Specializing in Marketing Services for the Learning and HR Solutions industries

Archive for January 2012

Peoplefluent acquires Strategia

Peoplefluent™ has announced the acquisition of Strategia Communications, one of its Learning partners. Peoplefluent is one of the e-learning industry’s providers of Talent Management Solutions. Strategia, based in Canada, is a Learning Management Solutions company, which features a modern Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. The acquisition will expand Peoplefluent’s Talent Management experience and capability to one of the broadest and deepest available in a single, integrated offering.

eLearning VS Classrooms: Which is better, e Learning or classroom based training?

http://ensigncomparision.blogspot.com/2010/06/elearning-vs-classroom.html

Which is more beneficial, online training or classroom training?

I will start off by stating that both has its pros and cons. Each organization has different training needs. Online training is not better than the traditional classroom format; it is quite different and caters to the tech savvy learners of today.

Below you will see a series of questions that can help you decide which format is more suitable for your organization.

1. Facilities-Does your organization have training rooms? If so, are they equipped with projectors and whiteboards? How big is the training room? If the facility is not available, what is the cost associated with creating a room for training sessions?

2. Trainers-Does your organization have fulltime trainers available? If so, do they have subject matter expertise? What will be the cost of hiring professional training consultants to organize workshops for your employees?

3. Audience scale- How many employees need to be trained and how quickly does the session need to take place?

4. Geography-Can your employees gather in one area to attend the training sessions? Are your employees spread out in different cities or countries? How much travelling is involved? Would the trainer have to conduct sessions in different offices?

5. Technology- Does your target audience have access to computers and are they all connected to the same network? How stable is the internet connection? Are your employees tech savvy? Do you have the required software to launch an e Learning course?

6. In-house content team-Does your organization have resources that can create e Learning courses? If so, how long would this process take?

7. Customized content-How often are training sessions required? How many different topics? How often does the topic change? Does the topic need to be customized to reach a different audience in your organization?

Online training can drastically reduce costs, increase consistency and offer anytime access with personalized and engaging content. It has quite a few positives but classroom training offers a physical interaction with the trainer and other participants which can be very entertaining.

Asad Khan

What-is-eMarketing-and-how-is-it-better-than-traditional-marketing

http://www.quirk.biz/resources/88/0/

Marketing has pretty much been around forever in one form or another. Since the day when humans first started trading whatever it was that they first traded, marketing was there. Marketing was the stories they used to convince other humans to trade. Humans have come a long way since then, (Well, we like to think we have) and marketing has too.

The methods of marketing have changed and improved, and we’ve become a lot more efficient at telling our stories and getting our marketing messages out there. eMarketing is the product of the meeting between modern communication technologies and the age-old marketing principles that humans have always applied.
That said, the specifics are reasonably complex and are best handled piece by piece. So we’ve decided to break it all down and tackle the parts one at a time. This week we’ll be looking at the “what” and “why” of eMarketing, outlining the benefits and pointing out how it differs from traditional marketing methods.

By the end of the series we’re pretty sure you’ll have everything you need to tell better marketing stories.

What is eMarketing?

Very simply put, eMarketing or electronic marketing refers to the application of marketing principles and techniques via electronic media and more specifically the Internet. The terms eMarketing, Internet marketing and online marketing, are frequently interchanged, and can often be considered synonymous.

eMarketing is the process of marketing a brand using the Internet. It includes both direct response marketing and indirect marketing elements and uses a range of technologies to help connect businesses to their customers.

By such a definition, eMarketing encompasses all the activities a business conducts via the worldwide web with the aim of attracting new business, retaining current business and developing its brand identity.

Why is it important?

When implemented correctly, the return on investment (ROI) from eMarketing can far exceed that of traditional marketing strategies.

Whether you’re a “bricks and mortar” business or a concern operating purely online, the Internet is a force that cannot be ignored. It can be a means to reach literally millions of people every year. It’s at the forefront of a redefinition of way businesses interact with their customers.

