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Showing posts from December 21, 2016
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Link campaigns: Strategy development and review

Link campaigns need strategy.Link building is a difficult, time-consuming process that doesn’t produce results overnight. However, strategic link acquisition is necessary to achieve long-term improvements in organic search.It’s possible to grab “quick win” links here and there (and I’d encourage pursuing these opportunities), but you will need an ongoing campaign to achieve sustainable results.A campaign model ensures research, strategy development and ongoing review and analysis as a project progresses.Whether you’re planning to pursue links in 2017 or continue an existing link-building project, December is an ideal month to review your link campaign strategy and prepare for the new year.December is a slow month for link building, with many people checked out for the holidays — either mentally, physically or both. Rather than sending outreach messages that return out-of-office auto-replies, you can work on your campaign strategy for the coming year.My recommendation is to start plann…

Top 7 Content Upgrade Ideas To Get Targeted Email Subscribers

If you’re not building an email list for your business, you’re insane.Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true.Your email list is one of the most valuable assets you have as an online marketer.From my research, I’ve realized that the primary reason why email marketing seems daunting to most people is that they just don’t know how to do it.You have a sign-up form on the sidebar of your blog, and maybe even at the end of each post you publish. But what’s your conversion rate? I’m guessing it’s pretty low.Getting poor conversion rates after spending so much time creating an incentive to give away can be demotivating. Sometimes, that’s what makes some people to say that email marketing doesn’t work.But there are a lot of really smart ways to build and maintain an email list. You just need to be creative.Today, I’ll talk to you about one great list building method:Content upgrades.Content upgrades are not particularly new, but they drive large conversion rates.But creating a good content upgrad…

The tools and tests that made 2016 great: Our top 10 analytics & conversion columns of the year

If there’s one thing you can say about digital marketing, it’s that measurement has always been, and will always be, central to the practice, as sophisticated marketers use testing and analytics to continually move the industry forward.In 2016, we grew in our understanding of what to measure and how to do so, in part because of new tools and capabilities coming onto the market. One of the industry’s most popular tools, Google Analytics, has stayed relevant, however, as evidenced by Jeremy Smith’s top column covering essential reports for revenue optimization.But that doesn’t mean the digital giant is standing still, as Google also debuted its Analytics 360 suite of tools, including Optimize 360 and Data Studio (both of which now have free versions), spurring Nick Iyengar’s column on some of the new capabilities.Amidst all of the new techniques and technologies, some age-old questions remain. What are the best metrics to be tracking? Is a high bounce rate always bad? What practical use…

GoldieBlox CMO says his brand is leading the movement for girls who want to be more than princesses

After spending more than two decades in the children’s entertainment industry, Kenny Davis was named GoldieBlox CMO in August of this year. He was brought on as part of a new executive team focused on growing the brand through character-based entertainment.“Our aspirational character, Goldie, and her friends are the new face of the Maker Generation, creating a 21st century brand of fun that is available to all,” says Davis.As CMO, Davis aims to focus the brand on its character-driven intellectual property by reflecting “Goldie’s Maker way of life” across the company’s traditional narrative, digital presence and physical products, while also expanding the brand’s media presence and product line.Davis says GoldieBlox is a mission-driven company centered around CEO Debbie Sterling’s belief that girls have been missing out on all the fun engineering – and “making stuff do stuff” – can be.“We work to inspire a generation of female engineers and Makers and to show girls that they can do an…

Predictions for the digital advertising industry in 2017

2016 has been a year of growth and transformation for digital advertising. According to the 2016 IAB/PwC Internet Advertising Revenue Report, “across desktop and mobile, digital video generated the greatest gain of any format.”And despite the constant fight against fraud, non-human traffic and the adoption of ad blockers, “year-to-date revenues through June 2016 totaled $32.7 billion, up 19.1 percent from the $27.5 billion reported in 2015.”The trend toward fewer, better ads will drive our industry forward by forcing us to deliver more engaging creatives with less disruption to user experience. And while digital advertising still has a number of growing pains to work through, we’re on our way and headed in the right direction.This past November, my team hosted our annual Brand Safety Summit in New York City. We host these events with the goal of bringing together senior leaders from all sides of the digital advertising industry to work towards solutions for challenges such as ad fraud…

