8 strategies for the future in content marketing

93% of B2B companies use content marketing.

However, only 5% believe that their measures are also particularly useful.

And an estimated 50% of all content is not used at all.

What went wrong here?

Just a few years ago, you could put 1, 2, 3, or 300 blog articles on your website, direct a lot of traffic to this content via all social media platforms and generate masses of inbound links for this content. Also, you could simply choose a few keywords and quickly achieve a good ranking on Google.

Reaching your target audience and winning new customers was (almost) a piece of cake.

Unfortunately, those days are over.

But these unclouded years are unfortunately over: As Gartner correctly predicted in his hype cycle, we are now at the low point of the disillusionment phase.

Like all the other waves of enthusiasm for specific marketing channels (billboards, TV spots, e-mail, etc.), content marketing first reached its peak, only to then quickly slide towards a new low point.

After massive success for a few early adopters, content marketing was used by more and more companies, and the “new” quickly lost its appeal.

The resistance has increased, but the expectations – at least in marketing – have not entirely evaporated. But the more the marketers cling to it, the more ineffective content marketing becomes.

So how should it go on?

In any case, giving up is not an option. One cannot simply dispose of content marketing in the trash of marketing history thanks to its blurred boundaries, as some other more clearly defined strategies.

If you define content marketing as the strategic distribution of valuable content, it is an integral part of almost all marketing strategies in today’s world.

Content marketing can again become as powerful a tool as it was a few years ago.

But first, we need to understand what has changed since the hype peaked, what obstacles are in our way, and how we can overcome them.

We don’t have to throw away the guide – we just have to revise it thoroughly.

Very easily:

Less is more

One thing is clear: we are drowning in too much content.

Businesses generate more content than ever before; according to a Beckon study, annual growth is 300%.

The problem with that? The need for content among our target group remains the same.

We cannot read, process, and share more and more.

We still appreciate excellent content, but as our needs become more saturated, fewer and fewer content elements still achieve outstanding results.

But that’s not all.

As the study mentioned above shows, only 5% of corporate marketing content generates 90% of customer interactions.

If you do a bit of research on content marketing yourself, you will find many results that point in the same direction, e.g., For example, an average of 19 out of 20 content items get little or no attention, or a team that produces 90% less content would continue to get the same results.

The solution is simple: publish less. Publish correctly. Only publish useful content.

Then you can use the time gained to optimize your evergreen content.

Evergreen content

  • Evergreen content is characterized by the fact that it does not lose its usefulness over time.
  • Temporary content, on the other hand, is only relevant in the short term.

Of course, both types of content have their justification. Brief content provides a breath of fresh air and allows you to react to short-term trends. But it is your evergreen content that helps you achieve the long-term accumulated results that originally made content marketing so valuable.

Of course, it is tempting to continue with our fast-paced online life and continue to produce a flood of temporary content. But relying on these short-term outbreaks of interest is a) expensive, b) time-consuming, and c) unsustainable  – because the results will continue to deteriorate.

Even if a post gets a lot of attention initially, studies show that many shares do not necessarily lead to many links.

Evergreen content, on the other hand, is characterized by the fact that it has been proven to generate the greatest possible amount of organic traffic over time with the least possible effort.

It’s not about focusing 100% on one type of content, but when in doubt, you should invest more in your evergreen content and less in the temporary content.

However, evergreen content must of course also be regularly updated so that it remains current and relevant.

Historical optimization

The process of updating and revising older content to generate more leads and traffic is called “historical optimization “.

This is particularly worthwhile for:

  • Content with a high conversion rate but little traffic
  • Content with a lot of traffic but a low conversion rate
  • Content with poor performance that was generated with a lot of effort

With historical optimization you get the best out of already tried articles.

As you revise content, you should improve: accuracy , timeliness, and scope .

These areas are particularly suitable for revision: headings , text quality , internal and external links , images , meta descriptions and calls-to-action .

On GrowthBot you can find out which keywords you are already ranking for and compare them with the keywords of similar companies.

Your revised content should then be published as brand new (with a new publication date , because Google favors new content).

Dissemination and reprocessing

How you distribute your content is almost as important as the actual content.

If you focus on redistributing existing content, you can achieve the same (or even greater) reach with little effort. At the same time, you can reduce the pressure on your team to create more and more new content.

With this strategy, online magazines such as The Atlantic , whose traffic comes from 50% of content that was not produced this month, have significantly increased their readership .

When it comes to content reprocessing, there are various options: popular evergreen content , newly edited articles , older content that suddenly becomes relevant again, or simply information or studies that continue to be useful.

Everything comes down to the much-quoted definition of content marketing: to support the right target group with the right content at the right time.

If you keep an eye on the current trends, you can judge whether it is worth repeating (or rewriting) a post and how best to disseminate it.

But you shouldn’t just rely on reasonable assumptions. Automated research, for example with GrowthBot, can help you find out what is interesting for your target group. On GrowthBot you can find out, among other things, which articles are currently trending on a certain topic or which posts are viewed the most on a relevant page.

Another useful tool to identify popular content is Ahrefs’ Content Explorer .

