Tips to Using Snapchat, Vine, Periscope, and Flickr

We have discussed a lot of the major social media platforms being used by businesses today, but interestingly, there are still plenty out there!

Of all the social media platforms we have discussed previously, Snapchat is a horse of another color. Despite its unique nature and characteristics, many businesses are using it as a fun way to connect with its target market.

There are several ways to market your business on Snapchat, but here are 7 ideas that really stood out to me:

1. Coupons
This platform’s immediacy provides customers with an urgent incentive to shop. Offering calls-to-action on this platform can entice customers.

2. Product updates/demo
It’s now possible to create an immediate, short video introducing new features you want your customers to be ware of. Snapchat is a great way to create a buzz about new products.

3. Contests
Running a contest is a great way to engage your audience and get people talking about your business.

4. Promote events
Utilize Snapchat to direct your follower to events and explain the date and time. You could also post a live update during the event.

5. Behind-the-scenes footage
This is a great way to show customers the personality of your brand and help them emotionally connect with your business.

6. Encourage followers to sign up for your email list
Make sure you are keeping in contact with your current and potential customers. Encourage your followers to sign up to your email list by mentioning email campaigns in your snapchat stories.

7. Fun tidbits
Everyone enjoys something fun every once and awhile. Remember to take moments to have fun and be creative. This will increase follower engagement.

Companies are achieving great things by using Vine as a social media platform.  It may not look like much on the surface, but it is an excellent tool for follower engagement. Here is how to utilize Vine for your business:

1. Harness the Power of the Share
Share and post content often. The more viewers, the more brand exposure you are getting. It might be only for a few seconds, but it can make a big impact.

2. Own It
Find your brand’s style and individuality. Getting people to remember your video and your brand are a challenge, so focus on standing out but remember to stay true to your brand.

3. Celebrate
Seasonal marketing seems unimportant, but many viewers will be searching these tags during these times, making it a great way to gain exposure.

4. Innovate
Do something different. Try something new. You want your vine to sticks\ in people’s mind as innovative.

5. Create
These videos are about being creative. 6 seconds may not be enough time to get your idea across, so feel free to continue it in more videos. An example can be seen in Oreo’s vines; the company created a large fan based simply by featuring their cookie over and over.

And then there is Periscope. This might be a platform that many of you are unfamiliar with. While slightly unknown, this live streaming video app is helping businesses everywhere. So instead of giving you tips to use Periscope, here are 6 big reasons you should be on it:

1. An unsaturated market
Unlike the other social media platforms we’ve discussed previously, Periscope is still growing. The majority of businesses have yet to embrace Periscope, making it a great opportunity for other businesses to fill in the gaps.

2. Real-time engagement
Nothing compares to viewers being able to ask questions that second and get immediate answers.

3. A showcase for the real you
The nature of this platform forces you to be authentic. Seeing a real person affects customers greatly, making them more comfortable to buy because its from a business they know and trust.

4. Unlimited business opportunities
There are many different ways businesses can use Periscope: live tutorials, Q&A sessions, showcases, special promos…the list goes on and on.

5. A whole new follower base
Most Periscope users are brand new-they are not the same ones that have been connecting with other social media sites from day one. This is a great opportunity to expand your brand awareness through different territory.

Lastly, I would like to discuss Flickr. This is a platform I feel that many businesses have forgotten. When it comes to image sharing, Instagram is not the only way to connect with your audience. Flickr is actually one of the my favorite photo sharing site because of it gives professional photographers a chance to connect with businesses. There’s a reason why people say Flickr is “the best alternative to Instagram.”

#1. Reverse Marketing
When you post on other social networking sites, embed links to your flickr in your pictures. This will drive more traffic to your Flickr account.

#2. Get a Professional Account
Having a professional account is surprisingly affordable and gives you the visibility you need as a business.

#3. Join Plenty Of Groups and Be Active
Groups are about fostering relationships with others and getting your name out there. The more you connect and contribute, the more people will know about your brand.

#4. Properly Tag and Organize Your Photos
Put obvious, precise tags in your post. Using the wrong tag can prevent your photo from coming up in a search.

#5. Allow Creative Commons Use
Flick has a creative commons section, which is used by multitudes when looking for a copyright free image. This can help you get a wider viewing.

As you can see, there are many different choices for connecting on social media. I would recommend studying your target market and using what sites they are already on. Be creative in your approach to these platforms and have fun!

