GDPR Basics: You Own your Personal Data
The European Union(EU) has imposed one of the greatest data security laws in Europe- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from 25th May 2018. Companies around the globe that deals with data of EU citizens, will have to follow GDPR accordingly. The effect of this law will be huge in all sort of businesses. As a result, there will be significant changes in the approach and methods of customer-data collection, storage, and usage by a company. People from the EU region will now have the best “Digital Right” of their own data. Failure to comply with GDPR can result in huge fines. The following article discusses some basic information and general understanding on GDPR. Let’s dive in, shall we?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data law which replaces the outdated 1995 EU Data Protection Directive and Data Protection Act 1998. GDPR imposes the new set of rules in all 28 EU countries to control and process user’s Personally Identifiable Information(PII).
Personally Identifiable Information (Data Subjects)
Any information related to a living or non-living person that can be helpful to directly or indirectly identify the specific person. It can be real and virtual information including-
• Basic Identification: Name, photo, home address, ID numbers, bank details, bio-metric data and income.
• Cultural profile: Racial or ethnic info, sexual orientation, religion and caste.
• Web Data: Email address, IP address, cookie data and radio-frequency Identification tags, GPS info(Location) and posts on social networking websites.
• Medical Information: Physical, mental and genetic data.
The motives of GDPR
The main reason of introducing a new data law such as-GDPR, is the old law (Data Protection Act 1998) needed some upgrades on the issues of the definition of Personal Data, clear consent, Legal Rights of Data Subjects and so on. Moreover, with the advancement of IT and Internet, it’s the high time to come up with a new kind of law that parallels to the newest technology and Big data.
Some other reasons may include-
• The biggest motive behind GDPR, is the EU’s intention to bring an updated data protection law to have upper hand in how people’s data is being used. Following the recent Facebook Data leak of 50 million user’s data made it more essential to have a strong and up-to-date data security policy. Read the following article to know more:
Facebook Data Leak: How to Safeguard Your Personal Data??
• The other reason was the EU’s plan to give data organizations a standard on the legal environment and their behavior. By making a fixed data protection regulation throughout Europe, the EU estimates to save a collective amount of €2.3 billion annually.
GDPR’s Global Reach
According to GDPR Official site:-
“The GDPR not only applies to organizations located within the EU but it will also apply to organizations located outside of the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behavior of, EU data subjects. It applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.”
Any company that deals with any sorts of data subjects (previously mentioned) of EU citizens within or outside Europe must act upon the GDPR. Specific categories for companies required to comply with GDPR are:
• Companies allocated in any EU country.
• Even if non-presence in the EU, but processes personal data of European residents.
• A company consists of more or less than 250 employees but it handles various personal data which might have impacts on social security of data subjects normally or occasionally.
So it’s obvious that almost all companies having a single EU contact, will be under the GDPR radar.
Punishments of GDPR Non-compliance
Obeying the GDPR is a must for very technical or non-technical companies and institutes. A number of sanctions will be imposed if found guilty of data breach. Following are some sanctions of GDPR:-
• In cases of non-compliance by mistake for the first time, a written warning will be given to the company. In additional to that, regular periodic data protection audits will be applicable to that company.
• A fine up to 4% of annual global turnover of the company or €20 Million (whichever is greater). But this penalty has some sub-sections.
The GDPR site as follows:-
“This is the maximum fine that can be imposed for the most serious infringements e.g. not having sufficient customer consent to process data or violating the core of privacy by design concepts.
There is a tiered approach to fines e.g. a company can be fined 2% or €10 Million for not having their records in order (article 28), not notifying the supervising authority and data subject about a breach or not conducting impact assessment.
It is important to note that these rules apply to both Data controllers and processors which meaning ‘clouds, SaaS vendors’ will not be exempted from GDPR enforcement.”
User’s Consent under GDPR
The conditions of the data subject’s consent over the data processing has been revised and made stronger under GDPR. User’s Consent must be a proactive and clear agreement based action. The current passive acceptance of the user agreement through technical and legal, unclear terms has been reformed in GDPR. The user agreement should have an easy and readable format to facilitate the users to understand what they are about to consent.
