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!

Ad Review: Coronavirus Vaccine Confidence Campaign

Ad Review: Coronavirus Vaccine Confidence Campaign

“Because of This” campaign

With the Covid-19 vaccine finally perfected, the next important step for healthcare alliances is to encourage the public to get vaccinated. After all, this would help all individuals alike by reducing the number of Covid cases and improving herd immunity, hopefully eliminating it from existence. Watch as these healthcare alliances take to using touching stories to move us into getting a vaccine.

These public service announcements (PSA) come from Pfizer, BioNTech, as well as other alliances and are aimed to push the American public to get vaccinated. By using an interesting question-and-answer format, the video really highlights how Covid has really done a number on us.

Here’s the twist — the question-and-answer format is done in a reverse manner to drive home our longing for human connection. The question, which is revealed afterwards, then highlights how the vaccine can help make our desires possible.

Sharing clips from the lives of everyday humans adds on to the impact we really feel from these videos. We understand how wonderful it feels to be able to hug someone and see them face-to-face, something that has been restricted a lot since the beginning of the quarantine.

With plenty of groups weighing in on the decision to take the vaccine (particularly on social media), many Americans are on the fence on doing so. This makes the task for the healthcare alliances all the more difficult, but they aren’t giving up. By using four PSAs to emphasise on daily family interactions — ones that we wouldn’t have given a second thought about if it wasn’t for Covid — these alliances are aiming for our hearts in this leg of the campaign.

All PSAs end with the line “Science can make it possible. Only you can make it real.” before directing viewers to websites and links where they can get vaccinated. Here’s another video from part of the same campaign, titled “Hug”, in case you didn’t get how much we have missed living in a pre-Covid era where we took physical connection for granted.

Voice Technologies for Digital Marketing

Voice Technologies for Digital Marketing

The best thing you can do for your brand is to stay ahead of the trends. Following the trend is effective, but it’s not always enough. If you want to stand out, the best thing to do is to predict future trends. We’ve already talked about the upcoming trends in marketing. Still, these are currently happening trends — now it’s time to ask, what will the trends in the near future?

With digital marketing on the rise, it’s essential to keep your eyes on technology and how it’s going to change. This would, after all, impact digital marketing significantly.

Voice technology is one such area that is predicted to grow a lot. Though it has been around for some time (the first digital speech recognition tool dates back to the IBM Shoebox launch in 1961), voice technology has never been developed until recently.

Now, voice technology is beginning to permeate our lives everywhere. From Apple’s Siri to Google Home to Amazon’s Alexa, more and more consumers are starting to use voice technology in their everyday lives. Why not look into this area and figure out how we can incorporate voice technology into digital marketing?

Statistics on voice technology

Google Home

BrightLocal conducted a study in 2018 on how voice technology could impact small businesses. They found that 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily, and 27% of these users visit the business’s website after searching. In fact, 76% of smart speaker users perform local searches at least weekly, with 53% of those searching using such devices daily.

The results above were collected back in 2018, so the numbers would have changed now — most probably reflecting an increase. Many consumers feedbacked that they would like to use voice search to hear business prices and find out which products businesses have.

Campaign Monitor also conducted a survey and found out that consumers use voice technology mainly for music, emails, checking news and blogs, and making purchases. When it comes to voice and audio technology, an area to keep in mind is podcasts.

Podcast Insights has recently updated its website on the latest podcast statistics and will continue to do so, with the most recent update in January 2021. More than 1.7 million podcast shows exist, and within this month alone, 43 million episodes were created.

Marketing statistics for podcasts show that 54% of podcast consumers consider purchasing an advertised product, and brands who engage in podcast advertising witnessed a 14% increase in purchase intent. In 2018, businesses spent almost half a billion dollars just on podcast advertising itself — perhaps it’s time for you to start as well.

How this affects digital marketing

Amazon Alexa is not working

The point is, people, listen to hours of content every day — a perfect opportunity for brands to take advantage of voice and audio marketing. Pandora refers to this as the audio renaissance. As voice technology becomes increasingly omnipresent in the digital marketing landscape, using such platforms to brand and market your business would be a lucrative idea. Here are some suggestions you could adopt for your digital marketing strategy:

1. Podcast marketing and advertising

Previously, we’ve already covered how influential podcasts are in our everyday lives as consumers. To maximise your podcast advertising and branding efficiency, keep in mind these few facts about podcasts.

Podcast-marketing specialists from Income School found out that consumers download the most episodes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. On the other hand, Saturdays and Sundays are when consumers are least likely to download podcast episodes.

