As digital marketers we spend a LOT of time sitting in front of the computer. We know that our bodies aren’t meant to be sedentary, and there’s plenty of research and studies documenting the plethora of diseases, injuries, and negative health effects caused by prolonged sitting. But why haven’t we brought this education to our workplaces?
Sitting Down The Slow Killer
Even at the office, we’re spending more time sitting down in one place than we ever have before, with middle-aged office workers now spending more time sitting down than senior citizens do. It might be easy to assume that this increase in seated behavior is linked to increased focus—we’re working more, so we’re getting more done, right? But unfortunately, it seems that the opposite is true. In fact, it seems like the more time we spend sitting down, the less that we’re actually getting done.
Sitting might be one of the least productive things we can do at an office! Nearly 60% of surveyed employees admit to taking two to five breaks a day when bored and antsy from too much sitting, and another quarter takes more than six breaks a day. While breaks are important—and themselves one of the keys to productivity—there is a difference between intentional and mindful breaks and breaks that are taken out of sheer restlessness. When you take a break because your mind is wandering and you just can’t sit still, it can take more than 20 minutes to get back on task. How much time is wasted just from sitting down trying not to waste time?
Get Up To Get More Done
Standing up and taking breaks keeps you healthy, and it also makes you more productive. You get more done when you structure your time to allow for standing, stretching, and moving around. A study at the muse found that the most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break. You don’t have to use the same arbitrary numbers to learn the lesson here.
Set an alarm—work for a certain amount of time, and then break. Incorporating a sit-stand routine in your work-break flow will help you maintain your health while you build brainpower and maintain focus. Whatever your magic ratio is, most research suggests that 30 minutes to an hour is the ideal window of work time to aim for before a break.
How to help your office MOVE MORE:
If you’re looking for ways to move around in your office more, switching to a standing desk is a simple place to start. Height-adjustable desks that allow employees to switch between sitting and standing at regular intervals are a flexible way to encourage movement at work, that can be tailored to individual needs. Having a height-adjustable desk makes it easy to build standing into your regular workday, setting a sit-stand schedule with built-in breaks for stretching and breathing—or jumping jacks and crunches, if you’re feeling ambitious. The more you exercise at work, the healthier and more productive you’ll be, killing two birds with one stone.
There are so many other ways to move around at work. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator on your way in and out, and take the longer route to the farther bathroom or the water cooler. Try suggesting or holding walking meetings, bringing employees and coworkers out to the park for a stroll instead of sitting down around a table. It might seem strange now, but the amount of time we spend sitting these days is what’s truly odd, and your body will thank you for trying to realign with its natural tendencies towards movement. With the average person’s screen time climbing every year, this is quickly becoming a serious problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
If you show your boss the growing mountain of research that indicates that movement increases focus and productivity, they will very likely encourage you to take more regular breaks, and might even want to invest in a standing desk for you. After all, a healthy employee is a productive one! Thanks to the Zen guys for their insights, hit them up on Twitter if you have any more questions.
Facebook, Sony, Google and Samsung all have something in common, they’ve invested heavily in the development of virtual reality. It is an exciting prospect that has been floating around for the past 60 years and it seems that it has finally reached a point where it could be commercially viable.
How to Monetize Virtual Reality
Here is a comprehensive list of the various avenues to monetize virtual reality.
1. Premium content
This is probably the most direct way to monetize virtual reality. It enables the developer to get paid upfront for their content while the consumer gets to experience a premium content without intrusive Ads or annoying micro transactions. It is a monetization strategy that favors developers of high quality virtual reality content.
Ads are responsible for the success of the online job marketplace and successful monetization of numerous media-centric technologies, these include television, radio, websites and even apps. It is therefore safe to presume that somebody will find a way to place some form of advertising on every virtual reality device. Unfortunately these Ads will need to be less intrusive as many consumers won’t enjoy a disruption of their immersive virtual reality device.
3. Micro transactions
The emergence of the in-app economy has created a new way to monetize media content. This is an avenue that encourages the consumer to make small micro transaction while they enjoy their content. Virtual reality companies in Australia will also provide a platform for developers to try out this relatively new monetization strategy.
