Digital

The Uprising of Virtual Reality and 360 Video

Event trends are rapidly beginning to lean towards virtual reality, as the required technology becomes consumer-ready and the consumers themselves hanker after more memorable experiences. With the recent release of the Samsung Gear VR headset, VR experiences are realistically accessible to the masses. There's no doubt about it; viewers want to be a part of the narrative instead of merely observing it. Interactive Vendor Demos and Virtual Venues

Static demonstrations may be a thing of the past. According to Events.com, a marketing agency could deliver a fully-interactive, three-dimensional pitch to potential clients. The options for vendor demos are almost endless. We're looking at a world where event-goers will gaze in awe rather than stifle a yawn while sacrificing their precious time in exchange for nothing more than a goodie bag.

Virtual venues are another potential plus for event organisers. Consider the enormous potential of a completely interactive virtual space with no design limitations whatsoever. Furthermore, consider the financial implications of paying for server space instead of shelling out a hefty sum for physical event space and all the extras that go along with it.

An Alternative to Live Keynote Speakers

For event organisers who are keen to test the VR waters but prefer to have some traditional elements in place, Event Manager Blog suggests the possibility of holograms and Telepresence in the place of live keynote speakers. This would provide the all-important "wow-factor" without taking too much of a risk on something that event-goers might be unfamiliar with.

Spatial Audio for an Immersive Experience

In a post written by College Web Editor, spatial audio is described as, "spherical sound that can be experienced in 360 degrees." Recently introduced to YouTube's 360 videos, spatial audio will allow event organisers to direct attendees' attention in a completely new and exciting way.

As an event-goer, you would hear a sound and instinctively find yourself looking to exactly where it came from. Being able to direct a viewer's gaze in this way is an extremely powerful tool, one that until now has not yet been explored to its full potential.

 

The Power of SEO Article Writing

With roughly 75% of the Internet's "window shoppers" using search engine keywords to source products, it would be a dire mistake to pass up the opportunity to take a slice of the “profit pie”. SEO article writing is the best way to drive traffic to websites, and convert that traffic into purchases. A survey by Forrester Research shows that that 60% of marketers around the globe are increasing their online marketing budgets rather than investing in more traditional forms of advertising. Regular print advertising is vastly more expensive and unsurprisingly ineffective in the fact of targeted SEO-optimized content.

SEO article writing demonstrates a certain trustworthiness that consumers are looking for. Creating informative content allows companies to show that they are knowledgeable; they have a certain amount of authority in their industry. Clever use of SEO optimized content allows companies to expand their collection of high ranking keywords, pulling even more users to their websites. This careful balance of high ranking keywords simultaneously improves the quality of the site and makes it easier for search engines to find.

Perhaps the cleverest aspect of SEO marketing is the fact that the client finds the product in question by actively looking for it. Psychologically, there is an element of the “hunt” to the process. Consumers need to believe that they have led themselves to the product, rather than being accosted by random print ads that are completely uninteresting to them.

B2B Blogging Strategy

Within your B2B Marketing strategy have you included Blogging? If not, you should! Blogging is an important part of any B2B content marketing strategy. Blogging is an effective way for you to connect and interact with new business prospects, peers and others in the industry. All whilst driving traffic to your website and in turn generating leads, and creating brand awareness.  

With 33.7 million new blog posts churned out on Wordpress along each month, it can be difficult to stand out, so with that in mind, how do you create an eye-catching blog post?

Before writing your blog posts, your target audience must be clearly defined. Once you have done this, keep promotional strategies in mind when deciding on your headlines and titles. Ask yourself, how can I catch their attention? What will they be looking for?

Around 72% of B2B buyers begin the buying process with a Google search. So this is a perfect opportunity to do some research into what B2B customers have been searching for to find your website, or your competitors websites. Then create the headline that helps answer a question or provide a solution to this large percentage of B2B buyers looking for answers.

 

B2B companies who actively blog receive 67% more leads than those that do not, so next time you’re thinking about your marketing strategies, give blogging a second thought.

Why is your Website & Social Media so important in B2B Marketing?

Marketing your business in today’s competitive business world can be tricky, and your strategies may need to change with the launch of a new Google algorithm or new social media app. But there are some primary principles that will always be consistent....  

Your Website is your Kingdom

If you work in the digital industry, you know you need a website. But do you know how important it is to your business? Your website could be the first port of call for any new customer, here you can share your story, connect with people directly and most importantly, create that important first impression. Make sure your online presence is up to scratch by having an engaging customer experience, top-notch branding and easy navigation. Simple.