Additionally, 60% of all podcast shows are downloaded from Apple, while 43% of podcast consumers use Spotify to listen to podcasts. Whether you decide to publish your podcast on Apple or Spotify, remember that smartphones are the most popular devices amongst consumers for engaging with podcast episodes.

Beyond that, 67% of podcast audiences are made up of people between 18 to 44 years of age, so make sure your podcast content targets that specific demographic. Take all these into consideration when you plan out your digital marketing and podcast strategy.

2. Create branded playlists

Podcasts aren’t the only lucrative platform for digital branding and marketing. One of the most common uses of voice technology is listening to music. Furthermore, according to Pandora, streaming audio has become a mainstream lifestyle activity by 53% of the US population. So why not connect with your audiences via music and playlists?

Create a branded playlist that resonates with your core values, and share them with your audience. You could even use these playlists for your events or on your video content. Allowing your audience to stream your music online will enable you to engage your consumers further and emphasise your brand.

3. Brand yourself with specific alert tones and notification chimes

Voice and audio technology give us plenty of opportunities to market ourselves in vastly different ways. For instance, imagine creating a notification tone unique to your brand and app. Just as your logo is a visual cue that audiences relate with your brand, your notifications and alerts can be an audio cue for your audience as well.

Even if you do not have an app for your business, you can use such tones for your website to alert visitors to new content, downloads or messages. Again, you can also use such audio cues in your video content, events, and any other platforms that require sound. This will help your audience identify your business aesthetic and develop your audio branding.

Overall, voice technology is still an underdeveloped area. However, with voice assistants becoming more pertinent in our lives, this might soon change. People who use voice technology regularly rather than sporadically don’t dismiss it as an inefficient method for marketing.

While we wait for voice technology to improve and incorporate itself into our lives, we can also take charge by getting ready for what the future voice technology has to offer us. We need to keep in mind that regardless of which strategy you choose to go with is your target demographic and the devices you decide to launch such a strategy. Make sure it is in line with what your consumers are using — you do not want to lose out on a potential audience that you could effectively market too! Contact us for assistance on how you could better brand yourself to your audience — we offer free consultations.

The Privacy Debate: Apple vs Facebook

The Privacy Debate: Apple vs Facebook

In 2020, Apple announced its new product and policy changes at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The announcement happened back in June last year. However, you might not be familiar with it as Apple later decided to push back the changes until early 2021.

Well, 2021 has begun, and the tech giant has decided that it is now the right time to roll out its new software update, which will be available in iOS 14. Known as the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), the latest update will require apps to obtain permissions from users before tracking their online activity. IDFA is a unique, random and resettable device identifier (ID) assigned to iOS users.

Privacy is one of Apple’s most well-known core values, and its products include features with innovative privacy techniques. The privacy policy is to minimize and prevent the amount of information accessed by anyone other than the user. After all, their website claims that they believe privacy is “a fundamental human right”.

Apple has incorporated plenty of privacy technologies and functions into many of its in-built apps. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Safari
  • Maps
  • Photos
  • Siri
  • iMessage
  • Wallet & Apple Pay

Listing what privacy technology each app has would take too long and be too much to digest for our short article, so we’ve taken the liberty of linking you to Apple’s website here where they explain in detail how each of their apps protects your privacy.

So what’s the big hoo-ha over Apple’s latest update?

Facebook’s stance

In response to the upcoming iOS update, Facebook ran a few full-page newspaper advertisements attacking Apple’s plans for IDFA and data sharing in December 2020. Claiming to speak on behalf of small businesses, Facebook continued its protests further by publishing a few blog posts and even set up a new website — all in a bid to pressure Apple to retract its pending update as well as to inform everyone of the consequences this might have.

Facebook full page newspaper ad

In December 16th 2020, specifically, Facebook listed 5 points that will be limited by the new update from iOS 14, which are:

  1. Effectively deliver ads to people based on their engagement with your business
  2. Measure and report conversions from specific customers
  3. Ensure your ads shown to the most relevant audiences at the right frequency
  4. Accurately attribute apps install to people using iOS 14 and later
  5. Predict and optimize cost per action over time and efficiently allocate budgets for ads

According to Facebook, such an update will ultimately benefit Apple as small businesses rely on their ability to run personalized ads to survive. Small businesses could see a cut of up to 60% of their website sales from ads since general ads would be less effective than personalized ones. These businesses would turn to charging consumers for subscription fees or adding more in-app purchases to make ends meet.

Therefore, Apple stands to gain from this as it collects commissions from its app store, as per its policy. Furthermore, Apple’s personalized ad platform excluded from its new software update, which only benefits Apple themselves. Not to mention, a subscription-based internet would reduce the quality of free-content and make the internet more expensive.

