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Confirming Digital Marketing Listings On Google Maps

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The Google Maps service of Google has proved useful for Internet users and digital marketing professionals, alike. Google Maps is a web mapping service application of Google, which is free of cost for non-commercial usage. It provides street maps of most countries in the world, a route planner for travelling to different destinations by road, and an urban business locator. The maps and satellite images available on Google Maps is provided through a close variant of the Mercator projection system.

Google Maps are also displayed to the right-hand side of search results pages, when location-centric key phrases are entered in the search engine. These maps are marked with the location of various stores/centres, which sell the product/service being searched for. For example, if you run a search for ‘dentist London’, you will be able to view a search results page, listing seven dentists that have a Google Places page, together with their locations marked out on a Google Map. This map will also mark-out the location of numerous other dentists/clinics, which are located in the area.

To be found on Google Maps, it is first necessary for local businesses to list themselves there, which is mainly done through Google Places. These listings have proved to be very beneficial for digital marketing purposes, as prospective customers are able to locate and find the stores they want to visit, very conveniently. With a large number of people using smartphones equipped with GPS and Internet connectivity, Google Maps has become a great tool for finding restaurants, salons and retail stores etc, while on the go.

While setting up a Places Page, Google requires you to verify your listing through phone, SMS or email. While Google has created millions of Places Pages, only about seven percent of them have actually been verified by a business, and optimised for digital marketing purposes. In the first week of May 2011, many digital marketing professionals noticed that a small yellow overlay appeared on the Google Places listings of some businesses, asking users if the place currently exists in its current location.

This message appears to the right of the photo displayed on the listing, and says “Google wonders.is this place still here”. Users are given three options to answer this question: yes, no, and don’t know. Digital marketing experts believe that Google started using this overlay to check if certain businesses are still in operation, or have closed down, since a Places Page was created for them. Surprisingly, Google does not seem to have a system to check whether the phone number submitted during the verification process is still working.

Other digital marketing analysts believe that this overlay is Google‘s way of checking the authenticity of the information provided by businesses that have set up Places Pages. This is because many users have complained about unscrupulous people setting up fraud businesses, with fake addresses. If large numbers of users inform Google that a certain digital marketing business does not exist at its said location, Google can choose to remove such a company from its Places listings.

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Bing Deals – A New Digital Marketing Avenue

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In March 2011, Microsoft announced that their search engine ‘Bing‘ would soon be offering a ‘Deals’ service on the same lines as Google Offers, Facebook Deals and Yahoo Local Offers.

. Google Offers is a digital marketing service that makes it easy for businesses to attract customers, by posting special offers, across different Google channels. If a company wishes to create a discount, they just need to sign-in to Google Places, click on the ‘Offers’ tab, and fill in details about their digital marketing offer.

. Facebook Deals allows local companies to post information about special offers, which people can view and use through their desktops and mobile phones.

. Yahoo Local Offers is a service that pulls together discounts from various deal aggregating partners, such as Groupon, LivingSocial and Coupons.com.

With Google Bing, users in the United States will have access to more than 200,000 special offers, at 14,000 locations across the nation. These offers are mostly placed by companies as part of their digital marketing strategies. Just like Yahoo Local Offer, Bing‘s digital marketing service will also act like a deal aggregator, providing discounts from partners like Groupon and LivingSocial, in its search results.

Instead of creating its own deal program like Google or Groupon, Microsoft has partnered with a service provider called The Dealmap, for Bing Deals. The Dealmap is a leading US based digital marketing website that helps users find and share local deals from all over the country. Andy Chu, the director of product management at Bing Mobile has said that the main mission of Bing is to help consumers “cut through the clutter” on the Internet, and make decisions in a quicker manner.

Bing Deals can be accessed by people living in the United States on their personal computers, as well as through their smartphones, using the iPhone and Android browsers. However, people using Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system will not be able to access Bing Deals, because it does not work on HTML5 software. After the US market, Microsoft is expected to launch Bing Deals in various other countries, before it is launched in the United Kingdom.

Bing Deals allows users to search for discounts and special offers, either by location or by category. If a person accesses Bing Deals through a mobile phone, they will also be able to search for deals according to geolocation. People who like a particular deal, can either save it, or share it with a contact through email.

The increasing number of social commerce websites means additional avenues for conducting digital marketing activities. It is vital for digital marketing professionals to ensure visibility of the brands they are promoting on Bing Deals, to garner higher revenues for their clients.

