7 Best Video Hosting Sites for Businesses in 2021

video marketing tools for business

Want to know which are the 7 Best Video Hosting Sites for Businesses in 2021?

Read on!

Video is one of the top marketing tools, hands down. It has been so for some time, and its use in marketing will only grow as the years go by.

A marketing video is more interactive than, let’s say, a blog or even an infographic.

Nowadays, more and more companies and entrepreneurs create video content regularly to host interviews, give industry news, create live webinars, create product breakdowns, and much more. Video has become a more helpful medium for training and communication during work-from-home times due to the pandemic. This medium aids in training and education online, in place of the traditional systems.

Social distancing continues to separate team members, at times across whole countries and continents. Thus, it is essential to have a medium to translate visual information with ease, regardless of one’s geographical location.

Regardless of how you are using and creating video content, it is essential to find the best video hosting platform for your company in 2021.

In this article, there are some of the Best Video Hosting Sites for Businesses in 2021. Read on to find out their core pros and cons to find out the one ideal for your needs.

Here are Best Video Hosting Sites for Businesses:

  1. YouTube
  2. Swarmify
  3. Wistia
  4. SproutVideo
  5. Vimeo
  6. Dailymotion
  7. Brightcove

What exactly is video hosting?

When you create a video, it is not the end of the process. How will your customers or audience see it? You have to host it somewhere. Hosting means storing the video for playback and editing later on the internet.

There are many such video hosting services, each with its pros and cons. For instance, some have faster loading speeds, while others have better video editing tools. Some even offer in-built marketing tools to aid you in achieving your professional goals.

Here are the top 7 video hosting platforms.

YouTube

Sometimes the best things in life are free! 

That’s right! It is free, and that’s not all. YouTube is known to be the second-largest search engine on the planet, after Google itself. YouTube gives you free video hosting capabilities, opportunities to earn money from these videos, and a robust search engine through which people can find your videos. This means not just does your video content have to be very good, but your SEO skills and written content have to be top-notch as well.

Lots of people have used this platform to create their brands and even earn millions. With a regular presence on this platform, one can attain stardom.

Pros

  • It is the largest video hosting platform
  • People can search and find your content organically with its robust video search
  • It is easy to subscribe
  • One can advertise and earn through Adsense
  • It is easy to embed YouTube on your website
  • You have unlimited storage

Cons

  • The platform recommends other videos, which can be from your competitors. This can potentially drive your traffic away.

Swarmify

Swarmify is a paid service. You can get it for $49/month. This is a viral video hosting site from AppSumo. The benefits are many. Its users are amazed by the site’s fantastic video loading speeds and real-time cross-platform comparisons of video hosting sites.

Additionally, Swarmify won’t promote other people’s content after your videos, so you don’t need to worry about your customers running off to your competitors.

Pros

  • Admirable fast loading speeds
  • Unlimited bandwidth, storage, and encoding
  • Unbranded
  • Layout is distraction-free
  • Advanced analytics
  • Automated YouTube and Vimeo conversions

Cons

  • It can be expensive for small businesses without the AppSumo deal.

Wistia

Wistia is freemium. You are free to try it out. The free plan has limitations in 200 GB bandwidth each month, three videos, and just enough space to store your videos. After the free period, or when you want to create and keep more videos, you need paid plans. Paid plans begin at $99 per month. You can use Wistia to give your videos a brand and your company’s unique identity. It even gives you heat maps so that you can know what is engaging your audience more!

Wistia is known for its TV-like video quality and is both a platform developer and a video hosting site.

Lastly, Wistia ensures that Google indexes your videos by injecting Schema.org on your webpage. Wistia even lets you use videos for lead generation and in growing an email list.

Pros

  • You have more control over your content
  • It is easy to grow a following
  • You can put content behind digital gates to generate leads
  • White-label branding tools
  • The ability to autoplay your next video
  • In-depth reporting and analytics

Cons

  • Freemium is limited, and paid plans can be expensive.

SproutVideo

This is a paid video hosting platform that is built specifically for businesses. The price is $24.99. SproutVideo gives you many features to aid in marketing your services while staying secure at the same time.

SproutVideo has templates to make your video creation faster and easier. This also helps in making a video instead of static images greet quality video-first sites visitors. The platform offers strong security in the form of password protection, log-in protection, and single log-on.

Pros

  • Video analytics
  • Powerful security
  • Create custom video players and video playlists
  • Video marketing suite
  • Trusted by many Fortune 500 companies
  • You can make video sites with responsive and agile layouts

Cons

  • The learning curve can be steep

Vimeo

Vimeo is one of the more popular video hosting sites. What endears it to its users is that it is both a video hosting site and a video editor. With the Video Maker, you can edit videos and choose from the myriad templates. You can even add text, images, and effects to your videos to create a more professional product.

Vimeo is Freemium, which means you can try it out, but have to buy a paid plan of $7 a month sooner or later.

Vimeo connects you with freelance video creators in case you don’t want to do the work yourself.

Pros

  • Video editing
  • Live to stream
  • On-demand video creating talent base
  • Team collaboration
  • There is a free plan
  • Video marketing tool suite
  • Advances reporting and analytics

Cons

  • Most features for businesses are not there in the free plan.

Brightcove

Brightcove is unique as it helps you to create your streaming service. Brightcove offers you a lot of features, but the price is on the steep side. It costs $99 a month.

However, in return, the platform more than pays you back. It offers high definition and fast-loading videos. There are fantastic features like fast load speeds, live-streaming, and a video marketing tool suite. It also lets you monetize your creations through its advertising options.

