Machine Translation is getting more and more advanced but will it be able to replace human beings in the future? Let’s find out in the article below.

In the wake of Keywords Studios’ acquisition of machine translation provider KantanMT, Neural Machine Translation (NMT) has become a hot topic among language professionals and service providers specializing in game translation. Are we getting closer to the point where machines  will be able to translate games with little or no human intervention? I believe that day is still a long way away, but NMT is here to stay — and it is already proving useful in some applications.

Context is everything

Gone are the days when the often nonsensical output of Google Translate was an endless source of hilarity for professional linguists. NMT is a huge step up over earlier machine translation efforts, but it still has considerable limitations, including the fact that it is not context-aware — and context is everything in game localization.

In software, even more so than in general translation, words may completely change meaning depending on where they appear. An innocuous term like “save” may refer to saving the game in a system menu, to saving money in a promotional message, or to saving a character in a mission prompt. Each of these meanings would be rendered differently in most non-English languages. Dialogue is even more challenging: when they translate games, localizers need to know who is talking to whom and how the characters relate to each other in order to achieve the right tone and make the dialogue flow naturally.

Human translators can gather this contextual information from notes and loc kits provided by the development team; when this information is not available, they can make educated guesses based on their familiarity with the game and clues found in string IDs, file structure, etc. In contrast, NMT systems lack the ability to make such inferences, and more importantly, since they are unaware of the limits of their knowledge, they will not think to ask the developer before making incorrect assumptions.

Game localization poses unique challenges

Creativity is key in game localization: games are meant to be immersive experiences, and their spell is easily broken by an incorrect or unimaginative translation. Particularly in the fantasy and sci-fi genres, games often feature made-up names for characters, locations, and concepts, all of which need to be adapted to suit the genre conventions and players’ expectations. This demands a native speaker’s knowledge of the target culture and a kind of creativity that is beyond the ability of current machine translation systems. In fact, there is little scientific consensus on whether general artificial intelligence that is capable of proper creative thought will arrive in our lifetimes.

The ability to think creatively also comes into play when dealing with variables or “tokens”. These are often used by developers to create messages that change dynamically depending on the in-game situation. However, every language is structured differently, and messages using variables often need to be adjusted to ensure that the translation respects the target language grammar and syntax. This requires sound linguistic judgment and the ability to think outside the box, skills that remain solely in the purview of human translators.

Neural machine translation also struggles with terminology: generic NMT engines use generic terminology and cannot be forced to adhere to a specific glossary. You can influence an engine’s term choices by training it with carefully selected text, but you will rarely have a large enough corpus to train a franchise-specific engine. Besides, platform owners often require compliance with their own system-specific terminology; otherwise, they may refuse to clear the game for release, so this can be a major hindrance to the use of NMT.

Fitness for purpose

Is NMT entirely useless for translating games, then? Far from it. In fact, in a recent article for MultiLingual magazine, Cristina Anselmi and Inés Rubio, from Electronic Arts, identify several good use cases for neural machine translation in games.

For example, a properly trained, platform-specific NMT engine can make short work of repetitive system text, although post-editing remains necessary to ensure compliance with platform requirements. Post-edited NMT can also provide good quality documentation at a low cost. Even “raw” (unedited) machine translation is proving useful in first-line customer support for companies lacking the resources to operate a multilingual support center.

In the long run, NMT offers exciting opportunities for game design — from translating procedurally-generated content in real time to making customer-created content available to an international audience — situations in which players may be willing to trade some quality for an endless supply of fresh content.

Machine translation is a tool

At the end of the day, NMT is just one more tool in the localization arsenal, hugely powerful if used properly, but with equally important limitations. For the foreseeable future, professional human translators must remain at the center of the localization process, but there is no reason why NMT cannot be used to translate ancillary content or to boost localizers’ productivity in the less creative aspects of game translation.Intrigued about the possibilities of NMT and its applications in localization? You may want to check out other blog articles on machine translation in the TCLoc blog, or you may even want to consider signing up for the TCLoc Master’s degree, which covers this and many related topics.

Do you want to sell a product or service or collect more subscribers? A landing page will definitely help you to reach this goal. But how can you make users land on your landing page? It is actually pretty simple: when users click on a search engine optimized search result or on a link you provide them in an advertising e-mail or in a social media marketing campaign, they will be redirected to your landing page.

Improve your online marketing: Create a landing page

A landing page is a powerful online marketing tool. Use landing pages for announcing special offers, introducing products to your visitors (no more than one product per landing page) or advertising an event, such as a webinar. Why? Instead of making your potential customers land on any existing page of your website where they might get distracted by irrelevant items, such as a navigation menu, you will create this special page for them.

Essential landing page content

A great landing page only contains the essential. Aside from risking to slow down your page’s loading speed, too many elements distract visitors from the actual product you are advertising. Here are the 4 essential content elements of a landing page.