The official GDPR site says-
“The conditions for consent have been strengthened, and companies will no longer be able to use long illegible terms and conditions full of legalese, as the request for consent must be given in an intelligible and easily accessible form, with the purpose for data processing attached to that consent. Consent must be clear and distinguishable from other matters and provided in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.”
So the users’ will have clear message by the company before asking them to provide their valuable information. The companies should rewrite their user’s agreement is the most user-friendly and readable way.
Extensions of the GDPR
Data Protection Officer(DPO)
Under the GDPR legislation, companies that deals with a lot of data will have to appoint a data protection officer (DPO) in order to regularly monitor the large-scale data. DPO can be a staff member of the company or an outsourced employee who will directly report to the higher level management.
The basic role of a DPO is to ensure the GDPR approved way in collecting, storing and using data. Moreover, a DPO is bound to inform and advise the organization about maintaining the GDPR requirements and monitoring compliance in any circumstances. In case of data breach, the DPO has to report to the higher authority immediately and notify the GDPR authority of the incident as soon as possible.
To know more about DPO, click here.
Data Controller and Processor
The Data controller is a profitable organization that determines the purpose and ways of processing the user-provided data. Data Processor is the entity that does the actual data processing job under the command of the data controller.
Both the data controller and processor have to abide the GDPR in any case. Moreover, It’s the controller’s duty to make sure that the processor strictly follows the data protection law and processors must act on the rules to maintain records of their processing activities.
Data protection by default and by design
Under the GDPR, a company has to implement strict rules on designing the security measures in data security. Keeping the user’s data private and protected in any given circumstances, is the main concern of GDPR compliance. Article-25 of GDPR states that-
“The controller shall implement appropriate technical and organizational measures for ensuring that, by default, only personal data which are necessary for each specific purpose of the processing are processed .
In particular, such measures shall ensure that by default personal data are not made accessible without the individual’s intervention to an indefinite number of natural persons.”
So in simple terms, GDPR enforces the companies to rebuild their data security system in such a way that any kind of cyber-attack and data-breach can be stopped proactively.
In case of Data Breach
It’s the data controller’s responsibility to inform data protection authority of any data breach that risks people’s sensitive data within 72 hours of becoming aware of it. If not informed within the deadline, the organization has to provide sufficient reasons and evidence of their delay. The data breach notification should include the followings- the nature of Data Breach, the likely outcomes of breach of personal data, possible measures that can be taken to stop further breach.
Moreover, the data controller has to deliver a full documentation having the complete description of data breach in details.
Users’ Privileges in GDPR
Right of Access
Under GDPR, the user has been given the digital right to access the following information by the data controller: –
1. Purposes of the processing
2. With whom the data is shared
3. How the data is acquired
4. How their personal data is being processed
5. An overview of the categories of processed data
6. Copy of the actual data
7. Notification of data transfer to a 3rd party
To know more, read the article 15 of GDPR .
Right to Erasure
This right has been known as-“Right to be forgotten” which clearly indicates that the data subject has the right to ask the Data controller to erase his/her data when-
1. The personal data are no longer necessary
2. The data subject withdraws consent
3. Have objections to the data processing
4. Unlawful processing of personal data
In clear sense, the user’s data is user’s property. So the user can ask to fully delete their data from the system whenever s/he wants and the controller has obligation to comply with the user’s demand.
• Right to Data portability
Under this right, if a user wishes to transmit his/her personal data to another system, the data controller is bound to help the individual to facilitate the data transfer.
Moreover, the data must be provided by the controller in a structured and popular machine-readable(electronic) format.
