Inbound Marketing Certification

Thursday, November 29, 2012

5 key principles for SMBs for protecting their data in the Cloud


By Vinaytosh 
SMB’s using cloud services to store and access client data must take all precautions not only to secure the data but also protect privacy of their customer’s data. It is not only a compliance requirement in most countries but it is the responsibility of every business to safeguard their customer’s data so that they can gain their clients trust and loyalty.
Few months ago, a hacker group called Antisec published 1 million Apple UDID online. Then there were the LinkedIn password breach and the Dropbox hack. No one gets shocked anymore that twitter accounts are compromised on a daily basis and neither does Twitter reveal the details of the scale of the problem. High-profile examples like these generate the headlines, but similar, smaller-scale breaches that happen to SMBs with alarming ease, often goes unreported.
Data loss incidents happen to businesses of all sizes, to non-profits and even government organizations.  It is prudent to assume that over time all businesses will suffer a breach or loss of data.  Such events can range from a lost laptop, a misplaced document to a system breach by a malicious hacker. Whether you are Fortune 500 businesses with a large IT security staff or a local merchant, hospital or non-profit, if you collect customer data you are at risk of security breach. 
According to Online Trust Alliance 2012 Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide, it is critical for all businesses including those who may not have an online presence, to acknowledge that the data they collect is not only a powerful marketing tool and business asset, but also prone to security risk as it contains sensitive personal data.  Small Businesses invariably need to consider the following key principles to maximize their preparedness;
  1. Acknowledge the data they collect contains one or more forms of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) or sensitive data.
  2. Accept they will experience a data loss incident or breach.
  3. Understand they may fall under multiple government regulations requiring notice and remedies.
  4. Being unprepared can significantly add to the direct and indirect costs including management resources and lost productivity.
  5. A data incident can result in significant damage to a business’s brand reputation.
Regulatory mandates such as PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and others require that organizations protect the privacy and confidentiality of enterprise and customer information, it’s more important than ever that businesses take their security to next level.
SmartSignin is the only Cloud identity Solution that not only provides security to confidential data, but it also delivers 100% privacy of all information stored and accessed from the cloud. For more information on how the SmartSignin solution can be customized for your businesses, please contact us at sales@smartsignin.com


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To PPC or not to PPC :That is the Question?


A startup should always use PPC campaigns for the first six months of their product launch but approach always depends on their pocket.

The new website always faces a big hurdle of Google Sandbox and struggles to get more leads through organic SEO. If you are not using right mix of inorganic and organic search engine marketing then you are losing on time and there is opportunity cost associated with that.

Big players generally have deep pocket and they allot the budget to different methods being used but startups have limited resources available. Following are thumb rule for a startup PPC campaign:
·         Avoid head on collision with these players
·         Target long tail keywords which are closely matched to line of business (Quality Score and completion will be less hence the cost per click)
·         Create specific landing pages for campaign ( you can provide more CTA ,website Bounce Rate will also not increase)

You are not facing challenge of consuming/utilizing the allotted budget .The available budget will any how exhaust hence try to maximize the number of visit on your website.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is your and your organization’s identity safe in the cloud?


