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Showing posts from May 10, 2016
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5 ways SEO and PR should be working together

With a newly integrated and and constantly evolving digital landscape, marketing and communication channels are working together more closely than ever before. Granted, you’ll see variations in how well this is actually executed based on your business structure and the channels themselves, but the fact is: Channels can’t exist in silos.An easy collaboration exists between PR and SEO, now that good content and outreach is an integral part of SEO success — and those two things are something PR knows all too well. So how can these two different teams help each other reach the same business goal?EducationLet’s start with the most obvious: education.It’s easy to get wrapped up in your specialty bubble, so when you start working with folks on other teams with other specialties, it’s just as easy to forget that they don’t know what you know.PR professionals aren’t taught about the impact that online earned media can have on SEO and keyword rankings, so before you dive in with your handful of…

The morality clause in digital marketing

If you very honestly, in your heart of hearts, don’t want a digital marketing initiative to succeed, should you take on the project?The issue is a constant one, of course, and hardly limited to digital, but nothing brings it into sharp relief quite like an election year. Perhaps that’s why discussions about the ethical dilemmas inherent in digital marketing assignments and clients have been cropping up with increasing frequency over drinks and lunches, at conferences and in my private meetings between digital executives.The topic? That job (or project, or client) you walked away from — or didn’t — when it becomes a question of ethics, beliefs or political opinion.Just last week, a friend and colleague told me about walking away from what, by any standards, was a crazy sum of money offered by the Koch brothers for a digital marketing project. Like, really crazy money.“I could have remodeled my mother’s house for only one day of work, but I talked to my husband about it and finally had …

Senate launches inquiry into allegations of slanted Facebook Trending Topics

After the story broke of possible rigging in Facebook’s Trending Topics, with news being purposely swept under the rug in favor of promoting content of another agenda, Facebook has gotten itself into more hot water.  Today, Gizmodo has followed up on the story, acknowledging that the US Senate Commerce Committee, a government entity responsible for overseeing Internet communication, media issues and consumer protection issues, has made an inquiry to Facebook to get a broader understanding of how Facebook curates its highly popular trending sidebar.The letter, which is embedded below, requests insight into Facebook’s organizational structure for Trending Topics and steps for determining the topics. It also asks if any type of manipulation has occurred to introduce the slants that were part of yesterday’s allegations, and is requesting that Facebook provide details into its ongoing investigation into the matter.To address Facebook VP of Search Tom Spocky’s rebuttal of the claims, the co…

Henny Penny and the state of digital marketing: The sky is not falling

If one pays casual attention to marketing and media trade publications, it’s easy to draw the conclusion that the heyday of digital advertising is over.Each week there are new stories about the challenges facing the industry: viewability, ad fraud, ad blocking and more. With these challenges, there’s the assumption that brands may no longer be willing to move ad spend into the medium.But as the saying goes, money talks. A quick examination of the 2015 Full Year IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report (disclosure: IAB is my employer) makes clear that any assertion of digital’s decline may not only be premature, but completely off the mark.Last year, digital ad spend in the US reached $59.6 billion. This represents a 20-percent increase over the then record-breaking digital ad spend in 2014.Take a moment to read that one more time. Do these numbers describe an industry in crisis?An evolving mediumSo how is this happening? First, let’s remember that digital is still a very young medium. …

Facebook brings its retargeted ads to Instagram, travel brands

tanuha2001 / Shutterstock.com Have you noticed more ads popping up in your Facebook feed effectively saying “Hey, I noticed you were looking at this pair of shoes on Brand X’s site? Here they are again, plus some socks to match”? Well, get ready to see them on Instagram too.Facebook is bringing the retargeted ad product it rolled out in February 2015 to the photo-and-video-sharing app it bought for $1 billion in 2012. It’s also renaming the ads from “Dynamic Product Ads” to “Dynamic Ads” because they’re not only about pitching product anymore. Now travel brands will be able to use these ads to advertise hotel rooms to people who are looking to take a trip.The Instagram expansion is about what you may have come to expect from Facebook’s and Facebook-owned Instagram’s ad businesses. They’re becoming mirror images of one another, especially since Facebook started letting brands buy and target Instagram ads the same way they do Facebook ads, with the major difference being the audience tha…

MarTech Landscape: What is machine learning and why should marketers care?

Way back in the last century, one of the most common put-downs of computers was the accusation that they only did what they were programmed to do.Not any more.These days, it is increasingly common for marketing and many other kinds of systems to employ some variety of “machine learning,” which moves away from the days when programmers dictated computers’ every move.In this article, part of our MarTech Landscape Series, we look at this increasingly popular form of computing intelligence.What is machine learning?“Historically,” Bluecore CEO and co-founder Fayez Mohamood pointed out, “people wrote programs that were rule-based.” His company is an email and marketing personalization platform.Now, he noted, “machine learning uses algorithms that figure out patterns in data.”As our own Danny Sullivan reported following a Google presentation on the subject, the centerpiece of a machine learning system is the pattern-matching model that has been initially set up, against which incoming data i…

Facebook now lets brands target ads based on how much time, money you spent on their sites, apps