  1. The Header
    What do you want your visitors to know? Put your main message in a header that stands out visually and that is written in simple and unambiguous language. Including your main keywords in the header is crucial, not only for search engine optimization purposes but also because visitors will look at the header first — and at the pictures. We will get to that.
  2. The Call-To-Action
    The Call-To-Action (CTA) is the most important part of your landing page: tell your visitors what you want them to do. Keep in mind that your CTA should be short and aiming at a single goal, not more. Your CTA could be a button like “Try for free”, “Sign Up”, “Download Demo”, or “Shop Now”. You can use CTA-buttons several times throughout the page, but make sure they focus on your one objective. If you will be using any forms or fields, such as an e-mail address field for newsletter subscription, you should also keep the text as short as possible.
  3. The Pictures
    Pictures usually get most of the attention – and sometimes all the attention there is. So, you will want to emphasize your CTA by using emotional pictures that accurately represent the subject matter you want to promote: If the pictures explain your product/service, it’s perfect!
emphasize your CTA with emotional pictures
  1. The Explanation
    Provide your visitors with some more details on your product/service in an explanatory section to fully convince them: describe it, emphasizing its benefits and any special offers.
    Of all the texts on your landing page, this section will be the longest. Still, try to keep it short: you do not want to overstrain your potential customers’ attention span. Quality content is key to evoke their desire to buy your product. Make the explanation easy to read by structuring it in small sections. You are almost done! Now top it off with a picture that shows a solution to the visitor’s problem and repeat your CTA with a clickable element. That’s it!

After reading the explanation, it should be clear to anyone what you are promoting. If you did everything right, your landing page visitors have become potential customers!

Now you know everything you need to create great landing page content! But what SEO tricks can you use to make more users land on your landing page in the first place? And how can you localize your page in order to go international and attract users in other countries? The SEO and Localization courses of the University of Strasburg’s TCLoc Master’s program are a great opportunity to learn how to technically optimize and localize web pages!

Sounds interesting? Learn more or apply for the TCLoc Master’s program.

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and general isolation, many owners of online businesses have asked themselves what to do? Here are some explanations of what changes COVID-19 brought and how it affects SEO strategy for your business.

This pandemic has already shaken the world’s economy significantly for over a year. Let’s look at the shares of well-known companies: Apple — one of the leaders of the global information market and Netflix — the largest online streaming service. We see a 22.21% increase for Netflix and a 12.63% decline for Apple. Why? During the period of self-isolation, people did not have much to do, so they spent time watching TV series and various TV shows on popular streaming.

Apple and Netflix shares during spring quarantine in 2020
Apple and Netflix shares during quarantine in April 2020

Or let’s take Disney — the largest global conglomerate with a large offline component, and Nintendo — Japan’s iconic console and game corporation. Last year, in the same period, Nintendo experienced a 15.79% growth compared to a 26.57% drop for Disney. Why was Nintendo growing so fast? The answer is simple: everyone’s favorite game — Animal Crossing New Horizons — was released on 20th March 2020. Because of that, many people started buying up consoles to play the game and have fun during isolation. A month after the game’s release, it was still difficult to buy a Nintendo Switch. They were just out of stock, and if they were available, the shops were selling them for double the price.

Overview of Welt Disney and Nintendo shares during spring quarantine in 2020
Walt Disney and Nintendo shares during spring quarantine in 2020

What about now?

The pandemic still being on the row, people have had to get used to it and live with it. After one year, the situation changed quite a lot: Netflix shares saw a 12.72%% decrease and Apple a 6.13% decrease. The same happened to Disney and Nintendo, which at April 26th had a 3.46% decrease and an 8.61% decrease, respectively. 

Overview of Apple, Netflix, Walt Disney and Nintendo shares in April 2021
Apple, Netflix, Walt Disney and Nintendo shares in April 2021

Businesses are sensitive to changes in the economy, so they must be flexible, ready for changes. Efficiency, clarity, and risk management are the main tasks of a business.

What changes has COVID-19 brought around and how does it affect your SEO business strategy?

  1. People tend to leave their homes less often. Most of them have switched to remote work.
  2. People have more free time.
  3. The fields of online streaming, delivery, and training have increased in demand.
  4. Offline businesses suffer the most: shops (not grocery stores), restaurants, movies, gyms … Most buildings with high concentrations of people are closed.

In the case of SEO, this may only affect businesses that have a large offline income. Such businesses will of course reduce all advertising activity in general (and that is where they are wrong). Unlike PPC marketing, SEO is a continuous process. It starts showing results after some time. You should not forget that new players will enter the arena during quarantine and crisis, to take the places of those who have fallen behind. Therefore, SEO should run at full speed!

