What is Dark Social And Why it Matters?

What is dark social, and what does it mean for your digital marketing strategy? Dark social is the traffic that gets lumped into direct traffic in your analytics platform but actually comes from untraceable sources.

Any website visit from a link shared on Whatsapp, email, Facebook, etc. is counted as a visit, but the analytics programs can’t attribute it to a particular source. As a result, these visits become invisible, instead of being counted as referral traffic.

Online content can be shared in two ways: a visitor can either use a share button provided or paste a link to their content onto their social media platform. There are three types of social sharing, open social, closed social and dark social. In analytics programs, open social and dark social appear as ‘clear traffic’, whereas dark social does not. Dark social is the hidden world of sharing we aren’t able to access.

Dark social traffic occurs when someone copies a link and pastes it into a closed social channel like Whatsapp or email. During this, the metadata within the link is lost and when the next person clicks the link, it will look direct traffic in analytic programs.

Dark social traffic is proliferating and now comprises a majority of all social traffic. According to one study, it constitutes 84% of all social sharing activity.

The below channels are responsible for Dark Social Traffic:

  1. Messaging Apps: Whatsapp, Facebook, etc.
  2. Emails: in order to protect privacy of users, the referrers aren’t passed.
  3. Secure browsing: if you click from https to http, the referrers aren’t passed.
  4. Native mobile apps: Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Millions of people create such dark social traffic every day, sending lots of traffic to publishers. But these links shared lack referral tags, hence when the recipient clicks on it their visit will show up ad ‘direct traffic’.

Dark social traffic matters because we cannot measure the success of campaigns if we don’t know which channels performed the best. This type of traffic raises direct traffic because the actual sources can’t be tracked.

Such enormous chunk of referral traffic is extremely difficult to track accurately, and you might end up wasting your time and energy on optimizing the wrong things.

It’s Time to Adapt Omni Channel Marketing For All businesses Who Deal With Customers

Today the buzz word in MARCOM is Omni Channel Marketing. Off late, the marketers started to understand the consumer behavior as the evolution of the technology has enabled all marketers to generate the real time behavioral data based on the online activities of their consumers. The online world is quite different from the offline one. The real-time data on offline behavior are restricted to only sample size as well as the organized segments where each buyer is registered and billed.

As the monetary transactions are moving towards digital, the GST regime is forcing all organized and unorganized players to get into the system that records almost everything that is produced and traded. This transformation is going to change the buying patterns of consumers. The penetration of data driven smart phones is empowering the rural India to use the high-speed internet which is going to help consumer getting the updated information they are looking for.

The emergence of Mobile commerce has made the traditional organized retail to think to venture out in online space to not loose on the consumer buying online. Many established retailers who are strong players locally have entered into e-commerce to stay tuned with times. They are struggling to make space in the online segment while continuing tight rope walk to maintain the historical footfalls intact and increase at a moderate speed.

At the same time, many e-commerce brands are trying to venture in physical stores by opening franchise outlets or self-managed experiential stores such as lenskart.com comes up with franchised outlets, myntra opened in the name of Roadster in Bangalore and many others are in process. This shift from both online brands and offline local strong players want to enter in where they are not operating.

Why is this happening? Let’s try to understand. In today’s world, retail is split into two distinct categories—brick and mortar and e-commerce. It is my belief that over the next five to seven years these two worlds will begin to merge and it will be difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Each of these worlds has its own strengths and is very good at delivering value in its own way. Brick-and-mortar retail gives customers the touch and feel of products and the feel-good experience of living the brand. E-commerce offers greater choice, convenience, and value. While each of them is delivering to its own strengths, they both fall short of delivering the perfect customer experience.

The biggest challenge is to know whether a customer will opt for an online buy or will walk into the nearest store next time. The time has come to integrate all communication channels those address to customers across all media to provide seamless and equal experience through each communication medium hence to bring online and offline teams on the same platforms to deliver the standards predefined through Omni Channel Marketing strategies.

So, let’s understand, what is omni-channel marketing? The term “omni-channel” may be a marketing buzzword, but it refers to a significant shift, marketers now need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. Consumers can now engage with a company in a physical store, on an online website or mobile app, through a catalog, or through social media. They can access products and services by calling a company on the phone, by using an app on their mobile smartphone, or with a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer. Each piece of the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary.

So, what does that seamless omni-channel experience actually look like? Multi-channel is an operational view, how you allow the customer to complete transactions in each channel. Omni-channel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, building and maintaining the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. Omni-channel anticipates that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution.  Making these complex ‘hand-offs’ between channels must be fluid for the customer.  Simply put, omni-channel is multi-channel done right!

Getting started with Omni Channel Marketing: The importance of creating one-on-one experiences lies at the heart of the omni-channel marketing approach. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, modern purchasing behavior is driven by personalized engagement, and this is where omni-channel really hits the mark. By letting the buyer control the process and steer it whichever way he or she wants, you ensure their experience remains seamless and consistent from start to the finish, and perhaps even beyond that.