 

SEO & Social Media

When you think of Search engine optimization you might not realise how important your social media strategy is to this. SEO commands a regular stream of high-quality and relevant content, and having active social media accounts will actually boost authority and visibility on Google. You should know that you can’t achieve results just by sharing your product links and blog posts all the time. Instead, you must focus on building conversations and boosting engagement. Proactively reaching out to your target audience. right use of it.

Ultimately, engagement is the only way forward on social media. Without engagement, your followers will become a liability and hurt the visibility of your social media updates.

Easy & Affordable Marketing Methods for Start Ups

  List your Company on Google

Not only is a listing on Google places totally free, it is essential for all businesses to have a presence on here. It directs customers to you when they are in the area, and your business typically appears higher in Google search rankings for doing so. Plus, customers can review the company and leave comments.

Blog

Use your blog to share news about your company, news about your clients, awards you have won, and other content like YouTube videos that are associated with campaigns you’re pushing out.

 

Utilise YouTube Creating content in the form of audio visuals is key to any campaign if you want to be seen and heard! We’ve all seen viral videos spreading around social media like the plague, get your thinking caps on and see what you can come up with. Also, video has been shown to move an existing site to the first page of a Google search within 30 minutes of adding the video. A study also found that customers who see a video on your site are 172% more likely to buy your product or service.

 

Case Studies

Show everyone how happy you can make your customers. It’s a super easy and quick way of creating content, and showcasing your efforts. Case studies don't have to be extensive, but they do need to contain useful information. Explain the customer's problem, how your product or service solved that problem, and then a quote from the client about their satisfaction.

 

Pay for Facebook

Ever since Facebook changed its EdgeRank to allow only about 10 percent of your page's followers to see your posts, using sponsored stories has become more and more important. Sponsored stories let you show your post to a larger audience than you would if you did a regular post. This marketing strategy offers more than direct sales, it's also a powerful tool to increase awareness and word of mouth advertising.

 

 

What kind of write-ups should startups produce for online marketing?

As we all know by now, SEO is a key aspect in getting your business noticed. Especially relevant to Start-Ups who are on a mission to get business rolling in and clients and contracts signed. Making sure you are visible to potential customers is essential to a Start Up business, and there are many ways of producing content for keywords, some involve costs such as Adwords etc. and some are totally free but will need a bit of time and attention paid to them.... Click onto any business website, and more than likely they will have a blog. Blogging still has a huge part to play in producing content for keywords. Writing a post full of useful information related to your industry is a great way of drawing in potential customers. It shows that you know your stuff and the added advantage of a blog means it can be totally personal and written in the first person so you can convey your passion for your industry and hopefully give things a unique and thought leading spin.

Articles like blogs can offer the same rewards but are structured slightly differently. While blogs should be easy to read, include photos, include helpful tips and offers personal opinions and insights, an Article is a much more structured piece of writing. Designed as a piece to sit down and read rather than scan through it should contain lots of data and statistics with only facts. Much like a White Paper (which we'll get onto next) it should be much more analytical thinking than personal opinion.

A White Paper is actually designed to be a marketing and sales tool to attract potential customers. Your White Paper should be a well written and well thought out piece which showcases your businesses talents and expertise in your industry so ultimately potential clients can see you know what you're talking about and you have the stats to back yourself up!

 

Perform a SWOT Analysis on your Website

Identifying strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats has long been a standard process within any business model – but in this digital age, have you given thought into doing a SWOT analysis on your website?  

The purpose of performing a SWOT analysis on your website is to discover which characteristics are important to the site’s success and what factors can be potentially harmful so that you can use these findings in your website’s strategy. Ultimately, you’re looking to continually improve the UX.

 

Examples

 

Strengths

  • Quick and easy checkout process
  • Responsive design with full mobile support

Weaknesses

  • Outdated or ineffective design
  • No mobile support

Opportunities

  • New technologies to improve user experience
  • New design trends to better convey messages

 

External Threats

  • Competitors copying features or ideas
  • New laws or regulations
  • Fraudulent activity

Social Market Research

In this new age of digital, social and mobile mediums, social market research is becoming more and more important.  The majority of consumers are constantly connected to a digital stream of information, changing the way they shop and browse on whichever screen happens to be in front of them at the time!The most progressive marketers understand that their brand needs to constantly be switched on to this audience, in order to ensure media impressions across social media and websites. The differences in these impressions can tell us a lot about the consumer. A paid impression lets the user know that the marketer thinks they are interesting to their brand, whereas an earned impression will tell the marketer that the consumer finds the brand interesting to them.

Insight The smartest marketers will take this information a step further. By tracking every Tweet, post to Facebook, click and page view, content can be optimised, creative strategies and website or app experiences can be developed. This is achieved by discovering which ideas are most engaging to consumers, simply because they are viewed and shared the most. Bare in mind it is important to find a healthy balance - intelligent consumers will spot it if you over saturate one area of your marketing. Quickly build on multiple successes and don't be afraid to keep developing new ideas for content.