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Social Media Platforms for the Creative Minds

Besides the four social media platforms I discussed in my previous post, there are several other sites being used by consumers today. Google+, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Pinterest are great social media sites to consider for carrying out your marketing strategy.

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Each of these four have their own special use for consumers that sets them apart amongst each other. As a business, it is important to understand these distinct uses in order to use them efficiently. Let’s look at them each in further detail.

Google+ is the one out of the four marketers overlook most when searching for platforms to reach consumers. Even though it appears to have “slipped through the cracks,” this article by StoreYa  marketers claims, “Google+ has over 150 million active monthly users, and 50% of its users sign on daily,” making it a perfect platform for businesses. Here are tips they mention for doing so:

1. Personalize Google Plus for Your Business
Make a profile and custom URL that helps viewers find you. Focus on showing your business’ personality.

2. Build a Relevant Community on Google
Search through to see who is already talking about your business. You can also use Google Ripples to see who is sharing your content.

3.  Post Regularly to Build an Audience and Promote Your Page
To continue to build up on your community, start posting consistently and interact with anyone who shares your content. Use hashtags and custom formatting.

4. Use Google Circles to Segment Your Audience
This is one of the most powerful aspects of Google+. It allows you to segment all of the people you follow into specific lists.

5. Take Advantage of Google Communities to Boost Your Networking
Google communities is a place for people with similar interests or the same industry. Try finding who is most influential in the community and connect with them. This will help promote your brand to potential customers.

6. Get Involved With Google Hangouts
This is a great opportunity to host free webinars, have question answer sessions, provide customer support, or explain how to use your product.

7. Use Google+ for SEO
We have already talked about the great benefits of SEO, and using Google+ gives you the ability to put these great ideas into practice!

8. Utilize Google+ Local for Local Businesses
Customers can leave ratings and reviews on your business which will provide excellent proof to potential customers. You can also boost your business in the search results.

The next social media site is one of my favorites. LinkedIn is a great professional platform for businesses to not only reach consumers, but other businesses as well. To take advantage of this great growth opportunity, here are 5 tips to use:

#1: Review and Reboot Your LinkedIn Profile… Frequently
Keep your profile fresh, relevant, and up to date. This will let your expand your visibility and drive traffic to your page.

#2: Build a Deep and Wide Network
The best way to get noticed on LinkedIn so to have a network of connections.

#3: Be Consistently Visible, Valuable and Timely
Position yourself as a resource by remaining visible, providing valuable information, and by being timely with your participation.

#4: Leverage LinkedIn Endorsements
Endorsements boost your visibility and credibility. Typically, people who you endorse will endorse you back!

#5: Participate Strategically in LinkedIn Groups
These groups are a great opportunity to build rapport with the members of your target markets and industry peers.

The next site up for discussion is one of the most popular. Youtube is a great platform for several of the marketing topics we’ve already discussed, such as visual storytelling. Businesses that have been successful on Youtube remember  4 things:

1. Keep it fresh
Providing unique content on a timely schedule will help gain and maintain subscribers.

2. It’s not about the campaign
Focus on providing real value, not a one-time effort.

3. Be true to your brand
Your videos are puzzle pieces that fit together to form your brand. Don’t get too caught up in what other people are doing if its not the right fit for your company.

4. Create a long trail
Focus on serving existing or potential customers with a video they want. Don’t only focus on the audience members that you think provide the biggest money opportunity.

Lastly, is Pinterest. This site is great for creative minds and determined DIY individuals. Having high visibility on Pinterest, as a business, is extremely important but challenging. There are 8 ways we can do this effectively:

#1: Longer, Optimized Descriptions
Try to optimize your post’s description by fitting it with keywords.

#2: Create Group Boards
This is a great way to grow your audience and does not compare to many other options from different social media sites.

#3: Be A Part Of Group Boards
Being part of different group boards exposes your brand to thousands of viewers overnight. Talk about a marketing dream come true!

#4: Pin Your Blog Post
Your goal should be to create a relationship between you and your viewers. By leading them to your blog, they get to see a different side of you and your business.

#5: Repin The Most Successful Stuff
This is an easy way to gain attention from potential followers.

#6: Lead People To Your Landing Page
Create an email list that leads people to your page.

#7: Go Beyond Your Niche
Go into your hobbies and other interests so that your followers can get a better picture of who you are.