Pros

  • Live to stream
  • OTT experiences
  • Run ads on your creations
  • Video analytics
  • Fast loading speed for videos
  • Video marketing integrations and tools

Cons  

  • Some users are unhappy about its search feature and reporting.

Dailymotion

Like YouTube, this too is a video entertainment and video search engine. The platform recommends videos to viewers just like YouTube. Unlike the other services listed above, the look and feel of Dailymotion are that of a news website. But instead of a news article, today’s most important or most seen/popular video stories. This includes news, sports, and most popular videos.

Dailymotion gives you on-demand video, live stream, and standard video hosting features.

Pros

  • Simple video uploading and hosting
  • Monetization of videos
  • Videos can be searched for organically and can be made to go viral or get featured
  • Connect to your social media channels
  • Basic video metrics

Cons

  • Slower than YouTube

Conclusion

Now that we have seen the 7 Best Video Hosting Sites for Businesses in 2021, it all comes down to picking one.

Choosing a video hosting platform is an important decision and should not be taken lightly. However, taking a well-informed decision makes making future decisions more straightforward.

Contact MIU for digital marketing which brings results

Reimaging Marketing In The Next Normal

Brand Revival: Reimaging Marketing In The Next Normal

Human civilization is going through one of its darkest and most challenging phases. The days are dotted with unprecedented threats and nights with uncertainty. The coronavirus pandemic blew things out of proportion, pushed us to the brim, where fighting for survival is the only way out. 

Besides health and life, business, too, suffered through a lot of brutal blows. When the world was on the verge of returning to everyday life, the second wave struck. It ruined things with a more significant impact. Repeated lockdowns and forbidden movement affected supply and hit revenue generation like never before. The damage was pretty the same for brands across the globe. 

Despite all, there is hope, and that’s what I will be discussing elaborately here. Robert Kiyosaki, Founder, Cashflow Technologies Inc., said, “When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge.” There’s oozing positivity in these lines, and it’s real. We need to push through the limitations; that’s how we overcome them! 

Brand Revival: Reimaging Marketing In The Next Normal
Business photo created by rawpixel.com

Marketing In 2021 – Reimaging Marketing In The Next Normal Trying To Survive In A Changed Business Ecosphere

Any given crisis hurts the market – consumer behavior. The pandemic triggered by covid19 created an enormous dent in trade and commerce across the world. Brands and marketers working for them are on their feet, trying to find ways to sail out of this crisis. 

Businesses of varying size and age faced unprecedented challenges. They had to ensure the safety of their employees and consumers, modify business operation and management complying with government policies. Besides these, brands had to support the activities with cash and other liquid assets. 

Different lockdown norms restricted the movement; it affected supply, purchase volume and related elements. A lot of people also lost their jobs due to the pandemic. There was a decline in purchase resulting in lesser sales volume and revenue. 

What caused this change was a few dominating factors. 

The inevitable and enforced lockdown affected the livelihood of many. While the enterprises are struggling to survive, smaller ventures and industries suffered significant loss. It even led to the closure of such businesses. It affected the livelihood of many and marginalized their purchasing power. It directly affected demand in a chain reaction. 

Consumers made more conscious purchasing decisions; they tried not to spend their money on anything they are not sure about. They opted for value-based products and services and online shopping experiences. Consumers moved to online platforms and apps for their everyday essentials and luxury buys. 

There was a restriction on the movement of public transport during the lockdown, but even after unlocking, people tried to avoid it. Demand for online service platforms surged high, to unexpected heights, and they switched to remote working or working from homes. 

Covid19 triggered an economic and social crisis that severely affected consumer demand. 

Brand Revival: Reimaging Marketing In The Next Normal
Sale photo created by drobotdean – www.freepik.com

Potential Brand Revival Strategies 

You cannot avert a crisis and other challenges, but you can surely overcome them. In the face of a notorious situation, you need to be your strongest self and cut through it. You must commit to bold decisions and execution of the same. The covid19 pandemic and its impact on business is not something that you cannot overcome. 

Ian Davis, a Managing Partner, McKinsey, was recently quoted in an article – “The New Normal”, “For some brands, near-term survival is the only agenda.” He elaborated on the finer details, but it stroked me hard because that’s a brutal truth. Survival is the only goal but stopping there isn’t. The article has meaningful implications for marketers. Brands need to revive; otherwise, they will not stand a chance in the grim market condition. So here I will be elaborating on a few central mechanisms that can make it happen. Stay glued! 

Firstly, you need to harness the power of digital platforms and technology. The internet is accessible to almost every corner of the world, by everyone. That’s the best way to reach the mass, and you have a broader market than you could ever wish for. Why not use these platforms and transformational technologies to connect with customers – existing and potential? Build a complementing infrastructure, even a new team for the groundwork is good, to serve demands through digital channels and apps. Try digital transformation through technology, communication, data, the internet of things, AI, and exclusive networking. 

Brand Revival: Reimaging Marketing In The Next Normal
created by stories – www.freepik.com

Secondly, you must pick up accurate data, analyze them correctly, and use it quickly, responsibly and effectively. Data is the key to creating compelling brand strategies, both for sales and branding exercises. Business automation solutions are ideal for making this happen; specifically, a CRM solution will be the best one to serve this purpose. When you implement CRM software, it fetches data from regular interactions, analyzes flawlessly, finds real consumer needs. It also predicts market and product trends. You can use this for offering what the market would need and cash such opportunities. 