The benefits of eMarketing over traditional marketing

Reach

The nature of the internet means businesses now have a truly global reach. While traditional media costs limit this kind of reach to huge multinationals, eMarketing opens up new avenues for smaller businesses, on a much smaller budget, to access potential consumers from all over the world.

Scope

Internet marketing allows the marketer to reach consumers in a wide range of ways and enables them to offer a wide range of products and services. eMarketing includes, among other things, information management, public relations, customer service and sales. With the range of new technologies becoming available all the time, this scope can only grow.

Interactivity

Whereas traditional marketing is largely about getting a brand’s message out there, eMarketing facilitates conversations between companies and consumers. With a two-way communication channel, companies can feed off of the responses of their consumers, making them more dynamic and adaptive.

Immediacy

Internet marketing is able to, in ways never before imagined, provide an immediate impact.

Imagine you’re reading your favourite magazine. You see a double-page advert for some new product or service, maybe BMW’s latest luxury sedan or Apple’s latest iPod offering. With this kind of traditional media, it’s not that easy for you, the consumer, to take the step from hearing about a product to actual acquisition.

With eMarketing, it’s easy to make that step as simple as possible, meaning that within a few short clicks you could have booked a test drive or ordered the iPod. And all of this can happen regardless of normal office hours. Effectively, Internet marketing makes business hours 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for every week of the year.

By closing the gap between providing information and eliciting a consumer reaction, the consumer’s buying cycle is speeded up and advertising spend can go much further in creating immediate leads.

Demographics and targeting

Generally speaking, the demographics of the Internet are a marketer’s dream. Internet users, considered as a group, have greater buying power and could perhaps be considered as a population group skewed towards the middle-classes.

Buying power is not all though. The nature of the Internet is such that its users will tend to organise themselves into far more focussed groupings. Savvy marketers who know where to look can quite easily find access to the niche markets they wish to target.

Marketing messages are most effective when they are presented directly to the audience most likely to be interested. The Internet creates the perfect environment for niche marketing to targeted groups.

Adaptivity and closed loop marketing

Closed Loop Marketing requires the constant measurement and analysis of the results of marketing initiatives. By continuously tracking the response and effectiveness of a campaign, the marketer can be far more dynamic in adapting to consumers’ wants and needs.

With eMarketing, responses can be analysed in real-time and campaigns can be tweaked continuously. Combined with the immediacy of the Internet as a medium, this means that there’s minimal advertising spend wasted on less than effective campaigns.

Maximum marketing efficiency from eMarketing creates new opportunities to seize strategic competitive advantages.

The combination of all these factors results in an improved ROI and ultimately, more customers, happier customers and an improved bottom line.

SEO Valuable Keywords

http://www.web-seo-pro.com/valuable-keywords/

Well selected keywords is one of the most important part if not the most important in a website optimization. As this is one of the factors that will decide if your web site will appear on the search results or not it will require far more time in choosing the right one to use.

A good keyword strategy is to know what it is that we are searching for in a keyword and the process on how to find them. These if properly optimized will give your website more visitors and thus give you potential customers if an advertising web site.

How to know valuable keywords

1. Relevance to your product or services

One of the reasons of SEO is to target certain people to visit your website. Therefore it is imperative that you use keywords that is directly relevant to the good or services that you are offering. Be as specific as you can.

2. Why are they looking for a certain keyword

There are a lot of reasons why a person is searching for things in the web. They may just be surfing researching or buying something. Thus your keyword must be geared for a specific type of websearcher if an advertising website consider buying as one of the valuable keyword.

3. The number of website that is using the same keyword

Some keywords are so common that there could be literally thousands of websites using the same keyword. Try to find the less used ones as these may give you the edge against the other web sites

4. Keyword Popularity

Keywords are different by nature some are less known some are widely known. Use valuable keyword that is widely known or use the relevant popular ones that you have a chance of having an edge in search engine ranking.

