Monthly Archives: March 2015

My Weekend Trip to Shirdi

Shirditrip

Two years back on the month of December, it was the first time when I went to Shirdi. This year was my third trip to Shirdi but the holy place still continues to amaze me with its purity and grace. This small village located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra welcomes hundreds of Sai Baba devotees every day. I am a Sai Baba devotee and feel an immense peace of mind when I am in the holy place. From the smell of fresh flower garlands across the road to the Sai Bhajans being played in the nearby shops, everything has a feel good factor about it. The long queue at the entrance of the temple looks tiring but each one in the row beholds a smile and Sai Baba faith at heart. I can continue to write on and on about this mesmerizing holy place, but let me give a pause and just take you through my short trip to the holy land.

I reached Shirdi at 8:30 in a Saturday morning. More than 19 hours of bus travel had brought a terrible pain on my back and I was dying to go for a warm-water bath. I and my friend took an auto that cost us Rs. 60 to Hotel Sai Grand Castle, our pre-booked hotel for the trip. The hotel was quite near to the temple and the staff informed us that they would give pick and drop facility to the temple by car. Without wasting much of our time, we freshen up for the day. The hotel car dropped us till the entrance of the temple. Both I and my friend bought a small bunch of flowers as an offering for Sai Baba and joined the long queue. It took 2 hours to get a glance of the Sai Baba idol and I wish I could explain my emotions when I reached there. After the darshan, we took a round of the popular Neem tree and collected Udi from the counter.

After our darshan of Shridi Sai Baba, we booked a car towards Shani Shignapur, another temple located around 75 kms from Shirdi. It being Sani Amawas that day, the crowd was huge and there was quite a lot of security. Cars were not allowed beyond a point and devotees had to walk around 3 km to reach the temple. We took help from a person riding a bike and it was definitely a fun ride. We completed our darshan in Shani Shignapur and returned to Shirdi to our hotel.

The holy place serves the best host with yummy and affordable food ranging from Paranthas to Varapavs and Idli and Dosa and many more mouth watering dishes available in every nook and corner of the place. After relishing pure ghee paranthas, we called the day off early, as we were planning to visit the temple again for the early morning aarti. Very obediently, we got up at 4:00 am, freshen up and reached the temple for aarti. The early morning darshan was mesmerizing and it took around 1 and half hours to complete the darshan. We visited few shops after the darshan and went back to our hotel. Around 11.30, we packed our bags to bid good bye to the land and moved towards the bus stop. While boarding the bus, I looked behind and made a promise to make a visit to the land every year once till I could afford. Jai Sai Ram and our bus journey back to Bangalore started.

Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing for 2015

Digitalmarketingtrends

Staying in your toes is the only way to keep in pace with the fast moving digital world. This world is growing big time and so are the marketing techniques and strategies. Today, doing business means going digital. Maintaining an online presence is no longer a choice but a necessity for businesses to survive. As having business website is a must, bringing in digital marketing is crucial too.

So, what are you doing in the digital marketing front – Optimizing landing pages, running banners or doing PPC? Well, there’s more in digital marketing now and much more coming. In the same note, let’s have a look at the emerging trends in digital marketing for 2015.

  1. Quality Content1

First convince and then convert will be the mantra in 2015 and the coming years. Digital marketing is adapting quality as an integrity which was not that true, few years back. The idea is to build quality content in order to catch and convince the users and conversion follows right after.

“Conversion rate increases up to 60% with good quality content.”

  1. Content Marketing

Content marketing2 is definitely the next big thing. Not just developing quality content but distributing the same effectively is the main focus. Digital marketers are testing and investing really big in content marketing and thus making it an independent stream of marketing in the digital marketing sphere.

“68% of consumers spend their digital time in reading content from brands of their interest.”

  1. Paid Social Amplification

Paid social amplification is already happening and that’s just going to increase even more by 2015. Social media ads are run to reach out to a wider audience driving the conversion rate higher. Paid ads expose your business and content to the widest point making it irresistible to avoid. Besides, the present days no longer promises free reach, at least in the digital world. All this while, maintaining the thin line between engagement and annoyance.

“Businesses increased over 40.3% of their budgets in paid channels in the past one year.”

  1. Mobile Website

Mobile friendly content or mobile site as we say is another trend emerging by the day. Today, almost everyone uses a smart phone and explores the web world in mobile quite often. Your business needs to maintain a mobile friendly content in order to be with the target audience at their go. Besides, when the entire business world is being mobile compatible, you cannot afford to not being one.

“Mobile internet traffic witnesses 3.5% rate of increase per month and this is true across industries.”

  1. Ad Re-targeting

Last but definitely not the least, is ad re-targeting. You have often seen this working with you as well. There’s been more than few times when you might have purchased a product after clicking a re-targeting ad. Also, re-targeting gives you a better reach to your target audience.

“Re-targeting increases brand revenue by 33%.”

Besides the above five, there’s branding, user engagement, smart SEO and much more that will be trending in the year 2015 in digital marketing.

References:

Index:

  1. Quality content indicates good quality in all products and services that a business offers.
  2. Content marketing here includes marketing of different types of content including articles, blogs, ebooks, case studies, ebooks, infographics, research reports etc.