What should businesses do during a pandemic situation in terms of SEO and e-marketing?

First, you should not think of COVID-19 as a threat. On the contrary, this pandemic opens up new business opportunities. You must act quickly.

  1. Audit your products
    Analyze your products to identify which product groups are more popular during this period among your target audience. Determine which ones you can provide through home delivery. And yes, inform, by all means, inform! Let your regular customers know you are around, invite them to stick with your brand. Keep an eye on demand and adapt.
  2. Analyze the target audience
    What are they looking for during quarantine and how? “Help” users go to your site to find what they are looking for.
  3. Answer your customers even faster
    During quarantine, there are likely to be problems with delivery times and the functioning of the call center services. Hence the likely appearance of negative comments on the site. Answer them as quickly as possible, trying to level out any discontent. Choose employees who will monitor daily feedback about the company on social networks and on your website.
  4. Leverage local SEO
    Since there are restrictions on travel and unnecessary movement, you can leverage local SEO. Consumers need to use services and products in their vicinity. For example, people working from home are likely to order food from local restaurants that can deliver it to their homes or that allow for a drive-thru. During quarantine, people are looking for different things and in different ways. So, there are specific words that are added to requests, like: “with delivery”, “cheap”, “available”, etc.
  5. Create engaging content
    Don’t stop. For the next few months, more and more people will be spending time at home. To support your audience, make your content more encouraging and inspiring. Now is the time to help your clients escape through virtual reality.

Evaluate your financial possibilities wisely. Think, considering possible pessimistic scenarios, will you have enough resources? If not, it is better to wait and keep SEO to the minimum necessary for business survival.

A crisis is always a growth opportunity for those who are strong, let’s join them!

If you found this article interesting or useful, be sure to read more of our students fascinating insights into the World Wide Web.

The modern day use of artificial intelligence tools and machine learning is considered one of the most principal innovations in digital marketing, as the modern era of our digitalized society is highly driven by data. Due to the huge amounts of available data, more and more companies are finding it advantageous to utilize digital marketing and machine learning in order to exploit these datasets and in turn increase their revenues. The key question raised is how to use machine learning for digital marketing strategies.

The Power of Machine Learning and Personalization

Machine learning is a subdivision of artificial intelligence, which employs algorithms with the ability to automatically learn from past experiences and data. Given the recent advances in computational power, these algorithms are capable of analyzing large amounts of data from users. Based on past preferences and purchases the algorithms make precise future predictions, which marketing teams can subsequently exploit. This allows for a direct interaction with consumers and, therefore, a better understanding of consumer behavior.

Through the use of machine learning algorithms, companies are able to supply their consumers with a personalized unique experience based on their data. For example, Netflix or Spotify won’t suggest undesirable content as they know the consumers’ preferences based on everything they have previously watched, listened to, ignored, or rated. In a similar manner, products will be suggested to users based on their past purchases. This personalization makes customers feel relevant, with the experience carefully crafted to cater to the specific needs and interests of each customer.

Personalization is key in developing a digital marketing strategy as people expect companies to care about them. As a result, more and more brands have launched chatbot services which learn from interactions with visitors, collecting data and interpreting it to provide more accurate answers over time. 

The Next Level of Automated Digital Marketing

Digital marketing strategy has become essential due to the automatized nature of machine learning, in which algorithms can compute numbers, learn from patterns and past outcomes, and give a clear image of customer segmentation, content targeting, and prescriptive suggestions. All of these considerably simplify decision making.

Over the past few years, social media marketing has become the new epicenter for all digital marketing. Unsupervised machine learning algorithms help categorize the massive variety of social media messages into clusters. These algorithms are made to work with unstructured data and can use it to deliver colossal insights into user behavior, interests, demographics, and sentiment analysis by means of advanced data segmentation. 

Several central marketing functions are now performed on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and machine learning helps marketers use the power of big data in order to optimize their social media resources.

Machine learning can analyze terabytes of data to understand how audiences engage with specific content themes and types. 

We live in a digital age of innovation which is developing at a furious pace. Without following trends and taking new technological opportunities, there is less chance of success. Therefore, marketers are using machine learning in their digital marketing strategy as their most powerful tool to keep ahead.

Why are simplified writing techniques important? Well, a good argument always starts with strong sentences, right? And all strong sentences start with simplicity. If we don’t begin with clear content, our message -no matter how clever, compelling, or creative it is- can get lost in translation to our audience. So, let’s see how we can use simplified writing techniques to improve on our marketing content!

Less is more in the world of writing content

When we stroll through the digital landscape, we see messages everywhere. Be they emails, news feeds, or anything in between, wherever there is marketing content, some stories naturally stand out. They might have clever titles, cover the most compelling issues, or offer an unconventional approach. 