Smarter search engine optimization

Nowadays, the main channels for distribution are in the hands of a few large companies, especially Alphabet and Facebook (and their subsidiaries, such as Google or YouTube).

Therefore, we are at the mercy of their algorithms, which are also constantly changing.

  • For example, the Google algorithm has been changed so that “real experts” are rated better for a certain topic than content machines or students who publish a few articles to pay their rent.
  • Search engines (and new technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa) are generally becoming more sophisticated and complex – in the meantime, they can even identify semantically related concepts .
  • Due to personalized search algorithms , it is becoming increasingly difficult to calculate or predict keyword rankings.
  • Google displays highlighted snippets on its search engine results page.
  • Facebook has updated the algorithm for weighting the organic content in the news feed for the same reason, namely to avoid that users go to other websites.

These changes represent a paradigm shift in search engine optimization.

The first step is of course that your content is interesting and relevant, not only to appear as high as possible in the search results, but also to motivate your readers to go from the search engine results page to your page .

But that alone is no longer enough these days.

Use topic clusters

To position yourself as a “real expert,” you have to focus consistently on a certain topic and not just produce one-time articles that are aimed at certain keywords.

Topic clusters have already been hailed as the future of search engine optimization and content strategy, but the data situation is still fairly uncertain. (So ​​now is the right time to get started!) Topic clusters are groups of related website content that cover a core area. Each cluster has a Pillar page that broadly outlines the topic and more specific supporting content that points back to the Pillar page.

The core content links to the subordinate content and this in turn links back to the core content, whereby the same keyword is always used as anchor text .

If one of the pages performs well, this has a positive effect on the ranking of the entire topic, which in turn leads to more visitors, a positive feedback loop and even more traffic and conversions.

This in turn has a positive effect on the ranking of similar content on your website, which can even lead to your company occupying several positions on the search engine results page for a certain keyword.

The organization and architecture of a website is made clear through the introduction of topic clusters. It also encourages a more conscious approach to posting content.

In the past, content was usually posted because it was interesting or current. With the introduction of topic clusters, however, organic gaps in the cluster can now be used as a strategic starting point.

Highlighted snippets

highlighted snippet is the search result with the best ranking, which is displayed in a field below the advertisements on Google. It is intended to answer a user’s question immediately.

It is of course no surprise that highlighted snippets get a lot of attention: Ben Goodsell from RKG Merkle , for example, saw a 677% increase in sales among organic visitors and a 400% higher click rate .

Ahrefs reports in a study that 99.58% of the highlighted snippets are already in the top 10 on Google. So if you already have a good ranking, your chances are good.

As detailed in this excellent Moz guide , there are tons of ways you can optimize your content and increase your chances of appearing as a highlighted snippet on Google, for example: keyword research , on-page SEO , Twitter observation , structure , format and images .

It is also important that you answer as many similar questions as possible .

You can also search for relevant snippets from other companies and try to be mentioned in them.

Also very useful is the “Asked also” function, which you can use to find out what Google links. This enables you to discover untapped content potential and develop strategies for the future.

Facebook

Facebook has completely changed the value chain in digital advertising by combining pay-per-click with recommendation algorithms.

According to a study by Buffer , the new Facebook algorithm is based on three active interactions: commenting , sharing and reacting .

Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, explains : “Posts that lead to conversations between people move up in the news feed.”

On the other hand, companies should avoid posting content in which they lure their customers so that you can comment on, share or otherwise react to the post, as this will cause their content to slide further down the news feed.

The interactions must arise out of genuine interest and not just in response to a tempting offer.

Incidentally, the algorithm makes no distinction between privately and publicly shared content.

For most companies, reach and referral traffic will continue to decline. So maybe it’s time to think about the budget and resources you’re investing in Facebook.

There is no secret recipe – to be successful, your content simply has to be authentic, relevant (and usually appealing).

Brian Peters from Buffer sums it up : “Instead of developing content for a company with which people should then interact, we have to generate content for people who trigger enough emotion in them to comment on or share the post.”

We have to break out of our rut

The final hurdle is our dependence on the same worn methods. This strategy may have worked in the past, but it no longer does today.

It is therefore extremely important to continuously test different channels and strategies for customer acquisition.

In doing so, you build up a wealth of experience that you can always fall back on when your current strategy needs to be revised or exchanged.

This experience also benefits you if you want to open up new target groups or find out more about the interests of your target group.

Here are some suggestions you can try.

Conversational marketing

Conversational marketing means that you have a personal conversation with a customer or prospect.

According to a recent study by Twilio  , 90% of customers would like to communicate with companies via messenger apps. Platforms such as drift or intercom enable this communication to be scaled.

This also clearly shows how the distribution of content has changed. The idea that the customer receives the right content at the right time, d. H. when he just asked about it , it has become a reality.

Alex De Simone, CEO of Avochato, said: “We are seeing increasing machine learning technologies that help marketers deliver customized content for each customer. This paradigm shift from traditional content marketing to AI-supported conversational marketing will radically change the work in marketing and enable marketers to provide better content in a scalable manner.