4. Content marketing
There’s a very thin line between advertising and content marketing and the average person won’t be able to tell the difference. This is why virtual reality is the perfect platform for content marketing. Can you imagine how much a company like coca cola will pay in order to have a sprite bottle in every virtual reality game?
These are the proven monetization for media-centric technologies and they’ll probably work out well in virtual reality. There is also a possibility that advent of virtual reality will introduce a new ways to monetize media content that hasn’t been seen before but until then we’ll just stick to what works.
Money is the motivation behind everything nowadays and the success of every business is quantified in terms of how much money it gives back in return.
Employment and unemployment are usually on topic wherever you go. But ever since the Internet, it is no longer business as usual for most employers and employees! People are now getting to virtual online work platforms contrary to the past when employers and employees were confined to their geographical locations. This makes it possible for you to literally work for any company or client around the world from anywhere you want.
Making Money Online; What It Entails
For most people, surfing the internet is just part of your day to day life.
However, whilst most people simply use the internet to login to facebook, check news sites or watch cute cat videos on youtube, some people are actually earning a living from it online.
There are very many ways of making a modest living online but the two most common methods are:
Freelancer – SEO, Web Design, Graphics Design. Whatever skills you’ve got that is transferrable online, there are people willing to pay for the service.
Affiliate marketing – Make money selling other peoples products. Sounds easy enough provided you can generate traffic and conversion to your website.
The best part of it all is that you don’t have to waste time travelling to your clients’ location. No. You only have to contact them and once the negotiation process is done (online), You can get down to working and after completing the contract as agreed, submit the work online. If you use seo for affiliate marketing then you don’t even need to deal with clients.
Freelancing has a big future in employment in my opinion. In years to come, most of the world’s population will be working and employing online. For example, as per now, around 50 million people in the US alone work online.
There are online platforms via which the employees and employers meet. These platforms are referred to as online work platforms. It’s no longer just the odd small business turning to these online work platforms, huge companies also use these for the flexibility of hiring a skilled contractor without all the red tape.
The main platforms on the market at the moment are; Upwork, Freelancer.com, Fiverr and Guru. But there are many more of these each offering something unique.
Of course, your online money making ventures are not limited to being a freelancer or online contract work. Other ways to make money online include trading Forex, commodities, stock and binary Options. These require skills and I would not advise you to jump in lightly as they require investment and high risk.
How to Get Started in The Online Job Market
You need skills. Remember working online is still a form of employment and in every employment the employer will always go for specific skills. You therefore have to have learn and perfect some skills. Now you may have graduated with a journalism degree so you can write great content which is highly in demand right now, or you are an experienced graphics designer. When you are qualified and experienced you can get a job anywhere.
However the beauty of the internet is that it allows you to learn skills which aren’t even taught in schools or colleges. Search engine optimisation or digital marketing for example is a case of learning from online material and trial and experience. If you want to learn seo there are plenty of available guides online, I wrote a guide to local seo myself.
If you have the skills, you can go ahead and sign up to one of the many sites. The platform of your choice should have ample clients looking for freelancers with your type of skills and should also be secure. For example, if you are a web developer, you should look for platforms like freelancer.com or Upwork where there are many clients who require web development services.
Every online working platform makes money by cutting some amount from the pay that the client makes. Different online working platforms cut different percentage from what your client pays you. For example, Upwork will cut 10% of the pay while
Fiverr will cut 20% of your pay. So take that into consideration.
You will be required to add some information on how you will be withdrawing your funds. This will require you to have a link from your online work platform to your bank account. There are various ways to withdraw funds to your bank account. Some of the most popular ways to withdraw your funds is via PayPal, Bank Wire Transfer, Payoneer and Skrill. You have to ensure that the information that you disclose at this point is safe to avoid instances of your bank account being hacked into.
After registering yourself with an online work platforms of your choice, you will have to work on your profile. The profile is what reflects your skills to potential clients. When a client wants to know whether you are capable of performing a certain task, they will first look at your profile to see whether you have the necessary skills or experience. Working on the profile is one of the harder parts to perfect.