About the writer: The article was written by Leia Mahalo a freelance SEO and SEM specialist

12 Most Valuable Pieces of SEO Advice

Posted by Bill Ross on Nov 23, 2011
http://12most.com/2011/11/23/valuable-pieces-seo-advice/

With the vast amount of SEO knowledge, tips and tactics found on the web, it can be difficult for businesses and individuals trying to learn how to do white hat SEO to cut through all the clutter and find sound advice. Below you will find a list of the 12 most valuable pieces of SEO advice that I can give you from the last 8 years of doing SEO for small local business websites, large content websites, and ecommerce websites.

1. Quality links beat quantity of links

Links are still a valuable metric and asset for a website to acquire. Where sites get into trouble is when they think they can take short cuts when building links. They get enticed by the “get 100 backlinks for $9.99″ emails and think there is a quick fix or automated tool for building links. This is exactly the wrong approach to take. Building links is a process that includes creating valuable content and then marketing that content to other blogs, websites, and social networks. Acquiring quality trusted back links is a slow (in most cases), tedious and difficult process, yet is a necessary evil for any new or existing website.

2. Don’t forget the users, balance is key

Many SEOs get so focused on ranking well that they forget that Google and the other search engines are taking into account bounce rate, user metrics, and overall content value when ranking websites. Balance is the key to most things in life, and SEO is no exception. There needs to a balance between designing for the users and building a strong SEO foundation; going to far in one direction will have negative affects overall.

3. Stop talking about or focusing on keyword density

Before Google launched in 1996 the larger search engines operated almost entirely through on-page metrics. One of these on-page metrics that became a factor was how many times a website repeated the targeted keyword on a page. This became known as “keyword density”, and the methodology behind it flowed into how people thought Google and more advanced search engines rank pages. The truth is, there really is no such thing. If you write for the user and include a diverse set of valuable keywords, it becomes about keyword diversity and content depth, and not about how many times you repeat a keyword on a page.

4. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t need social media

Social media has become more important over the last few years when it comes to SEO. Social media drives user metrics and is a powerful tool for building the quality links we touched on in our first point. At minimum you should have a Twitter and Facebook page for your business. Then understanding where your users hang out online will determine other social networks to become active within.

5. Content is still king

Valuable in-depth content is a key asset to any successful SEO campaign. Strong content gives you the ability to build trusted links, satisfy the users intent when they come to your website, capture mid and long tail keywords, and brand your site as a valuable resource for both the users and the search engines.

6. SEO is a holistic business strategy

SEO is not only about changing title tags or adding keywords. It’s a business strategy inclusive of traffic acquisition, publishing and branding. SEO was recently shown to be the best online channel for increasing sales and leads. It includes tactical planning of a website’s architecture and overall structure to allow internal metrics to flow properly, planning content that satisfies both the users intent and search engines algorithm, technical, content, and structure audits and competitive insights and analysis, and creating an experience that fosters social sharing and link acquisition.

7. Measure everything you can

With the search engines making over 500 tweaks to their algorithm each year, it becomes vitally important that webmasters measure as many data points as they can. Some of these data points might be traffic, traffic by site section, total keywords sending traffic, total URLs receiving traffic, and conversion rate. The more you can measure, the more data points you will be armed with when trying to determine why your rankings dropped, conversions tanked, or traffic was stunted by an algorithm update.

8. Basic SEO should always be done

Even if a website is not planning to embark on an SEO campaign in the near future it is still important that they build a strong SEO base for their website. This includes an optimized site structure, basic keyword research, and some basic link building. Why you ask? because at some point down the road almost all sites wonder why they are not ranking for a keyword or want to drive more traffic from search. Without that strong SEO base it will take more time and resources to rebuild or restructure the website so that the SEO basics are in place to support the additional SEO phases.

9. SEO is not a quick fix

Unlike PPC or even media buys, SEO is not a light switch that you can turn on overnight. The search engines don’t suddenly trust or value a website and give it long lasting rankings at the top of the search results. Sites need to prove they deserve the rankings by building value over time through quality links, good user metrics, valuable social metrics, and building quality content.

