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Digital Marketing Strategies Your Business Should Be Using Right Now

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Digital Marketing Strategies Your Business Should Be Using Right Now

The emergence of a New Year often means qualifying digital marketing strategies into the good, the bad and the ugly categories. Even though the phrase originated from a spaghetti western movie it is apt for describing digital marketing strategies, especially when you are sifting the wheat from the chaff and decided which to use during the year. To help businesses navigate through digital marketing strategies we look at those that rise to above the rest, and how you should be putting plans into place to make the best use of them.

What do we mean by Digital Marketing Strategies?

Comprising content marketing, SEO, marketing via social media accounts and PPC; digital marketing uses a number of strategies to provide information to customers who are using mobile devices and personal computers. With the Internet continuing to play host to an increasing amount of products and companies digital marketing strategies are continually changing as businesses seek to retain existing customers and bring in new ones. With good, bad and ugly digital marketing strategies available for you to choose from in the year 2019 we look at those that are going to help your business attract a higher number prospective leads, result in higher lead conversion and ultimately cause more closed sales.

Chatting with the Aid of Bots

A digital marketing trend that simply cannot be ignored anymore is the rise of chat bots, which are tireless and always remain online. With these bots never tiring they are available 24×7 to answer queries of customers who have problems with products and services. The bots also provide timely sales and marketing support when potential customers have questions just before purchasing a product or service. As chat bots engage with visitors as soon as they come onto a website they ensure that people are never left hanging when they have questions, and ultimately prevent them from moving to competitor’s sites.

Use of Artificial Intelligence

As artificial intelligence has been increasingly adopted in digital marketing it has helped in better analyzing trends in customer behavior. It also allows for search patterns to be analyzed and for social media platform data, to be used in understanding how people find products and services. With the aid of artificial intelligence and bots such as those employed by Facebook messenger, businesses can deliver optimized experiences to customers without relying on human operators.

Video Based Content

Creating content in the form of text is all well and good, but your company also needs to output videos. As consumers continue to prefer video in portrait mode or vertical format over that which is in horizontal mode, businesses are focused on creating such content. Marketing products and services via vertical video on social media platforms also improves engagement rates and brings in more leads, and this has helped drive up the popularity of Instagram stories among businesses.

Big Data Driven Marketing

Big data and predictive analytics based of it are already in use in large companies. The coming year is going to see tools that provide market and customer insight being put to use by businesses that fall within the medium and small segments.

Heightened Personalization

Increasing personalization of digital marketing is already happening and 2019 is going to see more emphasis being placed on it. With the aid of data that charts a customer’s purchasing history and preferences, personalized emails and texts can be sent to customers. When they visit websites personalization can also be used to create banners and carousels that appeal to each customer.

Tying up with Social Media Influencers

Getting a social media influencers onboard and working for your business allows you to directly reach users with aligned interests. Businesses when using influencers also save money on marketing campaigns that are blasted out to a large number of people, whether or not they are fall into the target audience. Influencer based campaigns also make use of the trust that such people have amassed over the years and therefore they are much more effective than traditional campaigns.

Use of Social Messaging Apps

Employing a social messaging app such as WhatsApp, WeChat or Facebook Messenger gets your product and service better exposure compared to traditional social media sites such as YouTube. This is just one of the reasons why these messaging apps are becoming increasingly popular methods of digital marketing.

When running your business it helps to have the best digital marketing strategies currently in use at your fingertips. Utilizing strategies that are current, also gives you an edge of over competitors who are still using those which are a few years old.

Business

Euro zone business activity shrank in January as lockdowns hit services

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Euro zone business activity shrank in January as lockdowns hit services 1

By Jonathan Cable

LONDON (Reuters) – Economic activity in the euro zone shrank markedly in January as lockdown restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic hit the bloc’s dominant service industry hard, a survey showed.

With hospitality and entertainment venues forced to remain closed across much of the continent the survey highlighted a sharp contraction in the services industry but also showed manufacturing remained strong as factories largely remained open.

IHS Markit’s flash composite PMI, seen as a good guide to economic health, fell further below the 50 mark separating growth from contraction to 47.5 in January from December’s 49.1. A Reuters poll had predicted a fall to 47.6.

“A double-dip recession for the euro zone economy is looking increasingly inevitable as tighter COVID-19 restrictions took a further toll on businesses in January,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

“Some encouragement comes from the downturn being less severe than in the spring of last year, reflecting the ongoing relative resilience of manufacturing, rising demand for exported goods and the lockdown measures having been less stringent on average than last year.”

The bloc’s economy was expected to grow 0.6% this quarter, a Reuters poll showed earlier this week, and will return to its pre-COVID-19 level within two years on hopes the rollout of vaccines will allow a return to some form of normality. [ECILT/EU]

A PMI covering the bloc’s dominant service industry dropped to 45.0 from 46.4, exceeding expectations in a Reuters poll that had predicted a steeper fall to 44.5 and still a long way from historic lows at the start of the pandemic.

With activity still in decline and restrictions likely to be in place for some time yet, services firms were forced to chop their charges. The output price index fell to 46.9 from 48.4, its lowest reading since June.

That will be disappointing for policymakers at the European Central Bank – who on Thursday left policy unchanged – as uncomfortably low inflation has been a thorn in the ECB’s side for years.

Factory activity remained strong and the manufacturing PMI held well above breakeven at 54.7, albeit weaker than December’s 55.2. The Reuters poll had predicted a drop to 54.5.