Digital and social data from market research can offer so much more than surveys alone.

3 ways to innovate your Qualitative Research

In the changing digital climate, your Qualitative Research needs to be able to adapt to a new kind of savvy, social sharing customer. We have given you 3 ways to make small changes to your research that will make all the difference. Experience don’t Research

Businesses are realising whilst focus groups are good and can deliver results, they are instead opting to immerse themselves in their customer’s world. By doing this they can gain a new appreciation for methods that allow them to role play as their target customer and gain a much better understanding of the people they are marketing to.

 

Empathy not Insights

Businesses now want to connect with their customers on an empathic and emotional level and will demand innovative approaches to help them do so. When you begin to think of research as a conversation rather than a test. It produces richer insights and more genuine connections between brands and people.

 

Willingness to Share

Thanks to social media, people are more willing than ever to share their lives online. To be smart you will need to control this trend to benefit your customers. Particularly in online contexts, people are increasingly comfortable letting others into their lives. With this trend brings with challenges. Qualitative researchers will need to be creative and innovative in the techniques they use to keep their respondents engaged.

 

eKarma: 6 Forms of Giving to Increase Profits Online

One of the most powerful concepts for me in online business is Karma. Whereby, it works for both businesses and social enterprises. It works on the principle of, the more one gives the more they receive. In this post I will solely focus on Karma to make a profit. The theory and my practical experience is that the more one gives for free the more they generate in actual income.  Although, here are some assumptions I have made about business implementing it:

  1. The business using Karma has a genuine offering i.e. product or service, i.e. they are adding real value for customers
  2. It's not about just giving, but giving with no expectations of return on investment.
  3. Give but don't be unfair to yourself or your business. Know your limits!
  4. Giving is not time bound. You can't expect results to be instantaneous (although, you can guesstimate the return timing, more about it later).

Wikipedia defines Karma as "the principle of causality where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual."

eKarma

I call it eKarma, as it applies to the most online businesses. The main requirements to attain eKarma is to offer:

1, Free Trials: eKarma is today followed by most Software As A Service (SaaS) businesses, where by they offer free trials before purchase. One might think of it as a marketing ploy to mitigate hurdles for the customer, although in fact it's true giving. As the customer gets an opportunity to receive before parting with their money. This symbiotic relationship encourages to increase trust in the company and hence increases business.

The Value: We at Goodman Lantern offer every customer 2 hours free trial. These two hours costs us money, not only for those two hours but also before, working on the scope and getting project managers involved to prepare requirement analysis. We have offered these trials to several people and almost 90% of them became customers. We didn't expect this to happen, but it works!

2. Free Work: It's not always about the money. Many at times our clients do not understand the value of doing a task, which would be beneficial for their business. As a result, they don't want to pay. We would generally (with customer's permission off course) offer to do this task for free for 1 to 3 months. And showcase the genuine positives, which results in more business. That's when we decide to charge them.

The Value: The reason why this works is that, customers generally have a clear idea of what the Return of Investment looks like, although not necessarily how to achieve it. As a result providing them a service, which can add value (for free) is allowing them to look outside the box. If this genuinely works they will pay.

3. Be a Friend: Most SMB owners tend to work in small teams. Generally speaking, it's lonely on the top and most SMBs are looking for people to help them with more than just business. Empathy goes a long way. This includes genuinely adding value and not selling in products or services just for a profit i.e. provide service as a friend would!

The Value: In my experience, business owners are talkative bunch, they consult other founders and share experiences. If you add value, communicate and advice as a friend, they will recommend you to others. And referral business is the best form of sales.

4. Charity Starts at Home: Before you extend eKarma to customers offer it to your staff and consultants who work for you. Whatever you apply to customers should start with your very own suppliers. I would highly recommend making sure that your team is happy. An occasional treat, drinks session, surprise breakfast etc would go a long way.

Example: Recently one of our client's team member found out that it was his birthday. She mentioned that in the Philippines, where she is originally from, they bought ice-cream for friends. Immediately he sent $10 over for ice-cream for her and family and demanded that he wanted to see a picture of them having it. According to him, in terms of his soul, it was the best $10 he had ever spent. He is not sure of the financial value yet but he told me that the team member's performance has certainly improved. Fantastic ROI isn't?

 5. Thank People Regularly: No man is an Island and no one can survive without the goodwill of their team, suppliers, customers, friends, family and surroundings. It would hence make sense to thank the people around for their support and inform them where you are in your business, use email, social media or more to do so.

The Value: I have often do this and the results have been good. Usually with such communication via email 50-60% of people respond back with approximately under 5% have some work for you or knows someone who could collaborate.