Video marketing

Video is already the fastest growing and most sought after channel today. Many experts are convinced that video will be the most important content marketing platform of the future.

In a world where everything is becoming more and more automated, the video also appears to be one of the last communication channels in which nothing can be faked.

Not convinced yet? The numbers speak for themselves:

  • In 2019, the video will account for more than 80% of web traffic.
  • 96%  of consumers say that videos are helpful when making a purchase decision.
  • Digital marketing expert James McQuivey estimates that a single minute of video content is worth 1.8 million words.

Websites such as Simpleshow and GoAnimate are a good place to start.

Video marketing is so effective because it appeals to two senses – seeing and hearing – at the same time, so users can remember it better than plain text. And when customers remember your video, they remember your brand.

Emerging technologies

Emerging technologies will be mainstream over the next two years, opening up entirely new opportunities for content optimization.

By 2021, early adopters who redesign their websites to support both visual and voice searches will increase their digital commerce sales by 30%.

Also, experts say augmented/virtual reality will generate $ 150 million by 2020, which is just further evidence that visual content will evolve from an optional to an indispensable element in marketing.

Although virtual reality is still completely unknown territory for most, its unstoppable advance should serve as a warning to us to continuously experiment with visual content, such as interactive graphicsimagesvideos, and apps.

As Ginny Mineo puts it nicely, you should: “Adjust the weighting in your strategy between organic, regular, and experimental content channels.”

If you want to be successful as a content marketer in the future, you have to be able to learn from the past and quickly adapt to the present.

Content marketing will go through a fundamental transformation process and will use AI and new technologies to provide selective content of even higher quality.

 

Content marketing for “boring” industries: 10 tips to make content more interesting

Does the thought gnaw at you from time to time that your texts may not be read at all? We don’t want to scare you, but you might not be so wrong.

In 2013 Chartbeat published a study that shows that readers generally only read around 60% of a text. And the remaining 40% of your carefully written stories? Well, let’s say you could have done it earlier.

A website should provide content that attracts the right visitors, who are then converted to leads and, ultimately, customers – read our introduction to the topic now.

Of course, many authors are now asking themselves: Why do my readers only read just over half of an article that they clicked on themselves? Could it be because of a shorter attention span? Well, the guilt is probably not to be found among the readers alone. As authors, we have to bear some or all of the blame ourselves if our texts are uninteresting or merely dull.

Content marketing tips for “boring” industries 

For some of us, the interesting topics are simply not put in the cradle of authors. Those who write for the “attractive” industries (tourism, culture, etc.) have it a lot easier – something exciting is always at hand. But what about the rest of us that we write for… um… boring industries?

1) What is useful is not dull (even though it may seem so objectively)

Help your readers with a problem. Although this advice is now more like a hackneyed phrase than well-meaning advice, indeed, “boring” content is not dull if someone recognizes it as the solution to their problem. Anyone who writes informative texts thus addresses readers whose questions they answer – regardless of the choice of words.

Just think of some of the common questions that readers are looking for online: What should I do if my toilet is clogged? How do I find a better electricity tariff? How can I take out a mortgage on my house? How do you change a tire? For the right reader, these topics are exciting – or at least not boring. If you are unsure whether you can write a readable text, focus instead on making it as informative as possible.

2) Avoid jargon and use spoken language as a guide

You prove your expertise by giving sensible advice – not by using an expression as if you had swallowed a technical dictionary. Write the way you speak. Eliminate unnecessary industry jargon. Let’s take a look at how not to do it:

Look for a provider that offers scalable marketing software solutions that adapt to the diverse, ever-evolving needs of companies – from SMB to enterprise – across industries.

And the whole thing in an understandable way:

Find a marketing software provider that offers solutions for businesses of all sizes and industries of all types.

Both sentences say more or less the same thing, but in different ways. The second example is much easier to read, right? Why should we put stones in the way of the readers?

3) Approach your audience

On the one hand, as an author you want to give your reader helpful tips, but on the other hand you don’t want to overload him with industry jargon. Somewhere in between is the transmission of specific information. Before you start writing, think about scenarios, viewpoints, and experiences your readers can use. This works best if you have created buyer personas beforehand – as this way you have already identified the needs of your readership.

What is the difference between a generic and a specific post? Everything starts with the headline. Let’s take this post as an example. We could have called it “Best Practices for Blog Posts” or “How to Write First-Class Blog Posts”. But that would have been so general and unspecific that everyone would have felt addressed – and ultimately nobody.

Instead, we opted for a headline that was inspired by leads and customers, who repeatedly emphasize how boring their industry is. Instead of giving a general explanation of what constitutes a good blog post, we wanted to address a recurring problem that causes stomach pain to our readers.

Yes, part of our readership may not feel addressed by this post – all those who sell puppies or promote top models – as they have no problem writing interesting posts. However, by addressing such a common problem that is very relevant to many readers, it is highly likely that this post will be read as well.

4) Show humor

A pinch of humor and cheekiness gives your text – and your boring subject – a certain lightness. Bonus: This makes writing a lot more fun. You shouldn’t be afraid to make a joke, use colloquial expressions, or make silly pop culture references. If the whole thing looks natural and does not distract from the content, a carefree tone can captivate the reader’s attention longer. However, be careful not to overdo it here.

