter of the campaign since before he was elected, and reiterated the need for better rail links in order to ‘bring in more investment into our area’.

Rossendale residents want a rail link added to their other public services

This view was echoed by Haslingden MP, Graham Jones, who said, “Better transport connections make for a stronger economy and that is the message coming from businesses in Rossendale and Haslingden.”

Campaign

Rossendale has been the centre of a “Get Us Back On Track’ campaign which has offered residents the chance to complete an online survey, which can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/rossendalerailsurvey.

The survey is designed to highlight the need for commuter links, and persuade the government to reconsider their existing plans for infrastructure in the area. 

The Labour parliamentary candidate for Rossendale, Will Straw, described it as ‘hugely disappointing’ that neither the government nor Network Rail had plans to include a Rossendale rail link in its ‘growth’ plans for Lancashire. 

MPs are hoping to gather more support from across the region prior to the upcoming Network Rail review meeting.

Image Credits: Ingy the Wingy

Image source: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2740/4515305233_198f0fa430.jpg 

Categories: Local news