By Vinaytosh Mishra
Click here for original blogpost link at SmartSignin Blog 
Naysayers are always drawing attention to the lack of security in cloud-based services. Nevertheless, the inherent advantages of cloud services have experts estimating activity in the cloud will explode by the end of 2012 and will continue to expand rapidly for several years. Cloud services (or SaaS)free both businesses and consumers from having to calculate the Return-on-Investment (ROI) for adopting new technology. Cloud adoption means you likely won’tneed to invest in hardware or configure complex software across the enterprise servers.Cloud services are a subscription… an Operating Expense Forget about long mind-numbing budget analysis crossing the next 3-5 years and contracts to negotiate with vendors.  Many SaaS and cloud providers don’t require a contract.  If a solution doesn’t work out after a trial period, don’t sweat it. You can try another one.In many cases there’s no need to hire and retain expensive and hard to find DBAs or other subject matter experts.Finally, since the IT maintenance &overhead is much less in the cloud, your organization’s content owners have more choice to pick the solution they want.
For mobile workers especially, cloud computing provides incredible flexibility and productivity: professionals can work from any computing device anywhere as long as they have access to the Internet. Collaboration becomes easier.For example, distributed teams (i.e., a combination of mobile workers and in-office staff) can work on shared information stored centrally in the cloud via online groupware applications.
But with all these opportunities there comes a threat. Is your and your organization’s identity safe in the cloud?
Gartner reports validate this threat. According to them, worldwide spending on security is expected to touch the $60 billion mark in 2012, up 8.4 percent from $55 billion in the previous year, and this figure will approach $86 billion in 2016 
Growth in Security Spending
Figure: Growth in Security Spending
According to the research done the demand for cloud-based security is affecting a number of key security markets, and that this new delivery model will see above-average growth.
Figure: Decision Makers on Security Spending
Small organizationsin particular are driven to adopt cloud-based solutions these days due to the dramatic cost savings and competitive economy. However, theresult is password fatigue. In this scenario, Single Sign-On (SSO) has been a boon for users.SSO makes life easier because you no longer have to remember all those passwords. But, how secure is your SSO solution?
Facebook Connect and other “federated” SSO is not really all that secure. And, now we learn also that Facebook is tracking our account usage even when we are not logged-in to Facebook. A more secure SSO solution should be used with your more important apps and accounts. SmartSignin is a very secure Single Sign-On and Identity and Access Management solution. SmartSignin provides an easy-to-use interface that allows you to perform one-click sign-ins from a single secure portal.  The encryption and decryption is performed on your device.  As a result, the usernames and passwords to your sensitive and private data are not stored anywhere that they can be stolen.
Think about it. You stand to lose a great deal if your online identity is compromised on the Internet. Don’t allow someone to sweep in and use your identity in malicious ways. Choose a solution that will allow you to have several layers of fortification in front of you.

For more details check: www.SmartSignin.com

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to tweet effectively and efficiently?


Your tweets can be divided in three major and equal parts. One third of the time you should tweet about you and/or your brand. One third of the posts should be about your areas of interest and expertise, but using material from an outside source: The last one third of the time on twitter is for being yourself: Interact, ask questions, answer questions, re-tweet or re-post interesting things people in your network have shared.

Once you have mastered “what to tweet” next step is finding out “how to tweet”. If “what to tweet" is being effective the later part of this post will make your twitter marketing efficient.

How to use those 140 characters most efficiently?

  • Don't Multi-ReTweet: you need not to give credit to every person who have re-tweeted the original post.
  • Drop Vowels: make attention as atntn
  • Contractions:  "It is" becomes "it's" and "can not" becomes "can't."
  • No More "And"s: "And" become "+".
  • Use Other Characters:  use "#" for "number" and "%" for "percent".
  • Drop Pronouns: One of the easiest to lose is "that." So "the movie that I luv" becomes "the movie I luv".
  • Turn Words into Numbers: "To" becomes "2" and "One" becomes "1".
  • Shorten Links: visit the URL shortenersite and then use bit.ly or another service to resqueeze the URL.
Please share your input at comment thread .You can follow me @vinaytosh.


Use Twitter to get more traffic for your blog


Follow me at: www.facebook.com/vinaytosh ,Twitter Handle: @vinaytosh 

Twitter is an important medium of a personal as well as business brand building. It provides you an option to write teasers in 140 characters but you can propagate your blogs and articles using Twitter. In this article I will share five step strategies for getting traffic for your blog through twitter marketing.

Step 1: Create a bespoke Twitter theme for your Twitter profile that matches the branding of your website.  This is of course optional, but it’s worth remembering how important it is to be consistent with your branding.  Also take the time to make full use of the bio information – this is often where people try and find like-minded other people so rather than write full sentences use hash tags and keywords.

Step 2: Register your Twitter account details to the following Twitter directories:

7.     http://twibs.com/

Step 3: Create a blog/article that you can direct people to adding value. You want people to recommend the article by re-tweeting it so it it’s important it offers immense value and attracts a lot of interest.  I can’t emphasis this enough – social media traffic is about providing value and the more value you give through your blog the better results you will get – this is how your content can really go viral too.

Step 4: Shorten your blog post URL using Stumble Upon’s shortner – http://su.pr.This powerful tool is very different from other URL shorteners because the sharing and likes that you get from other networks such as Facebook and Twitter helps your post rankings and exposure within Stumbleupon which has over 10 million members. To get the maximum benefit ensure you take the time to enter the correct key words/tags and description.

