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Showing posts from March 23, 2018

Building an AI mindset: Time to identify and develop skill sets now

The more I’ve had the opportunity to explore this concept of the martech mindset, the more I’ve realized how important it is that we shift our thinking to view artificial intelligence (AI) as an evolution rather than as a revolution. Artificial intelligence, once an abstract, futuristic concept, is now a reality, so this needs to occur sooner rather than later. It’s no longer a hypothetical; AI is changing the game for brands in tangible, practical applications.Adoption is not the issue, as investments in AR and VR are expected to grow from $11.4 billion in 2017 to $215 billion in 2021, according to IDC.Entire industries are finding innovative ways to solve persistent business challenges and create efficiencies through AI — take the proliferation of chatbots in marketing, for example. Individual brands are seizing the AI opportunity as well. Lowe’s “LoweBot,” an autonomous retail service robot that helps customers find products in-store in multiple languages, is another great example …

Why marketers finally stopped talking about ABM (and started practicing it)

ABM is growing up. It’s gone from a buzzword B2B marketers couldn’t quite make sense of to a strategy that’s becoming more and more ingrained in our daily lives. Nowadays, marketers aren’t asking “why ABM,” they’re asking “how ABM.” How do I get my strategy up and running? How do I bring Sales into the conversation? How do I navigate the sea of ABM technology? How do I start running campaigns? How do I connect all my data sources and measure my results?I’m seeing this shift come to life in many ways, from conversations with fellow B2B marketers to news articles about the strategy. My team has actually witnessed this firsthand. Our company’s educational offerings covering the “how” of ABM have grown drastically and have been rated more highly than the theoretical topics exploring “why.”While a lot of factors have played a role in this shift from “why” to “how,” there are four reasons really worth calling out here.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]The post Why marketers finally s…

Brands strive for authenticity as audiences turn a skeptical eye toward ads

Consumers are experiencing a crisis of faith. According to the Edelman TrustBarometer, today only 52 percent of global respondents trust businesses. The figures are even more dramatic in the US, where a mere 48 percent are similarly trusting, down from 58 percent in 2017. Brands clearly need to re-evaluate their messaging strategies if they are to regain the public’s confidence.In a world overrun with fake news, seamless product placement and media scandals, it can be difficult to know what to believe. Young people especially are concerned with the increasingly murky distinction between truth and fiction, and the power of the internet permits unprecedented fact checking and scathing indictments of falsehood.Researchers have responded to the growing insistence on truth with calls for brand authenticity, a concept that is still poorly defined, despite a slew of analysis and opinions. Tied into this search for authenticity is an emphasis on brand “purpose,” another ambiguous concept that…

Three ways to up your video marketing game

Video marketing has been getting huge for a few years now.Videos allow companies to reach a wider audience (thanks to the popularity of powerful video marketing platforms) and to increase sales and conversions (videos have been found to be the easiest way to explain your selling points).But how easy it is to really see ROI from your video marketing campaigns?These days, every other company is implementing video marketing tactics in some way or another. Whether it’s publicizing video testimonials and reviews or creating educational video resources (in the form of webinars or courses), there’s a lot of brand-owned video content floating around.But how many of those companies have achieved real tangible results from those video production efforts? And what exactly is ROI when it comes to video marketing? Does it all come to investing huge budgets into video production and promotion?Not exactly. Here are three ways to up your video marketing game before you decide to invest more into it:1…

Facebook quietly removes ad filter to target users based on their relationship preferences

Facebook has quietly removed an ad filter that enabled advertisers to create campaigns targeting users based on their relationship preferences. The filter allowed advertisers to target people based on information from the “interested in” detail on their user profile. Users can select if they are interested in “women” or “men” — making it possible to build a campaign around a person’s sexual orientation.BuzzFeed reported this week that the ad targeting option was removed last month, but Facebook made no public statement announcing advertisers could no longer use the “interested in” filter.According to Facebook, the site is consistently in contact with privacy, civil rights, consumer and LGBTQ groups on a wide range of topics and is committed to reviewing its ad targeting options.“Based on feedback from our community and outside experts, we’re removing the ability for organizations to target people based on the ‘interested in’ information from their profiles,” says Facebook’s product ma…

Giants collide: Google’s impending showdown with Amazon

Talk in the digital advertising space has traditionally focused on Google and Facebook’s digital duopoly, each fighting for more of your advertising dollars. But for Google, the real competition is coming from elsewhere.Over the last few years, Google has pushed further and further into the retail space. Simultaneously, Amazon expanded its advertising platform. In the end, they both want the same thing: your purchase intent.As these two tech behemoths continue to get more and more similar, who will lead? And more importantly, what should you do about it?[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]The post Giants collide: Google’s impending showdown with Amazon appeared first on Marketing Land.