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Online Video – The Future Of Digital Marketing

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Some of the leading digital marketing experts have predicted that online video and television are set to become more central to the way users use the Internet. The popularity of various video sharing websites like YouTube, together with the growth of online TV promoted by leading television channels and publications, has led to the development of a new digital marketing avenue through which advertisers can generate sales.

According to Cisco, a leading information technology and networking giant, online video is expected to strongly dominate the web in the future. In June 2010, they had published a white paper called the Cisco Visual Networking Index. This whitepaper predicted that in about four years, different kinds of online video would generate more than 91 percent of worldwide Internet traffic. This video includes content from video sharing websites, as well as video-on-demand and television streaming. In fact, Cisco expects Internet video, by itself, to account for around 57 percent of global consumer traffic.

This white paper presents a strong challenge for digital marketing experts. If they do not become proficient in creating video-related digital marketing campaigns, they will miss out on a whole range of lucrative opportunities. With a whopping amount of traffic for online videos expected to pour in over the next few years, no digital marketing company can afford to ignore such a huge number of visitors, which could potentially convert into massive sales. Hence, it is important that digital marketing professionals develop skills in creating good video advertisements that will captivate viewers, and encourage them to take the desired action.

Another thing which digital marketing professionals need to consider is the device used by a user while viewing an online video. Today, the devices used by users to view online videos have also undergone a change. Instead of desktop computers and laptops, consumers are now using smartphones, tablets, and platforms like Google TV and Apple TV. Google TV is a software platform that can be accessed on Logitech set-top boxes and Sony televisions. It allows people to watch television, rent movies, as well as surf the web and watch online videos at the same time. Apple TV is a competitor of Google TV.

According to a survey by Harris Interactive, a leading US-based digital marketing research agency, customers are displaying a significant amount of enthusiasm for Google TV and Apple TV. While around 51 percent of people polled were excited about Apple TV, around 45 percent of people were excited about Google TV. This is attributed to the fact that these platforms allow users to browse the Internet through their television screens, which generally offer a larger and clearer picture than desktops.

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Incorporating A ‘Brand Embrace’ In Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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In the digital marketing sphere, the lines that divide search, display, and social media are not always clear. This blurring of lines becomes even more obvious when paid search is combined with display ad targeting. Many leading digital marketing experts refer to this blend as a ‘brand embrace’.

What is a brand embrace?

A brand embrace is a process that involves the use of paid search to identify various groups of prospective customers who are actively viewing information about particular products or services on your website.

After identifying such customers, the digital marketing company uses retargeted ads that follow the customer around while they continue to search for similar products or services on the Internet. Retargeting ads are served by retargeting networks like Google, BurstMedia and ValueClick. They set cookies on the browsers of visitors, which trigger ads on other websites of their retargeting network, when they are later visited by the particular customer.

Digital marketing companies can use various forms of paid search, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo in their retargeting mix, as well as banners, and direct hits. As paid search gets website visitors who are actively interesting in making a purchase or seeking information, it is generally considered the best retargeting option by most digital marketing experts.

The process of ‘brand embrace’

1. Digital marketing professionals begin by adding retargeting code on their landing pages, which will place a cookie on the visitor’s browser, tagging them as a retargeting candidate.

2. Later, potential buyers are driven to their website through paid search. This sets them apart as people who are actively interested in purchasing the particular product displayed on the landing page. A retargeting cookie is implanted in the browser of each website visitor.

3. As the website visitor continues to surf the Internet, the retargeting network will notice when they visit websites that serve digital marketing ads of the retargeting network. Promptly, they will display your ad so that the customer clicks and returns to your website.

4. After a period of time, your company will be able to generate a long list of repeat customers who are actively interested in your brand.

Are you worried about interested customers who don’t convert through paid search? Perhaps you are running a digital marketing campaign to generate leads for your business. In such cases, a brand embrace will help you to continuously target customers who did not convert on the first paid click, or who are still undecided about making a purchase.

For example, if a particular landing page has a conversion rate of 75 percent, there are 25 percent of people who did not convert. Smart digital marketing specialists do not let this 25 percent walk away easily. Instead, they use retargeting to ensure that these customers come back some time in the future

I am a Writer, Blogger and I love Photography, as well as do a lot of Traveling, Counseling, Volunteering (have volunteered WHO health projects, AOL programs) & enjoy life to the fullest.

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