Study: 55 percent of mobile dollars wasted

A recent study (reg. req’d) from Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Celtra, argues that $0.55 of every dollar spent on mobile advertising is wasted. Beyond this, negative mobile ad experiences are hurting brand perceptions among consumers.These types of findings and conclusions aren’t new but they’re worth emphasizing because mobile traffic now dominates the PC, and much of what passes for mobile advertising is a kind of perfunctory conversion of desktop ads. The report doesn’t differentiate between mobile web and in-app ads or explore that issue at all.The Forrester study was based on two surveys. One polled 100 brand advertisers; the other surveyed 1,000 adult smartphone owners in the US. The digital ad budgets for each of the surveyed companies exceeded $200 million.Brand advertisers were initially asked about their goals: “What are your company’s primary business objectives for mobile advertising?” The top five responses, in order, were the following:Increasing brand awarenessI…

4 ways to get ahead of the marketing personalization curve

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say that we “must personalize the customer journey” I’d probably be on a beach somewhere drinking daiquiris. Instead, I try to help people understand what personalization actually means for in-app marketing.In the past decade, marketers have made a lot of progress in personalizing shopping experiences in stores and online. But when it comes to apps, the personalization game is still lacking; sure, some apps are doing personalized push notifications, but what happens when your users are in the app?Apps are increasingly a place where customers spend their time and money, and so we must take hard-learned personalization lessons from other channels and think of how to apply them in apps.Knowledge is PowerYou might already be using in-app marketing, in the form of in-app messages, surveys, videos or banners. But if your strategy is “spray and pray,” and all your users see the same thing at the same time, you’re missing out.The fact is that m…

How Twitter is making its top search results more relevant than recent

Twitter is all about “live,” but its platform can’t all be live because recent doesn’t always equal relevant. Twitter proved this in February when it introduced a digest-style mini-feed in its main timeline that shows a sample of tweets someone might find most relevant even if they’re not the most recent. The company has quietly done a similar thing with its search results pages.In September Twitter started sorting the top-most tweets on its default search results pages based on how relevant they are to the search query, rather than ordering them in reverse-chronological order as it had previously done. The relevance-based order only applies to the first handful or so of tweets atop the search results with the rest sorted in reverse-chronological order. If people want to simply see the most recent tweets related to their search query, they can still find the reverse-chronological firehose under the “latest” tab on the search results page.Even though the newish top tweets section favor…

Has the marketing cloud lived up to the hype?

Since cloud computing first gained mainstream attention around2009, its popularity has exploded.Promising increased efficiency, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, it was hailed as the ultimate business solution. This year, IDC predicted that CMOs will drive $32.3bn in marketing technology spending by 2018.According to Sean Grimes, Director of IT services for Agilisys, “there is no denying that Cloud Technology is creating as much disruption as the dotcom boom”. But are users seeing the benefits?What is a ‘marketing cloud’?The marketing cloud is made up of a suite of cloud-based marketing tools covering analytics, targeting, social media management, audience management, customer experience and more. It can be used to track and measure customer data, keep tabs on individual users and automate time-consuming tasks.It seems marketers are now beginning to recognise it as a viable alternative to traditional software. ‘What the hell is a marketing cloud, anyway?’, a new report by ClickZ Int…

Turn any Shoes into Smart Shoes with Lechal GPS Insoles

Smart shoes are getting some traction in the market and this has lead most of us to go and hunt for one. But unlike smartwatch and trackers, one cannot change the bands and has to wear the same shoes every time. Well, Lechal smart insoles are here to solve this problem by developing an insole that will make any shoes smart. This means that you can swap the insoles from one shoe to another without worrying about buying multiple smart shoes and at the outset, this seems like a wise and economic option. Wondering what Lechal means, well it means “take me along” in Hindi.
The Lechal insoles make use of GPS, haptic feedback along with an array of other sensors in order to determine your fitness level and also show the places you have been to. That’s not all, by pairing the soles with the app one can also get signals on where to go, this means that you no more need to pull out your phone to access the GPS. This is how the guidance works, in case you are supposed to take a left turn the inso…

The Top 5 Unexpected Tech Launches of 2016

2016 was truly one of the most baffling periods for technology teeming with a series of significant iterations and trends being instituted. While the majority of companies steered throughout the year quite conventionally and righteously followed their usual roadmap, there were a bunch of them who startled the crowd by an announcement no one was particularly expecting. Of course, we are discounting the crazy crowdfunding projects which continue to experiment and only sticking to established names.1. Snapchat SpectaclesSnapchat’s foray into the hardware segment came as a surprise as they’ve been purely a software company for years. Spectacles essentially lets you record small clips from a camera embedded in the sunglasses and upload it to Snapchat. Furthermore, their marketing approach is also considered one of a kind which included setting up cute yellow vending machines in public spots and customers can buy them like soda except in the Spectacles’ case by paying $129. We know Snapchat…

