Tagged: content

Enterprise Search

Enterprisesearch Search is the technology through which information and/or data is retrieved with an organization generally through an intranet platform. The information can be presented in any form or format – such as links, documents, emails or simple data. Enterprise search is a boon to the modern corporate environment as it gives easy access to information, increases business performance and contributes towards optimizing the workplace. The quality of enterprise search results is dependent upon the description of the data by the metadata. The fundamental concept of an enterprise search is very much like that of a web search engine i.e. it indexes data and documents from a variety of sources such as: file systems, intranets, document management systems, e-mail, and databases.

Content Awareness – Push and Pull model

The core functionality of enterprise search depends on content awareness or “content collection”, that uses a push or pull mechanism. In the push model, a source system, more like a master repository of information, is integrated with the search engine in such a way that it connects to it and pushes new information and/or content directly to its APIs. This method is used in the case where real-time indexing is important. In the pull method, the enterprise software gathers or collates content from varied sources using a connector such as a web crawler or a database connector. This connector typically pulls the source with certain intervals to look for new, updated or deleted content, and presents data to the user.

The 3 key benefits of enterprise search:

1. Business Intelligence: Enterprise search is now acting as the bases of business intelligence i.e. data and information is becoming easily accessible and available for better business decisions.
2. Social: With the advent of enterprise search capabilities, social features are also getting more and more important. Enterprise search capabilities are now also providing features for collaboration and knowledge sharing.
3. Big Data: Volume and Variety of the data we have to process also needs a new approach. Enterprise search is contributing towards Big Data tools and constantly feeding information into a larger pool/database. Modern organizations are also tracking data and information related to employee behavior and preferences, with the help of search keywords and criteria.

The Future:

Enterprise search products that offer an improved user experience and mobility along with the prospect of a low cost of initial entry will continue to be deployed and used strategically. Corporations and active users of search technologies are already seeing evidence from major players, innovators, and relative startups that the information access setting is changing radically to meet business requirements. It is estimated that Enterprise Search industry is growing at 15-20% per year, and will continue to grow. The current state of enterprise search is modular and fragmented. A successful search platform should be coherent and have the ability of represent more mixed data. The convergence of search and text analytics is definitely a corner stone for next-generation (enterprise) search engines.

So the future of enterprise search is changing dramatically and the technology is here to stay!

Top 5 web-based content management systems

content management systemWeb content management, as the name signifies is a web-based software system that provides website with authoring, administration, publishing and collaboration tools specifically designed to allow users to manage website content without having any programming or coding knowledge.

Almost all these web-based systems use a content repository or a database to store page content, metadata, and other information assets that might be needed by the system.

Choosing the right content management system (CMS) for your website could sometimes be a tough tasks. Here is the list of the Top 5 most usable web-based content management systems:

WordPress: This PHP blogging platform is by-far the most popular CMS for blogging, and probably the most popular CMS overall. For those users not familiar with HTML or other markup language, WordPress provided a WYSIWYG editor. It also offers the widest range of plugins and themes to choose from. Its robust documentation and the interactive online forums make it the most preferred web-based content management system.

Joomla: Comparatively a more complex and advanced CMS, however its easy installation makes it popular among new and also advance users. Joomla’s installer is meant to work on common shared hosting packages. The only drawback is that if you were to customize your website then you goto pay for it as the Joomla theme and extension community relies more on paid plugins and themes.

Drupal: Unlike typical blogging platforms, Drupal offers a more of pure and traditional CMS platform for websites and large content management. One of Drupal’s most popular features is the Taxonomy module, a feature that allows for multiple levels and types of categories for content types. Drupal also has a large community of followers and has an excellent support system or technical plugins and general questions.

Textpattern: A more designer centric CMS platform, Textpattern has a code base that is lighter and minimal. As an alternative of the WYSIWYG editor, Textpattern uses textile markup in the textareas to create HTML elements within the pages. This makes the pages lighter and faster to load. This CMS might appear very minimal at its core level; however you can always extend the functionality by 3rd party extensions, mods or plugins.

ExpressionEngine: This CMS offers the maximum flexibility for any kind of project. Its user administrative section is clean and intuitive. For a beginner, it takes only a matter of minutes to understand the layout of the back-end and to start creating content or modify the look. This CMS also offers unique features such as the ability to have multiple websites with one installation of software.

The Viral Phenomenon

The viral phenomenonHave you ever wondered what does the word “viral” mean? Have you ever thought what might go into creating a so called “viral phenomenon”? Is it an act or some form of information flowing through a network?

To explain it in simple terms it’s more of a pattern (or object) that has the ability to replicate its own copies, more like a chain reaction. This is a common way to describe how thoughts, information and trends move into and through a human population. In a business context this “pattern” is referred to as CONTENT.