How to Make Your Profile Look Appealing
The first thing is to complete your profile to 100%. In most cases, you will be required to fill a form with your name, country of origin, your telephone on mobile number, your email address and an upload of your picture. The picture should be very decent to portray professionalism.
Add your education background as well as any work or employment history that you have had. You should be careful to provide an academic background and work history that matches the skills that you claim to possess. This will go a long way in giving your clients that confidence that you are extremely good in whatever you do.
In some online work platforms, you will also be required to do some tests related to your skills as a way to ascertain that you are really good in whatever you claim to be good at. Before taking any test, ensure that you understand the areas that are covered in the test for you to score highly. The higher the points you get in these tests the better placed you are among your fellow freelancers with the same skills as you.
Then, the most important thing on your profile is your reputation among the clients that you have had a chance to work for. When you are given any task, you should ensure that you do it to perfection so that the client will rate you high or even come back to you for extra work. When you get many positive reviews (5 stars) from your past clients, you stand a greater chance when clients are making a decision on whom to offer their contracts to from a large number of applicants.
What You Need
For you to work online, you will require:
That’s it. To summarise; learn some valuable skills, make use of available digital resources, sign up to an only work platform, perform the task well, get paid!
For those of you starting to delve into the world of social media, you may be looking for some tools that will make the process of monitoring a little easier – without the large price tag. Whilst there are many high quality paid services, free options are very useful early on particularly if your organisation is unwilling to invest heavily into social media until a return is demonstrated.
This article details 4 tools that I think cut the mustard– and also lists a suite of other free tools which you may find useful. Whilst each tool provides some useful functionality they also have their draw backs. Thus marketers may want to use a combination of these tools to monitor their social media activities.
Are there any free tools you have found useful to monitor social media activities? If so share them below
The post 4 Of The Best – Free Social Media Monitoring Tools appeared first on Digital Marketing Lab.
There is a definite disconnect between Australian consumer usage of the internet and the investment in digital from organisations. Despite the many articles promoting the potential of digital – it is only few – mainly the pure play online organisations that are benefiting from the digital phenomenon.
However despite the strong signals of consumers both spending increasing amounts of time and money online, organisations are not slow off the mark to invest in the digital channel. And the statistics prove it.
Australian Online Behaviour & Organisations Online Spend
Statistics from Mike Hall, Director of Holler advised that more than 13 million Australians are online and the digital life survey suggests that as a nation we now spend one-third of their leisure time online, which according to Nielsen is 16.1 hours online per week. But our time online is not just spent browsing, according to Mike in 2008 Australians spent approximately $24 billion dollars online.
The Nielsen advertising report, released in March 2009, demonstrated the significant gap that exists between online promotion and consumer consumption of media. Of the top 10 retail organisations advertising in Australia, only 1% of ad spend is invested online. This same trend currently exists within the beauty & cosmetics sector whilst in the entertainment and leisure sector the proportion is slightly higher at 3%.
But the time spent online by consumers is not matched by the online spend of organisations.
So whilst many businesses will claim that Australian consumers are not likely to buy online, the above demonstrates the lack of investment by organisations.
So why is there such a disconnect?
Poor Digital Leadership;
Lack of client side knowledge;
Lack of local training & case studies;
In addition, whilst there are many online case studies for brands successfully leveraging digital channels overseas, Australia lacks the local examples to prove that digital campaigns can be successful in the local market. This makes it difficult for marketers to push the digital agenda within their organisation.
Local big boys aren’t leading the way;
Lack of understanding of the online influence for offline sales;
Thus many organisations are failing to see the direct correlation that exists between online efforts and offline transactions. Organisations need to understand that not being there during the initial research phase, may mean the brand is not in the consumers final decision set when it comes to making the purchase. Until organisations can quantify this, uptake and investment will be slower than it should be in the Australian market.
Do you have any thoughts or insight into why Australia is slower on its uptake of Digital? If so share your thoughts below.
Want to expand your digital knowledge base?
By now we all know the importance of both content and link building to an SEO strategy. But the phenomenon of social media has delivered new tools to provide SEO’s with new techniques to dominate the SERPs.
Social SEO – What is it all about?