Facebook has also hosted three webinars to help web and app advertisers prepare for this change, which anyone could sign up for:

“We disagree with Apple’s approach and solution, yet we have no choice but to show Apple’s prompt. If we don’t, they will block Facebook from the App Store, which would only further harm the businesses and users that rely on our services. We cannot take this risk on behalf of the millions of businesses who use our platform to grow.”

– Facebook

Apple’s stance

Apple denounced Facebook’s protests in a statement by claiming that the App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users and creating targeted advertising. It merely requires them to give users a choice.

Interesting enough, users have always been able to opt-out of IDFA tracking, though it is not a well-known fact as the process to do so is rather complicated and difficult to find. With the new update, IDFA will become opt-in rather than opt-out by prompting users to allow tracking. An example of such a prompt can be seen below where users will tell exactly what information an app wishes to tap into.

IDFA tracking

This kind of consent interface is not new, particularly for iOS users. It is also replicated for other permissions such as when an app requests access to your photos, camera, microphone or location. Adding third-party tracking to that list helps protect users from abuse by allowing them to control what each app they use can and should access. AppTrackingTransparency preferences can be set for each app individually or for all apps, depending on the user.

Facebook’s attempt to call Apple out for uprooting small businesses can be seen as hypocritical by some. The media giant has recently faced backlash over the lack of support for small businesses regarding their Facebook Help Centre. Of course, with 10 million advertisers on Facebook, it is inevitable for them to turn to automation to answer the many questions it receives a day.

Additionally, Covid-19 has reduced its regular staff capacity when more businesses than ever are turning to the platform for their promotional efforts. While this may not necessarily be Facebook’s fault, its stance against Apple’s IDFA has many raising questions on how much the media giant actually cares about small businesses.

Top that with the fact that Facebook has a poor track record of anti-competitive behaviour and privacy issues and you might start to side with Apple on their pro-privacy policy changes.


While Apple’s new software changes might seem to be a radical leap, it may not necessarily result in negative consequences in the long run — even for small businesses. After all, the advertising industry has long promoted the notion that personalized and targeted ads are better.

However, several studies have shown that most of the money made from targeted advertising does not in fact reach the creators of the content, including the app developers. More often than not, the profits end up in the pockets of data brokers — companies that collect or buy your personal information to sell it to others.

In reality, small businesses cannot compete with large ad distribution networks, the ones who really get to control the ad industry. Since targeted advertising is seen as superior to other methods of reaching customers, anything else will inherently command less value on ad markets.

This not only means that ads have a lower ad value if they aren’t targeting users, but it also drives the flow of money away from innovation that could otherwise bring us different advertising methods that don’t involve invasive profiling and targeting.

As an example, non-targeted ads such as “contextual” ads could be a good alternative — if only more research and development were done to optimize it. These are ads based not on your personal information but only on the content of the webpage you are visiting at the time.

Of course, there could just as well be a short-term solution to all this — personalized advertising and privacy do not have to be at odds with each other. Small businesses who are worried about the immediate effects such an update might have on them can only hold on to the hope that both Apple and Facebook can find a middle ground for all of this.

6 Best SEO Tools That are Free!

6 Best SEO Tools That are Free!

With more and more brands going digital everyday, it’s extremely important to maintain your online presence amidst the hundreds of other brands out there offering the same service or product to the same consumers.

That’s why it’s not enough to just have a simple marketing strategy. Whatever content you put out online should also be optimised for search engines to get yourself the exposure you seek. Search engine optimisation (SEO) allows you to show up in more results when consumers look for certain keywords, therefore increasing the chances of them clicking into your content.

There are plenty of SEO tools out there to help you get started. We know it may seem overwhelming to decide amongst the numerous tools — therefore we’ve put down a list of free SEO tools that you can try out before you decide to commit to a paid one, if at all. Here are the SEO tools we think are not only helpful, but great for beginners.

1. Google Analytics

5 Google Analytics Loopholes to Close ASAP

Before you can even plan out an SEO strategy, you need to know what are the areas you should improve on. Google Analytics helps you figure out where the traffic flow to your website is coming from so that you can capitalise on it. Furthermore, you can also look at where traffic flow is in a lull so that you can work harder on the SEO for that particular platform.

With Google Analytics, you would be able to gather in-depth details about your website visitors such as the bounce rate, the amount of time they spend on your website, which page content attracts more visitors, and more. These real-time data can also tell you whether your SEO strategy is effective or not, even as you’re optimising it.