6. Regular Communication with Current Customers/Investors: As we have previously established, it's lonely at the top. Hence, whatever  help you can offer your clients/investors to keep them abreast via constant communication would be fruitful. I highly recommend communicating with them at least once a month informing them on how the money/effort they spent with your business is growing.

The Value: In my experience this has lead to customers reacting positively. As opposed to many people thinking of this as a spam, I have seen existing customers see it as a proactive approach, resulting in stronger ties or up-selling services or products.

Return on Investment (RoI) of eKarma

The return on investment of eKarma comes in three forms. Although, no one knows when the eKarma pays back. Although you might have a hunch, I don't think anyone can precisely predict it.

1. Short Term eKarma: This is when you would receive a result between 1 to 90 days. Generally, free trials for small Capex projects generate these results. While it's not guaranteed, eKarma has definitely lowered the barrier to entry for your customers. If you do start receiving Short Term eKarma benefits, I would recommend you start being extravagant in your giving.

2. Mid Term eKarma: This when you generate results within one year. This is probably the most common form or eKarma, as within a year the prospect client starts to trust in you. Your eKarma account starts to look positive and you  receive leads who would convert into customers after a 10 mins phone call.

Some examples of Mid-Term eKarma examples are via Blogging, Podcasting and White Paper.

3. Long Term eKarma: Although, the most influential and powerful form of eKarma is when you are invested in it for a long time. Where one is constantly giving back in the form of sweat, tears and hard-work. Without fully knowing where the return on investment would come from. This in my mind is true form of giving. Many companies have received great success from it, especially Open Source Software. Including Wordpress, Java (programming), Mozilla, Ubuntu, MySQL  and more.

 

 

Optimise your Marketing Strategy through SWOT Analysis

Reviewing your marketing strategy can see overwhelming at first glance, but by breaking it down using a SWOT analysis can make your life much easier. Grab yourself a piece of paper, and let's get started!

Strengths

This is where you're free to boast about your successes! Here you will be identifying what strategies have worked well for you so far - wether it was a successful Facebook campaign or even that you have a regular blogging schedule. Don't just stop there though - how can you improve this and take these successful strategies and apply them to the least successful strategies you have?

Weaknesses

Time to own up to those strategies that didn't quite cut it. Bear in mind, this is not a negative step, you're simply identifying what stuff didn't work and then figuring out how to turn it around into a success. List 5 weaknesses of your current strategy. It could be that you don't pay enough attention to Twitter, or that a recent ad campaign failed to produce the results you expected. How can you fix it? Could you get in a young, tech-savvy intern who can take the lead on social media?

Opportunities

No matter how small, analyse what opportunities you have in your marketing strategy. Think about the bigger picture here, take a look at your competitors and see what they are doing - how can you get in on that and improve upon it?

Threats

Again, taking a look at other businesses in your sector - Maybe they have a bigger advertising budget, or they have a strong relationship with a publication that your target market reads daily. How can you take a different approach to get the attention of these customers?

Once you have completed your SWOT analysis, you will almost have a new & refreshed strategy sitting in front of you.  All you need to do is turn it into an actionable plan. The plan should be based on the strengths and weaknesses you've identified from your current efforts, take advantage of opportunities in the market, and also account for potential threats to your strategy.

Why and How should you hire an Administrative Assistant?

Last week, whilst sitting at my desk, signing into the multiple email accounts that I manage, returning phone calls and looking over my schedule for the week, I had an overwhelming thought of “I really have more important things to be doing right now than scrolling through a 30 thread email confirming next weeks lunch meeting”.We have become well accustomed to answering our own correspondence, in this age of instant messaging, emails direct to your smartphone and Skype. But as soon as important calls slip off your radar, or projects slink away because of an email oversight, it might be time to hire an assistant. You are essentially paying this person to be your eyes and ears, to survive they must have thought processes that match your own or they may not be able keep up with your work load or their own.

Smaller businesses need to be creative when hiring administrative assistants.

They don’t have the support of a HR department like many big businesses do. Using social media is a great way of recruiting, or as an initial screening tool at least.

LinkedIn is great for finding people with specific skillsets, viewing their employment history and recommendations in seconds. Twitter is perfect for striking up conversations with people in your target talent pool. Of course, Twitter may require a little more work than LinkedIn - Savvy jobseekers will include their skills within their twitter profile, so using a tool such as FollwerWonk (https://followerwonk.com/bio/) will help you find people based on what they do for a living and ideally the area they live in.

An administrative assistant can take the hassle out of these sometimes seemingly mundane yet essential tasks, but it’s crucial to get a good hire.