But when we follow captivating marketing content, we aren’t just reading the subject matter. Winning blog posts, news articles, and even social media posts rely on more than just stories themselves. They will only be effective when supported by a strong structure.

Simplified writing is the foundation for strong stories. In fact, an entire industry has even been developed with the goal of using simplified English in business, technical, and legal writing. Clear language, logical sentences, and concise word choices make marketing content easier to understand, easier to stand out, and easier to spread globally.

Start with simplicity

As technology becomes more sophisticated and more integrated into every corner of our lives, we need clear language to break down complex concepts. We don’t want to produce such dense text that even industry experts would struggle to read through it. While there are different ways to measure content readability, we can always rely on straightforward and simple words to ease our readers’ understanding of what we write.

To clear the way for coherent marketing content, we should replace heavy jargon with easy, everyday language and break down long phrases into simple, solid statements:

  • Instead of confusing your audience, why not illuminate them?
  • Instead of bamboozling your readers with sophisticated expressions, why not keep it easy and type the way you talk?
  • If the majority of writers produce less complicated material, won’t the message be clearer?

When content is clear and readers can more easily understand the information, our writing will have more impact.

Stand-out sentences

Marketing messages exist in all shapes and sizes. As personal computers become more portable, tablets take on new technology, and cellphones shrink to pocket-size, people now consume content faster than ever. We have a small window of opportunity to keep consumers engaged and we need writing content that is easy to digest quickly.

In addition to simplifying our vocabulary choice, we can also simplify our sentences:

  • Structure your sentences in an active voice: It has been shown that a passive voice is harder to read. Moreover, studies show that an active voice will put you at ease.
  • Keep listed content in consistent formats: When information is not consistently organized and balanced, the reader will stumble and take longer to process the message. We write clearly so that readers can more easily understand, connect with, and share our stories.
  • Flip negative phrases into their shorter, more positive counterparts: While this is not of huge significance, it might be more important than you think.

As we are often one swipe away from losing our audience, we need clear and simple sentences to stand out in this information overload. 

Spread the “words

How to simplify our writing techniques to improve our Content Marketing ?

As our products go global, so do our messages. And as our readers become more international, so must our writing. While there are several tried and true techniques for localizing content, simplifying our writing is one easy shortcut to success. 

We’ve already learned how to adopt easier language and sentence structures. To broaden our reach, we can also eliminate some words altogether.

We can simplify our writing by taking out words that don’t add value:

  • Eliminate unnecessary adverbs. Do we really, truly, essentially need them?
  • Reduce the noise. Let’s ask the question “Is it possible to explain the same thing in a simpler and shorter way?”
  • Don’t state the obvious. Do you think, believe, and feel that you must state what you imagine, suppose, and feel to be true?

A smaller wordcount is more accessible to non-English natives: fewer words translate into fewer translations. You see, as we adapt our marketing content to audiences around the world, we can go further and say more with less.

Was this article helpful? Do you think you will use simplified writing techniques more when writing your marketing content? Let us know in the comments below!

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Digital marketing as a relatively new advertising method is gradually being recognized and accepted by people. However, in the coming years, 5G technology will be a fast game-changer in almost every aspect of the Internet of Things (IoT), including digital marketing. So, if you want to be a successful e-commerce merchant, you’ll have to seize new opportunities in the upcoming 5G era in order to stay on top. This article will help you predict and understand the possible impact of 5G on digital marketing and find out how online stores might develop in the future as a result.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth-generation mobile communication technology after the 4G wireless connectivity. Its qualities are defined as ultra-high speed and capacity, ultra-low latency, low power consumption, and highly reliable transmission. We’ll let the engineers handle the technicalities of it; for digital marketers, 5G is not just a mobile communication technology in the traditional sense but a whole new business opportunity.

Current Limitations of E-Commerce

Lack of Interaction

Even for e-commerce giants such as Amazon, online shopping is often limited to communication via only text and pictures, unlike brick-and-mortar stores where customers can touch and try the product before deciding to buy it. There are currently many cases in which the actual shipped product doesn’t match its digital representation, and consumers end up buying products that are different from their expectations. It is only natural that they might worry about the quality of online goods and hesitate before making a purchase.

There are some cases where this communication can be pushed beyond the limit of text and pictures. In China, on e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, merchants can show their products to potential customers through short videos, which are an important part of a digital marketing strategy. Nonetheless, it remains a one-way communication method, and there is still a lack of effective interaction. 

In addition to allowing customers to interact with the product, traditional physical stores always have sales people who advise customers and help them make the right purchase. The face-to-face communication also makes it easier to establish trusting relationships. To compete on this level, online stores need to find creative ways to interactively display their products and to gain customer loyalty.

Transaction Security Issues

Security problems are an important consideration in digital marketing and a major obstacle to the development of e-commerce. Online shopping requires doing transactions online and many people are unwilling to because they are worried about the safety of their personal and financial information.