5) Use analogies to clearly explain complex concepts

If you work in an industry that many would describe as “boring,” this adjective may represent “confusing.” The best example of this comes from physics: there are probably a lot of people who look at space mysteries to admire Morgan Freeman while he is discussing the dark matter. But would you read an article on the same topic? Maybe not … unless the author has a knack for explaining complex concepts in simple language.

If you work with a similarly complex subject and mainly address a lay audience, try explaining new concepts using analogies.

An example: Many companies are still not quite sure how inbound marketing works. So we came up with some analogies that put the whole thing in an understandable context. One of my favorites is: “Blogging is like jogging: You have to stay on the ball regularly and in the long term to see results.”

6) The wort is in a nutshell

If your text is not interesting, few readers will take the time to read it. It is, therefore, worth investing in an editor who can make 20 words out of 100 without your text losing its meaning. The less time it takes your readers to work through a paragraph, the more likely you will finish reading your text.

This applies all the more to the readership on mobile devices. Consumers use mobile devices, 60% of the time to go onlineTexts that are difficult to read are, of course, read even less frequently in this medium. The optimization of the mobile reading experience is not only about responsive design, but also about a faster reading experience and minimal scrolling.

7) Give your readers a break

Often readers are not bored, but simply overwhelmed by an abundance of information. That is why your text must look as if it is easy to read, even if it contains a carefully written and fascinating content.

Break your text into smaller paragraphs so your readers can be sure they can handle it. You should remember this point particularly well if your contribution is unnecessarily protracted even after extensive cuts.

For example, in this post, we used bold headings. These enable the reader to recognize the paragraphs relevant to them as they skim over the text. Alternatively, you can also use bullets, numbered lists, images, and other formatting tools. This is how you make content clearer and less overwhelming for readers.

Ideally, you wouldn’t need any of these formats, because you would write a fascinating, perfectly coordinated text that is easy for the reader to understand. However, we know that the world outside is not always going smoothly. So you can confidently fall back on formatting.

8) Tell your stories using visual or other media

Many authors do not rely solely on words but use visual aids to tell their stories. For example, we have already put together a complete library of blog posts and e-books on closed-loop marketing.

Sounds incredibly exciting, doesn’t it?

But sometimes a picture says more than a thousand words. That is why we created this visual aid.

9) Interview interesting people

Speaking of the podcast …

Who voluntarily listens to an endless stream of dry facts? Not many. That is why news channels have been using interviews for a long time to keep their audience under their spell. With an authority figure in a field or a celebrity who speaks on a particular topic, you secure attention that you would not otherwise get.

Every now and then we turn to industry experts in our blog posts and weekly podcasts. Not only because our audience likes to hear from others, but also because these experts have knowledge that we don’t have.

Is there a star in your industry that your audience should definitely hear about? Bring him or her on board to give your content that specific something.

Bonus tip: It is quite possible that some of your readers are industry experts who would like to help you with quotes or interviews. They enrich your content with their opinion. In return, you can express your thanks to them in the community. (A little praise is good for the soul.) This is best done on social networks, where you can ask users for answers to questions that you would like to mention in your content. After that, all you have to do is publish your content and let everyone know when their posts will appear.

10) Shock your audience

There is one topic that is only moderately interesting (unless you are a marketing geek, then it is probably more of a pleasure): Lead generation via social media. But do you know what’s much, much more interesting? The fact that LinkedIn is 277% more effective in generating leads than any other social network .

When you discover an exciting aspect of a moderately interesting topic that you can build your content on, you can be almost sure of your audience’s attention.

However, you don’t have to rely on data alone to surprise your audience. If you have the courage to do so, you can even become a bit controversial. We do this ourselves every now and then. For example, in the form of a contribution in which we encourage the US postal service to stop sending direct mail.  We got all kinds of reader reactions on the subject. Not everyone agreed with the author’s opinion, but that’s okay. At least these readers showed interest in industry news. That’s what our content is about.

Customer loyalty with online marketing – this is how you captivate them all!

Customer retention is cheaper than acquiring new customers. Although this is generally known, online shops still do not pay enough attention to make their customers regular customers. So that your customers keep coming back, I’ll show you today what customer loyalty measures are available online and which marketing channels you can use for sustainable customer loyalty.

What does customer retention mean, and why is it important?

As already mentioned, the acquisition of new customers is much more expensive than customer loyalty. But what exactly is customer loyalty and when do you speak of returning customers or regular or existing customers?