For more info, read Article-20
Exceptions of GDPR
According to the Article-23, The GDPR has been compromised in these following circumstances-
• National & Public Security
• The prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences
• The protection of judicial independence and proceedings
• The enforcement of civil law claims (Police, Army)
• Statistical and scientific analysis
Implementation of GDPR
The companies who deal with the data of EU citizens have to make some significant changes in order to comply with GDPR. These are some of the issues that needs to be checked for the maximum implementation of this new data law:
Transparency on handling personal Data:
If the users ask about how and where is their data been used- the company is bound to provide them the accurate answer. Moreover, as the data is a digital right of the user, if the users ask to erase their data, the company is bound to do so. So in order to comply to GDPR, all the data companies have to be the most transparency
Ask for clear-cut user’s consent:
A company needs to make an explicit strategy that seeks permission of the user on keeping records of their data. It also includes the documentation of user’s consent on collecting and using their personal data. Companies should also train their employees to not to use any data without use’s consent and not to use the data for things they didn’t consent to as well. Keep in mind that users under 16 years are not entitled to consent and parental supervision is needed in this case.
Appoint a Data Protection Officer:
According to the GDPR, every company dealing with EU citizen’s data needs to assign a DPO. The Data protection officer will be responsible of managing the contact between data controller and processor. The officer will also be held accountable for delay notification of any data breach.
Data Breach Incident Response Plan:
The companies should change their strategy on data handling as well as response plan in case of data breach. The first response will be to notify the GDPR regulatory agency of the incident and the data owner. The company should have effective plans to lessen the damage due to data breach.
The Bottom line of GDPR states that the data protection of companies, dealing with EU citizens’ personal data, has to be highly secured and protected under any circumstances. The users have the digital right over their data and have privilege to erase, forgotten, transfer their data. Any company failing to comply by these rules, will be held accountable and fined. The GDPR is “one-stop” authority to take any decisions regarding data breach and noncompliance and doesn’t require any governmental approval.
Before knowing the ways to generate leads, it’s vital to define leads. Leads refer to the group of people who are simply described as potential customers, have interest in your products and have given contact information so that you can follow-up. You pass on these leads to your sales department with the intention of making them turn into buyers. Now, the fact is why it is important to know the way of generating leads on social media. In one study, it has been found that 90% of the decision-makers do not respond to cold calls.
On the contrary, 76% of the buyers are willing to have a conversation on social media. In that case, not conveying necessary information of leads to your sales team is actually disserving your business. Companies with a tuned strategic plan for lead generation on social media put a greater impact on sales at the end. Considering the above facts regarding leads generation on social media, 6 important ways are being outlined in further below to help your company boosting sales through social media.
Create Gated Content
Gated content works best in 2 ways; drive traffic towards a good content and make traffic provide some basic information in exchange. Gated content is exactly as it sounds like. Contents remain hidden behind an online gate and if readers are interested in to go through the content they need to fill up a short form with some basic information for access. Promoting gated content more on social media augments leads generation. One of the most important features of Gated Content is to have quality content on a simple landing page.
People tend to be more interested towards a product when there is a special offer for them on social media. These types of content get a lot of shares on social channels, therefore, including an entry form would result in important leads data collection. To make your post get more reach, prepare a path at the end of the form for viewers to share your content through their numerous social platforms. In this fashion, viewers can spread your content on a continuous basis with their communities and hence, you’ll get a good amount of leads.
To run a contest, two major facts need to be taken into account before proceeding. To begin with, the contest should be designed in a way that makes people interested to participate in and it has to bring the utmost value for the selective people who have the highest probability to become your customer. Regarding the prize, you have to be strategic to find out the right potential customer for your company. In general scenario, people show their interest to participate in contests online regardless any interest in your company, product, and service.
A generalize valuable prize will bring you quite a good number of contact information but no potential leads. In order to address the potential leads, instead of giving away free iPhone as a prize to the winners, offer free service/products of your company with additional features so that the genuinely interested people towards your service will be attracted and that is the ultimate lead.
Paid Social Advertisement
Advertising on social networks has been an enormous way to promote business to the target audiences over the last couple of years. Social media paid advertisement works in favor of both the company and the audiences. When it is paid ad, the audiences are not swamped with promotional content rather to the relevant post/content that they would like to spend time on. Each social channel is designed with the distinctive demographic criterion that will direct your content to the exact target audience of your business. As a result, your content will add value to your audience and will make sure the investment is worthwhile.