10. SEO needs to be included from planning to quality assurance

One of the most frustrating parts of an SEOs job is getting called into a meeting and being told that a new site, which is completed and is launching next week, needs to be SEOed. As outlined in #6 SEO is not just writing title tags or adding keywords. SEO needs to be included in the planning phases through the quality assurance phase of a website for it to be most effective.

11. Optimize a website for where the engines are going, not where they currently are

This was an interesting statement by Matt Cutts (lead spam engineer at Google) and speaks to SEOs who chase the Google Algorithm. What he is saying is that SEOs need to be forward thinkers and understand enough about what the search engine’s end goal is, so that they can build SEO campaigns that are long lasting.

12. Test, test, test

With the amount of information (both good and bad) on the web about SEO tactics, it is important to take it all with a grain of salt. If you read something that might seem like it would be valuable to implement on your website, and it does not violate any of the search engines guidelines, then execute it on a small subset of your website and test the results. It is important to tackle only 1 test at a time or else you will not know which change actually had the affect on rankings, traffic, ROI, or whatever you are using as a KPI.

Learning how to do white hat SEO does not have to be a difficult or frustrating experience. Like with most things, SEO does take time and energy to learn, but once you understand what SEO tactics will give you the most value, it then comes down to staying focused and being persistent with your SEO efforts.

Marketing in the New Year

http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/01/mobile-marketing-new-year/

By: Millie Milliken

It is that time again when people reflect on the year in review, develop annual top 10 lists, and make predictions for the new year. If there was a category for most improved marketing technique in 2011, one could make a case that the winner would be the QR (quick response) code. At the beginning of 2011, the QR code was fairly unknown in the United States. Now they are ubiquitous, found everywhere from bus stops to bananas. Check out this infographic detailing the rise of the QR code over the last two years.

For those unfamiliar, QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes originally developed in 1994 by Toyota to track vehicle parts during the manufacturing process. The range of applications has grown and the codes are now utilized in mobile marketing to reach customers and drive sales.

While QR codes have been in Asian markets for years, they have only recently begun to break into the mainstream U.K. and US markets. This past summer, 14 million American mobile phone users scanned a QR code during the month of June, representing about 6.2% of the total mobile audience, up from only 1% the year before. Currently, there are 95.8 million active smartphone users in the United States, an increase of 67% from last year. With nearly one third of the US population and almost half of UK adults owning a smart phone, it is clear that the mobile marketing trend shows no sign of slowing down.

The benefit of integrating mobile marketing to augment a company’s current marketing strategy is clear. In addition to capturing a growing audience segment, these campaigns provide an effective opportunity for companies to build brand awareness, increase customer engagement, and gain a better understanding of their customers’ behaviors. An added benefit is that the QR code campaigns are inexpensive to create and use.

In terms of sustainability, these scanning technologies offer a number of benefits. Green marketers can use these as informational or educational tools for customers searching for more information on the back-story of a product helping customers make more informed purchasing decisions. This increases transparency in sourcing, thereby increasing accountability and brand reputation. By providing more information about where products are sourced, fair trade companies can also assist in developing a connection to the local artisan or producer. Innovative companies can also use the technology to help consumers track carbon footprinting. More importantly, QR codes can help reduce paper waste by replacing additional printed documentation with links to web pages.

However, in terms of branding, the QR codes leave something to be desired. These tiny digital Rorschach type inkblots may provide companies a powerful platform for targeted marketing but they have a serious shortcoming on the aesthetics front. One emerging competitor, SpyderLynk, combats this drawback by storing the scannable information in an attractive ring, called SnapTags, prominently displaying a clean company logo. Another key difference between SnapTags and QR codes is that users only need to have a camera application on their phone rather than the downloadable QR reader app required on smartphones. As 88% of mobile phones have a camera while only 43% of phone users own a smartphone, companies are able to reach a wider audience.

Most importantly, it is the functionality of the codes that create the added value for companies. Depending on the goal of the marketing campaign (whether increasing brand awareness, building fan base, or advertising a new product) it is critical that the code takes people to the right destination (whether a social media link, company website, or a related video link). Progressive companies are finding creative ways to integrate both the branding and marketing.