Marketing departments of businesses try to create such “patterns” or content that has the ability to go Viral. This generally falls under two categories – entertaining & useful. Something that has a unique blend of both these elements is an ideal form of VIRAL content.

Your content could be an article, a video, marketing collateral, a photograph, an info-graphics or simply a piece of news. Unlike traditional marketing and advertising content, there are certain attributes of typical viral material. Here are some important elements of viral content:

Keep it positive, real and simple: Any form of content that creates a positive effect has more probability of going viral. Stuff that makes us feel good about ourselves and the people around us. The content should be real i.e. it should appear realistic and believable. Also, any material that is confusing to understand or comprehend is generally ignored. The most viewed, talked about and shared content is anything that is simple to understand.

The SHOCK factor: Your content should have the “awe” effect i.e. it should simply be remarkable. It should be something that people haven’t seen before and can’t resist commenting on. This could be in the form of a video, a research article, or it can also be something as simple as an exhaustive list of some useful resources or tips.

Appreciation and recognition through association: This is by far the most important attribute of viral content. When people share or talk about your content they would expect appreciation and recognition for it. A user who shares content will want to be recognized both as the person who discovered it and the person who introduced others to it.

Sharing is Caring: Any form of content created should be made share-able. With the advent of social media, it’s important to keep in mind that your material should have the option of sharing i.e. it should have buttons that allow it to be shared on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg etc. These social media platforms have become the hotspots for viral content. A simple retweet or a “LIKE” could get tremendous amount of traction to your content.

Last but not the least; we should never forget that we need to STAMP and brand the content. The creator of the content should get due visibility, and its best done when you do it subtly at the end. Things like a quick mention about your business or brand in your article, photograph, video or info-graphic, go a long way in creating awareness about your business.

The Power of Animation

The Power of Animation

Businesses are changing and so are marketing methods.

The science of digital marketing has brought different challenges and opportunities. Animation as a marketing tool is emerging as the most cost effective and favorable tool that can help any business market a message, a brand or an objective.

The power of animation is increasing and it’s highly recommended that all business owners take notice of this innovative and emerging new trend.

Online advertising in specific is using animation videos to market their business with a touch of creativity and imagination.
There was a time when animation was limited to those with massive production budgets, but current technology trends has introduced new opportunities and you no longer need a big studio or access to television broadcast channels to create and distribute animation.
The three important benefits of animation in the digital marketing world:

  • Animated videos help viral marketing & easy video sharing: Viral video marketing campaigns increase click through rates by almost 800%. 70% of people who watch online videos will, in turn, pass links for these videos onto their friends, hence making your content go viral.
  • SEO and animated Video go hand-in-hand: Google owns You Tube, so a presence on You Tube or any of the famous video sharing websites such as Vimeo, Dailymotion etc, gives you almost 60% higher likelihood of a Google front-page search result. You can also add keyword tags to your animated videos so that the Google crawling mechanism works most effectively on your content.
  • Exponential increase in conversion rate: 70%- 85% of people are more likely to purchase after watching a product animation video. On an average, people will stay 1.5 minutes longer on your website when engaged with an animation. You have a chance to grab their attention and communicate using a powerful mix of pictures, motion, text, voice, sound effects and music in a short amount of time, and all of this is possible through a simple animation.

There is a difference between live action video and an animation and the key is “Imagination”! A well thought of script with a marketing plan is important while creating an animation video. So always plan and prepare for production, and remember, Animation has no boundaries!

We at Small Business Pool, work with some of the most talented designers, script writers, 3D artists and animators from around the GLOBE. Our consulting approach helps you clearly understand and plan your animation video campaign. Our cost effective approach will help you achieve your marketing objective in no time.

For a quick plan of action quote, contact us TODAY!

A guide to hyper-social entrepreneurship 2013

hypre social entrepreneurIn the last five years, business and economies around the world have seen massive economical and social changes. As the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of all invention”, we have actually seen business owners and entrepreneurs working on basic ideas of day-to-day necessities that help societies and turning those ideas into workable and profitable businesses.

In the year 2011-12, the phrase “social entrepreneurship” became highly popular. What it meant was simple – make a difference to the society and don’t forget to make money!

As we all know that trends keep changing, so will the focus. Let’s put it this way: an average entrepreneur, perhaps in his early 30s, knows more about global technology and business trends than a young business owner in the late 90s, and this phenomenon is only going to get better in the years to come.

We are heading towards an era of “hyper-social entrepreneurship” i.e. getting quick, social and profitable, and to achieve that, here’s the GAME plan:

Think concept not technology: We all know that knowledge is power, well to be a successful business owner; you don’t need to know it all. All you need to do is think of concepts and just not rely on knowledge. A true manager of the future is going to be someone who thinks “out of the box”. There could be 10 different tried and tested methods to solve a problem, but you come up with the 11th solution, keeping in mind that it should be workable and would set a new trend.