Live interaction with your followers is a time efficient process to generate good leads and on-spot sales. Such interaction allows explaining more about your products and services get direct queries and giving you the opportunity to answer them that shows your level of expertise. The benefits of live chat in order to increase leads are as follows:
Add Call to Action
Don’t allow your followers to leave without putting any mark on your ad or post. Always add a call to action button to encourage your followers to take an action. For illustration, ask followers to watch a video, attend an online free training/seminar, download a book, signup for a freetrial and so on. It’s always beneficial for a company, who intends to generate leads from social media, to confirm that followers can see the ad and click on the call to action button to be more engaged.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth millions. An explainer video is a short video that businesses use to introduce themselves and their idea through an animated/sketched video. It is considered to be the most quick and memorable way to create an impact amongst your customers, and helps the viewers to get a proper understanding of the whole scenario in a fun, informative way. Conventional explainer videos are about 90 seconds long, which means the script consists something between 200 to 250 words. The focus of this limited content is to grab attention, bring forward a problem and it’s solution, explain the procedure of the troubleshooting and hope that the viewer would have atleast the basic idea of the service and at the same time feel the urge to visit the webpage of the organization to know more.
In the fast paced world of internet, business has to take necessary steps to ensure that they don’t fail in the market. With competitors introducing new strategies around every turn of business, it is difficult to attain your composure to your audience and maintain steady innovations for your customers at cost that don’t hurt your pocket. This is where an explainer video can come handy. It is cheap, effective, interesting, innovative and does it’s work in promoting your business aspects without any additional burden. New organizations are taking up explainer video making strategies to enhance their presence online and create a feasible yet strong bond in between them and their probable customers. Still not convinced? Take a look at the few advantages of introducing explainer video to your business
Increase conversion rates
According to surveys, 85% of people are more likely to buy a product once they see an explainer video tagged along to it. (Source: Video Rascal) This is a major turn over in the new business aspects of this century. The reason behind such high numbers in sales with an explainer video is because of it’s method to interact with the viewer and knowing how to pull them towards their service.
Increase web traffic
The purpose of majority explainer video is to bring more and more traffic to the organization website. This is also part of the strategy where the content of the video gives the viewer a summarized idea of the situation while pushing them to come and visit the webpage to learn more. While most other web traffic increasing strategies have tendency to focus only to bring potential customers, an explainer video brings audiences mostly because they felt connected to the idea even if they were not in need of it.
Improve rank in Google search
Websites filled with contents and complex writings tend to drive away visitors, because they don’t want to drown themselves in an ocean of information just to know about SEO or email marketing. Instead, they look for something short, interesting and informative, which the explainer video provides. According to Spork Marketing, websites that have videos get higher ranking in universal Google search. An average person requires less than a minute to decide to make a purchase, and the explainer video does the job in almost the same time span.
Writing the article
Once the research is done, the next step is writing the article. It is important to keep the article simple, relevant, plagiarism free and informative. Repeated use of common words must be avoided. Not everything that you have in mind must be put into your writing. Exaggeration of the topic might cause the reader dissatisfaction and loss of interest towards reading the article any further. Avoid using difficult words. Sit and draft your ideas so that the content is properly set at the end. Write a short introduction on your topic, then move on to the body discussing your objective, and finish off with a proper conclusion. Don’t forget to mention your sources of information if you quote.
Explainer video turn customers to promoters
Since explainer videos are short and simple, they can be shared over the internet very easily. If your customers like your product or service, they are very likely to share your video over social media and other blogs and forums. In such cases, your customers become your promoters, and any promotion is good for the business, keeping in mind that these promotions are highly likely to bring you more customers.
Best ROI for the business
Explainer videos can bring up your ROI in matter of moments. For instance, Dropbox spent $50K to tell their story through an explainer video, which landed them with 5 million new customer s and over $20 million in revenue in no short time.
