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Marketers: The metaverse is coming

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Marketers: The metaverse is coming


Don’t believe them when they tell you the metaverse is already here. What we do have is a swarm of virtual realities but they’re not yet connected. When they are, it will be possible to enter the metaverse.

What does the term “metaverse” mean exactly? It’s actually a 30 year-old term, first coined by science fiction author Neal Stephenson is his novel “Snow Crash.” It’s clumsily derived from the Greek, meta being a prefix meaning “beyond.” So beyond the universe? The trouble is, versus means “turn into” which makes perfect sense in the word “universe” — turn into one — but less sense as turn into beyond.

We turned to Tim Parkin, a marketing consultant advising his clients on how to prepare for the metaverse, for more clarity. “In reality, the metaverse is really undefined, it’s very ambiguous. Most importantly, it’s going to change. So what it is today will not be what it is tomorrow. That makes it a moving target.” Nevertheless, Parkin was willing to venture that it’s a whole new layer built on the infrastructure of the internet, opening “a new dimension of potential and possibilities.”

Essentially, the metaverse will take the digital environment many of us have been existing in for at least the last two years and upgrade it to a virtual-reality based imaginary world, creating many opportunities, including for marketers, as well as “some scary realities,” he said.

Anyone who has put on a VR headset understands what virtual reality looks like, but the metaverse, in concept at least, goes way beyond that. “If you think about the internet right now, it’s made up of a collection of servers and websites and different platforms and apps, but it’s all in the same sphere. With the metaverse, we can have this virtual reality experience together. It’s all happening in this giant sphere, this world where we can all co-exist an collaborate and participate in different experiences, adventures and communications.”

This doesn’t rule out hybrid use cases, Parkin explained. “You might be interacting through a physical environment as well. You might be in a grocery store and be able to interact virtually with people or order things virtually. It’s not just sitting at home with a headset on. You could be in the real world, but connecting it to the metaverse.”

Of course, the metaverse will be very firmly rooted in the reality of hardware. “We often forget that. It does depend on computers to run simulations, process transactions and render these worlds — and it is all connected to the internet. We’re not going to be escaping the internet; this is built on top of the internet.” And just like the internet, it won’t be owned by anybody. “That’s the beauty of it,” said Parkin, “but also the bad part. If nobody owns it, how do you police it?”

Web3 is often mentioned in the same breath as the metaverse. What’s the connection? “Web3 is this next level of the internet that incorporates blockchain and the idea of decentralization. By layering in blockchain we can track transactions and have a source of truth for everything that’s happening. The metaverse is separate, but there are opportunities to overlap Web3 and the metaverse.”

Some enterprises are already experimenting with aspects of the metaverse, but Parkin insists that the metaverse itself does not yet exist. “There are people working on experiences, but until we have consumers who can actually participate, I don’t see it right now existing, or even in then near future,” he explained. “We are still a little ways off of it being highly adopted and people doing anything of useful value inside the metaverse.”

How should marketers prepare for this strange future?

The metaverse may not be with us yet, but it’s never too early to start thinking about what it will mean. “I think there are three big things,” Parkin said. “First, keep an open mind. This is going to change. If you think back to the original internet with web pages and email and what those looked like, and compare that to today, it’s dramatically different. So don’t make any judgments about what it could be, because people will find value for it. It’s an exploratory process.”

Secondly, he said, look at what big brands are doing to prepare. “The Nikes and the Taco Bells, they have the resources and the necessity to be playing in the metaverse. Most companies don’t have the time or can’t afford to mess around with this, but the big companies that need to be constantly innovating or pushing the envelope, they’re going to be the ones exploring this.”

Finally, he said, go slow. “There’s a lot of hype and excitement and a lot of people think there’s going to be a first-mover’s advantage. This is not going to be as transformative as many people think in the next two to three, or maybe even five years. I would be very methodical and thoughtful about this and unless you’re a really big brand then you should not be pushing this very much. It’s nice to sit on the sidelines and watch, but tread very slowly and see where you can fit in, because this is very volatile and very risky.”

A big win for the gaming industry

In addition to watching what the big brands are doing, Parkin suggests paying attention to the companies that are likely to be supporting the metaverse, above all in the gaming industry. “Epic Games has been around for a long time,” he said. “They are creators of many video games and the Unreal Engine,” an advanced 3D creation tool. “Epic Games will be a substantial player in the metaverse because the metaverse is essentially one giant video game world.”

The gaming industry will be ahead of the curve, Parkin predicts, because of their long experience with virtual worlds — just not connected. “The whole gaming culture is something marketers should really pay attention to,” he said, “because there are many things that will see new, but are just passé to the gaming industry.” Parkin confesses cheerfully to having a degree in game design.