Scanning technology offers tremendous marketing potential. As more mobile devices are purchased into the new year, we can expect to see this trend continue in the future. Whether companies use QR codes, Snap Tags, or any other interactive marketing technique, branding and functionality will continue to be critical factors. Despite being the mobile scanning technology story of 2011, the QR code may live up to its name; exiting just as quickly as it came to prominence. 2012 may write a new story as other technologies continue to emerge.

E-Learning in the Workplace

Written by Admin • Filed Under E-Learning in the Workplace

http://www.studyinaustralia.com/e-learning-in-the-workplace/

May 19, 2010

Business owners and Human Resources managers understand the value their employees bring to the company. Hiring an employee is an investment in the company and it is wise to cultivate the skills of an employee who is hard working and dedicated. One of the best ways of doing this is with continuing education. An employee can keep abreast of the latest trends and add to their skill set. This not only helps an employee with personal growth but the practical aspects of their learning can be directly and immediately applied to their work which can greatly benefit the company in the form of more efficient and accurate productivity.

Employees who are offered continuing education classes have a tendency to be more loyal to the company where they work. They see the company is interested in their personal growth and advancement and they will be more prone to want to utilize their additional skills to the benefit of the company. The classes are an investment and cost money but it is an investment into a valuable resource that will ultimately help grow the company in the form of long term, dedicated, skilled personnel.

In a traditional classroom setting, though, there are several disadvantages. First, the employee must be out of the office which can sometimes be detrimental. In order for the employee to get the most out of the class, they cannot be disturbed with questions or issues that may arise on a daily basis. Often this means some sacrifice of daily work productivity in order to accommodate the needs of the student. Next, the course work is usually in a condensed form and retention levels are not as high as if they were able to take their time on a more personal basis to absorb the material. Finally, traditional continuing education is generally expensive because of the staffing and equipment needed to accommodate the class.

E-learning sometimes known as distance learning or distance education, however, eliminates all these problems and allows a student to learn valuable skills without sacrificing their productivity. E-learning classes or distance learning are typically less expensive than traditional classes. This is because distance learning can offer course work without the additional overhead traditional classroom settings require through E-learning. This savings is then passed on to the customer. From a strictly direct financial point of view, a company saves money on the class through distance learning of E-learning. However, the company saves money in other indirect areas as well without sacrificing the quality of the education the employee receives.

An employee who is offered E-learning classes of distance education has a tendency to retain much more of the knowledge they learn. They are able to work at their own pace and continue on only after they thoroughly grasp the course work. The obvious advantage is when there is a difficult concept, they can review and work on it until they have a clear understanding of it and move on to the next segment. However, there are also those who learn faster or who already have bits of knowledge on a particular subject. When forced to stick to a subject that is already familiar in a traditional class, a student tends to get bored and stops paying attention. This may affect motivation and they may miss valuable pieces of information. However, with distance education of E-learning, they can go as fast or as slow as they need to get the complete picture.

Having a more in depth knowledge of the course ultimately helps the company and can have an indirect financial impact by allowing the employee to use their newly developed skills to the benefit of the company. When this helps process improvement, efficiency and productivity, you are getting more from your resource than you were previously. In other words, your employee is saving you money by working faster and better.

An employee has a job to do. In the daily operations, often questions need to be asked and issues need to be addressed. In a traditional classroom setting the employee can be out of the office for a significant time period. This can affect productivity and stall projects unnecessarily. However, when using E-learning as a distance education in the workplace, if there is something that needs the immediate attention of the employee, they can simply pause their studies, take care of the issue then return to the class. The normal flow of business is not interrupted and productivity is not halted.

With all the advantages of E-learning in the workplace, it is no wonder so many companies are turning to this method of continuing education to benefit their employees. Employees who take continuing education courses through distance education are a valuable asset to a company. They can use their increased skill set to benefit the company and increase productivity, accuracy and efficiency. Distance education of E-learning specifically helps the company financially both directly and indirectly. The employee learns valuable skills, learns more quickly, retains the knowledge and can still be available throughout the day for operational issues.