All you need is a Google account to sign in to Google Analytics and connect it to your webpage. You can even pair it with Google Search Console, which helps you understand how Google indexes your site. When you use Google Analytics together with Google Console, you can find out information such as the ranking of the content of your webpage, the keywords consumers are using to find your website, as well as the click-through rate for those keywords. You can even diagnose what, if any, technical errors there are on your website!

2. SEM Rush

SEMrush - Review 2019 - PCMag Asia

SEM Rush assists webpage owners with keyword research, content optimisation, SEO audits, rank tracking, and many more. All their functions are accessible with just an account, which is free to create. Features such as their backlink analysis and link building tool can help by giving you an insight into your backlink profile on your webpages.

Although the free version only allows up to 100 domains in the link building tool, you can still use the data to figure out which are the domains and backlinks that have the highest referral score. This enables you to find out the areas in which you need to improve your link building efforts. With time, you can decide if you want to upgrade to the paid version if you find their features extremely helpful.

3. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest, an essential keyword research tool

Just as its name suggests (no pun intended), Ubersuggest helps users generate content ideas and keywords for you to employ on your website. This is extremely useful for when you’re running out of content ideas for your website and need some fresh suggestions to fill your content calendar.

Ubersuggest also has a feature that can give you an overview of the keyword you’re focusing on. It will not only suggest content ideas based on your keyword, but also show you related keywords that you can use in your content.

4. Rank Math Plugin

RankMath Review - The #1 Exciting WordPress SEO Plugin

If your website uses WordPress to publish its content, Rank Math is a great add-on to have. It allows you to add meta titles and descriptions to your URLs so that people can see the concise version of your web page before clicking in. It also helps you optimise your content and structure your data more efficiently.

To use Rank Math, you simply need to install the plugin to your WordPress website and let it do the work for you. If you indicate which keyword you’re targeting, Rank Math not only suggests ways for you to improve the keyword ranking, but also gives your content an SEO score. Win-win! You can even identify dead links on your site and redirect URLs to new pages with this add-on.

5. Google Trends

How to Use Google Trends for Better SEO | Step-by-Step Guide

Similar to Ubersuggest, Google Trends can help you generate new content ideas by showing you what are the current trends and topics in your industry. Using this knowledge of popular market trends, you can better craft a content marketing strategy and optimise it based on what would draw the crowd.

In fact, Google Trends can also show you how trends change over time and the search patterns involved around it. All you need to do is enter a keyword, and the tool will show you how much interest was generated around that topic, which regions showed the most interest, as well as other related keywords consumers were using. With Google Trends, you can easily compare various trends over an extended period of time.

6. Ahrefs

Ahrefs Review: Features, SEO Tools, Guides, Pricing & | Scripted

Ahrefs offer plenty of free tools, from Content Explorer, to Rank Tracker, to Backlink Checker and more. Ahrefs Backlink Checker works in a way that it analyses a website and shows you the top 100 backlinks of that particular website just by entering an URL into their search bar. You can also view additional information such as the number of backlinks, the domain rating, and the number of referring domains.

They also have a Keyword Explorer and Keyword Generator tool which helps you analyse the ranking difficulty of a particular keyword and calculate their traffic potential. Similar to the Backlink Checker, the Keyword Generator will show you the top 100 related keywords or ideas when you put in a particular keyword that you wish to target. You can also find out their search volume as well as the keyword difficulties for the first 10 keywords on that list, and the top 50 questions related to said keyword.

If you find Ahrefs tools helpful, you can even upgrade to the paid version to unlock more features. However, the free version is a great start to understanding the industry trends and SEO for your own strategy.

Having a great SEO strategy not only increases the discoverability of your brand, but also helps you gain more visibility online. After all, it has been found that 88% of consumers research a brand online before making a purchase. Consumers are now getting smarter and more wise about their purchases, and many are increasingly doing their research online. Therefore, it is vital for a brand to keep their online presence strong with an effective SEO strategy so they can reach a wider audience.

Planning and implementing SEO strategies are but one of the services that MIU provides. If these free SEO tools are not cutting it for you, you can also contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help your business. From digital strategies, to branding, to design, we offer a plethora of services that suit your needs. Click here for more information on what we do and the services we provide.

8 Easy Tips for Conducting Your Own Brand Audit

8 Easy Tips for Conducting Your Own Brand Audit

Conducting a brand audit is something that every business should do, but not all of them know how to do it. In fact, it is the very first step you should take before planning out your branding strategy. After all, how would you be able to reach your destination if you don’t know your starting point?

