Bend it Like Brazuca

Earlier this year, with Spain’s flags, painted on their faces and beer mugs in their hands, a bunch of Spanish soccer fans in Madrid waited with anticipation. The anticipation could’ve been mistaken for 2014 FIFA World Cup, but that was still a few months away. The fans were waiting for the ‘Brazuca’ to arrive – the official ball for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Tapping into New Channels

Just prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Adidas launched what was the most massive marketing campaign in its history. A chunk of this campaign was reserved for the digital space. Adidas is the official creator of the World Cup ball since the 1960s. Taking note of how the digital space had evolved over the last four years, Adidas nearly tripled its digital marketing efforts as compared to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

One of the brand’s most successful and widely anticipated campaign was held in Brazil in late-2012 to give a name to the official Football ball. Over a million Brazilian football fans voted for Brazuca as the name. Brazuca, meaning ‘The Brazilian life’, lent a distinct character to the ball and got it a huge fan following. Even as we speak, Brazuca’s official Twitter account (@brazuca) has crossed a million and a half followers that include such fancy names as The Pope, Hugh Jackman, and Samuel Jackson.

Engaging with Fans

Brazuca comes with six cameras fitted into it, to record and show the world’s most popular sport from a new perspective. Adidas sent the ball on a world tour before the start of the World Cup to cities like London, Madrid, New York, etc. The build-up to the World Cup and exciting videos of fans cheering for their teams were recorded by this ball. The video clips of which, can be viewed online, including on Brazuca’s Twitter account.

After the start of the tournament, the ball has traveled on and off the field through tunnels and dugouts in Brazil’s stadiums, giving a never-seen-before view of team huddles and field sidelines. Fans, who otherwise would need special passes and permissions to be in these places are getting to see never seen before footage of World Cup games, on and off the field at the swipe of a finger!

Apart from loyal soccer fans, Adidas is counting on this new ‘ball-perspective’ to rope in viewers and internet users, who would not have shown much interest in the sport otherwise.

Understanding the Sport-Internet Symbiosis

Brazuca’s super-success is evidence that Adidas has decoded the digital marketing space very well. Apart from engaging content (fan footage and on-field clips), Brazuca’s official Twitter account is giving out Brazucas signed by Messi, Alves, and other soccer stars. For fans to own a piece of World Cup history is reason enough to follow the account and interact with it.

Adidas’s Brazuca campaign is a rather erudite lesson for digital marketers. While behind-the-scenes footage will always attract people in hordes, where Brazuca has scored is in balancing the content, interaction, and promotion activities wonderfully. After all, not every day do you see a ball tweet “The world’s watching #Messi, but he only has eyes for me.”

Why You Need a Web Marketing Agency

Nearly 70% of adults in the world have daily access to the internet today and an estimated 73% of them use social media regularly. Facebook has over 800 million active users as of 2014, roughly 60% of whom are between the ages 13 and 25. Over 30% of users aged 18-30 use Twitter as their primary social network. More than 47% of the 250 million-odd Instagram users, check their Instagram feed daily.

You cannot ignore these figures. This is a meaty business prospect you are losing out on if you are not leveraging it; because your rivals are and your customers are willing to hop loyalties. The top 5 brands on Instagram have shown a swift growth in positive user word-of-mouth over the last 12-15 months.

Marketing through the web is not an option anymore, as can be derived from the above statistics. It is almost a compulsion and as a business, you better start cashing on it as soon as possible. Here are 5 reasons why need to hire a web marketing agency to build your business online:

A Useful Resource

No matter how small a business you are, doing your web marketing yourself isn’t always a great idea. Web marketers understand the domain better than anyone. Sooner or later, you are likely to lose focus on your web marketing efforts as other business priorities take over. Hence, leave it to the pros. It will cost you some bucks upfront, but by now you should realize that this investment is totally worth it. A good agency will not just deliver ROI, but also a strong and special online image and a vibrant community of regular users. It is your money for their time and efforts. A win-win situation for you.

Search Rankings

A web agency has the experience and know-how about web design and marketing practices that can help you with organic search rankings. Staying on top of search engine rankings is a tricky bait. Even if you manage it once by yourself, can you sustain it? Search engine algorithms change every quarter. New techniques dribble in and out. A web marketing agency can assure you the savoir-faire related to SEO without you having to bother to read up the internet about these upgrades.

More Money

Of course, a web marketing agency’s job is to align your strategy with your business interests. But with a web marketing agencies expertise and experience, the return on investment on such strategies is way too high as compared to doing it yourself.

Brand Awareness

Being in the business for as long as they’ve been, web marketing agencies can assure you a strong brand image online. They know the web audience better than anyone. Agencies know what kind of content works and what doesn’t work in the digital space. They have the right contacts and the right tools to pull it off.

A web marketing strategy is inevitable. Hire a professional web marketing agency for profitable results. If you pick the right agency who you can trust with your brand, and who have an established history of successful digital campaigns, you can actually lay back, put your feet back, and see the conversion ring in!