Here are some tips to implement effective Omni Channel Marketing Strategies:

  1. Leave behind the traditional thought process.

Everything has changed, and it has completely altered the way business is done. Banking on to traditional methods and old-fashioned ways will only help your competitors get ahead of you. For instance, the traditional sales funnel is dead. So stop thinking of your customers in terms of a number of leads down the funnel. Treat them as real people and focus on personalizing each of their interactions and experiences with your brand. This approach not only works for omni-channel marketing but forms the base for any good marketing strategy.

  1. Get a comprehensive yet single view of your customers.

This is one of the most important steps in an omni-channel marketing strategy, yet can be the most challenging. It is important because your customers are interacting with your brand from a variety of different channels. Marketers, therefore, need to create a consolidated and well-coordinated customer profile that provides a holistic picture of the buyer and helps them create a complete customer experience. How can you do that? A few key strategies for getting a better single view of your customers include asking the right questions about your customers’ persona and then using tools and technology to collect and apply the right data. My colleague at V3B, Shelly Kramer, discussed this recently in the light of a new report “Solving the Identity Puzzle,”, a leading provider of cross-channel marketing technology.

  1. Interact with customers on the channels they want to.

We all know how customers are fluttering back and forth between multiple devices for a single transaction. For brands to provide a satisfying customer experience, they need to keep all their channels open for customers to interact with them — be it email, social media, video chat, text messaging, or the plain, old voice call.

  1. Make friends with data be it Real Time or Historical.

Marketing without data is practically impossible in the current business environment, and that will likely continue to be a reality. Before you get started with your omni-channel marketing approach, you need to have a proper data strategy in place to be able to collect and gain insights from the information that’s driving in from all corners.

The purchase journey is only getting more complicated with different layers and distinctions added all the time. With customers in the driver’s seat, marketers have no option but to play by their rules. Omni-channel marketing is a sound step in that direction.

5 SEO Tips: How to Rank Higher in Google

No matter if you have a nicely rendered website, you won’t get very far if you’re lacking sufficient SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The thing is, Google, and other search engines are extremely objective when it comes down to things like sitemaps, alt tags, and keywords. There are several tactics to improve your pages ranking without submitting to the paid schemes offered by search engines. Listed below, are few tips that are absolutely vital to rank higher in Google.

#1 Use Keyword in first 100 words

The ideal place to use keywords in content is within the first 100 words. You must not write a long intro before bothering with a keyword, because Google wouldn’t find it very relevant in the search results.
If keyword ‘Sales marketing’ was used at the very beginning of the content, placing a keyword near the beginning of the article ensures that Google has an easier time in understanding the topic and relevance of the article.

#2 Write title tags with target keyword

An inappropriate keyword can make your website’s chance towards prominence more remote than ever. Hence, you must always start title tags with your targeted keyword. If the keyword is placed to the beginning of the title tag, it will have more weight it has with search engines. Most pages on Google that rank for competitive keywords strategically place them at the beginning of their title tags. Hence, it is wise to do so as it will make your website more relevant to what people search for.

#3 Image Optimization

Ensure that the images on your website have file names which include your target keyword. Your target keyword should be part of Alt Text of images. This will improve optimization for your content and also create a clearer picture for the search engines to the relevancy of your page. Images are vital component of any website as they make pages visually attractive as well as informative. Optimizing your images can naturally boost your ranking on Google.

#4 Use Outbound Links

Outbound links are very helpful to bring more attention to your website. Outbound links show Google that the article is valid, informative and vital requisites for ranking. Hence, you must add outbound links to each of your content. There are a lot of people who make the mistake of not including outbound links to other websites or articles. Just make sure that the links are relevant enough to your content and from authentic sources.

#5 Write click-worthy meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are one of the most important and visible elements, next to your title tag and URL, that convince people to click your website. If you want traffic on your latest content and efficiently on your website, make sure that the meta descriptions are informative and attractive that can arise the viewer’s curiosity within the 150-word limit. Pay attention to the meta descriptions as they can help you to get natural results.

3 Reasons Why You Need A Digital Marketing Strategy In 2019

There was once a time when marketing campaigns meant running ads on television and radio, and placing print ads in newspapers and magazines. Although, as the world of commerce moves more and more toward a digital market place, businesses now have the opportunity to expand their reach with their target through digital marketing strategies.

Many businesses now know how vital digital channels are today for acquiring customers. Although, they don’t have an integrated plan to grow and engage their audiences effectively. Any modern brand that wants to get ahead will need to adopt digital marketing strategies as part of their overall strategy. But this doesn’t mean that you have to throw out the traditional print ads, especially if your business is already seeing great response from these types of ads. Yet by using digital marketing tactics in combination with your current traditional marketing strategies, your business can start to optimize your campaigns for maximum results.

Industry trends and tactics show that digital marketing really does work, regardless of your industry or company size. Below are the top 5 reasons that your brand needs digital marketing to connect with customers and attract new leads in 2019 and beyond.

1) Digital marketing services are affordable

One of the benefits of digital marketing is that these strategies are effective and affordable that can help your businesses get the most out of your marketing budget. You can market through email, social media and SEO driven content marketing at affordable costs.