Thirdly, what matters are not exclusive products but trustworthy products that meet consumer needs. It is essential, especially when you want to create brands they trust. Invest in good image building exercises because the messages they send are very effective in building your brand image. 

Fourthly, if you want to find a perennial market demand, you will have to be a bold brand. By this, I mean, as a brand, you need to stand up for a cause that makes a real difference and act on it. When you start doing this, you will begin writing a new future for your brand. 

Fifthly, localize your operations and consumer experience. The idea of exported products is not as effective as offering something of their own. Frequent lockdowns have boosted the idea of enjoying local products and experiences. You are restricted to a specific area, so are the producers, sellers and buyers. There are a good number of brands that have benefitted by localizing their marketing exercises. 

Brand Revival: Reimaging Marketing In The Next Normal
Sale photo created by wayhomestudio – www.freepik.com

Social media connected people from different pockets of the world. Similarly, online platforms, technology and digital avenues joined the business to consumers during the pandemic. Whether digital or physical, you must keep supplying to meet the demand. The current situation favors digital or online services, though. The trends and indicators commit to a promising future if you are willing to take that leap of faith and transform your digitally. Trust me; now people prefer home entertainment and home deliveries!

Post-Pandemic Marketing

Post Pandemic marketing

The Covid-19 pandemic has forever changed how we go about achieving things — from how we live to the way we work. For businesses, this means a massive shift in marketing strategies.

Businesses have had to adapt how they run over the past year to keep themselves afloat during the economic downturn. However, if you thought that everything would go back to normal once Covid-19 has settled down, you would be wrong.

The pandemic has shown us the benefits of becoming digital, be it in the way we work, shop, or live. We are studying the impacts that we have faced due to the pandemic will teach us how better to develop a forward-looking marketing plan for the future. According to Google, these are the four permanent changes that the pandemic has brought about.

  • Consumer habits will change

It can’t be denied that the pandemic has been tough on everyone. With the economy in a recession, consumers are becoming extremely careful about what they spend on. As their income drops, they are less likely to spend on nonessential items.

Additionally, over the past year, Google has noticed an upward trend in consumer searches. Specifically, many were (and are still doing so) looking for online alternatives to staples in their life. For instance, when schools were shut down, search queries that included the phrase “online learning” went up by 400%.

Many consumers looked for “fitness apps” in place of gyms, a term that saw a 200% increase in its search query. Leisure activities were no different — searches with the phrase “with friends online” jumped by 300% year over year.

Such shifts in consumer behaviour saw brands focusing their efforts more than ever on real-time insights tracking. As everything becomes highly digitalised, more importance is placed on reacting and adapting to consumer behaviour changes. Brands would have to respond fast to any discovery and even develop appropriate strategies to make sure they continue thriving in these volatile times.

  • Virtual events are here to stay

If you did not catch the memo previously, here it is again — online activities and events saw a startling rise in the past year. Of course, since the pandemic forced everyone to stay indoors, virtual events only make sense for increase.

However, as things start to stabilise and the possibility of live events returning approaches, it does not necessarily mean that virtual events will no longer happen. Google predicts that many consumers have now developed the preference of attending events from their home comforts.

Your marketing strategies should pivot towards virtual events (if you haven’t already) as a business. That is not to say live events should be neglected — instead, it needs to be even more impressive to draw consumers back to them.

  • Online shopping is now the norm

Online Shopping

Ecommerce was one area that prospered during the entirety of the pandemic. Some consumers even claimed that they shopped online for the first time due to the quarantine restrictions!

As a result, businesses had to turn to offer online services to cater to their consumers’ changing needs. Be it opening an online store, taking online orders, or offering local delivery. Brands were tested on how quickly they could adapt to such drastically different requirements from their consumers.

  • Working from home will continue

Work from home

Consumer habits aren’t the only thing that brands need to take note of. Employee habits will affect them just as much, if not more. To be precise, many businesses will see employees continue to work from home even as quarantine restrictions are lifted.

The traditional in-office work model may no longer work in this new post-pandemic era. Even before the pandemic, many have expressed their desire to spend more time doing what they enjoy and less time on unnecessary things, such as commuting.

As workplace cultures begin to morph and shift, brands need to keep on their toes and find new methods that meet the basic needs of their employees while still being efficient as a company. Only then will the growth of the business be guaranteed.

So how can a brand successfully market itself after such a devastating pandemic?

For one, as the community is still coming back from the effects of the pandemic, brands should remember to be sensitive and careful in their marketing efforts. Avoid tone-deaf campaigns that seem to blatantly ignore the struggles that consumers themselves have faced during such challenging times.

BMW used a pandemic-related hashtag — #flattenthecurve — to promote their new i8 model in a company tweet. Such illogical insensitivity caused a backlash against the brand, with consumers criticising that buying a car does not help them solve anything in this pandemic. Similarly, Wix’s latest ad saw many consumers rise against the brand for insensitivity to the mental health issues that many faced due to the pandemic.

Even as the pandemic’s effects are starting to fade, brands need to continue their digital efforts. Whether it means offering free shipping and delivery, online discounts and gift cards or more, businesses would benefit from such digital strategies as consumers continue to shop online. Not to mention that this is the cheaper and less risky alternative!

What steps have you been taking as a brand to stay afloat during this pandemic? If you resonate with any of the points we’ve made, you are taking a step in the right direction when it comes to marketing your brand, be it pre- or post-pandemic. Now, you have to continue on this right track.