According to reports, millions of customers’ personal data are exposed each year, resulting in harassment, scams and identity theft. No e-commerce platform is willing to lose a large number of customers because of privacy issues and a lack of payment security. However, putting such protective measures in place can be costly and still requires the customers’ trust.

The Key Technologies Enhanced by 5G in Digital Marketing

Improved User Experience (UX)

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can create an experience similar to shopping in a physical store. Thanks to 5G’s higher speed and lower latency, your customers could use VR and AR technologies to “walk” around in your online store and observe the products from different angles.

They might even be able to live test new clothes and feel their texture, or visually observe the size, color and placement of a furniture item in their own home. Furthermore, you could create a virtual persona that would be able to interact with customers like a salesperson in a physical store. This would, to a certain extent, resolve the problem of e-customers who cannot fully picture and understand the actual product as well as those who are unsure which product is best for them. 

Also, 5G technology enables AI to access customers’ information faster and more reliably. With 5G data transfer speeds, AI technology can assist you in better conducting e-commerce activities. For example, if you run a restaurant, you can upload its basic information to a navigation platform through AI. When the customer browses a list of restaurants on an e-commerce platform, the AI assistant can recommend the best one based on the customer’s location and personal preferences, then make a convenient travel map to guide them. The ability to tailor results to a customer’s data can help significantly improve customer satisfaction.

Improvements on Security

Although 5G is not automatically free from the weaknesses of its predecessors, its design is being developed with these vulnerabilities in mind and, therefore, according to stricter standards. Additionally, measures are already being taken to protect and secure the information sent via 5G networks. Just a few examples include using AI to anticipate and defend against cyber attacks, mandating the encryption of information and properly coding the IoT. Furthermore, thanks to 5G, e-commerce platforms will be able to create virtual identities for your customers and store them on the blockchain, which will protect the privacy of your customers. Therefore, in the 5G era, e-commerce platforms will have new network security guarantees and your customers will be able to make transactions on a relatively safe, stable and reliable network.

How should you prepare for 5G?

Although it may take three to five years before the full 5G era arrives, this does not prevent you from planning ahead of time. With 5G, e-commerce platforms could evolve into personalization platforms. As access to new production and distribution devices and processes becomes more common, companies’ equipment and technology in a given industry will tend to be more equal. They will therefore rely on other ways to make their products stand out — such as by providing a personalized virtual shopping experience.

These changes will eventually shape our idea of a digital marketing strategy. So, if you’re an e-commerce company, here are some ways to get ready:

  • Collect customer data and build a customer data platform. 
  • Considering the faster speed and lower latency of the 5G network, brainstorm some new, creative advertising ideas for your audience, such as a product display using AR and 3D technology or a high-definition slow-motion video demonstration, etc. 
  • Speaking of AR and 3D technology, plan to set aside a portion of your budget to buy VR and AI camera equipment in the future as it will definitely be expensive.

With these tips in mind, you now have a better idea of how to prepare for the coming of 5G and what it will entail for digital marketing. As new technologies and opportunities arise, innovation is becoming more and more necessary to not be left behind. So make sure to take full advantage of 5G in the future!

What are you looking forward to with the upcoming 5G? Do you have other creative approaches in order to adapt for it? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

If you are managing an e-commerce brand, you already know the importance of visibility in a digital marketing strategy. The more your product gains visibility, the more it will be purchased. This is, and has always been, the main principle behind advertising: if people don’t know your product, they will not buy it.

Advertising can be expensive, however. So, to minimize costs, it’s important to know where to place your ad for it to be seen by your target audience. This is a common practice in traditional TV advertisements — during a football match, you will mainly see ads about razor blades and other products targeting men. During a commercial break of a soap opera episode, ads will often target women. Although reducing people to their gender stereotypes may seem superficial, it is actually very effective.

Advertising on social networks works the same way. Instead of spending time, effort, and money on advertising on all social networks, you should first analyze your buyer personas and advertise on the social platforms that your target audience uses. So, let’s analyze four of today’s most popular social media platforms and find out who their users are.

Facebook: A Powerful Digital Marketing Tool 

Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform with 2.6 billion active users per month. It’s widespread popularity combined with its advertising and analytics capabilities make it a powerful tool to engage with your target audience.

While the majority of Facebook users are under the age of 35, its popularity among younger generations is decreasing. However, it is becoming more and more popular among users over 50. This data is key when creating an advertising campaign. For example, if you are selling financial or stock advice, Facebook could be a good option for your marketing strategy as people over 50 generally have more money than teens and young adults. However, if you are promoting a new app or a video game, you might want to place an ad in another social media platform. It’s also worth noting that Facebook is more popular among women than men in the United States, but it’s the opposite globally.