Step 5: Increase your Twitter followers by:
  1.       Post your twitter link on signatures in forums, emails, your business card etc.
  2.      Leverage your other social networks to gain followers, for example, promote on your  Facebook Fan Pages your twitter account and vice versa
  3.    .  Post your twitter link on your blog, website, offline marketing material, social networks
  4.       Find people in your niche and follow them
  5.      Try to get on as many lists as possible
  6.       Approach people who are in your targeted area and who have a large amount of followers and ask them to retweet your tweets (try to build a rapport with them before you bluntly just ask them)
  7.       Introduce yourself to likeminded people
  8.       Create competitions/contests
  9.       Engage with your existing followers, start conversations, re-tweet others, they will then recommend you to their followers and re-tweet your tweets

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Would you be willing to sell your Facebook data?


In one of recent poll KDnuggets asked: Would you be willing to sell your Facebook data to advertisers?

Half of the voters would not sell their Facebook data at any price. The other half were willing to sell for market rate or a high amount. East Europeans were the most willing to sell, while West Europeans were the most privacy conscious.

Here are the poll results:
 

Would you be willing to sell your Facebook data to advertisers?
No, at any price (114)
 50.2%
Yes, for $10 or less/year (3)
 1.3%
Yes, for $50/year (5)
 2.2%
Yes, for $100/year (17)
 7.6%
Yes, for $200/year (5)
 2.2%
Yes, for $500/year (33)
 15%
Yes, for Market rate (49)
 22%

The following table shows the regional breakdown of 225 voters, with bar height corresponding to the number of voters from the region, and bar width: % willing to sell (at any price). The US/Canada voters were split 50/50. The East Europeans were the most willing to sell, while the West European were the most conservative. 
Region (voters)
% Willing to sell
E. Europe (19)
 68%
Other (AU/NZ, Latin America, Africa, Middle East) (19)
 63%
US/Canada (105)
 52%
Asia (30)
 43%
W. Europe (52)
 37%


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Marketing Maturity Model for New Media

An enormous wave of diversity has hit the shores of digital marketers. With the fast and furious adoption of Facebook, Twitter and smartphones, consumer demand for social and mobile channels has hit marketing like a tsunami, catching many brands unprepared to manage expectations in this new digital landscape.

According to a Forrester’s Study digital interactions have moved from being primarily site-centric just a few years ago to being splintered across multiple channels and devices. The study yielded three key findings:


1. The Splinternet (term coined by Forrester) disrupts the marketing landscape, but adapting to a multiple channel environment is critical.
2.   Marketing strategies need a reboot to meet expectations of sophisticated consumers.
3. Multi-channel success requires understanding of unified customer behavior across all channels.


Entering a marketing channel without plan of measuring the ROI or ROETI (Return of Employee Time Invested) will be an unwise decision. Since last five years companies are experimenting with spend in Digital Marketing channels like Social Media, SEM and Mobile Marketing. In absence of well defined deliverables, they have always been hesitant in committing significant marketing dollars on this channel.  As for my understanding marketing needs a threshold budget to start showing significant effect. If you have an outsourced vendor for your organization you certainly need to know the maturity model for the different channels.

Advertisers can measure the success of their marketing effort using following three step CWR process:

Crawl: This is an operational reporting stage, where brands measure what matters to a company's key performance indicators, such as adoption of apps or acquisition of fans.

Walk: Testing and targeting allows brands to apply insights from measurement to build engagement and improve the customer experience.

Run: Nurturing users with targeted marketing results in conversions and revenue, providing brands with a true picture of marketing effectiveness.      


 Figure 1: Social Media Marketing Maturity Model

With rise of usage of smartphones, user has started consuming a lot of data on go. Companies have started investing in their mobile presence and started opting for responsive layout for their web presence. Setting up a plan for measurement before launching an app or a mobile ad campaign is key to a successful endeavor.