Facebook Debuts Live Audio Stream, Partners with BBC and Harper Collins

After launching the group video chat feature for the Messenger, Facebook has now launched Live Audio. Facebook has been striving to ensure that users get to post a lot of media and video which end up as consumables for the website. While Facebook Live has been garnering a fair share of attention Facebook understands that not everyone wants to show their face on the camera. It is for this reason that Facebook has started a new feature called Live Audio and this will allow broadcasters and other folks who prefer voice medium to start using Facebook for sharing their opinion.That said this idea is not entirely out of the box and is somewhat similar to the Podcasts but again with the magnanimous reach that Facebook commands, Live Audio has a greater prospect of success. At this juncture, Facebook will start its pilot by allowing Publishers including BBC World Service, HarperCollins, and authors like Adam Grant and Brit Benett. Facebook is expected to extend the feature to more people from…

I was Wrong! The MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar is NOT a Stunt

Let me start off with a confession: I was one of those who was rather disappointed when Apple announced the new MacBook Pro models in late October. Part of the reason for the disappointment was the fact that yet again, the cat had been let out of the bag by rumors preceding the launch that had predicted the “touch panel” that would be on the notebooks. The reason that Apple went right ahead and called it a “groundbreaking” device (in its typically understated manner) did not help matters. I had only seen demos the device on videos and honestly, felt that the Touch Bar – a thin touchscreen strip that replaced the function keys on top of the keyboard – was not that much of an innovation, and whose utility would be limited to a select few who would invest the time to master it. “it is a bit of a stunt,” I remember remarking to one of my acquaintances.Well, the new MacBook Pros have now arrived in India, and I have been using one for a couple of days. So it’s time for another confession:I…

Small business owners: 3 steps to creating accurate Google Analytics reports

“Our traffic is going down,” said a client in a recent email. Attached to the email was a chart showing this year’s traffic compared to last year’s traffic. Yep, traffic had indeed gone down.The reason for the downward trend was easy to diagnose: we had created a Filtered View in Google Analytics, which excluded traffic coming from the people within the client’s company who accessed the website daily. More important, we had excluded referral spam. The referral spam had become so bad, it had outpaced organic search and was skewing data in the worst way.I explained to the client that due to the filters, comparing this year’s traffic to the previous year was exactly like comparing apples to oranges — and that traffic was actually doing quite well (as were his inquiries, which he did acknowledge were on the rise).[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

via Marketing Land

Trust & transparency: Why we need it more than ever in 2017

With 2016 coming to a close, it’s time for marketers to think about the past year. Was it the year we pushed our industry toward a better future, or just another year with minimal change?As the year progressed, two key themes continued to drive the conversation throughout the industry: trust and transparency.Where would we be without trust? Truly think about that for a moment. Customers need to be able to trust a brand before they are willing to engage, or the brand risks losing their business. And building trust is easier said than done; building and maintaining trust means ensuring that you’re being transparent with your clients and customers.There were several news stories this year which affected the industry, some in a not-so-positive way. But we can take these events and look at them as teachable moments and lessons learned that will move our industry forward — they all touch on trust and transparency.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

Can SEOs make local search great again in 2017?

It was bad enough that Prince, Leonard Cohen and Mrs. Brady checked out in 2016, but then I had to go and read David Mihm’s excellent 2017 Local Marketing Predictions, and I couldn’t find a cocktail fast enough to drown my misery.Mihm’s piece is a sober look at how Google has been leading us all down the path to a single result and how SEO is going to get even tougher over the next year as Google culls the SERPs in favor of entities (aka Knowledge Panels, Local Packs and so on) and voice results. Kind of reminded me of this old sunshine and rainbows post.Thing is, Mihm is right. As he states:SEO will not die in 2017. But the number of beneficiaries of organic visibility from Google will decline dramatically.So, what’s a guy with the word “SEO” in his brand supposed to do in the face of this one-way ticket to the End of SEO Days? And what about all you other SEO agencies and in-house types?Let’s look at the situation:[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

via Marketing Land

Facebook Live Audio turns the social network into a radio broadcaster

Facebook has already spun up its version of live television with Facebook Live. Now it’s come up with a take on live radio.On Tuesday Facebook announced Live Audio, an audio-only version of Facebook Live that can be used to broadcast radio shows, podcasts, book readings, etc.People can tune into a Live Audio stream and interact with it like they would a Live video stream, posting comments and sending reactions. But unlike the video version, they can play the audio broadcast in the background.People tuning in using Android phones or tablets will be able to listen even if they switch from Facebook to another app or lock their devices. People using iPhones or iPads cannot exit Facebook or lock their phones and keep listening, but they can cruise around within Facebook without losing the stream.A Facebook spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions asking whether the Live Audio broadcasts can be listened to after the live stream has ended and, if so, whether the on-demand versio…