These are some of the highlighted benefits that an explainer video can bring to your business. If set correctly, it can boost your sales and even mark your company to the list of one of the most profiled organization in the history of business. All you need is a creative script along with interesting animation to follow it and an idea that reaches your customer’s heart. With the right combination of both, you and your organization can reach an illustrious peak in your business field.
What is content marketing?
If put up to the point, content marketing is a marketing approach focused on creating and sharing valuable, reliable, relevant and consistent content to attract an audience and ultimately promote a company or an individual in the virtual world. But creating the content is basically half the work.
For an effective content marketing strategy, you can’t create any old, low quality content which would actually jeopardize the image of your brand/company name. Instead, you will have to put up valuable content relevant to the customers you aim to attract.
Why is content marketing important?
Traditional forms of marketing like an advertisement, email are becoming less effective day by day. Most people often consider email marketing as spam. Content marketing, on the other hand, relies on creating relevant and helpful contents that assist probable customers in learning new things and solving their queries regarding the topic. Customers appreciate the great content and if a company can establish itself as an important and helpful content provider, it would be rewarded with more business and sales leads in the end.
What should a content marketing strategy include?
Content marketing strategy basically sketches out an outline to a business and customer needs. It also helps in letting you plan on how you will use your content in future without having to sweat about it at the last moment. There are no definitive formats for building a content marketing strategy since each one will be unique to the business that creates it, but there are some basic components that they commonly include, and they are as follows:
1. Setting up your goals
If you are new to the content marketing concept, the first thing you need to know is clearly able to define your content marketing goals. Are you seeking new customers? Are you trying to promote your services? Are you trying to make a name for yourself in the social world? Increase brand value over the globe? Regardless what your goal is, you need to pave your way properly in order to ultimately attain your goal. As you start working through content marketing, ask yourself if your content will support reach your goals. If it doesn’t, focus your resources on content that will.
2. Start a content calendar
Developing a content calendar helps you stay onto your content publishing activity and ensures that posts are published on regular basis and on time. It also helps you keep track of what you have published and how you may synchronize the list later on.
3. Make keyword research
Conducting key words research through Google AdWords is a very important part of creating great content. By knowing which keywords are searched often, you can create more specific content that suits your audience, and it is also easier for search engines to discover and rank.
4. Develop a target persona
A target persona is important when it comes to knowing whom you are marketing to. It is tough to create a great content without having a specific customer in mind. Creating a target persona is a helpful way to understand exactly whom you are talking to.
5. Work on trending topics
Keeping your content relevant means staying alongside the latest trends, and also acting on them. Search what people mostly look for, what they ask around the most, what they find interest in knowing. You can narrow down to latest newsfeeds to know what might keep your audiences buzzed up lately. Relate the top news to other materials that might connect in future.
6. Thorough research before you start writing
Research your topic of content properly before getting down to write on it. Research gives you a widespan view of the content that you are currently focusing on, and also an idea on how frequently people still search and read such content. Your research must also include studying your business competitors, understanding the current market situation and creating the ability to understand your customers’ query.
Invest in creating contents that your customers demand, rather than something that you feel the readers want. Instead of defining your customers how good your service is, compel them to come try your service by helping them find the best solution to their problem. This helps build the initial foundation of trust between a business entity and its customers.
7. Open up to Social media sites
Social media accounts are important in content marketing. It helps the business to establish a presence on the internet more than anything else. Social webpages like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are the top most spoken of. Other than posting your contents under relevant blogs or webpages, you can post your contents on your social pages and keep them sharing it every now and then.
8. Focus on effective content writing
Although there is no recipe to write high quality content, you can always look back to the following to improve the quality and quantity of your written material:
9. Apply illustrated content
Visual content is engaging, and effective as it helps the readers to process, comprehend and possess more information rapidly. Different audiences prefer content in different visual forms. Adding slides, GIFs, infographs, screenshots, and short videos to the content help reach more audience since it serves two ways; by making the content look more attractive and making it easier for the reader to understand in a short time.