Customer loyalty is generally understood when entrepreneurs use specific measures to bind (as many) consumers as possible to their own company in the long term. Consumers can be roughly divided into:

  • Users who leave the website without buying,
  • New customers who are hiring for the first time
  • returning customers who buy more than two to three times and
  • Regular customers who buy from the same company more often over a long period because they have an emotional bond with the company.
Repeat offenders who do not belong behind bars: Regular customers prefer to buy from you because they trust you

Repeat offenders have the advantage for you as a company that they prefer to buy your products or specific products from you. Returning customers and regular customers are satisfied customers. Thanks to positive shopping experiences, you have built an emotional bond with the online shop of your choice and recommend this shop to your friends, families, acquaintances and colleagues. Other advantages of regular customers:

  • They buy much more often and more than new customers because they are already convinced of you and are therefore willing to spend money. If you believe the accessible statistics on the subject, the shopping cart value is up to five times higher for returning customers (a previous purchase) and up to seven times higher for regular customers (many previous purchases) than for new customers.
  • They have a lower price sensitivity, which means that if a product is cheaper from a competitor, you enjoy the trust bonus and it usually weighs more than the price.
  • There are more great cross and upselling potential: returning buyers also like to buy an extra feature or another product.
  • They complain less because they are basically satisfied and only complain about gross defects and not about every little thing.

So the longer a customer relationship lasts, the more rewarding it is for you. Two of the most important key figures for determining customer value are, for example:

Customer loyalty through customer satisfaction: The prerequisites must be right

How do you manage to satisfy your customers? Go inside yourself and ask yourself what makes you a satisfied buyer. If I want to buy something that is available in several online shops and I have to choose where to buy, the shops go through a quick check for me. I pay attention to:

  • a good or suitable design of the website
  • intuitive navigation
  • high quality (product) images
  • a reasonable price
  • understandable texts with further information
  • a personable about us page

If these points apply, the checkout process still has to withstand the test:

  • Can I shop as a guest?
  • Is shipping free (from a specific shopping cart value)?
  • Can I choose between different payment methods?
  • How do returns work?
Jack Russell dog relaxing and resting on grass meadow at the park outdoors and outside on summer vacation holidays

Conclusion: I buy from an online shop when the online shop makes a severe impression, and the buying experience is consistent. And when the parcel arrives within the specified delivery period, and I am satisfied with the quality of the goods, the basis has already been created for a new purchase. Emotions are at the heart of customer loyaltyWhen customers using your online store a definite buying experience link, there is less chance that they migrate to the competition. We are called creatures of habit for a reason. Once something is to our satisfaction, we usually stick to it. At least until something encourages us to look elsewhere.

Marketing channels for sustainable customer loyalty

So that your returning customers become regular customers and the customer relationship with your existing customers is further strengthened, you have to offer them added value. Nowadays it is no longer enough just to have a good website and a wide range of products. As already described above, this is part of the necessary equipment, the absolute basics.

You have to stand out from the competition and treat your customers as good friends. Let them regularly know that you think of them, that you know exactly what interests them, what they need and want. How do you do that? Most of the customer journey today is online. Use your online marketing channels specifically to accompany your customers along the customer journey with relevant content.

Treat your customers as good friends. Get the right content to make the buying experience perfect.

Content marketing

Offer your customers content that will also help you after your purchase. In the case of products that require explanation, this can be instructions or FAQs for handling your service. If you sell textiles, for example, then care tips, and washing instructions are recommended. Or do you sell bicycles and bicycle accessories? Then a manual or an explanatory video would be engaging, such as how to patch a bicycle tube. The beautiful thing about it: New customers become recurring customers because of this content. Returning customers know that you are the best point of contact for their concerns and look first for the product or answers and information about it.

Let’s stick to the example of a bicycle shop. I bought a bike from an online retailer. Unfortunately, the bike comes in its parts, and I have to assemble it myself. My first impulse: search the website for instructions on how to join the bike. If I find a video that shows me step by step how it works and I succeed in setting it up, it creates an extremely positive user experience.

If the video now shows which tools are necessary or which accessories make my bike even more valuable or practical (such as a cup holder or the right bike light), the probability is very high that I will repurchase these things in the same shop.

Or if my online shop still recommends which stationary dealer or which workshop in my area I should best contact if something should be with my bike, then I will be helped a bit again. Over time, the online shop becomes the authority in my field. The next time I need replacement accessories for my bike or want to buy a new one, I won’t look for an online shop anymore because I know where to find what I’m looking for. When I am asked for a recommendation for bike shops, the first thing I call “my” online shop.

Concept of repairing or maintenance bike with tools and bottles. Instructions, explanatory videos, tips: All of this helps your customers and makes you an authority in your area. This, in turn, creates trust with your customers.

Email marketing

Since the after-sales phase is different for each customer, and not everyone is necessarily looking for instructions or care tips, you should also take care of the direct line to your customers. And this is where email marketing comes in. This channel allows you, past customers, to address personally and bind.

In addition to all the positive characteristics of returning customers that have already been mentioned, the fact that you already have the customer’s data is a clear advantage. Whether shopping as a registered customer or as a guest: name, email address and payment details usually have to be specified. Now all you have to do is convince your customer to subscribe to your newsletter. The channel is already available for direct customer dialogue. Use apparent things like your checkout pagethank you page and the order confirmation for the registration for your newsletter.

Once this hurdle has been overcome, nothing stands in the way of your email marketing. Now you can finally send your customers the content they are interested in and bring them back to your shop.