May the Infographic Be With You

Consider the figures:

  • The search queries for infographics have shot up by nearly 800% since 2012.
  • Close to 7 million tweets mentioning the term ‘infographics’ have been posted to date.
  • While only 20% of reading content stays with you, your power of processing the same content in a visual form increases by about 50,000 times.

More and more B2B marketers are now looking to create infographics to leverage some brownie points for brands. Not surprisingly then, over the last 5 years or so, infographics have taken over the web. They are everywhere, yet not many of them make sense. Infographics are a time and effort consuming creating, not to mention the immense skill required to pull it off. Infographics need to have that unique blend where data has been crunched to be conveyed graphically, yet is so well presented that it conveys the information in a quicker and better manner.

The next time you decide to create an infographic, make sure it is worth all the time, money, and effort being put in. Here are four tips we believe will help you make fabulous infographics:

Put the Info in the Graphic

There’s a reason why infographic is called that – information! And tons of it. Else, it is just a pretty graphic design. Infographics MUST carry plenty of relevant data. This does not necessarily mean cramming every nook and cranny with something, but throw in numbers and stats for good measure to support your content. Borrow data from reliable sources and give them the credit for it at the bottom. An empty infographic is as good as an amusement park with no rides.

The Bold and the Beautiful

Pick striking colors. Choose legible and sharp fonts. Opt for appealing backgrounds. Use geometric shapes to emphasize data. Converge all your creative energies in making it imaginative and attention-grabbing. The more spectacular your infographic looks, the more it is pushing the viewer to share. Make bold attempts once in a while, but don’t compromise on the aesthetics.

Size Does Matter

As discussed above, there’s no point in making a small and/or empty infographic. An infographic needs to be heavy on information. But also, keep in mind that it is not long enough to bore out the viewer so much that he/she dumps it midway and turns to something else. Highlight only the important and relevant data, but don’t cut too much to leave the infographic with no value of its own – tread the fine line.

Share and Care

The only hope of your infographic becoming a viral success is if people share it on a massive scale. Always contain links to let users share your infographic. Make these share-buttons or widgets big and visible and universally accessible. Cover as many platforms as possible, especially the visual ones like Facebook and Pinterest. Don’t complicate the sharing process. An ideal sharing mechanism gets over in two steps – a) Login and get permissions, and b) Share.

Social Media has made sharing and spreading of data very easy. As social media gains ground, Infographics will also gain a lot of fan following among users, brands, and marketers alike. With effective and attractive infographics, brands would be able to pull a lot of user engagement that would do a world of good to them.

R.I.P – Rest in Parallax

Circa 1999 – A custom website with a flash intro, with the content written in Comic Sans. Web designers had mastered a few elements of web design for custom made business websites. Websites were all fun and games then. In an era, when the world is increasingly eyeing lofty business leads coming through the internet, fun, and games cannot be afforded anymore. Websites have to look slick, professional, and fun at the same time.

This requirement for professional and business-minded web design made many web designers introspect as to what it was that was obstructing traffic from coming to their websites. Iterations and malfunctions later, we are finally seeing a beautification of the web. Websites now are less gaudy, more attractive; less haphazard, more professional; and less code-centric, more easy-navigation-centric.

Here are three web design trends that have (almost) been dumped for good, and we genuinely wish they stay dumped.

    • Flash

Flash was rubbish. There was no point in it really. It really was just a jazzy add-on that visitors did not care for. Websites that came with no ‘Skip Intro’ button lost most of their traffic in about 30 seconds. Websites that came with a ‘Skip Intro’ button had their intro skipped within 30 seconds. The point that was lost on designers and businesses alike was – Users came for information, not for entertainment. To add to the visitors’ woes – Adobe’s flash plugins is known to have a history of issues with various browsers and their various versions over the years. Then again, it wasn’t universally accepted either. Google started indexing Flash only recently, well after Flash has one foot in its grave. Apple still does not support it.

    • Stock Images

Let’s face it, most of those dudes look like they had a gun pointed at their back when they were being asked to look and smile at the camera. The audiences now treat brands as a human. Hence, it is important to stay and seem human. Stock images make you look like you don’t care or simply don’t have real customers buying your product. Moreover, the internet exposure is so huge now that it is a tad little cringeworthy to see the same person holding a diaper and hanging out with friends on two different websites at the same time.

    • Visitor Counters

Yes, you had 10 million hits on your websites. In actuality, only FOUR people had heard of it. It was a great manipulation tool and a superb show-off idea. The counters did count visitor hits, but they were so easy to manipulate that it could only fool website visitors for about a year. The large ticking blocks of 6 figure digits soon disappeared from most websites and understandably so. Even a lay user knew they meant nothing.

Small and fancy fonts, tons of pages of information, cramping every empty corner of the page with some information, outdated coding standards, auto-playing videos, un-updated website, popups looking to gather leads – there are plenty of web design trends from around a decade ago that are dead, or are almost dead, or should be put to rest.

Trends shall come and go. Web design is a process that works in progression. Hence, the onus is on designers and business to stay updated with newer trends and discard the outdated ones.