10. Proper content promotion
Even with a greatly written content, it would be impossible to reach your ultimate goal in publishing it without proper promotion. It takes more than simply publishing the post to have your content be visible and read or shared by the right audience. Using the correct variation of keywords from the content, the post can be shared into different websites. Submitting the content to communities with a huge number of readers can boost your audience reach, like for instance sharing your content at Reddit, TMZ, and The Huffington Post etc.
11. Listen to your audience
Once you have begun creating and posting contents online, you will start getting audience feedback. This can help you determine what they like, what they don’t, and what they want in future. Their feedback can also help you get an insight of what you need to work on and how you can improve you future contents. By listening to everything the audience has to say, you can get new ideas for your future contents, and thus assure traffic from your target audience.
12. Measure the output
At the end of all, evaluate how much closer your content and your pre and post actions have brought you to your goals. This way you would know if your process and standards are actually benefitting you. Track the number of people engaging your content, see how often the post has been shared in the social media webpages. The numbers not only bring you closer to your goals but help you decide what to do and what not to do in your next project.
Keeping your content marketing strategy updated
Most sections of your marketing strategy should remain the same as your content marketing program evolves. Your ethics and business goals should likely remain the same, however, other aspects of your strategy will benefit from being reviewed and updated time to time. To ensure the quality of your content marketing program, improvise on how well the information is collected and processed, and how well your team interacts with customers with the feedback from your content.
A portfolio is an anthology of materials that portrays one’s skills, qualifications, training, and previous job experiences. It provides a clear insight on one’s personality and working ability.
Owned and earned marketing opportunities are the result of this new era in social media for the small businesses and entrepreneurs. This certain opportunity has become an important element of marketing strategy and more importantly, helping companies to reach out to a significant number of people through social networks. Promoting your product/service through owned and earned marketing opportunities potentially enhances the chance of building brand loyalty among the consumers. Even then, paid marketing strategy is proficient enough to damage your business if it’s left out.
The vital elements for sustainable online paid marketing strategies are discussed further below.
Set Realistic Goals
When you decide to go for online paid media strategy, it is always obligatory to have an end goal. What you assume to obtain should be the first step in online paid media strategy. Since paid media anticipates cost promise, therefore, you need to chalk out the map of how this cost will pay off in the future for your company. Your goal should be lingering and also realistic & achievable. You should reassess your set goal from time to time to see if anything needs to be changed. In addition, to make your goal more concise and sales centric you need to have meetings with your sales and finance team on a routine basis to evaluate the progress and probable approaches.
Integrate Marketing Strategy with Paid Media
Your brand identity should be represented by your paid, owned and earned media altogether. Predominantly, paid and owned media should complement each other and that leads to earned media. For example, if you have created a blog content to drive more traffic to your company website, then promote the same content on social media to reach the maximum watches on it.
Measure the Progress and Result
The core activity to ensure the best use of paid media is to quantify the result. There is no point of using paid media strategy if you do not calculate the amount you are spending, the return you are getting and the time it is taking. In addition, to go to the next level, you need to count how much revenue you are earning, how much traffic you are driving to your website and finally, the rate of sales conversion. Calculating the ROI is a simple attempt; get the amount you spend to obtain a customer and subtract that amount from the earning that you get from the customer’s lifetime which results in the marketing ROI.Maintaining this calculation on a routine basis will give you a proper understanding of effectiveness.
Invest in Proper Keywords
The continuous search for the keywords is one of the best tactics to enhance strong paid media campaign. It defines more about the mindset of the user and develops an understanding of what components drive the user to search for a particular product or service. More importantly, it gives you information and insights on your competitors’ choice of keywords that set them ahead of user search. In addition, paid media strategy needs to have refined routinely as it requires a time investment.
Conversion from Paid Clicks to Leads
This is a usual case to ignore emails from the user’s perspective. But even then, sending promotional emails with proper content to the right audience still work. Email companies started to separate the promotional emails to another folder which seems to have a negative impact on your effort. But such separation essentially helps you to be in the specific folder those users always keep and find you easily when necessary. Companies and brands can get leads through paid media which might not end up with a purchase initially but have those contacts engaged by promotional email marketing will actually convince them to get back and purchase.
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