Ads on Facebook are about to get even more reflective of what you did on a brand’s site or app.Two and a half years after Facebook started letting brands retarget people who visited their sites and mobile apps, the company is going to let them retarget people based on specific things they did on a brand’s site or app, such as how much time spent or how much money they spent.The expansion of Facebook’s website custom audiences ad-targeting option is supposed to make it easier for brands to get in front of the most valuable members of their sites’ and apps’ audiences. “One of the challenges that marketers have is they’re seeing a lot of traffic to their websites and apps, but not all people are the same who come to their websites and apps,” said Maz Sharafi, director of monetization product marketing at Facebook.Instead of just advertising to people who visited a site or specific page on a site, brands can pinpoint the people who visited a page or did something on the site a certain num…

Success is an illusion if you can’t measure it; learn how at SocialPro

Driving traffic through earned/owned and paid social media advertising is the beginning of the journey. The rubber meets the road when visitors interact with landing pages and become customers. And social media marketers need to prove their mettle, not just speculate about their accomplishments.SocialPro has sessions designed to help you demonstrate the results you’re achieving and report it effectively to your managers. Topics include:Credit Where Credit Is Due: Demystifying Social AttributionWhat Your Social Data Should Be Teaching YouGenerating Social Conversions & LeadsMeasuring Up With Social AnalyticsView the entire agenda now.Combine these sessions with SocialPro’s focus on earned, owned, and paid social advertising, and you’ve got the recipe for success from the wide end of the funnel to the narrow.Breaking News!
We’ve are excited to announce that Wei Kuan Lum, Head of Facebook’s SMB Business Marketing will be delivering our opening keynote. She is a growth hacking evangeli…

Will personal marketing become the new mantra for political campaigns?

The current US presidential campaign has been one of the most fascinating and unusual episodes in electoral politics in a very long time, perhaps ever.It has clearly been the perfect storm of voter anger and frustration meeting up with two distinctly idiosyncratic candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who have cleverly tapped into the populist rage and desire for a government that works for the masses and not just the elites.This atypical electoral dynamic has defied the conventional wisdom on a range of campaign behavior, including voting patterns and campaign strategies and tactics. Trump and Sanders have sparked record-setting voter turnout at the primaries and caucuses so far, and the unconventional way they’ve run their campaigns has grabbed everyone’s attention.Trump, in particular, has resorted to brash, insult-based media tactics that resemble reality TV more than the usual polish of presidential campaigns, and those tactics have been rewarded by the Republican voters.O…

Understanding the mobile customer journey

This is a brief guide to the definitions, distinctions, methods and use of some oft-confused, but very useful methodologies for understanding mobile customers.Where marketing, web, design, UX and development collide there is bound to be a confusing mishmash of terminology and confusion of definitions. One of the best (or worst) examples of this is the mobile… customer journey, user journey, path to purchase, use cases, user stories etc.Done properly, with research and analysis, leading to careful mapping and descriptions these techniques are really useful ways of:Focusing attention – of the business, project team etc. – on the customer/userUnderstanding how they use their mobile devices to get things done, including interacting with and purchasing from organizations/businesses.It’s also an excellent way to help justify investment in mobile to business people.As user experience expert Paul Boag says:If you need to convince management that digital transformation is required — map your c…

Adopting a consumer mindset for your SEO strategy

Search engines continue to adjust algorithms to better match how consumers actually conduct their searches. How should this affect our optimization efforts?Consumers aren’t born in a vacuum, nor do they live in one. They’re inundated with a brand’s messages, ideas, discussions, and controversy across all of their digital and offline encounters.As businesses and marketers, we must not only educate novice buyers on the benefits of a product, but also engage educated potential customers who already have some knowledge of their choices and are making final decisions between products.Identify consumer needsThe first step in this process is identifying the needs of the consumer at each of the stages where they’ll be searching for products.What drives their curiosity? What is creating their need? A strategic response to this question can be pursued in several different ways.A good way to begin is surveying your website visitors.Onsite surveys can be a powerful way to gain an understanding of…

MarTech Today: URL schemes for deep linking, a security-minded DMP & voice search reporting

Here’s our daily recap of what happened in marketing technology, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Survey: URL schemes for deep links increasing in retailer apps
May 9, 2016 by Barry Levine
Analysis by mobile tech firm Pure Oxygen Labs indicates slower adoption for Apple’s Universal Links and Google’s App Indexing, at least among retailers.Act now: SMX Advanced early bird rates expire next week
May 9, 2016 by Marketing Land
Nearly 75 percent of the tickets for Search Engine Land’s SMX Advanced are sold, and rates increase next week. Don’t miss your only opportunity this year to attend this unique event experience, which has sold out each of the last 10 years! Register now and save $400 off on-site rates.[VIDEO] Marketing Land Live #12: The trouble with bots, YouTube at NewFronts & more
May 9, 2016 by Matt McGee
In this week’s show, our panel talks about the challenge of communicating with brands through bots, voice search and digital…