A brand assessment consists of 4 parts:

  • Your business brand
  • Your website
  • Your competitors
  • Your marketing strategy

There are many reasons to conduct a brand audit, but the most concerning one of all should be the fact that the wrong approach may hurt your business significantly. It is vital to evaluate your brand properly not just to further your objectives but also to prevent your brand from going in the wrong direction.

Generally, a brand audit should be done every 1-2 years. This is with the exception of your marketing strategy, which should be reviewed every quarter. Conducting a brand audit may be tricky, but it is not entirely impossible. Follow our guide below to get a better idea of how you can evaluate your own brand!

MIU’s Guide to Conducting A Brand Audit

1. Know what you’re measuring

Many often confuse “brand” with the idea of a logo, design, or packaging, but it is more than that. A brand constitutes many aspects of a business including it’s (brand) voice, unique value propositions, and positioning.

Take a look at your current marketing plan and identify your brand mission and brand vision. Consider your target demographic and what you think your brand means to your customers. Then decide if it is what you want your brand to be known for.

2. Create an audit framework

Before jumping into the brand audit, write down a list of the topics you’d like to cover during the entire assessment and how you will go about the process. As previously mentioned, the 4 overarching areas to cover should include your brand, your website, your competitors, as well as your marketing strategy.

Consider what else you can assess in these areas. For instance, you can take a look at your product’s strengths and weaknesses, your product niche and differentiators, your target market, your market positioning, and many more. It is also good to keep an eye on current and upcoming industry trends as well so that you may prepare yourself for the future.

3. Review your sales data

Your sales data can have as much to say about your brand positioning as other data itself. Reviewing it in conjunction with the rest of your audit data will give you a better insight as to what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.

Analysing your customer journey will give you a deeper context on what may be the problem areas or opportunities you can further exploit. Having your sales data to reference with other analytics such as your website review and social media data will definitely help you to find correlations.

4. Review your web analytics

81% of consumers will search up a business online before making a purchase, with the number increasing to 94% in B2B companies. This indicates that your website is an important place to start looking when it comes to reviewing your brand. Start by analysing your page views to identify which parts of your website may need to be promoted more.

Traffic analytics is but another area you can look at to see how your brand is faring — look at where your traffic is coming from, which channels drive traffic to your web, and whether your traffic gains are actually coming from your target market. Just because your traffic is increasing does not necessarily mean your branding strategy is successful — if you are attracting the wrong crowd.

Monitoring both your paid and organic channels can help you identify if your SEO plan is working or if it still needs further optimisation. Don’t just stop there, however — conversions, conversion rates, and bounce rates should be monitored as well so that you have a better idea on what, if any, content works the best.

5. Review your social data

What types of customers generally engage with your brand on social media? Are they your target demographic, and what are they saying about your brand?

The demographic information that you can obtain through social media will give you access to audience data that is mostly unavailable through other channels. Not only does it help you understand your audience better, you are able to tell if your social media marketing is working.

Social intelligence tools such as Brandwatch helps you find out what your customers’ interests are beyond your brand, who is linking to your website, the associations people have with your brand, and what the wider public opinion around your brand, campaign, or product is.

6. Get customer feedback

Customer feedback is the best way to get first-hand criticism about your brand. Relying on web analytics and online data alone will not paint you a complete picture of your brand, but having a mixture of quantitative and qualitative feedback will. Customer anecdotal stories will also help provide an idea of how people perceive your brand and humanise your audit.

Conducting surveys online is the most convenient way to do it. You can do so via telephone, email, or include it on your website as part of the sales process. Use this to understand your customer experience at each touchpoint and uncover answers that cannot be easily told by data. Websites like EasyPolls or SmartSurvey can help you with the process — just add in the questions you want to be included in the poll!

7. Evaluate your competitors

Don’t forget to observe your competitors as well — no brand exists in isolation. Assess their marketing and advertising materials, website, social media presence, and customer service. Remember that there are plenty of analysis tools out there that can do most of the work for you. SEO, rankings, backlinks, traffic, and emails can all be tracked and investigated.

Beyond that, you can also ask your own customers, your target audience, and even your own employees what they think about your competitors’ brands.

8. Create an action plan and monitor your results

Last but not least, a brand audit should be able to highlight the areas that need improvement and action. Using the information you have gathered, decide which aspects of your branding strategy is working, which aspects need optimising, and which are missing the mark entirely.

Once you have your detailed findings from your brand assessment, come up with a series of actionable targets and a plan to achieve them. Remember to bring it in line with your brand’s mission and vision.

As you update your branding strategy, always monitor the progress and results to make sure the changes are having the desired effect. Brands naturally become stale over time, and repeating your brand audit every year or so will help to keep your brand fresh in your customers’ minds.