#8: Pictures Are Key
Appealing pictures are what encourage people to read the post. Use other resources to customize your photos and add relevant titles.

Taking these four media sites in compilation  with the ones from my previous post, you can really see the uniqueness of each and the different purposes they serve. While they can all be used efficiently, some might be more applicable to your business than others. So research the different personality of these sites and their followers to find the best fit for you.

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Four Most Popular Social Media Platforms

There are many different social media platforms that businesses can use to post their content. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr are some of the most popular social media sites.

The average business can actually be found on all four sites! So it’s important, as a business, to have working knowledge of all four options. I found articles for each to help us focus on utilizing these great tools.

Here are some great tips for Facebook I found from Social Media Examiner.

#1: Use ActionSprout for Email Acquisition
The aim for businesses isn’t pages on Facebook, but in the NewsFeed. This is where most user interaction takes place. ActionSprout allows marketers to put acquisition action in the news feed.

#2: Boost a New Product Announcement
Boosted posts on Facebook are extremely effective. Although some may advise not to use boosted posts, that’s not to say they don’t work for many businesses! Several companies have seen great responses using this.

#3: Use Website Custom Audiences
With Website Custom Audiences, you can target people who’ve visited your website when they head back to Facebook.

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#4: Power Up Your PR Efforts
Take advantage of this platform by sharing stories and position your company as a source for stories.

#5: Use Audience Insights
Optimize your content strategy by understanding your audience. Use Facebook Audience Insights to see what your viewers like and engage with.

#6: Split Test Facebook Ads
Find your perfect keywords for Facebook advertising. The article describes this step as “Split testing is just taking a portion of your advertising budget and running ads, while varying only one thing at a time and then comparing the results to see which ad performed the best.”

The next great social media platform is Twitter. What is a better source on how to use Twitter, than the company itself? Twitter gives us several great pieces of advice on how to use their site as a business.

First, listen and observe. Look and see what other businesses are doing on Twitter and take notes about what you like.

Second, Use the 80/20 rule.  80% of your Tweets should focus on causing interactions with your followers. Then you can mix in direct offers or promotions that get followers to take actions.

Third, let your personality shine. Strive for a communication style that is genuine and friendly. Wit and humor can provide entertainment value and help you connect with your audience.

Fourth, test and learn. Focus on creating quality content and establishing a regular pattern so followers know what to expect.

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The third social media platform I’d like to discuss is Instagram. While not as old of a company as the two above, it is becoming a great tool for consumers and businesses alike.  Here are 5 short tips for using Instagram as a business:

1. Formulate your creative strategy.
Ask yourself what your business has to offer the people of Instagram and go for it.

2. Use relevant hashtags.
The good thing about hashtags from a business perspective is that it allows your posts to be visible to people who search for that hashtag particularly.

3. Share often, but don’t over-saturate your followers’ feeds.
The best way to go is to create a posting schedule, just like we talked about with Twitter, so your viewers know what to expect and when.

4. Make use of user-generated content.
Involve your followers to show that you appreciate them. Making posts into a competition is also a great way to generate buzz.

5. Experiment with creating images featuring your products.
Have fun showing off your products!

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The last platform I want to talk about is Tumblr. Surprisingly, I feel like this is the least popular platform of the four in our area. But Tumblr is a great tool if used appropriately and can do a lot for your business!

Tumblr can be a little intimidating at first glance, which is why the first tip is to get your feet wet! If you are unnerved by Tumblr’s unconventional feel, there are lots of articles and blogposts that can help you out.

The second tip is to follow, “like” and reblog often. Listening and curating are the key to engaging your audience. This article recommends to reblog or create new posts 3 to 5 times a day!

Fourth, install Tumblr tools to make posting easy from anywhere. Bookmark Tumblr and install it on your phone to make posting quick and easy.

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In the end, there are many platforms to chose from. There is nothing wrong with trying out all different ones. Find  the style and platform that works best for your business and give it all you’ve got.

 

 

Using Videos on Social Media

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We just discussed Visual Storytelling, which is extremely beneficial for your business, as well as fun to take on and explore. How you implement Visual Storytelling can take many forms, but one way is to create video for your company’s social media platforms.

Lots of companies are creating videos; and now more than ever, it is made easy! With Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Youtube, and other sites at your disposal, your business can easily spread its visual storytelling with low cost.

But just because it is easy to spread and share does not mean it is easy to make. There are many careful steps we must take to ensure we are representing our brand correctly and effectively. We also want to make sure that our time and money are well spent.