With the report “Cohort Analysis” from Google Analytics, for example, you can divide customers into groups according to their user or purchasing behaviour, so-called cohorts. You can now send these customer groups with similar properties regular or campaign-based content. Content that is tailored to the needs of the cohort.

Encourage your customers to sign up for a newsletter, discount campaigns, vouchers, etc. before or when making a purchase.

Also use the thank you page and order confirmation email to send your customers more information about the order, additional products, vouchers or further content.

Another very striking example concerns couples and expectant parents. This is a unique situation in life that requires special needs (and products). Broken down to the essentials: After the positive pregnancy test, the nest building drive starts.

The first baby furniture such as a baby bed, changing table or first romper and many other products are then shop. The stroller is bought about eight to twelve weeks before the birth. After the delivery comes to the child seat for the car and so on. All starting points where you can pick up your customers with targeted email campaigns. And since you enjoy a trust bonus with regular customers, there is a higher chance that they will buy from you.

Social media marketing and apps

Like, comment, share – many times a day. We are all doing this now, even if sometimes not at all consciously, but only occasionally quickly. Social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) are ideal for binding your customers. Regular customers, we’re already talking about fans, of course, follow their online shop with all their hearts.

Social media channels are also ideal for customer communication. You can start a dialogue with your customers almost immediately. Even more traditional customer retention measures such as competitions, promotions and offers are still trendy on social media.

You can call your regular customers as part of targeted campaigns to share their experiences with you and the world. You can ask your customers for their opinion on a specific product or topic. You can integrate them as your brand ambassadors via social media and generate user-generated content. All of this, of course, under suitable hashtags.

Apps are also ideal for customer loyalty. Because anyone who has already made it onto the smartphone as an app is practically right in the middle of it instead of just being there. With the IKEA Place app, IKEA offers its customers the opportunity to view furniture to scale from all sides. The exciting thing is that you can “set it up” in your own home. If that does not offer a positive buying experience! I can check everything via the app and then conveniently order online or go to IKEA with a particular shopping plan.

Four further customer loyalty measures

Content marketing, email marketing, social media and apps in all honour – however, to strengthen the customer relationship, you should not neglect the seemingly old hands when it comes to customer loyalty measures.

Competent customer service is essential when it comes to customer loyalty.

  1. Without competent customer service that responds to your customers’ concerns and concerns, you lose more customers than you can win. Make sure that there is always someone available to take care of your customers at specified times.
  2. Product samples, old hat? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! Use this opportunity to make your customers even happier and send small samples with the ordered product if it is possible. If you convince your customer with it, then the product may already be in the shopping cart with the next order.
  3. This also applies to discount campaigns or vouchers. They animate the customer to search for your online shop again. And the threshold to buy again is shallow due to the prospect of a lower price or saving on shipping costs.
  4. And last but not least: Be open to customer feedback. Actively ask your customers to express their opinions. But also react to it and enter into a dialogue with your customers. Even if the input is negative. Take the chance to win back your disgruntled customer through a “reparation”.

Customer loyalty summarized

If you offer your customers all-round positive shopping experience on all channels, new customers will become returning customers, and they will become regular customers whose reliability you can count on. It is best always to ask yourself what makes you shop in an online shop again? What was the decisive factor, what convinced you? And then apply that to your online shop. You now know how to use your online marketing channels in a targeted manner.

Organized into social distancing: the best tools for the home office

The topic of homework is present across all sectors like never before. But regardless of the blockage of contacts in times of coronavirus, the home office for self-organization and communication with dear colleagues presents you with entirely different challenges than in the office.

It is essential to stay focused on the kitchen table, childcare, and the seductive fridge. Digital workers are lucky enough to be able to fall back on numerous sophisticated solutions that help to keep track of the tasks and facilitate teamwork.

Communication and accessibility

If the “quickly go over there” to the neighboring office for informal consultation is missing, it is not only the social interaction that is lacking. Short meetings, which only take a few seconds on-site, can become time-consuming email correspondence, which causes confusion and frustration. This is where messenger programs like Slack or Microsoft Teams help, which keep the digital paths to the colleague around the corner short.

Microsoft Teams has recently grown in popularity and is experiencing high growth rates.

The structured chat overview facilitates personal arrangements as well as small contributions in working groups. You can easily share documents or set up surveys.

Slack and Microsoft teams also help with the display of the work rhythm. The colleagues are at the table right now, or you cannot answer because you are in a conference call?

With the help of these chat programs, you can easily keep your status (absent, busy) up to date and thus avoid “unwanted” disruptions.

TipAlways use only one chat program for work. If you always have to jump back and forth between Skype and Slack, you quickly lose track of what, where, when, and how it was communicated.

A precise (written) language also needs to be learned. The context is quickly lost in digital communication, and things can be misunderstood; after all, the others cannot see what you have on the screen yourself. Accuracy is essential in written communication, and the context should always be described. For example:

  • The URL / page
  • Screenshots help to visualize a problem.
  • Links to the “map” in the project management tool
  • The task you are currently working on
  • Customer feedback

Video conferencing

Meetings with the team are often so complex and time-critical that a real conversation (simultaneous communication) is essential.