Furthermore, you should consider the functions of the platform. For example, Facebook lets you create a page for your business, which is useful for connecting with your customers and creating a community of people who use and like your product. Moreover, it also lets you customize the targeting capabilities of your ads, allowing you to more effectively reach your target audience.

Youtube: Mid-Length Videos to Reach Your Target Audience

Although YouTube may not always be seen as a social media platform, it is indeed one of the most used alongside Facebook, reaching 2 billion active users every month. In addition to it’s subscribed users, YouTube also has a lot of unknown visitors. Regarding its known user demographics, YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for young adults between 19 and 24 years old. It’s also more popular among men than women and not so popular among 50+ years old adults.

The main drawback of YouTube ads is that the ad must be in a mid-length to long video format. Although it’s true that all kinds of visual content can be engaging, teens and young adults between 18 and 24 years old tend to prefer image-led content in shorter formats. 

Finally, unlike Facebook, YouTube doesn’t allow customizing the target audience for your ad. Instead, YouTube videos can be optimized following basic SEO rules. Adding your keywords in the title and description is necessary to reach your target audience.

Instagram: The Favorite Social Media Amongst Young People and Influencers 

While Instagram has around 1 billion users (less than half of Facebook or YouTube users), it’s one of the fastest-growing social networks and one of the more used by teens and young adults.

Nowadays, Instagram is the preferred social network of many teens and young adults between 18 and 24 years old. Even though it’s becoming more popular among adults, it’s far from being as popular as YouTube or Facebook. Also, Instagram users are more likely to be women than men — very much so in the United States but only slightly more globally.

Since Instagram uses hashtags to index content and ads, using a trending hashtag relevant to your product can help you reach your target audience. Furthermore, Instagram is not only the favorite social network among teens and young adults, it’s also the favorite platform among influencers. With their global audience and large number of followers, they can help your product gain considerable visibility.

Twitter: A Great Way to Interact With Your Customers 

Even though Twitter has been slowly losing users for a while, it still has roughly 330 million active monthly users. It is most common among adults between their late 20’s to 40 years old, demonstrating an appeal to an audience that is more mature and has more income than Instagram’s audience, but isn’t as old as Facebook’s. The majority of Twitter users are male — almost 2/3 globally with only a 3% difference in the US..

Twitter places its ads in the same way that Instagram does by using hashtags. Again, a trending, relevant hashtag can be an effective way to your brand or product more visible. Twitter can also be really interesting for providing post-sales service and customer service. If used wisely, you can help your customers in a friendly way and show potential customers that you are there for them if something goes wrong.

The key for an effective marketing strategy

Social media provides numerous opportunities for digital marketing. However, a marketing campaign which did well on Facebook will certainly not have the same effect  on Instagram or Twitter. Creating an effective and tailored marketing strategy for each social media platform can help you maximize your ROI. Create personas, know your audience, and design a specific marketing strategy for each social media platform to improve your sales!

If you find this post interesting, don’t forget to share it on social media and feel free to have a look at the other articles on the TCLoc master’s blog

Due to rapid advances in technology, big data has become a hot topic. Everybody is talking about it. What is it? Is it dangerous? How can it change the way we perceive the world?

What is big data?

A few years ago, our colleagues from the TCLoc master’s program met with Professor Gauthier Vasseur from Stanford University to hear his take on big data and its implications. In general, big data refers to an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing by traditional database management tools. It, therefore, requires new systems, technology, and processes in order to organize and use all the individual data points.

Although big data has become a trendy new term, few people have more than a vague understanding of what it really is or what it means. Beyond its basic definition, people also want to know about its effects. Is it dangerous? What is its purpose? How can we analyze and process the huge amounts of data being collected each day? One thing is for sure, though: humans are producing unimaginable quantities of data. 

You may not realize it, but every time you send a tweet on Twitter, check-in at your local pizzeria on Foursquare, or like a review on Amazon, you are producing and providing data to these companies. According to Forbes, we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day. Each of these data points can be sorted and stored for future use, or even sold. But why would a company want to buy data?

The impact of big data

What is big data used for?

Some people I talked with recently told me they are afraid of big data. They consider it as some form of  Big Brother from the famous book “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by Georges Orwell. Sure, data brokers (a person or a company whose business is to gather, process, and sell data) do exist, but mostly they do it for marketing purposes. Often, companies that buy data want to use it to find out how to better reach their target audience. Also, in a vast majority of cases, companies use our data in order to change or improve their products and make the user experience more friendly or more efficient.

Big data stimulates economic growth

In today’s market, if there is an investment to make in Silicon Valley, it will surely be in companies that work with big data. Data farming companies have made hundreds of billions of dollars since they first appeared in the early 2000s, and we have barely scratched the surface of the opportunities data provides us with. For instance, self-driving cars will be able to predict where and when traffic jams will form and avoid them entirely. The healthcare industry will be able to monitor each one of our vitals and foresee any medical complications that we might face. In fact, the healthcare industry is one of the domains that can profit the most from big data analytics.