I found 8 tips for making videos for making great social media videos in an article by Reelse Video Marketing.

The first tip is to publish regularly. If you want people regularly viewing your content, you need to be providing them with new and valuable information. Experiment with a video series that can be followed weekly, video follow-ups, and guest videos provided by your visitors.

The second tip is to bring high energy. Powerful, fast paced videos spread like fire through the cyber world.  Use camera angles, lights, and editing to suck viewers into an experience, not just a video.

The third tip is to teach creatively. Viewers will not remember boring videos. Putting a new twist on something or teaching in a fun or engaging way will help viewers remember you. To do this, you can use demonstrations or tutorials.

The fourth tip is to involve others. An analogy of this tip can be seen in the example this article uses: think of your social media platform as a party. A party of one can get pretty boring after awhile. Invite experts, professionals, or other people that talk about what they know and provide a unique viewpoint.

The fifth tip is to engage with viewers. If you want to maintain or increase your traffic, show your viewers you appreciate them. Follow up on emails, respond to comments, and answer questions.

The sixth tip is to Wow Viewers. Always strive to be innovative and unpredictable. Stale coverage will quickly turn viewers away, but covering something first is a great way to captivate your audience.

The seventh tip is to provide a Call to Action. Sometimes this element is easy to forget or overlook-but it is extremely important. Create a reason for your viewers to pursue. An example of this would be subscriptions, giveaways, or contests.

Lastly, the eighth tip is to Make Content Shareable. I’ve brushed on this before. Having shareable videos allows your video to be passed around for years to come.

General Electric is playfully known as “the most exciting boring brand” because of their amazing approach to social media. This brand is great at posting content that is specific to the platform they use.

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GE recently implement a video campaign of “firsts.” These videos are powerful because they combine the power of GE products with the impact these products have on customers. An example of one of these videos can be seen on Youtube and I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch it.

These videos by GE have caught a lot of attention because they go beyond simply showing the brand and its products.

New Breed Marketing states, “GE’s overall social strategy along with their many small (and large) campaigns have fostered a huge community of forward-thinking and innovative individuals while truly transforming GE into a human brand. ”

What a great achievement GE has reached in its social media content. As businesses, we too, should be striving to give our audience something of value. Wouldn’t it be great for your brand to be known as a “human brand?” After all, the purpose of business it to serve others.

In the end, creating videos for social media can be a great tool in connecting with your audience and making your brand a memorable one. We can learn from GE and many other businesses how to use something as small as videos to do something big.

 

The Wonder of Visual Storytelling

We live in a digital world. As technology use becomes more and more prevalent, the minds of consumers are starting to change.

In the year 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds. Not very long, huh? Studies have actually shown that in 2015, the average attention span dropped to 8 seconds. For comparison, 8 seconds is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish.

So how do marketers combat this? The answer is in using visual story telling. This type of marketing has a higher chance to catch an audience member’s attention than any other form of marketing.

Why? Fast Company, a marketing company, claims it is because the human brain can process images 60 times faster than words. The human brain craves story telling.

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As marketers, we can study this phenomenon and use it for our benefit. Ad Espresso, a Facebook Ad Management and Optimization company, shares 4 tips to help engage your audience with visual storytelling.

1. Use videos
Videos can get up to 12 times more shares than any other type of content. If pictures are worth a thousand words, how much do you think videos are worth?

2. Use fan-submitted images
If you are looking for ways to increase engagement, using your fans’ own images is a great way to connect with your audience. Not only does using a real testimony give credibility, it also shows you appreciate their commitment.

3. Use a mascot
This is a great way to help audience members connect with brands and their people. Studies show that brand mascots are more effective at creating a social buzz than celebrities.

4. Use captions
Use a few words or sentences to explain what the audience is seeing. Captions can help audience members who are new to the brand. Following the caption with a link or hashtag can connect this image or video with your brand.

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A great example of successful visual story telling is seen in GoPro‘s recent marketing endeavors.

The first thing GoPro did was inspire consumers by giving them examples of compelling visual content. The company did not make boring how-to’s for their product, but let their product speak for itself.

GoPro also shares a lot of user content, which is one of the four tips I discussed above. GoPro promotes a variety of its users regularly, making this company a perfect launching pad for creative minds.

GoPro has positioned their product as a tool for making memories and immortalizing the human experience, making it invaluable to its audience.