In fact, content marketing costs much less than some traditional marketing tactics. Digital marketing strategies are not only affordable, but can also offer an attractive ROI for entrepreneurs. By investing in more affordable strategies that provide a positive ROI, you can better optimize your marketing budget. You can save money by implementing affordable digital marketing strategies.

2) Digital marketing strategy gives you focus and direction

The big challenge with digital marketing is that there are so many activities you could be working on, that you may miss key activities. A digital marketing strategy will help you choose focus on priority strategic initiatives. You may know you want to get more visits to your website, but can you say how many? You may want to gain more customers, but can you say by what percentage, or through which channels? Without specific targets, it’s harder to know exactly what you need to do online, and later to measure how successful you’re.

Creating strategy helps you have properly defined essential elements, formulate a powerful value proposition and a general idea of what you want to do line and what your tactics are. Using digital marketing strategy, you can create planned maps of priorities to focus on.

3) Your business can significantly increase reach through digital marketing strategy

Through digital marketing, you can provide new ways to target your audience, and can reach out to more consumers in your target market. Through relevant social media platforms, tailored blog content and search engine marketing, you are able to reach those customers who need a bit more engagement before a purchase or who may have missed your initial ad. Digital marketing channels help your brand provide a more interactive experience through interactive ads.

When it comes to personalization, online videos and product recommendations are the best way to encourage purchasing of your customers. 56% of the consumers are more likely to buy from a brand through personalized shopping experience. Digital marketing allows you to reach back to customers who have visited your website, and left without purchasing.

Top 7 Developments You Must Follow in 2019 When You Do Digital Marketing

A lot of new things happened in the Digital Marketing space last week. Here are the top 7 developments that could be really helpful for us in digital marketing.
#1 LinkedIn Launches its Own Version of Live-Streaming Called ‘LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn’s new live video tool – called ‘LinkedIn Live’ – will provide another option for video content on the platform. LinkedIn Live will give regular members and businesses additional, immediate capacity to share from conferences, product announcements, conduct Q&As and more.
#2 Twitter’s Search Icon Changed From Magnifying Glass To A Hash Symbol​
Twitter has launched a couple of new features this week and one of them is changing the search icon from a magnifying glass to a hash symbol​​.
#3 Instagram is Developing Direct Messages Option on Desktop​
Amid discussion of Facebook’s planned messaging merger, Instagram is now testing the capability for users to access their direct messages from the web version of its app.​
#4 Instagram is Testing an Account Linking Feature to Simplify Multiple Account Management​
Following its recent launch of multi-account posting, Instagram is now developing a new option to connect several accounts to a single log-in, enabling you to more easily manage your various Instagram accounts. The new option would give Instagram users a range of account management options, which would extend beyond simply being able to more easily manage additional, business-related accounts.​
#5 Facebook is Testing A New Brand Collaboration Feature on Groups​
Facebook is looking to test a new brand collaboration options for groups, which will enable associated groups to offer relevant deals and/or partner with professionals for more specific industry insight and assistance.​
#6 Product Card Buttons Pop up on desktop Google Search​
Google Shopping product panel adds for “details”, “reviews” and “stores” options.
#7 New script to find the best text for new ads using an n-gram analysis
This script analyzes the performance of commonly found word sequences to deliver additional insights about historical ad performance.

What is Search Engine Optimization And Why is it Important?

SEO importance article on Sonalta Digibiz Blog

Search engine optimization is today the most important part of any organisation’s online reputation and it is necessary for everyone who manages a website, to understand the true meaning of SEO as well as the potential it creates for every business.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization or SEO in short, is a set of rules for optimizing  a website for search engines and improve the  search engine rankings for the website.

In addition, it is an ideal way to improve the quality of your website by making it user friendly, easier to navigate and faster.

SEO can also be considered as a framework since the whole process has a number of rules, a number of stages and a set of controls.

Why is SEO important?

In today’s cut throat competition online, SEO is more important than ever.

Search engines serve millions of users  everyday looking for answers to their queries or for solutions to their problems.

If you have a web site, blog or online store, SEO can help your business grow and meet the business objectives.

Search engine optimization is important because:

  • The majority of search engines users are more likely to click on one of the top 5 listings in the results pages (SERP). To take advantage of this and gain visitors to your website or customers to your online store, your website needs to appear in one of the top positions.
  • SEO is not only about search engines but good SEO practices improve the user experience and usability of your website.
  • Users trust search engines and having a presence in the top positions for the keywords the user is searching, increases the website’s credibility.
  • SEO is good for the social promotion of your website. People who find your website by searching Google or Yahoo are more likely to promote it on Facebook, Twitter or other social media channels.
  • SEO is important for the smooth running of a bigger website. Websites with more than one author can benefit from SEO in a direct and indirect way. Their direct benefit is increase in search engine traffic and their indirect benefit is having a common framework (checklists) to use before publishing content on the site.
  • SEO can put you ahead of the competition. If two websites are selling the same thing, the search engine optimized web site is more likely to have more customers and make more sales.

google monthly searches figure for the SEO blog on www.sonaltadigi.biz

To understand SEO in detail and to learn it to implement for your website, keep following this space.

In the next article we will learn the SEO in simple terms for the first time learners of SEO.