An index measuring output which feeds into the composite PMI fell to 54.5 from 56.3.

But despite strong demand factories again cut headcount, as they have every month since May 2019. The employment index fell to 48.9 from 49.2.

As immunisation programmes are being ramped up after a slow start in Europe optimism about the coming year remained strong. The composite future output index dipped to 63.6 from December’s near three-year high of 64.5.

“The roll out of vaccines has meanwhile helped sustain a strong degree of confidence about prospects for the year ahead, though the recent rise in virus case numbers has caused some pull-back in optimism,” Williamson said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Cable; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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Volkswagen’s profit halves, but deliveries recovering

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Volkswagen's profit halves, but deliveries recovering 2

BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen reported a nearly 50% drop in its 2020 adjusted operating profit on Friday but said car deliveries had recovered strongly in the fourth quarter, lifting its shares.

The world’s largest carmaker said full-year operating profit, excluding costs related to its diesel emissions scandal, came in at 10 billion euros ($12.2 billion), compared with 19.3 billion in 2019.

Net cash flow at its automotive division was around 6 billion euros and car deliveries picked up towards the end of the year, the German group said in a statement.

“The deliveries to customers of the Volkswagen Group continued to recover strongly in the fourth quarter and even exceeded the deliveries of the third quarter 2020,” it said.

Volkswagen’s shares, which had been down as much as 2%, turned positive and were up 1.5% at 164.32 euros by 1158 GMT.

Sales at the automaker rose 1.7% in December, at a time when new car registrations in Europe dropped nearly 4%, data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association showed.

Like its rivals, Volkswagen is facing several challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as a global shortage of chips needed for production.

It also sees tough competition in developing electrified and self-driving cars. The merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot-owner PSA to create the world’s fourth-biggest automaker Stellantis adds to the pressure.

Volkswagen said on Thursday it missed EU targets on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its passenger car fleet last year and faces a fine of more than 100 million euros.

The group is expected to release detailed 2020 figures on March 16.

($1 = 0.8215 euros)

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter)

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Global chip shortage hits China’s bitcoin mining sector

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Global chip shortage hits China's bitcoin mining sector 3

By Samuel Shen and Alun John

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – A global chip shortage is choking the production of machines used to “mine” bitcoin, a sector dominated by China, sending prices of the computer equipment soaring as a surge in the cryptocurrency drives demand.

The scramble is pricing out smaller miners and accelerating an industry consolidation that could see deep-pocketed players, many outside China, profit from the bitcoin bull run.

Bitcoin mining is closely watched by traders and users of the world’s largest cryptocurrency, as the amount of bitcoin they make and sell into the market affects its supply and price.

Trading around $32,000 on Friday, bitcoin is down 20% from the record highs it struck two weeks ago but still up some 700% from its March low of $3,850.

“There are not enough chips to support the production of mining rigs,” said Alex Ao, vice president of Innosilicon, a chip designer and major provider of mining equipment.

Bitcoin miners use increasingly powerful, specially-designed computer equipment, or rigs, to verify bitcoin transactions in a process which produces newly minted bitcoins.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and Samsung Electronics Co, the main producers of specially designed chips used in mining rigs, would also prioritise supplies to sectors such as consumer electronics, whose chip demand is seen as more stable, Ao said.

The global chip shortage is disrupting production across a global array of products, including automobiles, laptops and mobile phones. [L1N2JP2MY]

Mining’s profitability depends on bitcoin’s price, the cost of the electricity used to power the rig, the rig’s efficiency, and how much computing power is needed to mine a bitcoin.

Demand for rigs has boomed as bitcoin prices soared, said Gordon Chen, co-founder of cryptocurrency asset manager and miner GMR.

“When gold prices jump, you need more shovels. When milk prices rise, you want more cows.”

CONSOLIDATION

Lei Tong, managing director of financial services at Babel Finance, which lends to miners, said that “almost all major miners are scouring the market for rigs, and they are willing to pay high prices for second-hand machines.”

“Purchase volumes from North America have been huge, squeezing supply in China,” he said, adding that many miners are placing orders for products that can only be delivered in August and September.

Most of the products of Bitmain, one of the biggest rig makers in China, are sold out, according the company’s website.

A sales manager at Jiangsu Haifanxin Technology, a rig merchant, said prices on the second-hand market have jumped 50% to 60% over the past year, while prices of new equipment more than doubled. High-end, second-hand mining machines were quoted around $5,000.

“It’s natural if you look at how much bitcoin has risen,” said the manager, who identified himself on by his surname Li.

The cryptocurrency surge is affecting who is able to mine.

The increasing cost of investment is eliminating smaller players, said Raymond Yuan, founder of Atlas Mining, which owns one of China’s biggest mining business.

“Institutional investors benefit from both large scale and proficiency in management whereas retail investors who couldn’t keep up will be weeded out,” said Yuan, whose company has invested over $500 million in cryptocurrency mining and plans to keep investing heavily.

Many of the larger players growing their mining operations are based outside of China, often in North America and the Middle East, said Wayne Zhao, chief operating officer of crypto research company TokenInsight.

“China used to have low electricity costs as one core advantage, but as the bitcoin price rises now, that has gone,” he said.

Zhao said that while previously bitcoin mining in China used to account for as much as 80% of the world’s total, it now accounted for around 50%.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Alun John; Editing by Vidya Ranganathan and William Mallard)

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