How to Run A Successful Instagram AR Filter Campaign

How to Run A Successful Instagram AR Filter Campaign

It wasn’t just in 2020 that the trend of digital marketing became immensely popular. Over the past few years, many businesses have started transitioning to the digital realm to offer their products and services there instead.

And it’s not hard to see why. Internet penetration is at an all-time high right now, with the majority of people consuming social media voraciously. In fact, the Digital 2020 report from Hootsuite and We Are Social shows that almost 300 million people came online for the first time over the last 12 months. More than 4.5 billion people use the internet today, with at least 3.8 billion of them on social media.

Not only are there plenty of users on the internet, but they spend a great deal of their time on it as well — a potentially large audience to tap into, so why wouldn’t businesses jump onto that opportunity? Statistics show that we are spending an estimated time of 6 hours and 43 minutes online everyday. To put that into perspective, that’s more than 100 days a year! Of this, the daily social media usage of internet users worldwide averaged out to 144 minutes.

With Instagram being the fastest growing social media platform, many brands are turning towards the app to market themselves in order to stay relevant. Just on Instagram alone, 80% of users follow at least one brand while 60% of users regularly discover new products on the platform. Additionally, 75% of them have taken action (such as visiting the website) after seeing the brand content.

This, alongside the rising popularity of Instagram Stories, means that brands are sure to up their social media game to produce better and more engaging content. Facebook has even revealed that there are 500 million daily active users just of Instagram Stories alone. After all, we know that video posts are more popular with consumers and often receive twice as many comments as image posts.

So what can we do with all this information? Well, perhaps it’s time to take a look at how brands can use Instagram Stories to their advantage. Evolve your online video strategy to stay ahead of the times and remain savvy. What do we mean?

Instagram’s augmented reality filter campaign.

Yes, you heard that right. Instagram recently partnered up with Spark AR to allow users to create their own custom AR filter. Not many brands have made use of Instagram’s AR filter function which is really a pity since it could very well be the future. Want to know how to run your own AR filter campaign successfully? Here’s how.

1. Define your objectives

Are you aiming for more conversions, engagement, or just increased brand awareness? Having a goal guides your creative team and makes it easier for them to settle on a clear design for the filter, depending on what you want to achieve. Remember to also keep in mind which audience you want to appeal to. Build out a persona for this group so that you can provide them the value they seek.

2. Get familiar with Spark AR

Facebook has a free downloadable programme for users interested in making their own AR filter. Brands can use this to experiment and find the best filter that works for them. The app also has plenty of pre-made templates to help beginners who are just starting out.

Alternatively, you can outsource the task to a talented filter creator. As a creative digital agency, MIU has the capability to design for you a captivating filter made specifically for your audience. While it might be more of an investment, the end result would be worth it if your brand manages to stand out amongst its competitors. AR filters or otherwise, we take pride in our work. Click here to contact us for more information today!

3. Include a call-to-action

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The end-goal of every marketing plan, a CTA is important to nudge your audience into taking the necessary next steps you want them to take. Otherwise, you might miss out on reaching the objectives you set.

Ask yourself this: what will your filter enable the user to accomplish, and how does it support your business objective? Whether your CTA is just to raise awareness for a certain issue, your brand, or to increase engagement, you need to keep it in mind so as to push the audience to take a certain action, be it subconsciously or otherwise, and reach your objectives — even if it is just to grow awareness.

4. Promote your filter

Once your filter is completed, it will be published directly to your profile and you can use it on your own Stories and Highlights. It can also be accessed via a dedicated filter tab found under your Highlights reel once it goes live. When you use said filter in your Stories, you can add a ‘Try It’ button for your viewers to test out the filter themselves. Anyone who uses your filter will automatically have a button linked to your filter so that their followers can easily try it out for themselves as well.

If you have a branded AR filter, your business partner can also promote your AR filter through their Stories! Branded AR filters also gets access to metrics (including impressions, captures, and shares) to allow brands to keep track of how their filters are performing. Furthermore, every Instagram AR filter has its own unique URL that can be found inside your SparkAR hub or from Instagram itself. Post this link across your social media channels and website to drive even more engagement.

Another efficient and effective way to promote your filter is by entering into a partnership with Instagram influencers. Reach out to those who are popular in your industry and you could work something out! Otherwise, you could also set up a paid promotion which allows brands to partner with influencers as business partners as well.

5. Check your ROIs

Even as your filter has been officially launched, your work is not done. Measuring your metrics and watching analytics is but part of the job. In order to know what works and what doesn’t, it is important to keep track of how your filter is faring and if it’s meeting the objectives you’ve previously set. This will allow you to better optimise your filter for future reference and improve on your marketing strategy.