Big data creates job opportunities

Data is useless without analytics and processing. Therefore, we need software that can take care of that for us, like Hadoop. Developing such solutions requires programmers and engineers, which means more job opportunities. This is a positive impact of big data on society. Before big data, nobody referred to themselves as a data officer or a data miner, yet jobs like these exist today and are continuing to grow. Admittedly, the revolution that big data and artificial intelligence bring will mark the end of certain kinds of jobs, but it will also create new ones. For example, are Google’s Pixel Buds going to replace interpreters? Although this may happen to some extent, interpreters could then be hired to work on such projects in order to help design and improve these new technologies. A whole world to create and conceive, isn’t it exciting?

So, ultimately, will the impact of big data be good or bad on society? Only time will tell. It is here, however, and it will certainly play an important role in the years to come. As the world becomes more and more interconnected, we need to embrace technological innovations and jump towards that new future with a bit of faith! If you want to read more on the subject, check out this article on the TCLoc master’s website: Will AI lead to the development of a new form of (universal) language, and therefore, to a new conception of the world? Also, don’t forget to let us know what you think about big data in the comments below! Are its effects positive or negative? How do you think it will affect the future?

In this article, we will give you tips on how you can use videos as a marketing strategy in order to boost your SEO and increase the conversion rate of your website. 

Even though online shopping is experiencing impressive growth, one of the only remaining obstacles that deters people from completing purchases online is the fact that they can’t try out the product in real life. Of course, this doesn’t concern products like train tickets or hotel bookings, but what about clothes, shoes, or furniture? How can you overcome this challenge and convince even the most skeptical prospects to buy on your e-shop and thus increase your conversion rate?

The answer is videos.

5 reasons why videos are your best ally

Videos allow you to dynamically show off your product verbally and visually, simultaneously capturing your audience’s interest and relaying important information about your product. They are also a very efficient way to convince a potential customer that your product is high quality. Taking the smartphone for example, promotional videos are a huge teaser and convince people to buy the product. Why? They can see a demo of the phone’s main features along with its accessories, showing off its performance capabilities and sleek look. Being able to view the product’s qualities and functions in a real life context will reassure your audience that your product is what they’re looking for without feeling the need to see it in person. It also allows potential customers to easily imagine themselves owning and using the product in the future. 

As a result, videos that describe your product or tutorials that explain how to use it will consistently improve the CTA rate of your website because they are more engaging than photos and easier to understand than written instructions. Tutorials are specifically quite advantageous as the usability of a product can be otherwise difficult to visualize on an e-shop. L’Oréal uses this technique a lot to attract customers. Furthermore, this is a way to show support for your existing customers, providing ideas and explanations for how to make the most of the product.

In addition to their communicative and engaging nature, videos also increase your product’s visibility as they greatly improve a website’s SEO. Thanks to Google’s universal search, rich content, such as images and videos, is prioritized. When a user types in a search, the video thumbnail appears at the top of the results page, catches the eye, and occupies a much more important place than text. Videos can therefore ensure that people will find your product more easily.

Videos are very popular on any form of media and therefore generating a lot of sharing and reaching more people. Google and YouTube have 58% of the Internet users’ search market and Facebook is the second largest video broadcaster after YouTube. This is another way videos increase your visibility on the web.

Finally, videos allow you to differentiate yourself from other e-merchants who don’t offer videos to their prospects. Using videos, you easily convey your brand’s identity as well as the quality and usability of your product, bringing significant added value to your online store!

How to optimize your videos 

Some good practices are required to turn your videos into an effective asset for your site. Here are 6 guidelines to follow:

  • To start, define precisely the main audience of your products. This is essential since the whole theme of the video will be based on this. 
  • Choose a short video, i.e. less than 1 minute or even just a few seconds (the attention span of most internet users is about ten seconds). Moreover, a few seconds is enough to present a simple product.
  • Choose the most appropriate video format: storytelling (telling the story of your product), an objective presentation (turning the product around, opening, assembling, disassembling, etc.), a tutorial (explaining how to use it, tips, etc.) or the testimony form Use the best type of format to showcase your product while promoting your brand values.
  • From the start of the video, you have to convey emotion and make people dream in order to engage potential customers. So why not add suspense, intrigue or humour? Don’t underestimate the power of a well-told story or idea. 
  • Think about SEO: the title and description of the video must be optimized and relevant. Do not neglect the tags and additional information that help search engines to index your video. 
  • Include a clearly visible Call to Action in the video, preferably before the end and also in the description. This is essential if you want the video to lead to an action such as a visit to your website, a sharing, or a purchase. Feel free to include in your video or its description links to other pages of your site to optimize the internal linking.