Advertisers, of course, have already moved into the gaming space, displaying messages within virtual worlds and developing metrics to measure performance. “This is just bringing that gaming experience to a global world where we can socialize and spend time together, not necessarily in a gaming context, but there are a lot of underlying elements from gaming we can learn from.”

Read next: Marketers look to upgrade their 3D digital experiences as the metaverse approaches

Look out for dystopia

Guess what, there are huge potential downsides to all of this. The metaverse could turn out to be a bad place (yes, that’s literally what “dystopia” means). It’s not hard to see why. The potential harmful effects of social media, especially on the mental health of young people, have been widely discussed, not least because Facebook appeared to have concealed internal research on the harmful effects of Instagram. That’s just from looking at an app or a website, not being completely immersed in a reality, large parts of which Facebook, or Meta, will surely seek to control.

“Social media is a dangerous place,” Parkin agreed. “In the metaverse, we’ve removed another level from reality. You’re a character on screen, not a real person. There are social dynamics we need to think about and prepare for.” Binge gaming was on the increase in 2021 with a third of gamers accustomed to playing five hours straight. It’s disturbing to imagine vulnerable people spending lengthy stretches as characters in an unreal world

“The dark side of this is interesting to think about,” said Parkin. “There’s a lot of bad activity that happens on the internet. A lot of people are focusing on the opportunities and positives of the metaverse, but there’s going to be a lot of deceptive and duplicitous behavior in this metaverse. It’s not all ponies and rainbows.”

One thing we can be sure of, the regulatory authorities will be left in the dust.

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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Best Social Media Content Moderation Strategies

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Best Social Media Content Moderation Strategies


Social media has changed the way businesses operate. From creating an entirely different platform for new marketing efforts and changing how brands relate to their customers. We can all agree that social media is a very integral part of many businesses.

But, just as social media serves as an asset for your business, it could also become a liability if not handled properly. We have all seen certain brands put out content that harmed their image, and caused irreparable damages. This could happen to any business if they don’t moderate their content. This is where a social media moderator comes in.

What is a social media moderator?

A social media moderator is someone hired by a company to review, screen, and filter all social media content related to their business. By doing this, a business can ensure that its content is:

  • Appropriate
  • Aligned with its branding and
  • Helping them achieve their overall business goals.

In this article, we will cover some of the best social media content moderation strategies and how you can implement them in your overall social media marketing strategy.

Content moderation strategies for social media.

Having solid strategies set in place for your social media content moderation is extremely necessary. These strategies will ensure that you implement your content moderation following established guidelines. Hence, eliminating room for error.

Here are some of the best social media content moderation strategies you can incorporate into your social media strategy.

1)Establish a standard social media policy.

Setting standard rules are essential because they ensure everyone on your content team knows what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. When creating your social media content policy, ensure it includes:

  • The inappropriate content your company disallows. Inappropriate content should entail; bullying, brand bashing, sexually suggestive content, offensive photos, and videos, etc.
  • Rules on posting spam content. Spamming your audience on social media can diminish your brand’s credibility. It can also devalue your content. Additionally, it can make your social media pages look messy and unattractive. Stay away from spam content.
  • How your company addresses sensitive topics like race and gender.
  • The method you apply to handle negative comments and reviews on your page or about your brand.
  • How you deal with content created from influencer marketing, etc.

2) Designate who can submit social media content.

We all know that there are a plethora of ways brands get and create their content. We also know that a high engagement on social media could equal high reach. And if all things were equal, we could trust all content sources without questions and allow everyone to tag and comment on our page. That’s why the best writing companies make sure they use trusted sources.Therefore, as a brand, you can never be too careful.

So, set limitations on:

  • Who can submit content to your brand.
  • Who can comment on your page & tag you on their content. Most social media platforms have settings to accept, limit, or decline things like brand tagging and commenting.
  • Where/whose social media content you share. It is best to share or feature content from only people who have accounts with your business.

By doing this, you prevent trolls and fraudsters from taking advantage of your brand.

3) Determine a Content Strategy

Creating a content strategy is essential to your content moderation. It helps you ensure that you are creating content that fits your overall brand/social media marketing goals. Your content moderation strategy should include:

  • Where you share your content.
  • How you use the content that you create.
  • How you want your content to look. This should include your color schemes, style guide, taglines, hashtags, if you want to add logos or not, etc.
  • The type of content you want to upload.

Your brand messaging must be consistent throughout your social media channels, so a content moderation strategy will help.

4) Create a standard submission process.

While we expect your business to create content regularly, there are also a few other contents generating methods you could implore. Some type of social media contents include:

  • User-generated content.
  • Customer reviews.
  • Contests and giveaways.
  • Affiliate promotions, etc.

Consumers love reading user-generated content and top writing reviews. However, whatever way you get your content, you need to have a standard submission process.