That said, the world of social media is evolving ever more rapidly with new techniques and tools constantly being introduced every single day. It is up to you, as a brand and a business owner, to learn to stay with the times and keep your brand relevant. Hopping onto new trends early not only expands your marketing possibilities but also gives you a competitive advantage.

With the wide variety of tools that Instagram offers, it is the perfect platform for launching new social media campaigns. From Stories to Highlights to filters and so much more, these functions allow your brand to be even more interactive with your audience. Always keep a close eye on new innovations that surface to boost your business performance and craft a successful social media strategy.

5 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Go Widespread in 2021

5 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Go Widespread in 2021

The year 2020 has nearly come to an end, and it passed by in a blink of an eye in a way we never expected. With the pandemic affecting everyone around the world, 2020 has brought a new challenge to every aspect of business, including digital marketing. Digital marketers are pushed to their limits to come up with an out-of-the-box strategy in order to keep their business afloat, and this resulted in new marketing trends.

In 2021, we can expect digital marketing to spearhead most business strategies. The trends that we see in 2020 will most likely evolve and be brought over to the new year. In fact, we have listed 5 digital marketing trends that will boom in 2021 and the reasons why you should incorporate them into your very own marketing plans.

1. Video Advertising on Social media

We have witnessed many changes and updates on social media platforms this year, and it is a big improvement for marketers. From Instagram Reels to Twitter’s Fleets, each platform worked endlessly to put out the best features where users can express themselves through videos.

This is not only for the individual user, but is also a huge opportunity for brands to use this to their advantage in their marketing plans. Not only promote products but also to engage with the community. Video advertising can, however, help to explain about your product or service in a better way than most other formats.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Business

When we talk about AI, we all agree that it is something that will occur in the future. But in fact, AI has been used in the industry for years, not only in terms of technology development but also for business as well.

AI has been implemented in different ways all across the marketing process — just look at AI for content marketing for instance! With advanced software and hardware development, it would not be a surprise to see AI as an integral part of many brands’ marketing strategy in 2021.

3. Google-verified listing for local search engine optimisation (SEO)

Local small-owned businesses are arguably the ones that faced the hardest time fighting against this pandemic. Having a presence on the Google My Business profile is the best way for such businesses to have a digital presence — even if they are not previously active on any digital platform.

Having a profile on Google My Business gives you more visibility to users searching for a particular product or service that you offer by suggesting your shop’s geographical location to them. It is also important to verify your Google listings and keep them up to date to ensure visitors see the most recent and relevant content to them. Such a profile will also help local businesses ensure a better chance of making it as the top search result on Google.

4. Voice search

The rapid development of Google Home services, Alexa and Siri has made our life easier by using voice-controlled technology to perform various actions. Next year, it is possible for business and marketer to optimize their presence for voice search. Features sich as using natural-sounding language, forming queries into question phrases, targeting long-tail keywords, and having a mobile-friendly website will ensure easy usage for consumers using voice search.

5. Social E-Commerce

We have seen the shopping tabs features added on Instagram and it surely helps businesses to promote their product. The latest addition sees the shop tags included in Instagram’s Reels videos as well. This not only allows brands to engage with their community but also for the community to shop directly from the video.

Linkedin is another platform which has also included a new function, the ‘Products’ tab, on company pages, which helps them to highlight their featured products. This update, coupled with the increasing amount of time people spend on social media, is a great opportunity for businesses to spread their presence across all available platforms.

These five trends listed above might not encompass the entire spectrum of trends for digital marketing that will happen in 2021, but they are worth watching for and perhaps even to adapt to them. These trends can help your business grow in terms of increased site traffic, lead generation, or increased sales, to name a few.

At the end of the day, businesses need to adapt with the upcoming trends and come up with a bulls-eye strategy in order to succeed in their marketing. Defining the perfect marketing strategy might be hard for some businesses, but there is always a way. As a digital creative agent, MIU helps businesses find their way toward success. Want a more detailed and tailored approach for your business to welcome 2021? Contact us now!

5 Easy Tips for Hosting a Powerful Digital Event

5 Easy Tips for Hosting a Powerful Digital Event

Events may have taken a back burner in most businesses’ marketing plans, but that will soon change. Despite Covid-19 having held everyone back at the start of 2020, many companies soon learnt to adapt and make the most out of the situation at hand.

Slowly but surely, we’re seeing a rise in event marketing again. This time, events are going digital.