Why hourly (Agile) consulting projects deliver better results

As a business and digital consultant for more than a decade. I have often had long debates with customers if they should pay by the hour (days) or a fixed price, which is agreed upfront. Having a software background, in our world, we would call it Agile i.e. focus on the end objective but not how we get there. This also comes bundled with adaptive planning and short cycles of planning/implementing. The other method is Waterfall , generally  pre-planned and has series of steps all agreed in advance.

Most customers prefer Waterfall

There is no doubt that customers love 'no' surprises. Its widely believed by customers that a supplier has a magic wand to come up with precise pricing. In reality though, no two projects are the same. Even if two projects have exactly the same specification, the founders are different and hence they have different expectations and experiences. Hence the project will inevitably be different. No company, can precisely predict the time and cost involved, its therefore known as an estimate.

How does a supplier counter the unknown?

The supplier generally knows that its rather tricky to come up with accurate time estimates, hence they add a contingency or buffer. Its not abnormal for this to be 25-50%. In fact , a good supplier should have a large buffer to give the customer what they need. In my previous business, I used to add 40%, making us expensive but water-tight.

Biggest challenge

Almost any good project has a changing finish line or scope. Most supplier deliver projects in stages or by milestones. As the customer sees the progress, new thoughts kindle and Project definition changes. Projects worth $100,000 become $250,000 by the time the idea turns to reality. In fact, organisations like IBM make a significant amount of money on project change management.

How should a client protect their interest?

Keeping all these factors and potential cost of change management, how should the client plan their project? In my opinion, the ideal way to work with consultants is to:

1. Divide all the tasks into large headings, ideally produced by the supplier. Obviously, only after you have given them a proper brief or detailed explanation over the phone.

2. Now let them tell you in a document as to what they have understood. In addition providing milestones and phases for the project.

3. Award them the project and track the hours they are working.

4. Monitor them and their work, daily or every couple of days. Make sure they deliver what you had in your mind.

5. If they get it, results will be fairly evident. For smaller projects the results are out in the open within 7-14 days. If they don't get it, explain, correct and try again. If they still don't get it, fire them and find someone else!

That's how one finds a good supplier and gets work done on tight budgets

Learnings from successful 'technology' Kickstarter projects

Kickstarter is now used by various sectors to raise funding, technology is no exception. In the PDF below find the specifics of the leading companies who raised several times over the amount they were set to raise. For instance First Domestic Robot That Tracks Intruders! raised 24,952% over the amount it was meant to raise to make it's project a reality. Here is an analysis of what's common between the various successful companies:  

To Raise Over $10kPre-requisite: You should be building something truly revolutionary. Like a 3D printing pen, smart-home ⁃ Making life truly easy for everyday tech i.e. home devices, keyboards, flashlights and more ⁃ Empowering everyday people to do amazing stuff at low prices. Eg: 3D printing, coding for real devices (for kids), ⁃ Become healthy with quantifiable results. Eg: vest burns up to a pound of fat per week (500 calories/day ⁃ Available for most devices. It was observed that most oversubscribed projects were universal i.e. they worked on most devices. Even if they were only for mobile devices they supported iOS and Android.

To Raise under $10kPre-requisite: The item is in-expensive to buy for the end user ⁃ Applicable to a large audience irrespective of gender, profession and age. Example: Yoga classes, home safe of intruders and 3D laser scanner ⁃ Fun to have or use, could be a potential hobby. Example: guitar hero for real instruments, 3D scanners for

Other observations: ⁃ All the companies that raised money via Kickstarter in the technology section had great descriptions. They were able to define their product in under 10 words. Example: The World’s First 3D Printing Pen, Calorie Burning Vest, Cool-Ink 3D Pen, ⁃ Had a wow-factor in it’s description. Example: Designed by a NASA scientist, The world’s first and best 3D printing pen and Winner of the 2015 CES Best of Innovation

 

Analysis based on companies:  

Why APAC is ESSENTIAL for any mobile Startup in 2015?

It's common knowledge that Asia Pacific, often referred to as APAC is growing fast. China overtook USA as the biggest economy, just a few weeks back. Although there is more to it, the population of China and India put together equates to more than third of the world's population.  This with the increasing buying power implies more consumer goods. There is no better example of consumer behaviour than mobile phones in the twenty-first century. The mobile phone penetration is growing and so is the data consumption, in APAC mobile data grew by 12x between 2013 and 2019. APAC market today and tomorrow

It's clear from the above graph that Asia Pacific is and will remain the biggest market for mobile subscription in the world. Bigger than the rest put together. Hence any startup looking to target mobile should look at APAC. This applies to software, apps and also products which can be sold online.

Asia and e-commerce

Today Most customers in China (74%) and India (62%) compare prices via smartphones compared to 43% globally. 37% of Asia-Pacific respondents likely to purchase goods and services through mobile devices. Both statistics show how much are customers reliant on mobile to make purchases even within stores. Tomorrow By 2016, 40% of worldwide B2C online sales i.e. $856bn will come from Asia-Pacific.