The three most common submission processes you can use in your business are:

  • Pre-moderation: In this moderation method, your moderation team reviews and approves content pre-posting. The team has to approve submitted content before they post it.
  • Post-moderation: In this moderation method, the moderation team posts submitted content, and monitors/reviews them regularly to see how they perform.
  • Reactive moderation: With reactive moderation, content is submitted in real-time, and only reviewed if the content is flagged.

Ensure that you include all the information content submitters need to know. So, make available information on:

  • Where you intend to use the submitted content
  • User permission and rights agreements.
  • Content submission deadlines, rules, etc.

5) Monitor your content regularly.

Finally, it is essential to monitor your social media content regularly. This helps ensure that you aren’t missing out on anything that could harm your brand.

You can monitor your content manually, automatically, or a combination of the two. Tools like Mention.com help you track social media content related to your brand.

In conclusion

Any serious business knows content moderation is vital. It attracts the kind of customers you need and also helps keep existing customers. Other advantages include understanding your users, increasing traffic and protecting the image of your brand.



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Top SEO Trends Every Marketer Needs to Know in 2021

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Top SEO Trends Every Marketer Needs to Know in 2021


Search engine optimization can help companies significantly increase their online visibility and sales. What’s great about SEO is that you can learn how to do it yourself online and it won’t cost you a penny. However, it does take a lot of time to master search engine optimization. One of the most challenging thing about learning SEO is that it’s constantly evolving.

You always have to become familiar with new trends to retain or improve your rankings. Here are some of the most important trends that should play a role in your 2021 SEO strategy.

Follow the EAT Principle

The EAT framework was introduced by Google several years ago, but it’s now more important than ever to follow it because a huge amount of your traffic may depend on it. The EAT framework was conceived with the idea to provide Google users with better search results. It’s based on three different factors – expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

The main purpose of this framework is to give ranking advantages to websites with quality content. The first EAT factor is expertise, which you’re required to display in your content. Essentially, you have to display knowledge that’s at the same level or higher than your competitors to outrank them.

Being an expert in a certain field will allow you to craft useful content, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. You also have to display authoritativeness. To do this, you have to secure links from authoritative websites and pages relevant to your industry. Even if your business gets mentioned on another site, it can positively impact your rankings.

Finally, trustworthiness is another major factor imperative in SEO strategies in 2021. Let’s say that you have a paper writing service that you want to promote online. It will be hard for you to attract new customers if your website isn’t trustworthy. Some of the ways you can display trust include providing users with an easy way to contact you, associating your web page with a physical location of your business, having a privacy policy, and switching your domain from HTTP to HTTPS.

Local SEO

With more businesses with an online presence than ever before, local SEO has become fundamental for reaching customers in your area. This is crucial for every business owner that has a company with a physical location. Although you should definitely optimize content, headers, meta descriptions, and tags to target local audiences, your main focus for a good local SEO strategy should be to create a Google My Business (GMB) listing.

When Google provides users with local results, their algorithm looks for companies with complete and accurate information. If you set up a Google My Business listing for your firm, you’ll be favored for local searches. Some of the most basic information you need to add to your GMB page includes your business address, opening hours, phone number, website address, and category.

It’s always a good idea to add numerous photos that clearly display your business, as well as the goods you provide. Encourage your customers to write reviews about your business on Google, as this plays a huge role in rankings. You can also build trust with consumers if you regularly respond to reviews that you get on your GMB page.

Voice Search

Alexa, Siri, and Cortana have become insanely popular ever since virtual assistants were first introduced. They allowed users to search for information online more easily, which heavily impacted common search queries. While most people usually only enter a few keywords in their queries when they’re typing, voice search is more about posing complete questions.

What this tells you about user behavior online is that many people are looking for an answer to a specific question. You can improve your Google rankings by including FAQ sections on various pages on your website. Research what are some of the most common questions consumers in your industry have and write useful answers.

Long-Tail Keywords

You can greatly increase your conversion rate if you optimize your content for long and specific keyword phrases called long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are somewhat associated with voice search, but many consumers type them when they’re close to a point of purchase.

What’s great about these types of keyword phrases is that there’s less competition for them, which means you have a better chance of grabbing the first spot on search results pages. Although it won’t provide you with a substantial increase in traffic, optimizing for long-tail keywords will effectively help you turn visitors into leads. While your main objective with this approach should be to rank for long phrases, it also helps you achieve rankings for short keywords.

Summary

Every business owner should update their SEO strategy often. As technology evolves, so does user behavior on the internet. It’s common for strategies that yield good results to become significantly less effective after a few months. That’s why you should always stay up to date on the newest SEO trends.

Author’s Bio:

Charlie Svensson is a freelance writer and digital marketing specialist. Apart from writing articles for various online magazines and blogs, Charlie also likes to help college students with their essays. He currently works at my-assignment.help, offering his services to countless students in English speaking countries across the globe.