Wix vs WordPress: Wix’s Negative Ads against WordPress

wix vs wordpress

On April 6th, 2021, Wix launched series of ads to promote their services on providing website solutions for business. But unfortunately, it did not end up well on some website developers and search marketing communities. Wix’s ads campaign “You Deserve Better” has seen as negative ads against WordPress, and the WordPress community did not feel happy with it.

Who is Wix?

Wix is an Israeli software company, which provided cloud-based web development services. It allows users to create HTML5 websites through the drag and drop tools that already provided.

Wix’s Ads Campaign Caused Anger

Wix’s latest ads campaign causes controversy among search marketing and the website developer’s community. The ads themselves focused on WordPress negatively, and a web developer was coming to a psychiatrist, seeking help for his mental health issues. This portrayal seems caused anger in the WordPress community.

In the ads titled “The Update Button of Doom”, WordPress portrayed as a grotesque person experiencing some glitching during a conversation, and that becomes of the causes that make the web developer experiencing mental health issues. The video ads below have considered typical attack ads.

Through video ads, the “You Deserve Better” campaign by Wix, along with Bose headphone, shipped to some developers and marketing influencers. Most of them are confused with Wix’s approach because they think Wix only wasted their marketing budget by sending those headphones to those not pleased with the campaign.

 

Tweet

On the other video titled “White Screen of Death… Is That You?”, “WordPress” was asked by a psychiatrist for the updates, and suddenly he felt sick and dead. The web developer on the ads mentioned that there could be any problem like plugin issue, hosting problem that caused “WordPress” death.

Maya Grill as the representative of Wix, say, “The campaign shows in a clever way that WordPress users don’t need to be stuck in a bad relationship with their platform, and they should consider the alternative which allows them to focus on their actual work,” Grill said. “Each video in the campaign revolves around user pain points, which also highlight Wix’s strengths.”

But instead of a clever way of a marketing campaign, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, one of the influencers who received Bose headphone, said that the campaign was “All Nuclear Troll-Marketing” and indeed not pleased with that.

Anti-Wix Responses Online

As mentioned before, the new ads campaign by Wix has caused furious and Anti-Wix, not only from website developers but also from the search marketing community. Wix’s ad campaign described as distasteful and bashing.

tweet2

Meanwhile, Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress gave his responses on the Wix’s ads campaign as below,

“Wix is a for-profit company… whose business model is getting customers to pay more and more every year and making it difficult to leave or get a refund. (Don’t take my word for it, look at their investor presentations.)

They are so insecure that they are also the only website creator I’m aware of that doesn’t allow you to export your content, so they’re like a roach motel where you can check in but never check out. Once you buy into their proprietary stack you’re locked in, which even their support documentation admits…

So if we’re comparing website builders to abusive relationships, Wix is one that locks you in the basement and doesn’t let you leave. I’m surprised consumer protection agencies haven’t gone after them.”

Wix vs WordPress Tensions

After all negative comment and responses to Wix’s ads campaign “You Deserve Better”, Avishai Abrahami, as Wix’s CEO, given his responses, by mentioning that Matt Mullenweg is angry and not telling the truth and accusing him by being hypocritical for criticizing Wix for negativity by claiming it was Matt that begun the bitter exchanges by being first to go on a damaging attack.

With the open letter by Wix’s CEO, Wix offers a public apology, as long as from the WordPress side, they also clarify regarding the issue mentioned on the Wix’s ads. Avishai Abrahami said in the open letter that they try to make the ads funny, but if the ads ended up offended the WordPress side, he apologized.

tweet3

tweet4

Positive Campaign and Brand Goodwill

Given the example of how Wix marketing their services with their latest ads campaign, we can all agree that the way of Wix advertise it was terrible and it brings negative assumptions about Wix from the audience. Even Wix mentioned the truth about the issues that WordPress has. But by bashing and imposing other brands to make your brand stand out is not a good marketing campaign. Most consumers will choose a brand that gives them positivity and goodwill through their campaigns or their products while not making other brands looks terrible.

Running a good marketing campaign

If you are running your own business or part of a giant corporation, you understand the need for marketing. It can be an absolute nightmare to navigate the inner working of creating a successful campaign. What would help alleviate this would be someone who could take this burden off your hands.

MIU offers a range of marketing services that will help your company successfully launch and maintain a marketing campaign. With experience and skills, the disasters mentioned above can be avoided with our help. 

Feel free to contact us for a free digital audit or check out MIU’s website to learn more about how we can help you.

What is Clubhouse Marketing?

marketing in clubhouse

Clubhouse is the latest app that has got marketers going crazy over it, and here’s why.

Introduction to Clubhouse

As a social audio chat application, Clubhouse first got widespread attention when Tesla founder Elon Musk tweeted about it to his 40 million followers. It has since been downloaded more than 2 million times on the App Store.

That’s not even the main reason why Clubhouse continued to be wildly popular. As an invite-only app, Clubhouse gave off that exclusive vibe which drew even more people to it as it symbolises status and elitism. To get in, you would have to get an invite from an existing user — and they usually only have two invites each. Furthermore, the discussions that happen are often live and unrecorded, adding to the exclusive feel.

Clubhouse was initially marketed to Silicon Valley investors, top-tier celebrities and influencers, and industry thought leaders. Drake, Oprah Winfrey, and Elon Musk were the first few high-profile users the app saw.

Founded by Paul Davidson, who once worked for big companies like Google and Pinterest, Clubhouse came at the perfect time when the world is still recovering from the pandemic’s effects.