We, as marketers, should be aiming to do the same with our company-to make it invaluable to our audience. This is why utilizing visual storytelling is not only extremely important, but also an amazing opportunity.

Use visual storytelling to connect with your audience, have fun, and tell your story.

 

 

Social Media Strategies for Dummies

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“If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.”

This is a quote most of us are familiar with. It can apply to the majority of our personal lives, but it can also apply to your business.

Every business needs a strategy. Whether that be a strategy for business development, how to handle clients, or for media.

Developing and maintaining a social media strategy is vital for businesses to be successful in the digital world.  It is also a relatively inexpensive way to promote your band and reach new clients.

Business 2 Community gives us 10 great tips every marketer should know when beginning your social media strategy.

#1 Know Your Business Goals
Every action you take as a marketer should point back towards your business’ goals and support what your business wants to achieve. Ask yourself, “How does my social media activity contribute to that goal?“

#2 Set SMART Goals
The goals you set for your social media should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based.

#3 Know Your Ideal Customer
Study your target market so you can learn which social channels to use to reach them. Avoid wasting money and/or time by using the wrong platforms.

#4 Engage Your Fans
Take time to build on the relationships you already have. Keep in mind you want to maintain and build on quality followers.

#5 Know your Competition
Make a list of your biggest competitors, then get online and see what they are doing. Watch how they engage with customers and the tone they use. This will help you know where you stand and can help you gauge your current efforts.

#6 Choose Your Channels Wisely
Managing your channels efficiently can be time consuming. Try to chose a social channel where your target market already spends a lot of time.

#7 Establish Roles
Having a marketing staff to support your marketing efforts is vital. Appoint leaders who have the proper skills and expertise to support your goal.

#8 Have a Clear, Consistent Message
Make your message specific. It needs to articulate precisely how your product or service solves a problem and show differentiation between you and your competitors.

#9 Have a Content Strategy
Content causes conversations, and conversations build trust and relationships. Quality content gives your prospects and current customers something of value.

#10 Analytics
Tracking stats and metrics is important to measure success. Understand what is working and why.

Martell Home Builders has given us a great example of what happens when you take on a successful social media strategy.

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Social media gave this company the ability to communicate and sell directly to customers, without a middleman. This made prices cheaper and improved communication between the two.

Martell Home Builders excels at content creation by providing a blog that focuses on homeowner needs. According to Social Media Examiner, about 86% of their leads come directly from consumers.

This company has given us just a few examples of what social media strategies can do. In today’s constantly evolving world, the possibilities are endless. So remember these tips, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

 

Are You Afraid of Banner Advertising?

As a consumer, I am extremely familiar with Online Display Advertising…or what most call “Banner Advertising.”

Display Advertising is the use of ads on a website. Whether that be text, video, or audio. In the digital world we now live in, we see this type of marketing everywhere-Facebook, news websites, even on the weather page.

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Despite how much contact consumers have had with Online Display Advertising, an article I recently read by HubSpot stated that 54% of users don’t click banner ads because they don’t trust them. Even with my background in marketing, I’d have to say that sometimes I feel this way too; so I can only imagine how the everyday consumer feels.

But why? What about this type of advertising has caused such distrust among consumers? HubSpot claims the answer is in a lack of understanding. This blogpost urges marketers to use Display Advertising “the right way.”

Todd McPartlin,  Digital Advertising Traffic Generation & Conversion Authority & Author, gives us 10 realistic benefits to online display advertising if done with the right approach.

  1. It completes your branding circle.
    The internet has billions of users and provides a great opportunity for business to grow. This article recommends using the internet this way in addition to other marketing campaigns in order to complete the efforts.
  2. Avoid expensive long term contracts.
    Advertising itself is expensive, but online advertising is somewhat more affordable can be as short as you want it to be. This can save you money and time.
  3. Capturing the market through remarketing/retargeting.
    With banner advertising, you can display your ad in front of the same person multiple times. If an audience member saw a previous ad, this can serve as an excellent reminder.
  4. Look like a big fish and gain trust.
    Online Display Advertising can carry a lot of credibility with it because of its association with big businesses and cost. When your target market sees consistency in your advertising you can start to gain their trust.
  5. Benefit from “Geo-targeting.”
    Online Advertising lets you tailor what is shown where. Matching your advertisements to your target market will make your marketing more precise and efficient.
  6. Entice your target by knowing their interests.
    You can use your knowledge of your audience to captivate them by using specific ads.
  7. Get the ads featured on relevant sites.
    This is another area where knowing your target market can be a great advantage. Go through channels they are already using for maximum exposure.
  8. Use complete transparency to your advantage.
    Banner Ads allow your to quantify and measure your success. This success measure can guide you to more successful practices.
  9. Take advantage of A/B split testing.
    Banner Advertising allows you to test different strategies and receive feedback from audience members that you can react to. If you are willing to listen, this can be a big advantage.
  10. Enjoy lower marketing cost.
    Small entrepreneurs with limited resources are taking advantage of Online Display Advertising. They can reach target users for a couple of dollars when compared to the vast amount of internet users.