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4 Science-Backed Tools To Improve Your Performance On The Job

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4 Science-Backed Tools To Improve Your Performance On The Job


There are dozens of tools out there that claim to boost performance on the job. But do they really work? How to choose the one tool that will take the working process to the next level?

Today, we will talk about science-backed tools that are worth using. We will discuss the most common performance-related issues and explain how advanced technology can address them.

Anti-distraction tools

Can you call yourself a “media multitasker”? Are you capable of writing a monthly report and replying to incoming emails at the same time? We have bad news for you. Your “multitasking ability” negatively affects your performance.

You get distracted more often than your co-workers, who tend to perform one task at a time. And what about the quality of your work? It’s likely lower than it could be.

The truth is that the processing capacity of the human brain is limited. Trying to perform a few tasks simultaneously, you just waste your potential.

Well, you probably have heard lots of stories about highly effective people who can perform a few tasks simultaneously. Social scientists believe that these people do not multitask – they have the ability to quickly switch their attention from one task to another and fully concentrate on one specific task.

Do you want to improve your performance instantly? Say “no” to media multitasking. Use tools like FocusMe and Freedom to block access to social media platforms and other sites that distract you. It will allow you to boost your concentration so that you will be able to deliver better results.

Proofreading tools

Every day you write dozens of emails, reports, and other documents. And whatever your writing skills level is, you need to proofread all the texts you create. Typos are inevitable, and you should do your best to catch and correct them.

But there is a problem. Our brain works in a way that makes it difficult for us to spot our own mistakes. The human brain constantly uses previous experiences to interpret new ones, and that’s called generalization. Unconsciously we build mental maps compiling the sights, smells, and sounds to free up our brain to think about more important things.

To put it simply, our brain is operating on instinct, and sometimes it works against us. When you’re trying to proofread your own writing, you become blind to details. Since your text already looks familiar to your brain, you can’t spot a misspelled word.

If you want to improve your texts’ quality, you should trick your brain into pretending that you’re reading your writing for the first time. You can try to change the font style or background color to change the way your text looks.

Or, you can use proofreading tools to ease your work. Check out best essay writing services, and grammar checkers like Grammarly. It will be wise of you to opt for automatic proofreading to save your time and boost your performance.

To-do list tools

Do you write to-do lists? No? It’s time to fix it. Find a to-do list tool that works for you and start using it on a daily basis.

Here is what scientists say about the benefits of using to-do lists.

The first benefit is all about eliminating intrusive thoughts. Once you add a specific task to your to-do list, the idea related to this task stops circulating in your mind and distracting you from work.

Let’s say you need to buy food for your cat and book a table for your anniversary. If you do not write down these two tasks, they will come to your mind repeatedly. You will be unable to concentrate on the job that needs to be done.

But if you add these two tasks to your to-do list, the magic will happen – you will free up your mind and fully focus on your current job.

Another benefit of to-do lists tools is that they allow you to prioritize your tasks and make a plan for a day. Using such tools, you can manage your time more effectively and improve your job performance.

There are lots of to-do list tools and apps out there. You can use Todoist, TickTick, Remember The Milk, or any other tool that appeals to you.

Pomodoro timers

We can’t stay focused on one task for too long because that results in cognitive boredom. Our brain needs breaks. We need to have some time to rest and unwind during the workday to perform at our best.

In other words, the effectiveness of your work decreases when you concentrate on one task for a few hours in a row.

Let’s say you need to write a monthly marketing report. It will take you around four hours to complete the task. In the first 25 minutes, your concentration levels and your performance will be the highest.

But with every next half an hour, your performance will be lowering. You will start getting tired and experiencing boredom. As a result, you will write fewer pages per hour, make more typos and other mistakes.

What can you do to keep your productivity at the highest level? One of the easiest ways is to try out the Pomodoro technique with the use of tools like Pomofocus or TomatoTimer. Here is what you should do:

  • Choose one task you want to complete
  • Set the timer to 25 minutes and work without distractions until the timer rings
  • Take a five-minute break – do something that helps you unwind, like watching a funny cat video on YouTube or calling your friend.
  • Take longer breaks (15 to 30 minutes) for every four work intervals.

Pomodoro timer apps will help you stick to a well-optimized work-and-rest schedule and boost your performance. You will start using your time more wisely and get more tasks done within fewer hours.

Wrapping up

Use new technologies to your advantage to excel in your career. Be open to innovations, and choose science-backed tools that work for you.

Leverage grammar checkers, timers, to-do list tools, and anti-distraction apps – and you will accomplish your goals.

Author Bio:

Nicole Garrison is an experienced blogger and freelance writer. She has a passion for writing about digital marketing and teaching her readers how to improve their online presence. She currently works as a writer at best cheap essay writing service. She also loves photography and travel blogging.



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