With everyone having more free time to themselves, spending more time alone, and the popularity of podcasts rising, Clubhouse was a social media experiment headed for success. Launched in 2020, Clubhouse provides users with a great platform to make conversation and create a new type of content.

Having a social chat app allows users to multi-task. More importantly, it cuts through the visual noise of an era where so much of the content we consume is carefully curated, edited, and pieced together. With live discussions happening in real-time, Clubhouse offers unfiltered authenticity in a time heavily dominated by visual content. Rather than showing people what you have and hoping for possible engagement, Clubhouse skips all unnecessary steps and straight away gathers people for immediate and direct engagement.

Marketing in Clubhouse, is it possible?

So how can marketers use this to further their needs? Well, we can take a leaf from Tribal Worldwide Singapore’s book — they jumped onto the platform and had potential content strategists pitch for a job at their agency via the app.

But that isn’t the only way.

Premium and luxury brands can host branded events on Clubhouse or even sponsor events related to their industry. As a business leader or a professional in your industry, you can host Clubhouse Rooms to discuss a topic related to your brand, service, or product. By setting yourself to seem like a thought leader, you’ll gain more brand awareness and trust and loyalty amongst your consumers.

Not to mention, as the perfect platform to network, Clubhouse is the best way to meet and connect with some of the most prominent entrepreneurs around the world. Currently, Clubhouse has low dilution and incredible reach, although that might not hold for long — so take advantage of it while you still can. This way, you can use Clubhouse to make your brand feel more personal and humanised and build a new following just from the app itself.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also mentioned in a Room that his social media company is looking into building its version of an audio platform. And it isn’t just Facebook — Twitter also announced plans for a drop-in audio feature for their app, known as Twitter Spaces. Indeed, the social media audio trend is unlikely to be going away anytime soon.

As such an interactive app, Clubhouse proves to be of great potential with being able to satisfy on-demand consumption of content. Marketers should keep their eyes on the app as there is much more potential for audio marketing trends to be discovered.

If you want to find out more about the new marketing strategy, Contact Us.

Lazada SG Celebrates Its 9th Birthday With Katy Perry, NCT Dream, and More

Lazada is known for having big discounts and huge sales on its site, so it’s no surprise that they are hosting a massive event for their 9th birthday this coming weekend.

Known as Lazada Super Party, this event includes a virtual concert, flash sales, surprise boxes, games, and more. The full performance lineup can be viewed here, although Lazada has already teased us with a few names.

Headlined by Katy Perry and NCT Dream, other local artists such as Jasmine Sokko and Nathan Hortono will also be performing for the virtual concert.

On 26 March at 9:30 pm, Lazada will be streaming this virtual concert via LazLive to countdown to its official birthday which falls on 27 March.

Michelle Chong, Michelle Chong, Michelle Chong, Lee Min-ho are posing for a picture: Lazada Celebrates Its 9th Birthday Sale With A Virtual Concert, Games, Flash Deals, Vouchers

In fact, Lazada will be streaming live performances of various K-Pop idols every Saturday at 8 pm for seven consecutive weeks, starting 20 March. Viewers will be able to partake in games and other giveaways for a chance to win a prize!

Beyond these live streams and performances, Lazada has organised a bunch of pre-sale activities to keep us interested in grabbing ridiculous deals off their site. Before the big day, participate in as many games and activities as you can to obtain vouchers, free shipping, LazCoins and more. These will definitely come in handy during the two-hour storewide flash sale from 12 to 2 am on 27 March!

More than 200 stores are involved in the celebration of Lazada’s 9th birthday, offering more up to a whopping 90% discount on some of their products! The list of participating stores can be found here.

Lazada is definitely going all out for their birthday celebration this year. Indeed, the blend of international celebrities from Katy Perry to NCT Dream to local singers is bound to draw a huge crowd to join in on their festivities.

If you want to find out more about the new marketing strategy, Contact Us.

ECommerce Platforms: WooCommerce vs Shopify vs Magento

For most businesses, an eCommerce platform is one of the best things you can do for your brand. After all, the move to the digital sphere is happening rapidly, particularly in recent years. Maintaining an online presence is the best way to have a global reach.

However, many small businesses looking to start their eCommerce store might find this step a little confusing, not to mention intimidating. Just look at it — there are so many options out there! How would anyone know which is the best option for their brand?

The eCommerce platforms available may seem a little daunting at first, but get to know them a bit more, and you’ll realise how straightforward everything is. WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento are the three most prominent platforms in the eCommerce industry, holding more than 50% of the market share combined. In this article, we’ve broken down the pros and cons of these three major eCommerce platforms to help you decide which you should use.

  • WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that brands can use if they have a registered domain for a WordPress website. WordPress is a standard content management system that many brands use. WooCommerce is a popular choice due to its ease of use. The best part is, it’s free!

With roughly 25% of the market share, WooCommerce is used by nearly 3 million sites to date. Although domain name and hosting are not included, this eCommerce platform allows brands to have an unlimited store size and unlimited orders and sales. If you want your own domain name, however, additional investment is required.

Additionally, brands would need to obtain their own Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, a global standard security technology that enables encrypted information between a web browser and a web server. This decreases the risk of sensitive information being stolen or hacked. WooCommerce supports SSL but does not provide an individual certificate for brands.

There are plenty of extensions and themes you can choose from when using WooCommerce. This allows you some flexibility in your online shop, most of which would be required if you want a functioning store. Of course, keep in mind that some of these extensions and themes are premium and might require payment.