Whilst past SEO strategies have largely involved artificially creating relevance and popularity of a site, social media has provided new tools to leverage collaboration and interaction to build real popularity and authority on the web. It is this which some experts believe will form a major part of Google’s ranking algorithm in the future as they continue in their quest to deliver users truly relevant content.
Social Search Tool Box
The diagram below lists 4 of the key social tools that I believe search marketers can leverage to dominate the SERPs.
A closer look at the tool box
Search engines reward fresh content – which is one of the key reasons blogging can form an integral part of a search strategy. In addition, as a blog provides topical, humorous or even controversial content, it is more likely to be of interest to the user and shared with peers, as opposed to traditional site content which in some cases is prepared solely for the purpose of ranking within search engines. In addition user interaction in the form of users reviews and comments can also play an integral role in SERPs, as comments provides additional fresh content that can be indexed by the search engine.
However despite the content benefits, blogs provide a much bigger opportunity to search marketers. Popular blog content is often syndicated through RSS or cited by other blogs and sites which can generate additional back links to your site – which would normally take weeks to build manually.
Digital Asset Sharing Sites
With nearly 1 in 3 of all search results including universal/blended content, rich content is an important part of SEO. Over and above the basic optimisation techniques however it is the social aspects of sites such as YouTube, Flickr and many others which can help your organisation to dominate the search results. Social popularity measured by views, ratings, comments are sometimes used by Google to rank results. For example YouTube video’s ratings, views and comments are used to rank video content within SERPs. In addition the more popular the content is on these sites, the better they will then rank when new users search for related content on these platforms. This will in turn enables users to find your rich content and either embed it into their blogs / sites or share it with their community, all of which assists to generate additional inbound links for your site.
Social Bookmarking / News Sites
Social bookmarking and news sites have empowered users to store, organise and in some cases rate their favourite content on the web. As sites such as Digg, Delicious, Reddit and many increased in popularity, it has enabled brands to bypass the traditional PR channels, and enables web users to determine what is newsworthy or simply useful to their needs.
So you might be thinking that these sites have linking value. Unfortunately these sites use nofollow tags, thus there is no direct link value derived from such a strategy. As however these sites rank prominently within SERPs, it can assist organisations to dominate top 10 results with additional offsite listings. And similar to digital asset sharing sites, prominent content is more likely to be easier to locate and published on sites/blogs creating back links to your site.
A blog is obviously a great platform of content to leverage social news/bookmarking, however to do so it is important to empower users with widgets to circulate this content. This unfortunately means that brands have less control over their brand than previously – but this is the nature of social media.
Whilst links featured on the major platforms, ie Facebook, Twitter, MySpace do not provide the valuable link juice, social networking is still an important part of the strategy. And by now you would understand why? Social networking provides a strong platform for content from blogs or sites to be distributed and shared across communities and the web. In addition however content on these networks such as profiles, questions and answers and other branded content are often indexed providing organisations with additional opportunities to dominate SERPs through offsite methods.
However probably the most significant development in this space is the evolution of “social search” which is expected to be the next big trend – and Twitter is leading the way in this area. The key benefit of social search over traditional search is; content is indexed in real time, providing users with the immediacy to answer timely questions. As a result it is important to consider how your organisation can integrate with platforms such as Twitter, as an increasing number of users will begin to search via such networks and I have no doubt more of the traditional engines will look to leverage this content more and more in the future.
Final words to the wise
Whilst the above techniques will leave many SEOs salivating there are a few important considerations.
A social media marketing strategy is not just an extension of the existing SEO strategy. Social media marketing is a shift from traditional marketing techniques and can require the involvement of many organisation stakeholders. Thus it is advisable that a senior stakeholder determines the key objectives social media must achieve for the organisation, and SEOs can then determine how best to form part of this greater strategy.
Whilst many of the above techniques cover the viral nature of the web – the heart of any social search strategy is the content. Whilst SEOs have in the past had more control over crafting copy for search engines – the balance of optimisation and quality content has never been more important. In addition as the web becomes increasingly saturated with content, organisations need to innovate in this area and push the boundaries to provide users with something truly unique and worth sharing.
The post A Social Step in The Right Direction for Your SEO Strategy appeared first on Digital Marketing Lab.