Connect

Mar. 23, 2015 | by James Mortimer Nine moments that put Twitter on the map

It may seem hard to believe but Twitter turned nine years old this weekend (21st March). The micro blogging network changed how the world communicates, how brands interact with customers and how news is broken around the world.

And to mark the occasion, here are Twitter’s nine biggest moments:

Twitter’s IPO – In November 2013 Twitter went public with their long awaited IPO. The stock opened at $26 a share and currently trade at around $45 although there is still much debate between investment analysts about how successful the IPO actually was.

Obama’s Twitter Town Hall – Twitter and live politics now go hand in hand but Obama was one of the first world leaders to use the platform to interact with voters on a mass scale with his Town Hall event. The hashtag #AskObama received 110,000 mentions.


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Mar. 13, 2015 | by Bill Connolly Global digital trends: The growth of mobile

The Global View

This year we have introduced The Global View – a series of Connect posts that will give you a quick snapshot of the big issues influencing digital marketing around the world, as seen by the different offices in the iCrossing network

This issue Bill Connolly our Content Marketing Manager State side is taking a closer look at what’s going on with mobile advertising right now.


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(c) Johan Larsson

One of the biggest benefits to being a global organization is that we can share insights with colleagues from around the world. In the ever-changing realm of digital, brands must consider how advertising and consumer trends differ across various regions. To help facilitate that conversation, we are introducing a short blog series where iCrossing experts from around the world will offer their perspectives on a given topic. In this, our first installment, we take a look at mobile technology through the regional lens’ of the United States, the UK, and Germany.

US retailers integrating mobile with brick-and-mortar locations

Mobile has been a consideration for retailers in the form of online purchasing for a while. However, one of the largest 2015 mobile trends will be its use as a way to pay for purchases made in store. Apple Pay and the iPhone 6 are leading the way in this ecosystem, with a growing base of participating retailers like Whole Foods recognizing the payment method for consumers. In fact, Apple Pay supports credit cards that represent 90% of the credit card purchase volume in the US and can be used at 220,000 outlets. According to Engadget, Apple Pay is also helping pave the way for other tap-to-pay services like Google and Softcard, simply by raising awareness about the potential for the technology.

Another way that retailers are beginning to engage consumers through mobile is by using location-based capabilities. Geo-fencing allows marketers to send messages directly to a mobile device when the device (and by default, its user) enter into a defined geographical area. Of course, the technology has a long way to go, and most companies have yet to integrate it with their CRM systems. Enabling geo-fencing, however, has an enormous amount of potential for brands to capture busy consumers in the moment when they are near a store. Some popular solutions in this space include iBeacon, Google Now and Neer, among others.


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Mar. 12, 2015 | by Ricardo Rodriguez Boost your content’s SEO value using amplification

Amplification – or the practise of increasing a piece of content’s reach  – has always, and continues to be, an intrinsic part of the online marketing mix, but it is often an overlooked part of content strategy.

Why should I consider amplification?

Amplification can drive those all-important user & social signals that are becoming increasingly important to natural search visibility, leading to an increase in traffic, conversions and, importantly, revenue.

When should I consider amplification?

While typically, the actual implementation of amplifying tactics should come after the release of a piece of content or the launch of a campaign, it is important that amplification is part of the initial activity planning. The fact is, while your content may be seriously engaging, this does not necessarily guarantee it will be shared far and wide, or even be seen, in the first place. Plan your amplification as part of the activity as a whole; not as an afterthought.
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Mar. 06, 2015 | by Rosie Shimell International Women’s Day: Making it happen at iCrossing

This Sunday is International Women’s Day, and the theme for 2015 is ‘Make it Happen'; a powerful motif that asks us not only to celebrate the achievements of women but also to effect change by taking action.

Working in the digital sector, I was pleased to read in the Guardian this week that the UK has more Inspiring Women in technology leadership positions than any other of our European counterparts. However, we still have a long way to go if we are to improve upon the poor representation of women within STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) employers; the campaign group WISE notes this as being an abysmal 13%. And as Marketing highlighted recently, the situation is getting worse. So what can we do to help? Perhaps most importantly we need to persuade businesses to rethink the ways in which we work. The advancement in technology has made it easier than ever to work from anywhere, at any time. Why, therefore, don’t businesses take advantage of this more? Why not expand the talent pool by allowing those who need to, to work flexibly? This affects us all and is not just confined to mums; according to Working Families 60% of employees will become carers. The traditional ‘9-5 in office’ mentality needs to change if businesses want to attract and retain the best.
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Mar. 05, 2015 | by James Allen Will “mobile friendly” affect tablet search results?

Recently the Webmaster Central blog stated that on April 21st, Google will be expanding its use of ‘mobile friendliness‘ as a ranking signal. Google have directed webmasters to their Mobile Friendly Test tool and many have also been using PageSpeed Insights to drill down further into how their site might perform on a slower mobile-network connection (when compared with fibreoptic cable, etc).