All of these benefits can be really useful if done right. But if you are like me, you need evidence to convince you that the bad rap of Banner Advertising isn’t legitimate. That evidence can be seen in a company we have all known for years.

Pringles is an extremely well known company that was looking for a unique approach to reach its community. This business wanted their audience to stop and think about what they were advertising.

That is when Pringles came out with this banner ad:

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In the first week, this banner was clicked on 300,000 times. The ad was even featured on the home pages of companies such as BuzzFeed, Fark, and Twitter Trends. The advertisers also created 97 additional frames for this ad campaign, and 20% of people who clicked on this banner ad clicked through the entire ad. This Online Display Advertising was a huge success for Proctor & Gamble.

Despite consumer hesitancy, Banner Advertising can be an extremely useful tool if done wisely. There are plenty of companies out there taking advantage of its opportunities and reaching consumers in new, creative ways.

 

What is Paid Search Marketing?

Remembering my post about SEO, its now time to take a look into a little thing called  Paid Search Marketing.

Paid Search Marketing can take on many hats and has many components. For simplicity’s sake,  the type I’d like to focus on is pay-per-click (PPC).

To get a simple explanation of Paid Search Marketing,  I looked at an article by EConsultancy. This global marketing community explains Paid Search Marketing to mean “you advertise within the sponsored listings of a search engine or a partner site by paying either each time your ad is clicked (pay-per-click – PPC) or less commonly, when your ad is displayed (cost-per-impression – CPM).”

This article gives us a better picture of what PPC is by using the example of someone searching for “chocolate fountain”. When anyone searches using a search engine, results that a company paid for are displayed at the top of search results in a cream box.

In this example, Amazon paidthe most for the search term “chocolate fountain,” so Amazon’s results appear first in the sponsored search box.

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Because Amazon paid to be advertised here, it will cost the company every time their link is clicked on by engine searchers. Other companies and competitors will have paid less for this search term.

Using PPC and other Paid Search Marketing techniques can be beneficial in increasing website exposure. And the higher the exposure rate your website has, the higher the likelihood of increased profits.

EConsultancy’s article mentions Google Adwords as one of the main service providers of PPC. Google Adwords has many benefits including setting your bidding amount to manual or automatic, targeted site banners, and rich media ads.

This article also mentions that “along with access to search engine’s network sites and platforms included in its packages, and the ability to schedule ads and target them to specific locations and times, paid search is an almost essential part of your marketing strategy.”

Hobbycraft, a UK based craft store similar to Hobby Lobby, provides a great example of a business successfully using PPC.

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According to the comany’s case study, Hobbycraft was able to  improve ROI, deliver large quantities of engaged traffic, and hit overall revenue targets all by hiring a PPC company to help them out.

The company’s results of using efficient PPC were outstanding. Hobbycraft saw an increase in new user of 219.98%. Below are some additional results the company saw.

  • Sessions up 238.59%
  • Conversion Rate up 53.74%
  • Number of transactions up 420.57%
  • Revenue up 491.78%

Many companies are using Paid Search Marketing to increase website exposure. It may have an overwhelming amount of components, but studying how it can help your business can provide measurable and meaningful results.

 

Don’t Forget About Email Marketing!

Email marketing is a great tool that many marketers and their companies are utilizing today. Not only does it allow businesses to communicate with current clients and prospects, but it also increases brand awareness and credibility with your audience.

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This fun, sometimes under-estimated type of marketing is also extremely cost effective. This advantage, along with many more, make email marketing a must.

Fat Rabbit Creative, a branding and web design studio, outlines 5 key benefits of email marketing that are important to understand when considering email marketing.