The good thing about WooCommerce is that it has integrated Google Analytics. This means that you’ll keep track of the popular items, which are being dropped, bounce rates, clickthrough rates, and more. Since it is free, WooCommerce is perfect for businesses who are tight with their budget or are just dipping their toes into eCommerce.

  • Shopify

Easily described as the upgraded version of WooCommerce, Shopify offers a few functions and features that are comparable to, if not better, than WooCommerce. However, the downside to Shopify is that it is not free.

The monthly subscription starts from $29 onwards, which allows you a free myshopify.com domain. Alternatively, you can also use your custom domain name. Even though Shopify runs on a monthly subscription, it has over nearly a million users and takes up 20% of the market share.

With Shopify’s high quality hosting services, you do not have to worry about finding a hosting provider or installing any other software since it is all included. This includes unlimited bandwidth, automatic site backups, and more. They also help update and maintain the underlying software for businesses, whereas both WooCommerce and Magento do not.

Since Shopify is a hosted solution, brands would not be able to access the underlying software, unlike when using WooCommerce or Magento. This means that you would most likely not be able to customise your server the way you want it to.

As with WooCommerce, Shopify does some free extensions, although most of them are premium. Additionally, all themes are also premium, so keep that in mind if you want to change your shop interface. Last but not least, Shopify comes with an SSL certificate which is included in their plans.

Shopify is used by the likes of Sephora, Budweiser, Nestle, Tesla, and more. If you want an uncomplicated setup process but desire premium support, this would be an excellent option for you. Even without much technical knowledge, one can easily handle and learn how to get their online store up and run with Shopify.

  • Magento

Magento is adopted by 250,000 websites worldwide and holds a 10% share in the market as a corporate-level eCommerce platform. Although it seems like a minor player out of the three, do not underestimate this eCommerce platform! Just because it is a niche does not mean it is not as valuable.

In fact, with both free and premium options, Magento offers plenty of support for businesses wanting to start an enterprise-level online store. While the free community version requires you to get a domain name and hosting on your own, the premium version does not.

Again, there are limited extensions and themes that Magento offers for free. Most of the better ones are premium, which means you would need to fork out some money to obtain them. However, Magento has advanced security and updates.

Since it is the most advanced version of the three, it is only natural to wonder what other features they offer. For one, their inventory management system allows them to sync the warehouse stock with the online shop. They also support multiple languages and currencies, which comes in handy for a global business. For a complete list of Magento functions that they offer, visit this link.

With an in-built SEO package and analytic system, Magento is undoubtedly a high-end eCommerce platform highly recommended for established brands or brands looking to branch out. Magento is used by the likes of Nike, Ford, and Christian Louboutin. Remember that there is a steep learning curve for this, as it is more geared towards developers and web development professionals!

All in all, WooCommerce is beginner-friendly and wallet-friendly, whilst Shopify is great for those who want to relinquish control. On the other hand, Magento is perfect for large brands that have the following to back them up. Ultimately, it would be best if you determined which eCommerce platform is best for your business. After all, you know your brand best!

How to Update Your Digital Marketing Strategy

How to Update Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Spring cleaning is a necessary job in any household, but it’s also a necessary job for your digital marketing strategy. Your digital marketing strategy should be checked, measured, and revitalized a few times per year, and the end of the first quarter is the perfect time to take the first steps.

Logo And Design

The first thing to look at is the design aspects of your digital presence. You should check that your logo and designs work across all platforms. Make sure that it’s still relevant and that your customers and potential customers have a positive reaction to your design. You may need to update your logo to give it a fresh look or change any design elements that are outdated and no longer relevant. 

In some cases, you may need to completely redesign your logo. You should also make sure that any changes are also updated on any physical promotional materials as well. Try a free logo app like Logo Creator to come up with some concepts for your business.

Goals

Your digital marketing strategy should have set out goals for your business. You need to look at whether these goals have been achieved. Use your key metrics to analyze what strategies worked well, and which didn’t. You should also assess your previous goals to make sure that they were achievable in the first place.

Set New Goals

When you set your new marketing goals, make sure that they are realistic, specific and achievable. You may also want to consider breaking wide goals down into smaller, more specific steps. Lastly, you should also set a realistic timeline for when you expect these goals to be met. You should have a master calendar for your digital marketing strategy, but you may want to have specific calendars for your social media campaigns, blog posts and email campaigns as well. Doing this means you can make sure that all posts and materials are going out on time.

Social Media Accounts

Social media is constantly evolving and changing with new sites and trends emerging all the time. It’s important that you keep your social media presence updated, relevant, on-trend, and consistent with your brand. This may mean updating profiles, creating new accounts, looking at which posts had the most reach and engagement, and updating your response policies. There are plenty of ways you can boost your social media shares to gain more exposure — check our article here for more details. If customers are reaching out to your business on social media, you need to make sure that responses are timely and appropriate.

SEO

Search engine optimization should be seen as a vital task. It’s incredibly important to keep up to date with SEO practices. These practices can evolve as the way people use search engines change. Check your page speeds, meta descriptions, content, images, readability and headers. Optimize every page. We’ve curated a list of SEO tools here that are not only free but perfect for beginners.

Keywords

Re-examine your keywords. Remove any keywords that are no longer relevant, or have a low or no impression. Create a new list of targeted keywords. This will help you create a much more efficient strategy.