 

 

Funding in Second Half of 2014

As the year comes to an end Goodman Lantern summarised venture and angel funding in various sectors reported by VentureBeat. The clear winner is E-commerce based on it's growth in Asia:

  • Wearables: $10m

  • Web hosting: $15m

  • Internet of Things (IoT): $17.8m

  • eHealth: $21.4m

  • Rentals / Travel: $21.8m

  • Games: $30m

  • Social Media: $40m

  • Betting / Fantasy Sports: $43.7m

  • Recruitment: $44m

  • Digital Subscription: $115.7m

  • Platforms: $123.1m

  • Streaming: $150.5m

  • Video / Music / Streaming: $173.8m

  • Ecommerce: $300m

December

  • Video / Music / Streaming: Musx overhauls its streaming music app, raises $500K December 10, 2014 3:00 AM | Tom Cheredar

  • Video / Music / Streaming: SoundCloud reportedly raising another $150M to join the $1B valuation club

  • Rentals / Travel: VaycayHero grabs $2.8M to take the pain out of vacation rentals

  • Digital Subscriptions: Next Issue raises $50M to become a Netflix for digital magazines

November

  • Ecommerce: Rocket Internet’s Amazon clone Lazada secures $250M Digital Subscriptions: Pluto TV takes $13M for its free linear TV streaming serviceYoubetme

  • Betting / Fantasy Sports: Youbetme grabs $2.7M to help you keep track of all your bets

  • Ecommerce: Ecommerce juggernaut Bigcommerce nabs $50M

  • eHealth: Florida-based Modernizing Medicine has raised $15 million of a $20 million round to support the development and marketing of its cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic health records (EHR) platform.

October

  • Digital Subscription: Roku raises $25 million amid growing competition from Amazon and Google

  • Digital Subscription: Cratejoy grabs $4M to give anyone their own monthly subscription service

  • Wearables: Atlas raises $1.1M to power its Motion Genome Project, a motion database for wearables

 

September

  • Wearables: Pristine grabs $5.4M to cure the doctor shortage and save lives with Google Glass

  • Digital Subscription: Application delivery platform startup PowWow has raised a new $2.5 million round of funding today to help businesses work from mobile devices.

  • Video / Music / Streaming: Video startup JW Player has raised a fresh $20 million round of funding to grow beyond its status as one of the most used non-YouTube video players.

  • Social Media: Snowball Finance (Xueqiu in Chinese), the Chinese finance-focused social media site, announced that the company has raised $40 million in Series C funding led by Renren Inc. and joined by existing investor MorningSide Ventures. The company raised a Series A funding of US$10 million last year, and $3.2 million in 2011.

  • Video / Music / Streaming: Feed.fm picks up $1.2M to inject music into your marketing campaignMoney

 

August

  • Video / Music / Streaming: Streaming music service 8tracks has secured $1.28 million in new funding, according to an SEC Form D filed today.

  • Wearables: Ybrain just raised $3.5 million to further development of its Alzheimer’s treating healthcare wearable.

  • Web Hosting: Wikia, a web hosting company of community-based websites for fans of movies, bands, games, and other subjects, has brought on $15 million in fresh funding.

  • Platform: Glassbeam just raised $2 million to expand its SCALAR machine data analytics platform.

  • Platform: Lumiata raises $5M to further its optimized medical-care analytics

  • Betting / Fantasy Sports: DraftKings grabs $41M for its cash-rewards fantasy football league

  • Platform: Product-management platform Wizeline raises $6.7M

  • Platforms: Financial planning company, FeeX, just raised $6.5 million to help more consumers save money on hidden investment fees.

  • Recruitment: Resumator grabs $15M because investors can't get enough recruiting software

  • Recruitment: Popular recruiting software, The Resumator, landed $15 million to expand internally and externally.

  • Rentals / Travel: Airport car-rental service RelayRides just received $10 million in funding to push expansion and fuel app development.

  • eHealth: Acupera pulls in $4M to help health providers better understand their patients. Acupera’s system mines data from electronic health records, medical claims, and lab results to help doctors and nurses better care for their patients.

  • IoT: The Internet of Things heats up with CyberLightning landing $4.2 million funding for global expansion.

  • Platform: Investment management platform Axial has raised a new $11 million round of funding, the startup announced today.

  • Platforms: Online meal delivery service Foodpanda has raised a fresh $60 million round of funding, the company announced today.

  • Platforms: Quettra gets $2.9M in new funding to give advertisers more customer dataFunding daily cat

 

July

  • Video / Music / Streaming: Today, FameBit has announced that it has completed a $1.4 million seed round of funding, which will help it scale its team and give more YouTubers the opportunity to make money off their creativity.