1. Email Marketing is Targeted

2. Email Marketing Increases Brand Awareness

3. Email Marketing is Easily Shareable.

4. Email Marketing is Measurable

5. Email Marketing is Cost effective.

A few of these benefits I have already mentioned, but I would like to go into more depth with the ones I have not.

The first key benefit is perhaps one of the greatest of email marketing. Why? Because it gives you the ability to “control exactly who sees an email.”  Tailoring content and marketing efforts to your target market is something I have discussed before, and will no-doubt discuss again. Customizing your email content to fit the receivers guarantees that it will meet the receiver’s needs.

Email marketing is also easily shareable. It allows your content to freely be shared with an action as convenient as clicking a button. Letting your audience share your content is a great way to gain free publicity, and can more accurately increase your brands exposure and credibility.

These benefits wouldn’t mean much, however, if you could not measure it. Email marketing creates success measures that are precise and valuable. Measures of success could include concrete numbers like delivery rates, click-to-deliver rates and subscriber retention rates.

A great example of utilizing email marketing is the technology company, Cisco. HeaderImage_CiscoProductsCisco has implemented an extremely strong email marketing campaign, and requires its marketing staff to own all the key demand generation disciplines, including database marketing, campaign and email marketing, and SEO.

Utilizing a benefit I discussed earlier, Cisco uses email marketing to target its market into segments. Cisco’s marketing staff uses email marketing and SEO to selects the very best opportunities for the company to pursue. They score potential customers based on likelihood to close the deal. High-scoring prospects are deemed as auto-qualified and sent directly to sales and partners.

This has created a quick and efficient process for their team to approach potential customers as soon as possible and helped this technology company pursue success.

In summary, don’t leave email marketing on the back burner. Take advantage of this cost effective marketing tool to help you see increased success.

How to be Original in a World Full of SEO

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In today’s business world, we’ve all heard of SEO. We know that it is a tool businesses can use to gain website traffic and popularity. But SEO is a lot more than that, and the more marketers know about it, the more competitive it can help them be.

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Search Engine Land refers to SEO as, “…the process of getting traffic from the ‘free,’ ‘organic,’ ‘editorial’ or ‘natural’ search results on search engines.”

Search engines use algorithms to search through sites in order to come up with relevant results. SEO is simply studying these algorithms and patterns in order to boost how many people see your website. You can do so by purposefully tailoring your content so that it will be highly rank by search engines. The higher ranked your website is, the closer it appears to the top in search engine results.

There are many factors SEO takes into consideration. Factors such as your pages’ words, title, links and reputation are all weighted in search engines. Simply by tweaking website content, your website can change rankings.

If everyone is doing it, how can you really use SEO to effectively stand out from the crowd? To answer this question, I looked at an article by MacRAE’S Marketing.  This article gives many tips to creating effective SEO.

The first effective component is to publish quality, original content. Not only does this mean publishing new, interesting material, but it also means avoiding duplicate content. Search engines such as Google calculate results more positively towards websites with relevant, original content. This will help your overall ranking, as well as help you gain credibility with your website audience.

Second is keyword & keyword phrase research. Take time to research what keywords work best for your website and focus on integrating those words naturally with your content.

Effective SEO properly uses Heading and Title Tags. These are one of the most important elements in SEO. Titles, as well as Meta Description, tells search engines what your website its about. Skipping over these means skipping over your chance to convince website searchers to click on your site.

It is also important to build quality links. Links are extremely vital in order to bring traffic to your website. The key to this is quality links, not quantity of links. Having quality links can also improve the user experience for your website audience.

A great example of a company having effective SEO is Meridian Financial Advisors.  This small, widely unheard of financial firm is an amazing example of utilizing SEO effectively.

Meridian Financial more than doubled its average monthly website traffic in just 10 months and gained top-20 Google rankings for some of the firm’s most important keywords. Before using SEO, its traffic was around 128 visits per month. After using SEO techniques, it grew to 343 and continues to grow at a rate of 168%.

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The estimated worth of this firm’s site after implementation is approximately $1,500 per month. Meridian did this by having an SEO firm help implement Google Analytics and Google AdWords Keyword Tool. This firm also began to implement several of the tips I discussed above.

In summary, SEO can make a major difference in both web traffic and your company’s ROI. Of the tips discussed above, one of the most important is to remember to post quality content. Although many companies are taking advantage of SEO, you can still stand out in the crowd by using SEO uniquely and effectively.