You may be wondering, what are the differences between holding a physical event versus a digital one? Are there any benefits or costs to doing so?

Well, this is the right article for you.

In the current economic situation, we have seen plenty of brands starting to go digital ever since Covid-19 changed the way businesses were run. Industry events are perhaps one of the areas most affected by this change in the business landscape.

Perhaps the biggest issue here is the concern that not every physical event will be able to translate into a digital event seamlessly. Certain events such as expositions or live demonstrations rely heavily on the face-to-face aspect to succeed.

That being said, it is not entirely impossible to conduct a virtual event and still manage to reach your promotional goals. Before you start planning, let alone marketing for your event, ask yourself this question: Am I providing timely and relevant content to my audience? Will hosting a virtual event help my business reach its goals?

If the answer is no, you might want to reconsider hosting a digital event just for the sake of promotion and sales. However, if you answered yes, feel free to carry on reading.

Now that we’ve cleared that out of the way, it’s time to delve into the steps that you can (and should) take to make your virtual event a success. After all, your event is only as good as the guests that attend.

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Multifaceted marketing plan for digital events

1. Create a unique event page

Having an event page for your event is so important as it gives attendees a place to go to for more information. This could very well mean a lead conversion! In fact, your event page can also act as many things including drawing potential attendees who are curious but still yet undecided about your event.

The last thing you want is for people to click away from your event because they were unable to find more information about it or buy tickets to attend. Make sure your event page is user-friendly and has a simple but enjoyable user experience. It would also be preferable if you were to include a clear call-to-action to help confused users navigate your site. Read our post here for how to create an effective CTA button!

2. Create content that promotes your event

Although you should take note of SEO (search engine optimisation) at every step of the way, I daresay this is the part where it will benefit you the most. From large content chunks such as blog posts and articles to bite-sized content such as a brief description, SEO can go a long way in promoting your event.

Knowing the keywords that people use to search for events allows you to optimise your content to include those keywords. Keyword Tool is but one example of a tool that can help you get started on your research. You can always browse Google for more if the Keyword Tool doesn’t address your needs!

3. Use email lists to your advantage

With an email list already in hand, your first step to promoting your event is easily in reach. But don’t just mass email to everyone on your email list — use it to your advantage.

Email marketing is one of the places where it makes it easiest to segment your audience. Know your consumers’ preferences and what they want to see. Through information like this, you can market your event to those who you know will be interested in it. If your event is going to touch on multiple topics, segment your audience into groups based on demographics, shopping history, or other factors.

By personalising the emails to suit your audience’s needs, it sends the signal that your brand cares about its consumers and wants to bring value to their lives. This would help your brand gain a more favourable impression in the long run.

4. Leverage co-branding opportunities

Also known as co-marketing, this is a trick that works often for virtual marketers — as such, it is fairly common to see it being used in the marketing plans of most businesses. Partnering with another brand or a sponsor to promote the event can help increase exposure for it.

Through lead-share marketing, both brands associated with the event stand to gain. This allows both companies to get access to the same leads that would be generated during the event itself, driving registrations and sign-ups. In fact, this is not the only way to widen your audience — you can also ask brands affiliated with your event to promote it on their channels. Win-win!

If you want to go a further step, you can even seek out individuals such as professional speakers or anyone in your network to speak at your event. The more people that post about your event, the greater the word-of-mouth marketing will be.

5. Share on your social media

Make sure to generate as much buzz as you can around your event. Social media is the key driver for word-of-mouth marketing, which in turn translates to more press. Make sure to link your event page in all your posts so that visitors know where to go for further information. It is also best to include a CTA in your posts as well to nudge them to take the next step as soon as possible.

You can even ask your employees and colleagues to share about the event or even just pass the link around. However, it helps to go an extra mile and send them images, videos, as well as coverage of the event in order to boost a variety of different promotions. Provide incentives by hosting contests that reward individuals for such solid event promotion to encourage them to share healthily!

Here’s an extra tip: when it comes to promoting your event on social media, it goes a long way to create an event hashtag for it. Of course, branded hashtags will always help no matter what you’re promoting — but this is particularly so for events. Having an event hashtag will tie all your social media campaigns together and help potential attendees quickly find your social media channels.

We get it — hosting an event is not easy, be it a physical one or a digital one. It may seem like there are plenty of steps to take. Why not let someone else handle the details for you, while you sit back and reap the benefits? At MIU, we focus our marketing efforts on getting our clients to achieve their goals — be it awareness, sales, conversion, or lead generation. If hosting an event is what you believe your brand needs, we will be there to help you in every step of the way. Click here to get a free consultation from us — no hidden conditions!