Video conferencing is not the same as sitting in the same room with one person. However, this also creates a specific structure in working life.

When the kids are screaming and raging in the background: The Krisp app suppresses disturbing background noises in video calls.

Also, screens and self-made video presentations can be easily shared in Circuit (a German provider), SlackMicrosoft TeamsSkypeZoom, or Whereby, so everyone can follow them. This makes it easier to illustrate questions or to develop presentations seamlessly from everyone. 

Larger meetings can also be structured well if only the participants who are currently speaking activate their microphones. This improves the conversation quality for everyone and provides a clear framework for speaking out.

Record screenshot videos

Sometimes a problem can best be explained by recording a short video. In addition to the Mac app Screenflow, the cross-platform app Loom is particularly suitable for this.

Image source: Loom.com

Loom can be used to create short videos, among other things, in which you explain what you have worked on today. This helps teamwork tremendously. Project presentations can also be transmitted so wonderfully and in detail – an excellent tool for customer and project acquisition as well.

Project and time management 

Doing your work efficiently is perhaps the hardest job of all. Maybe you remember having to do some shopping. Or the whole daily rhythm changes because you start working an hour later. Also, the game console is only 2-3m away from the workplace. And then all the dystopian news that is difficult to avoid. Everything is just a click away.

You can list your own time and task organization in a TXT file or Evernote.

The Kanban board in Paymo. Screenshot: Dr. Web

Project management with the team is supported by tools such as Paymo, Trello, Hive, Monday.com, Notion, and Asana, which come with precise schedules and a progress bar.

If you want to know how to use the entire MS Office package in a goal-oriented way for self-organization, you can find helpful step-by-step instructions on calendar tools and Microsoft’s best to-do list helpers here.

Storage and data exchange

Up-to-dateness and networking are essential to give everyone involved mobile access to critical documents. Permanent synchronization of everyday processing objects must also be guaranteed at all times.

Numerous cloud services such as Owncloud (a German provider), Google Drive, One Drive, or Dropbox help here.

Services such as Safetransfer.eu or Wetransfer are available for the exchange of large amounts of data. About data security, in particular, it is advisable to rely on German providers.

Distractions, breaks, and productivity

The data exchange is running, all team members are well connected, but somehow the focus is missing at home? It can be challenging to find a productive rhythm within your own four walls.

If you have the feeling that you are prone to straying without the social control of the office and the precise structure of the working day, you will find helpful. Applications such as Rescue time or Stay Focused can monitor how much time is spent on which website – so time-wasters can be determined in a targeted manner.

Popular distractors such as Twitter and Facebook can be blocked here for a certain period. If you have thoughts like “the windows should be cleaned” in your home environment, you can note these ideas in note collections like Evernote – they are out of your mind at first, but are not lost. The same applies to work-related to-do lists or notes for later projects.

The Any.do calendar on iPhone.

But the opposite can also be the case: a project burns under your nails and you find yourself on your laptop until three in the morning? Even if mobile working makes it possible, everyone should take care to establish a permanently healthy working rhythm.

If you plan breaks early enough – for example, with a structured daily schedule in your calendar – and use them for exercise or creative distraction, you can concentrate on essential tasks throughout the day and have more of the well-deserved end of the day.

Mobile work – profit instead of makeshift replacement

To work satisfactorily in the home office, structure and communication are essential. This applies both to your work organization and to teamwork over distance.

With the conscious selection of the tools presented here, a clear framework can be put in place, which facilitates orientation and enables focus from the living room. Those who cycle through their day with balanced working and break times remain focused and reachable contacts at the same time. 

The most important thing is that all team members use the same tools to create synergies and facilitate agreements. With the time gained in this way, even new ideas for future meeting design can be drawn from the home office, which will make work processes more efficient – and will also make everyday work in the office easier!

This is how you ban broken and malware links from your website

Perhaps you have also visited a website on which the error message “Malware on subsequent website” suddenly appeared. In this case, it is a so-called “blacklisted domain” or malware page, where the desired website cannot be accessed for security reasons. Your browser indicates this by the error above the message.

Computer face with thermometer in its mouth. Could be a broken laptop computer or one that has a virus or other malware, vector

Broken links or even those that lead the visitor to your site to an offer contaminated with malware are not only bad for the user experience and your reputation as a website operator but also Holy Google a thorn in the side. Fact: Such mistakes are natural for any visitor your team annoying because then the information can certainly not retrieve.

In addition to limited user-friendliness, the search engine ranking also deteriorates, as these subsequently assume that a page that contains broken or even malware links is no longer up-to-date, and the page’s usefulness is reduced.

I would like to go into this problem in more detail below.

What are the broken links?

Broken (“broken”) links are usually links that lead to a page that (apparently) no longer exists. The requested page was simply not found. This is the so-called 404 error, which is one of the most common critical HTTP error messages and thus one of the client-side errors.

This is what the 404 page on Oreo.com looks like, for example. 

These can also be linked images that no longer exist. If you click on it, the picture does not appear in full size or does not point to another page, but only shows the 404 error. Or the embedded image is not displayed at all, which in turn reduces the value of a page.