Think content and search engine – The future of the World is just content. What you did, or what your business did, or what you said or what someone has to say about you or your business is all out there on the World Wide Web. There is nothing to hide! If you have something to publicize, you can get writers to write about it. If you want to comment, you have appropriate forms. It’s like deep blue sea were keywords are like fish, always moving. All you need to do is type in the right keyword on Google, and you get what you need!

Self brand yourself – don’t be shy about talking about what you do. We all are human, and have brains that have ideas. Brand yourself in a way that signifies that you are someone who has grey cells, someone who knows his industry, someone who is positive and is ready to take risks and face the challenges.

Socially Network in the right way – It’s not about having tons of friends, contacts and followers on facebook, linkedin and twitter, but it’s about how many of them really care and are of value. Connecting with people is the key, but it should be done in a way that is professional yet creative.

Play chess – It improves your cognitive and logical brain power. If you feel dull and burnt out, a game of chess will help you get into the mode of a challenge and competition. It will help you see a situation from all different angles. There are no tried and tested methods, you make your own strategy and live by it. The more you play the game, the more intuitive you become.

Get in shape – If you are that famous rock stare next door who is high on drugs and alcohol all the time, then perhaps you should stop writing and just be high! Such a lifestyle is a recipe to disaster. The future entrepreneur is someone who takes care of his health, body and attire. A healthy look portrays an image of confidence, reliability and trust. Moreover, an active and balanced lifestyle keeps you away from stress, and gives your extra energy to face challenges.

Just do it – Last but not the least, it’s important that we actually start doing things. Plan and budget that new marketing initiative that you have been thinking about or organize that Friday networking meeting that you always thought would work. It’s always important that we actually WORK on an idea or concept or else it stales out with time.

With growing competition around the world, it is your creativity that will actually help you make a difference and will fetch your profits. So get ready to become the next “hyper-social entrepreneur” in the year 2013.

Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers

Affiliate marketing overlaps with internet marketing methods to some degree. In simple terms it is a way of making money online whereby you as a publisher are rewarded for helping a business by promoting their product, service or website.

In another different scenario, you earn an amount for referring a visitor who takes some kind of action – for instance when a viewer signs up for something and gives their email address, where they complete a survey, where they leave a name and address etc. So it is more of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

80% of affiliate programs today use revenue sharing or pay per sale (PPS) as a compensation method, 19% use cost per action (CPA), and the remaining programs use other methods such as cost per click (CPC) or cost per mille (CPM, cost per estimated 1000 views).

With the increase in online traffic, eCommerce and digital media, businesses of all sizes are opting for Affiliate marketing methods to make money as an advertiser or a publisher.

Also lately, affiliate marketing has been working well with bloggers, because it seems to work best when there’s a relationship with trust between the publisher and their readership, and as this trust deepens that readers are more likely to follow the recommendations that a blogger makes.

Content Strategy for Businesses

Content is KING! Well that is what we all have been hearing about since the past few years.

With so many new business ideas, innovations and startup ventures emerging in the World Wide Web, it is now time that we start recognizing this constantly evolving and growing phenomenon i.e. content creation or rather content strategy.

Content in simple terms means gathering, researching, editing and creating information for publication, more specifically, online content. From a business stand point it means shifting your “me-centric” business approach to a more “sharing knowledge” kind of approach. So the key is to create industry specific content that does not have a direct sales or marketing theme, but has a more information driven approach.

The three most popular forms of digital content are: text, graphics and video.

Text: Website content, blog articles, white papers and ebooks are preferred textual mediums to connect with audience and provide relevant content for search engines to crawl. It is imperative that a website or business continually has new, relevant textual content in order to keep the search engine rankings as well as your target audience engaged.

Graphics or Inforgraphics: These are highly creative and attractive pieces of content that have become very popular in the recent years. Any complex data can be graphically represented through a well designed infographics. Their graphic format makes them perfect for sharing on social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest, attracting links and social signals that search engines instantly detect. In fact according to a recent Facebook survey, audiences are more likely to pay attention to attractive infographics, compared to articles or videos.

Video: Video marketing has emerged as a new and evolving marketing phenomenon. Popular video websites such as Youtube, Dailymotion and Viemo provide SEO optimized platforms for businesses to showcase their videos at zero cost. Many businesses are now recognizing the importance of video and are incorporating it into their day-to-day organizational setup, such as training video, viral videos and webcasts.

Last but not the least, never forget the importance of Repurposing i.e. to keep modifying your content that will create additional avenues and reach different niches within your audience. It also gives you a means to present content again for those who may not have seen it the first time around.