  • eHealth: Healthy-living photo community PumpUp raises $2.4M in seed funding July 24, 2014 11:07 AM | Brenda Barron PumpUp, a fitness social network for primarily women, just raised $2.4 million in seed funding with General Catalyst Partners leading the round.

  • Platform: Movius raises $13M to give BYOD users multiple phone lines, split billing on one device. The company plans to use the money to take its two core products global.

  • Games: Mobile game maker, Social Point, just received $30 million in funding in a round led by Highland Capital Partners Europe.

  • Digital Subscription: Online graphic design tool, Canva, raised $3.6 million more in funding and announced plans for third-party integration. Digital Subscription: Speaktoit raises $2.6M to build an army of 'personal assistants'. The company develops what an “intelligent companion,” which acts like Apple’s Siri but operates across devices and comes with a face. Platform: Vision Critical raises $16M in additional funding. Vision Critical receives $16 million more in funding to expand its customer intelligence platform.

  • IOT: Smart climate control maker tado° secures $13.6 million to fuel global expansion.

  • Recruitment: Jobandtalent recruitment platform raises $14 million more in funding.

  • Rentals / Travel: Montreal-based bus-ticket booking company Busbud has pulled in $9 million in a Series A round of funding, it announced today.

  • Digital Subscription: Cloud Engines, the company behind Pogoplug, raised another $2 million in funding for its cloud storage service.

Growth of Online Content Creation

Online Content Creation is a growing market, globally. On average, annual digital marketing operating budgets represented 2.5% of a company's revenue in 2012 (UK companies spend 2% of turnover - See Below). These expenses include personnel costs, contract labor, software as a service and external marketing services such as agency creative services, search, website design, content creation and management, social and mobile marketing. In fact, content creation and management account for the second largest share of digital marketing budgets. Reasons for Content Creation

Content creation and management account for the second largest share of digital marketing budgets. This is driven, in part, by the desire to populate the infinite appetites of inbound marketing channels. Social networks, customer forums, and the blogosphere are examples that drive inbound inquiries or actions. However, you need to create content that delivers the right message to the right person at the right time, regardless of how the dialogue gets started. That means content is equally needed to meet the demands of outbound marketing as well. The enormous pressure to create, manage and distribute content for multiple marketing activities through the right channels will only increase as customers use more digital channels for collaboration, researching and acquisition of products and services.

 

Marketer and CMO's Perspective

Marketers outsource 36% of content creation and believe it is the 4th most important activity for Marketing Success. Although, budgets per sector vary (source):

digital markeitng budgets

 

Budget's on the Rise

According to the Custom Content Council, in 2012, 68% of CMO’s will be increasing their budget for content marketing. Smaller companies with less than 10 employees are spending about 34% of the company budget in content marketing, approximately $56,000 annually. Companies with over 1000 employees are spending about 26% of the company budget in content marketing, approximately $1M annually. Although, budgets for SMEs are smaller, Small to Medium Businesses generally spend anything between 23-34% on content creation.  In the UK, on average, companies with a turnover of £1 million (the average TO of a UK SME) spend between £8,000 and £18,000 on content per year. Brands that turn over £2 million invest up to £36,000 per year and £5 million, £89,000 per annum. That equates to around 2% of turnover.

In the 2011 State of Content Marketing Survey from Techvalidate the majority of respondents reported that 20% or more of their marketing budget was devoted to producing content. Of those surveyed, 15% devote at least half of their entire marketing budget to content production.

 

125 Top Technology Blogs

If you are launching a new app, website or digital product, it's worth telling the world about it. A good place to get started is to contact technology blogs who care about your innovation and are looking to find the next big thing. If pitched in the right way they can make a difference. Here is a list of Top 125 technology blogs you should certainly get in touch with:

Blog / Website Name URL
TechCrunch http://techcrunch.com/
The Next Web http://thenextweb.com/
The Verge http://www.theverge.com/
CNET http://www.cnet.com/
Bloomberg's Tech column http://www.bloomberg.com/technology/
ZDNet http://www.zdnet.com/
Engadget http://www.engadget.com/
Ars Technica http://arstechnica.com/
New York Times Technology Column http://www.nytimes.com/pages/technology/index.html
Gigaom http://gigaom.com/
9to5Mac http://www.9to5mac.com/
Mashable http://mashable.com/
Wired http://www.wired.com/
AppleInsider http://appleinsider.com/
MacRumors http://www.macrumors.com/
NYT Bits http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/
paidContent http://gigaom.com/?primary_channel=media
Fortune http://fortune.com/
VentureBeat http://venturebeat.com/
Make Use Of http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/author/mark
Digital Inspiration http://www.labnol.org/
Tech Dirt https://www.techdirt.com/
Tom's Hardware http://www.tomshardware.com/
Inside Facebook http://www.insidefacebook.com/
Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com/
Slash Dot http://slashdot.org/
Slate's Technology Column http://www.slate.com/articles/technology.html
Life Hacker http://www.lifehacker.co.in/
MIT's Technology Review http://www.technologyreview.com/
Geek Wire http://www.geekwire.com/
BBC Future http://www.bbc.com/future
Techna Bob http://technabob.com/
Quartz.com http://qz.com/
Guardian Technology Column http://www.theguardian.com/technology
Electronic Frontier Foundation http://www.eff.org/
Gizmodo http://gizmodo.com/
BGR http://bgr.com/
Tech Redar http://www.techradar.com/
Beta News http://betanews.com/
The Register http://www.theregister.co.uk/
IT World http://www.itworld.com/
PC Mag http://www.pcmag.com/
Addictive Tips http://www.addictivetips.com/
Gear Petrol http://gearpatrol.com/
Ad Age http://adage.com/
How To Geek http://www.howtogeek.com/
9 to 5 Google http://9to5google.com/
9 to Toys http://9to5toys.com/
Fast Company http://www.fastcompany.com/
iFixit http://www.ifixit.com/
Peta Pixel http://petapixel.com/
Droid Life http://www.droid-life.com
Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Laptop Mag http://blog.laptopmag.com/
Tech Cocktail http://tech.co/
Android Police http://www.androidpolice.com/
The Flurry Blog http://www.flurry.com/
Times if India's Technology column http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech
Neowin http://www.neowin.net/
Talk Android http://www.talkandroid.com/
Pocket Lint http://www.pocket-lint.com/
Adweek http://www.adweek.com/
Slash Gear http://www.slashgear.com/
Electronista http://www.electronista.com/
Ken Sengall's Blog http://kensegall.com/blog/
Shout Me Loud http://www.shoutmeloud.com/
Just Web World http://www.justwebworld.com/
Blog Godown http://www.bloggodown.com/
Hot Blog Tips http://hotblogtips.com
Blogging Cage http://www.bloggingcage.com/
Bloggers Passion http://bloggerspassion.com/
Pro Blogger http://www.problogger.net
Smart Bloggerz http://www.smartbloggerz.com/
Copy Blogger http://www.copyblogger.com/
Tricks Daddy http://www.tricksdaddy.com/
Techy Passion http://www.techypassion.com/
Computer How To Guide http://www.computerhowtoguide.com
Shout Me Tech http://shoutmetech.com/
Techie Blogger http://www.techieblogger.com/
Smashing Magazine http://www.smashingmagazine.com
Wiki Blinks http://wikiblinks.com/
Biz Journals http://www.bizjournals.com
Groovy Post http://www.groovypost.com
Chris Pirillo's Blog http://chris.pirillo.com/
Let's Talk Tech http://letstalk-tech.com
Tech Shout http://www.techshout.com/
Skatter http://skatter.com/
Techi http://www.techi.com
Geek Insider http://www.geekinsider.com/
Blog Solute http://www.blogsolute.com/
Tech Linko http://www.techlinko.com
Beta Kit http://www.betakit.com
Web Designer Depot http://www.webdesignerdepot.com
G Hacks http://www.ghacks.net/
Evernote Blogcast http://blog.evernote.com
Rogers Redboard http://redboard.rogers.com/
Chip Chicks http://www.chipchick.com/
Android Guys http://www.androidguys.com
Phone News http://www.phonenews.com/
Zatz Not Funny http://www.zatznotfunny.com/
Euro Gamer http://www.eurogamer.net
Fone Arena http://www.fonearena.com/blog
Berry Reviews http://www.berryreview.com
The Tech Blog http://www.thetechblock.com
Yanko Design http://www.yankodesign.com/
Chitika Insights http://chitika.com/insights/
All Facebook http://allfacebook.com/
Mobile Burn http://www.mobileburn.com
Lili Putting http://liliputing.com
Phone Scoop http://www.phonescoop.com
WM Power User http://wmpoweruser.com
Android and Me http://androidandme.com
Into Mobile http://www.intomobile.com
Pocket Now http://pocketnow.com/
Tuaw - Unofficial Apple Blog http://www.tuaw.com
Mobile Syrup http://mobilesyrup.com
PH Android http://phandroid.com/
OS News http://www.osnews.com/
Matthew Woodward http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/
Technorati http://technorati.com/
Marketing Land http://marketingland.com
Chris Brogan http://www.chrisbrogan.com
Social Times http://www.mediabistro.com/aboutus/
Search Engine Journal http://www.searchenginejournal.com/