Broken internal and external links also belong to the broken link category. Also includes:

  • A URL points to a file that has been deleted, renamed, or moved,
  • Links that don’t work because the target domain is still empty or has been newly registered.
  • The requested page cannot be reached due to network problems.
  • The server itself throws an error 500 (and nobody cares)
  • The destination URL itself was misspelled, so the reference cannot be executed correctly.
  • The target domain has been deleted and can no longer be reached.
  • A domain has been parked, and the old, formerly valuable content has disappeared

Malware links and malware domains – what are they?

Malware domains differ from broken links again in that not only a single article or a single picture no longer exists, but it is entire pages that were adopted with malicious intentions and that now play malware, viruses, and advertising scam.

Google usually classifies such a domain as a “blacklisted domain” within a few days.

On formerly valuable sites, malware can be played from one day to the next.

Problem: Parked and even blacklisted domains are displayed as error-free by link checkers 

parked domain is an Internet address that is temporarily (no longer) provided with the content. In many cases, however, these domains show advertisements and advertising links to generate additional income. The aim is to use this income to bring the registration costs of the area until it can ultimately be sold or rented to someone else.

Unfortunately, you often come across parked domains. Here you can see one of the less annoying variants.

The problem? First, parked domains are devoid of any use for their visitors. Second, these sites usually respond with a “200 OK The request has succeeded “code.

While links with a 500 or 404 error can be found very easily using the Brokenlinkcheker plugin for WordPress or the “Check My Links” Chrome extension, this is not the case with parked and blacklisted domains .

Dead links, blacklisted domains and SEO

Anyone who is concerned with search engine optimization knows that Google’s goal is to provide users with a precise and best possible search result and to filter out undesirable results.

The focus here is on the quality of the search engine results. Pages that are of no use to the user are affected by this update.

Blacklisted domains are entered on publicly accessible lists in which spam and hacked pages are reported. One of the more public records is, for example, the Google Safe Browsing list. With a blacklist check you can check which pages are listed here.

Malware solution: How to track down blacklisted and parked domains

If you want to reliably find pages with broken links, blacklisted or parked domains on the internet presence of your customers, you cannot avoid a reliable link or blacklist checker.

The professional link checker includes the “Dr. Link Check,” which comes from the German software company Wulfsoft in Münster.

Here is an example of how Dr. Detects link check domains with malware.

What is Dr. Link’s check?

At Dr. Link Check is a browser-based app. So you don’t have to download and install a program.

Do you let Dr. When running Link Check on your customers’ website, the following three main categories are checked:

  • Broken link check: Has the URL been formatted correctly, or is the server responding in a reasonable amount of time? Is it the right SSL certificate? Is there a return code for an error, such as the 404 error?
  • Blacklist check: Can the link be found on the blacklist where websites with malicious content can be found?
  • Parked Domain CheckIs the link a placeholder? Does the website or the link have any valuable content and maybe only have advertisements?

Dr. Link Check differentiates between broken links, blacklisted, and parked domains.

With the help of Dr., You don’t need to check Link Check all subpages of a website manually. With a click of the mouse, the link checker browses through all subpages and analyzes them in detail.

You will then receive a detailed report and can see where you need to intervene.

Start with your homepage URL

To start a review, you should contact Dr. Start link check with the homepage. From there, the link checker searches through all HTML and CSS of your website. He checks all internal and external links; Even broken links from the stylesheet are recorded.

Several tests lead to success

Dr. Link Check checks all links in several runs. The tool thus ensures that, for example, pages that only have a short timeout are not listed as false positives.

Dr. Link Check checks for the following error messages:

  • Parked,
  • 404 Not found,
  • SSL Error (if the SSL certificate is invalid or has expired),
  • Host not found (the domain no longer exists, or the DNS does not resolve correctly),
  • 403 Forbidden,
  • 5xx server error,
  • Invalid URL,
  • Timeout (if, for example, the server is down),
  • Other,
  • Blacklisted,
  • 401 unauthorized,
  • Connect error

Pricing & pricing options

Dr. Link Check is available in four different versions:

  • Lite version,
  • Standard version,
  • Professional version and
  • Premium version,

The lite version is free and only checks up to two websites with a maximum of 1,500 links per page. Only one type of broken link check takes place here.

The standard version costs $ 10 a month. This includes five websites with a total of up to 10,000 links. You can increase the number of connections, whereby the price also increases. In addition to a broken link check, it also includes a blacklist check, an SSL certificate check, and a scheduled check.

The professional version costs $ 21 a month. There are ten websites with 20,000 links per site, whereby you can individually increase the number of connections. This version offers the full analysis program and also provides a parked domain check.

The full program also offers the premium version for $ 33 a month. This includes 30,000 links per website. This number can also be increased depending on the price.

Conclusion

If you want to check your site for broken links, parked domains, or even blacklisted sites, then Dr. Link Check provides all the necessary tools in a clear user interface.

With this browser-based application, you always have all vital information in view and can carry out efficient on-page SEO when improvements and corrections are pending.

In addition to the free version, the paid versions are ideal for extensive analyzes to keep your website and that of the customers in good shape.