Content

Look at your existing content and see which has the most engagement. Revamp lower performing content with fresh links and keywords. Make sure that the information in older posts is still relevant, or update it to include more recent data. 

You can also plan out new content. Make a calendar of when each content should be posted. When you’re planning topics or posts, make sure that it is specific and readable. Large topics should be broken into a series of posts.

Advertisements

You should also check how your advertisements are performing. Look at your paid search ads. Examine which keywords are being used and if these need to be extended upon. You should also check the ad copy. Make sure that the copy is free of errors and that it is still relevant. For the best results, read up on our ultimate guide to advertising.

6 Content Marketing Trends in 2021

6 Content Marketing Trends in 2021

Content is more often than not the first step in any marketing strategy. Whether you’re dealing with traditional marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, or SEO, it is a known fact that content can’t be overlooked. In fact, it is a huge part of what drives brand awareness and exposure.

With 2020 throwing all of us into a whirlwind (not literally), content marketing has seen some swift and sudden changes — all in a bid to adapt to the volatile industry. It would not be a surprise if these changes continued their way to 2021. Brands should therefore remain vigilant and adaptable in order to stay relevant.

To help you, here are some content marketing trends we’ve picked out that could surface this coming year.

1. Content relevancy will replace keyword research

I know, I know. Content marketing articles everywhere have drilled into your heads (even ours) that keyword research is of the utmost importance when it comes to SEO.

Want more exposure for your article? Use the most popular keywords. Need a more captivating caption? Throw in the most-searched-for keywords.

Keyword research has driven so much of content marketing thus far, it might feel a little strange to deviate from it. However, Google will soon introduce a new system that ranks your content based on the depth of expertise, rather than other factors such as link building. It is no longer good enough to be able to create content centralised around a certain keyword — but rather, how the content fits into your website.

Backlinking may have been one of the most significant resources when it comes to optimising your SEO strategy. As Google’s machine-learning algorithm becomes smarter about semantics, this might no longer be the case. Instead, link relevancy may become obsolete.

That being said, we are certainly not encouraging you to disregard link building. Keep in mind that this is just one of many possible trends that may arise in 2021. Whether it has yet to prove its worth remains to be seen. Until then, get ready to adapt.

2. Value-driven content will stand out

In an environment where content is everywhere, consumers will not hesitate to drop mediocre content and go for the highly-valued ones. With limited time and attention span, it is up to the brands to showcase their value immediately and keep their consumers engaged.

In this sense, content marketing is often the best way to retain consumers’ attention and provide meaningful content. Currently, plenty of brands are using the tactic of giving out average content for email addresses, in hopes that these will later help in converting the visitors.

Not anymore — 2021 has decided content marketing will be the main strategy in converting potential consumers. If you want your visitors to convert, show them how your product can help address their needs, not just what it can do.

3. Original research will rise in popularity

Sure, the online sphere is already swarming with information with its archive of research content. It would be easy and convenient to push out your own content based on the existing research out there.

However, with the overflow of information, it can be difficult to determine what content is actually relevant and useful in an ever-changing landscape. Coming up with your own studies can actually give you insights into what is relevant to you which may help you more than you realise.

Not to mention, original content that is applicable to your brand may interest your consumers more than over-gargled information. You can even reach out to your consumers to engage them as thought-leaders to create such content!

This informative content can be even repurposed into bite-sized content. Be it in the form of an infographic, video, or charts, having shareable content that allows you to post on your social media platforms can help you garner even more exposure.

4. Increased use of AI

A trend that has been on the rise — be it marketing or otherwise — is that more and more robots are taking over human jobs. In the realm of digital marketing, this often refers to automation.

As technology continues improving, content creation by artificial intelligence (AI) could very well become a thing. Of course, at this level, such content may not necessarily be considered high-quality, but it is a great way for brands to push out consistent content and even increase their content production.

According to participants in a McKinsey study, 20% or more of earnings from brands of different industries are attributed to AI. Indeed, AI and machine learning will no doubt change the way companies produce content. Just as Google is evolving to prioritise content relevancy rather than keyword research, AI will become a significant part of content creation in the years to come. After all, AI is already currently being used in aspects such as content analysis, optimisation and A/B testing.

5. User experience will take on more significance

As the biggest search engine, Google has been the focus of most marketers’ efforts. Therefore to determine what trend would lead 2021, it makes sense to observe Google’s future plans. And they are looking more than ever to cater to their users.

Beyond switching their focus to content relevancy, Google is also beginning to focus more on user experience. This means factors like UI/UX design, the site load time, as well as the delivery of content (for our case, in particular) would also be heavily considered when it comes to search ranking.

Therefore, it is important to focus on the smaller details including your site’s optimisation for mobile devices, image positions and sizes, as well as personalised content. In fact, personalisation more often than not has a positive impact on user experience. So if you want to stay ahead of the game, keep your web design in mind.

6. Advent of content atomation

Content atomation basically refers to the breaking down of long-form content into smaller pieces. With many businesses still struggling to get their content out there particularly in the post-Covid era, this might just be the solution they seek.

By repurposing your primary form of content and giving it a new angle, you can keep it fun and engaging for your audience while still pushing out valuable information.

Breaking down your long-form content doesn’t necessarily have to mean that your audience will see less content than usual. In fact, it is the opposite. Your audience not only gets to sieve out the content they feel is the most interesting, they are also able to absorb the same information in a shorter amount of time — so you’re still providing value to them.