Xiaomi’s New Mi Max Packs a 6.4″ Display and a Massive 4850mAh Battery

While some manufacturers were seen compacting their smartphones overall with design refreshments this year, Xiaomi seems to be rethinking how huge phones the market requires. As a result, their latest entrant, the Mi Max which the company has been teasing for quite some time packs a colossal 6.4-inch display and a long-lasting 4850mAh battery. Despite the hefty numbers, Hugo Barra proudly claims that the phone is comparatively easy to handle and can apparently, fit in your pockets. However, we’re quite sure that it won’t be a painless job to operate on a 6.4 inch display.On the hardware side, the Mi Max flaunts a gorgeous smooth metal finish that is just 7.5mm thick and weighs about 203 grams (which is little above iPhone 6s Plus). The display is a Full HD panel with a pixel density of about 342 ppi. Specifications, there’s a bit of complication with three variants in total. The cheapest model sports Snapdragon 650 backed up by 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The costliest on…

How Nordstrom strategically beat Zappos in Google Search

Five years ago, in April 2011, Zappos’ market share in Google was more than three times as large as Nordstrom‘s. Today, Nordstrom has twice the market share on Google as Zappos.During the time between April 2011 to December 2012, Zappos.com managed to increase its market share by 51% (going from a visibility score of 42.9 to 63.42 points), while Nordstrom increased their visibility 13 points to 54.9. A huge jump in market share by 302%.At this point, they became a direct competitor to Zappos, with both domains having 50% of their keywords in Google in common.In September 2013, Nordstrom.com took off, leaving Zappos.com in the dust. Since then, Nordstrom.com has continuously increased its market share, climbing by 65% from September 2013 until today, with a visibility score of 90.78 points.During the same time, Zappos.com continuously lost market share and ended up at a -37.32% loss, dropping from 63.42 to 39.75 points.What happened?If I see something like the above, I like to quickly …

Facebook responds to allegations that Trending Topics are rigged

Yesterday, a report surfaced on Gizmodo that Facebook’s Trending Topics team was suppressing conservative news stories from appearing on the influential sidebar of the social network. Specifically, content regarding Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, murdered Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and other conservative issues was explicitly being refused visibility under Trending Topics despite its prominence in discussions across social media, thereby bearing itstrending status.Curators also dropped another bombshell to Gizmodo writers: Facebook occasionally instructed the artificial injection of stories that were not trending to give them wider visibility. Instead of really allowing stories that truly trended to reach the homepage, there was a process of manual selection to help amplify posts on the sidebar.After the news surfaced and trended across non-Facebook circles, Facebook’s team was forced to respond. On his Facebook page, Tom Stocky, VP of Search at Facebook, addressed

Lenovo ZUK Z1 Launched in India for Rs 13,499

As expected, Lenovo’s ZUK Z1 has been launched in India at an attractive price of Rs 13,499. Although it was launched in China almost 9 months back in August 2015, the phone still has some tricks up its sleeve (other than the price) to attract Indian audience. With Micromax/YU ending their exclusive deal with Cyanogen, the ZUK Z1 becomes one of the few phones to ship with the highly customizable Cyanogen OS.ZUK (pronounced as Z U K) is the sister brand of Lenovo which was launched last year to take on the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus, aiming to impress the ever growing young geek crowd. When it was launched back in August 2015, it came with some real impressive hardware available at that time. Let’s run through the specifications once:5.5-inch 1080p IPS displaySnapdragon 801 quad-core (2.5GHz CPU and the Adreno 330 GPU), 3GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage4,100mAh battery, fingerprint reader, Dual Nano SIM13-MP rear shooter along with a 8-MP selfie snapperCustomized ZUI Android Lollipop …

Deep-dish digital: The most Instagrammed restaurants in America

When setting out to plan social media campaigns for big brands, there is a long list of factors to juggle. Marketers need to manage a budget, find the right mix of organic and paid, put out fires on a weekly basis and handle a huge influx of customer comments. But one of the biggest question marks — and opportunities — for many American brands is how to translate a national campaign to the diverse makeup of the United States.How can you speak with one voice to such a diverse set of geographies and demographic groups? How can you manage your budget with an understanding of where you’re already overperforming vs. underperforming?One of the best ways to do this is with market research, and the great news is that there are new — and underused — methods for providing marketers with a real-time look at the market landscape. In the past, market research has only been done with surveys and focus groups, giving you results six months later (if you’re lucky) to give you insights around consumer…

Marketing Day: Content marketing, changing domain names & loyalty funnels

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Survey: URL schemes for deep links increasing in retailer apps
May 9, 2016 by Barry Levine
Analysis by mobile tech firm Pure Oxygen Labs indicates slower adoption for Apple’s Universal Links and Google’s App Indexing, at least among retailers.Act now: SMX Advanced early bird rates expire next week
May 9, 2016 by Marketing Land
Nearly 75 percent of the tickets for Search Engine Land’s SMX Advanced are sold, and rates increase next week. Don’t miss your only opportunity this year to attend this unique event experience, which has sold out each of the last 10 years! Register now and save $400 off on-site rates.Global SEO: A huge opportunity + 5 tips for success
May 9, 2016 by Christian Sculthorp
According to columnist Christian Sculthorp, you may be missing out on a 6-billion-person market. Have you thought about going global with your SEO?[VIDEO] …