As you may have understood by now, videos are now an entire part of today’s marketing strategy. Much more intuitive and educational than text, it is the preferred content of users who prefer to watch a video that briefly summarizes everything they need to know rather than read a boring text.

So don’t hesitate any longer and get started! If you want to go even further in conveying the feeling of a real life situation, the concept of augmented or virtual reality is starting to emerge. You could also look at the possibility of 3D simulation for your products, which offers the user the possibility of virtually manipulating the product without having to go to a physical store.

What are some examples of marketing videos that you’ve seen recently? Were they effective and how so? Let us know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to visit the TCLoc blog for more articles!

Having the skill set needed to create a mobile app does not guarantee instant success. The mobile app market is competitive. It is not an exaggeration to say that, every single day, thousands of active gaming companies are submitting hundreds of applications to app stores. In 2016, a study by Khaled Shaalan from Game Gavel showed that 73.1 percent of game developers felt that the biggest threat to the success of the mobile game industry was the overwhelming competition.

Many failed apps are actually quite inventive and would meet the needs of many people. However, in order to stand out, you need to identify marketing strategies that can lead to success. The following are the top five marketing methods for  mobile apps.

Make Your App Stand out in the App Store

If you want your app to sell, people have to see it. This means that you must optimize your mobile app so that it ranks higher in app store search results. This process is called ASO. Here are six elements that can help improve your ASO:

  • App Name– Success depends on thinking outside of the box. Include your brand name and also try to include a keyword or two. Apps that have a keyword rank 10 percent higher than those that don’t.
  • App Description– Keyword research is essential during this phase. The description is where you are going to use your targeted keywords. Remember, your description will be read by potential users, so it has to make sense and should not be keyword stuffed.
  • App Logo– Your app logo is going to be the first and largest thing that users see. It needs to make a good impression. You need to do some testing to make sure that it’s right. You want to communicate the quality of your app through the logo.
  • App Category– The app category that you select should describe the main function of your app. Your app might fit into multiple categories. Do some research and find out which one people search for more.
  • App Screenshots– This is where you get to show what your app is all about. Make the screenshots exciting, not boring and predictable. The screenshots should take viewers on a journey through your app.
  • Localization–- A number of brands ignore this point and lose customers. If you have customers who speak Spanish, German, or Chinese, then your app description should be available in those languages. Prices should be shown in the applicable currency.

Create Viral Content

You want your mobile app to generate as much buzz as possible. Apps that go viral bring in a lot of money. One way that you can do this is by creating eye-catching demos of your mobile app. These videos should show off multimedia elements to grab your users’ attention. Publish these short videos on YouTube. Then, they can be embedded into your site and other sites. Remember, YouTube is a Google partner. If your video is hosted on YouTube, this is going to improve the SEO of your app.

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise

You can have the greatest mobile app in the world, but if no one knows it exists, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes you need to give your app a boost to get those first few hundred downloads. If your app isn’t free, why not give out a discounted coupon code? Or why not have a nice giveaway for the first 50 downloads? It’s best if your giveaways can be custom designed to meet the interests of potential customers. 

You don’t want to give away so much that you hurt your bottom line, but you want to be sufficiently generous so that you can get the ball rolling. Word-of-mouth advertising is another great way to impact mobile app marketing.

Reach out to Numerous Markets

The Apple Store is not your only option for marketing your app. Google Play is the big player in the world of Android. There are a number of third-party distribution sites that can list your app. Some of these include Appland, Aptoide, Café Bazaar, F-Droid, Cydia, and GetJar.

Take the time to read the fine print before you list your apps with these companies. Some of them are free, others ask for a small fee, and some take a percentage of the download purchase price. You want to find the stores that are going to attract the audience your app was made for.

Take Control of the Narrative by Getting Good Reviews

You can do a lot to optimize the appearance of your app store page. But this alone does not guarantee that people are going to purchase your app. Users want to hear about the app and want to know what other people think about it. This is why reviews are a critical part of the mobile app marketing strategy.

This is especially true if you are offering your app for a price. It is not unusual for people to research their potential purchases. If you have made an app and you know people are going to enjoy it or find it useful, encourage them to say so in a review.

What you say about your product is going to impact potential buyers. But, they already expect that you are going to promote your product. However, if they hear positive things about your product from a random review or even a professional review, this is going to lend more weight to the usefulness of your product.

Social media plays a role in this. Facebook and Twitter should always be used in conjunction with word-of-mouth methods. Once people start talking about your app, those people and their followers will start to give your app traction.

As always, we love hearing from our readers. Are you an app developer? Or have you localized or marketed an app? What suggestions do you have on ways to improve the visibility of an app? Let us know in the comments section below!