Some people have been asking whether mobile friendly signals and site speed will also be important for Google’s tablet results. Information on Google’s tablet-specific results format (when set against mobile or desktop) seems to have arisen in 2011, first on Search Engine Land.

Since tablets have their own uniquely formatted Google search results, will sites which rank negatively on mobile (due to poor site speed or a lack of mobile-friendly design) also perform poorly on tablets?

There’s an awful lot to get one’s head around here. The short answer is: possibly
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Mar. 04, 2015 | by Nick Groark HTML5’s new semantic tags – what’s the SEO value?

SEO may have evolved dramatically over the years, but one constant throughout has been Google’s mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a result, Google have been constantly striving to improve their algorithm. The more advanced the algorithm becomes, the better equipped it is to serve user requests. This ensures the search engine is a better product, consolidating Google’s market share.

Fulfilling this mission has been the driving force behind the algorithm updates, which were so keenly felt with the release of the Florida Update in 2003 and then the May Day Update in 2010. However; this was nothing compared to the shockwaves caused by the first iterations of Google Panda and Penguin, first introduced in February 2011 and April 2012 respectively.

It is this concept of striving to provide high quality content and websites to users that has got me thinking about the future of SEO.

At a fundamental level HTML is the bedrock of SEO, links are the driving force, but HTML is the foundation. Getting your site right from a technical stand point in the beginning is a crucial part of any campaign and Google stress this in their guidelines:

Make your site easily accessible

Making your site more accessible seems a no brainer. It makes sense to create website content that is accessible from a technical standpoint; content should be correctly tagged and have a clear internal linking structure, as well as a defined page hierarchy and architecture.
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Mar. 02, 2015 | by Jenny Ellery Why all SMEs should have a Chief Talent Officer

The short-sightedness of failing to invest in a Chief Talent Officer was the subject of a recent Talent Management Raconteur supplement in The Times. As the journalist, Charles Orton-Smith highlights in his introduction…

The absence is striking. By failing to create a dedicated talent officer and excluding the holder from the board, firms risk underplaying the importance of fostering talent.

Here at iCrossing, we have had a Chief Talent Officer, Rachel Collier for the last three years and we believe this has played a huge part the dramatic improvements we have seen in our staff retention stats – the percentage of staff who have been at the agency for a year or more grew from just 60% in 2011 to 76% last year.

But don’t think you can just change your HR Director’s job title and that’ll be it, job done. Chief Talent Officers (CTO) take the HR function beyond just checking individuals in and out of a company and focus much more on a sustainable approach to holding onto the best people.  The focus on Talent in the job title is directly reflected in the work they do. It is about identifying each individual’s strengths, unleashing their potential and getting the best performance from the talent the company has. 
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Feb. 17, 2015 | by Tiffanni Garner How to Make Pancakes…and other seasonal searches

What is search seasonality?

Today is Pancake Day. It is the day many of us will bring up Google and type in our traditional annual search -“how to make pancakes”. Amazingly, last year, ‘how to make pancakes’ was the most searched for how to term on Google and of course almost every search was on or around Pancake Day.

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Almost every website, across all industries will have peak seasons or set periods when search demand for their products or services boost in popularity. When do you think the search demand in the UK is highest for the query “self assessment”? – January when HMRC bump up their advertising and many of us realise we have not yet filed our tax return. What about “florist”? – February when we’re trying to make Valentine’s Day perfect.


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Feb. 06, 2015 | by James Allen The triumphant return of real-time search

On February 5th, Bloomberg Business posted an article stating that Google has managed to secure a deal with social giant Twitter in order to procure its lucrative real time tweet-feed.

This is one of the biggest things to happen in SEO throughout the 2014 / early-2015 period.

So how do we know this is BIG News?

Simply put, because it was huge news last time Google and Twitter combined forces to produce “real-time search“. Real time search was introduced on December 7th 2009 and lasted until July 2nd 2011.

Real-time search included a ‘box’ containing slightly extruded results, similar to “Image results“, “Video results” or “News results“:
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Jan. 16, 2015 | by Sacha Fellingham 6 New Year’s resolutions to set you up for media success in 2015

‘Start as you mean to go on’ as the saying goes and that is exactly the type of approach I believe is crucial to media success in 2015.  Below I’ve outlined my top six resolutions to keep you at the top of your game and to kick start your new year with highly efficient online media campaigns.

1. Paid Search: Mobile                 

Yes, I know it’s been the year of the mobile for so many years now however, with recent changes to Google policy whereby description line 2 was dropped on mobile and replaced with ad extensions, it’s more important than ever to get the sitelink, callout or location extension right.  This needs careful consideration during the ad creation stage as it can lead to higher engagement levels if done well.

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