Overall, there is much for us to learn in 2021. Whichever trends arise, the most important trait is for brands to stay adaptable. For now, keep creating high-quality, value-adding content for your audience and your hard work will equally be rewarded.

7 Tips to Boost Your Social Media Shares

7 Tips to Boost Your Social Media Shares

Having a social media strategy is a must when it comes to digital marketing. Just take a look at how much social media has influenced the way we market and communicate!

However, we can all agree that the right social media strategy will bring you the best returns. Not all methods built equally, which is the difference between a good strategy and a bad strategy.

One area to focus on in your social media strategy is the number of shares you accumulate. After all, part of what makes social platforms so powerful is the ability to expand your reach and gain enormous amounts of exposure — only by word-of-mouth. Going “viral” is a thing — and it’s not always bad.

Social shares do precisely that. However, to get the maximum amount of social media shares, there are steps to follow. Results don’t come by easy — they need the effort to achieve it. Here’s what we think can help you get the shares you need.

 

1. Prioritise the most shareable content format

 

This might go without saying, but a lot of times, marketers make the mistake of sharing all forms of content without considering what sort of content they are.

Research has shown that visual content is the most shared on social media, as they are quick to read and easy to digest. TikTok is one such proof that visual content is all the rage right now — look at how rapidly it has grown within the past few years. Sprout Social Index found that of all content that has been shared on social media, 68% of them are images, and 50% are videos.

Use the functions that are already available in these social media platforms to your advantage. For instance, Twitter allowed you to pin one tweet that your followers would see above all else, and Instagram has the Highlights section where your audience can click in to discover more about your brand. So prioritise putting videos and images in these areas for maximum shares.

 

2. Use in-built features to generate responses & increase engagement

 

When we talk about the function, social media platforms are now rolling out many features to cater to the increasing number of brands that use their site. Twitter has an in-built poll feature, as does Instagram. Besides that, Instagram also has a question-and-answer feature for their Stories. Get your audience responding and boost your brand awareness with such features!

LinkedIn also just released a new update where users can add links to their stories as well, to redirect viewers to their site. There are plenty of inbuilt features that you can play around to increase engagement on your social media platforms, so don’t hesitate to try it out!

 

3. Ride the wave on trending topics

 

This is the formula for getting viral — which, as mentioned, is not always bad. Want to score more shares? Find out what are the hot topics and capitalise on that. Better yet, use a popular meme to capture your audience’s attention. Not only does this personalise and humanise your brand, but your audience is also more likely to want to share it around. When you project your brand to be more than just a business-oriented figure, your consumers would be able to relate with you more.

 

4. Craft engaging captions

 

Captions are another essential part of what gets your post noticed. Without a good caption, you would probably lose half your audience. Depending on the platform, you need to adjust your captions accordingly — for example, people go onto Instagram for the pictures, and hence they are more unlikely to want to read a lengthy caption. However, those scrolling on Facebook and LinkedIn would be more open to reading and taking in an enormous amount of text and information.

Whether your caption is long or short, make sure that it includes the keywords that you want to highlight about the post. Furthermore, always remember to put a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of every post to make it more engaging. Whether it is to ask your audience to follow your brand, purchase something, or click a link, we cannot stress enough the importance of having a CTA. Just remember not to overdo it and stick to only one CTA instead of having multiple — that will confuse your audience and result in them not wanting to take any action at all.

 

5. Come up with a strong hashtag strategy

 

Captions aren’t the only things that can help boost your post. Hashtags are just as important when it comes to building up your social media strategy. Using the right hashtags would bring your brand not just more exposure, but the right kind of exposure. An excellent first step is to use your own branded hashtag so that new followers can find your content easily.

Additionally, you can engage in tools to help you find the best hashtags. Our previous blog post talks about some of the best free SEO tools beginners can use so that you can start there. Some helpful tools include All Hashtag’s free hashtag generator and Influencer Marketing Hub’s hashtag generator tool. Others like Sistrix, Kicksta, and HashtagsForLikes are all free as well.

Since Instagram only allows a maximum of 30 hashtags, All Hashtag will give you up to 30 relevant hashtags based on one single keyword. The site also has an analytical tool to help you get useful information about your hashtags for your marketing strategy. And if you’re not sure where to start, they can offer you insights into the top trending hashtags on Instagram. So start exploring and experimenting with some of the incredible free tools out there!

 

6. Make your posts mobile-friendly

 

Let’s face it — most consumers nowadays are scrolling through social media on their phones. More than 80% of shares from social media visits come from mobile devices. To reach them properly, it is exceptionally vital to make sure your social media posts are crafted not just for the desktop version but also for mobile versions.

Take into consideration each platform’s image previews so that the main point comes across in a single glance. Check those graphics are legible (even on a small screen) and zoomable so that your message is readable by your audience — otherwise your words will be for nought.

 

7. Find out when the best times to post are

 

Although this sounds like common sense, you may be surprised to find out how many marketers don’t consider this when planning their marketing strategy. Knowing which days and times your audience are the most active on social media is a crucial step to getting your post noticed.

Sprout Social has an in-depth guide to helping you find out which are the best times to post, depending on the platform you’re using. Of course, this differs based on the industry you’re in and from company to company, so it is best to track your analytics to decide what works for you.

Do also keep in mind that Covid-19 has changed the way consumers use social media and how they engage with brands. For your marketing strategy to work effectively, it is best to adjust your brand behaviour to adapt to such changes. Why not check in with MIU to find out how you can further optimise your marketing strategy? We offer free consultation services for anyone who’s looking to up their marketing game!