  
Figure 3:Mobile Marketing Maturity Model

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Seth Godin's Email checklist


Before you hit send on that next email, perhaps you should run down this list, just to be sure:

  1. Is it going to just one person? (If yes, jump to #10)
  2. Since it's going to a group, have I thought about who is on my list?
  3. Are they blind copied?
  4. Did every person on the list really and truly opt in? Not like sort of, but really ask for it?
  5. So that means that if I didn't send it to them, they'd complain about not getting it?
  6. See #5. If they wouldn't complain, take them off!
  7. That means, for example, that sending bulk email to a list of bloggers just cause they have blogs is not okay.
  8. Aside: the definition of permission marketing: Anticipated, personal and relevant messages delivered to people who actually want to get them. Nowhere does it say anything about you and your needs as a sender. Probably none of my business, but I'm just letting you know how I feel. (And how your prospects feel).
  9. Is the email from a real person? If it is, will hitting reply get a note back to that person? (if not, change it please).
  10. Have I corresponded with this person before?
  11. Really? They've written back? (if no, reconsider email).
  12. If it is a cold-call email, and I'm sure it's welcome, and I'm sure it's not spam, then don't apologize. If I need to apologize, then yes, it's spam, and I'll get the brand-hurt I deserve.
  13. Am I angry? (If so, save as draft and come back to the note in one hour).
  14. Could I do this note better with a phone call?
  15. Am I blind-ccing my boss? If so, what will happen if the recipient finds out?
  16. Is there anything in this email I don't want the attorney general, the media or my boss seeing? (If so, hit delete).
  17. Is any portion of the email in all caps? (If so, consider changing it.)
  18. Is it in black type at a normal size?
  19. Do I have my contact info at the bottom? (If not, consider adding it).
  20. Have I included the line, "Please save the planet. Don't print this email"? (If so, please delete the line and consider a job as a forest ranger or flight attendant).
  21. Could this email be shorter?
  22. Is there anyone copied on this email who could be left off the list?
  23. Have I attached any files that are very big? (If so, google something like 'send big files' and consider your options.)
  24. Have I attached any files that would work better in PDF format?
  25. Are there any :-) or other emoticons involved? (If so, reconsider).
  26. Am I forwarding someone else's mail? (If so, will they be happy when they find out?)
  27. Am I forwarding something about religion (mine or someone else's)? (If so, delete).
  28. Am I forwarding something about a virus or worldwide charity effort or other potential hoax? (If so, visit snopes and check to see if it's 'actually true).
  29. Did I hit 'reply all'? If so, am I glad I did? Does every person on the list need to see it?
  30. Am I quoting back the original text in a helpful way? (Sending an email that says, in its entirety, "yes," is not helpful).
  31. If this email is to someone like Seth, did I check to make sure I know the difference between its and it's? Just wondering.
  32. If this is a press release, am I really sure that the recipient is going to be delighted to get it? Or am I taking advantage of the asymmetrical nature of email--free to send, expensive investment of time to read or delete?
  33. Are there any little animated creatures in the footer of this email? Adorable kittens? Endangered species of any kind?
  34. Bonus: Is there a long legal disclaimer at the bottom of my email? Why?
  35. Bonus: Does the subject line make it easy to understand what's to come and likely it will get filed properly?
  36. If I had to pay 42 cents to send this email, would I?
About Seth Godin:Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change. Godin is author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world.


To read more of Seth Godin's Blogposts log on to http://sethgodin.typepad.com

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Website Layout Suggestions Part1: F-Shape

According to a research done by Nielsen group in 2006, readers focus hard at the top left corner, and progressively less to the right and down the page. This means that you’ve got a relatively small piece of your total real-estate to both get your readers hooked on your content and to teach them how to use your site.


Figure1: Heat Map for F-shape pattern illustration

From above illustration we can infer that:
  1. Visitors start at the top left of the page. 
  2. Then they scan the top of the site (navigation, subscription, search, etc.) 
  3. Next they move down, reading the next full row of content… all the way to the sidebar. 
  4. Last, surfers enter a “scanning pattern” once they hit the bulk of the site content. 
Figure 2: Illustration of Eye Movement 

Marketing Lessons:

  1. If you need to say something, you absolutely must say it at the top. 
  2. Images and Headlines are only reliable if they are interesting and engaging. 
  3. Sidebar could be an advertisement, a listing of “related articles”, a Social Media widget, etc. 
  4. Use Sidebar as a tool for users to find specific content. The obvious example is a search bar, but it would also be a category listing, a tag cloud, a “popular posts” widget, etc. 
2.
3.
4.
Example of F-shape Layout:


Figure 3: Home Page of www.alibaba.com

This type of layout is generally useful for the websites in which content spreads vertically.These type of websites are mostly heavy content websites like portals,auction websites,forums,blogs and deal websites.