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What’s different about digital marketing in the cannabis industry?

The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing in the US, with a diverse and exciting startup landscape. And yet, it faces an uphill battle when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) and marketing.There are no AdWords or Facebook advertising programs available and no current opportunities to advertise a cannabis company among any of the larger advertising platforms.This seems unlikely to change until these products are legal at the federal level.You can understand how Facebook wouldn’t want the attention that may come from allowing dispensaries or cannabis brands to advertise, even on a limited basis, in states that legalized it. That probably would not go over well in today’s political climate.So, how are cannabis brands winning online, and what is different about digital marketing in the cannabis industry?[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]The post What’s different about digital marketing in the cannabis industry? appeared first on Marketi…

Connatix launches Stories for Publishers to bring native Story units to mobile sites

Everybody’s got a Story these days, it seems. The immersive mobile ad format pioneered by Snapchat and ripped off by Instagram, its parent Facebook and most recently, Google with AMP Stories, is now emerging from the so-called walled gardens.Connatix, a video syndication and monetization platform used by publishers such as Variety, Tribune Media and Meredith, launched Stories for Publishers on Thursday. Publishers have control over both the content and the ads — and the revenue from ads — that appear in their Stories.The units appear natively in-stream on publishers’ mobile sites. Users can swipe, click and tap on the interactive units that can include vertical video ads, as shown in the example below.Stories for Publishers from Connatix. “For way too long, publishers were dependent on social platforms to give their end users access to the interactive mobile web experience they had come to expect,” said David Kashak, CEO of Connatix. “The problem with this structure is that these walle…

Google Ad Grants changes and your PPC strategy: Where to go from here

This past December, Google communicated changes to its Google Ad Grants program. If you’re a nonprofit or an agency working on behalf of nonprofits, these changes may apply to you.Some of the changes are good, but others may create new challenges for you. In this article, I’m going to briefly walk through some of the new rules and then detail a few strategies and creative workarounds you can use.Google Ad Grants program changesThere are numerous changes to the Google Ad Grants program. Here are some of the highlights:[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]The post Google Ad Grants changes and your PPC strategy: Where to go from here appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Stop! Think twice before using nofollow on your website

Recently, a number of major websites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. and Huffington Post started using nofollow attributes on their outbound links.This trend puzzles me. If you can’t trust the people adding links to their articles, they shouldn’t be writing for you in the first place.Even more disturbing is the fact that search engine optimization specialists (SEOs) seem to misunderstand how to use nofollow attributes and tend to overuse them.Here’s how they work:[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]The post Stop! Think twice before using nofollow on your website appeared first on Marketing Land.

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5 easy but smart SEO wins to boost content and link-building efforts

Are you looking for some smart and easy SEO wins in 2018?Who isn’t? This is a great time to knock down the cobwebs in your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts with some good old-fashioned spring cleaning.Sure, producing great content can be loads of fun, and link building can deliver powerful results, but sometimes you just need to get down to the fundamentals of SEO.Certain tasks that fall on the technical side can be more difficult, but they are every bit as important as content development and link building. Still, they tend to be ignored until they cause a major problem.You can change that by making an effort to take care of technical SEO fundamentals before they become a problem. When the fundamentals are taken care of, we tend to get better results from all of our SEO efforts.Let’s look at five smart tactical fundamentals that, when leveraged, will boost the effectiveness of our content development and link-building efforts.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]The …

SEO Ranking factors panel: SMX West session recap

I attended the SEO Ranking Factors session at this year’s SMX West and enjoyed listening to the panelists present their opinions, experiences and ideas.Any discussion of ranking factors raises a lot of emotions and controversy, and this was no exception. It is important to understand how to use information from these types of sessions: None of the data is fully conclusive, and it should always be taken with a grain of salt.What it does tell us is the types of things that matter in the market, not what factors directly drive rankings.That said, our panelists shared some great insights, so let’s dig in![Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]The post SEO Ranking factors panel: SMX West session recap appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Snapchat bulks up location-based ad filters & launches in-store analytics tool

Snapchat is continuing its focus on location-based advertising initiatives.The app is rolling out three new ad tools today, two that include location-based targeting options and an in-store analytics tool that lets advertisers track traffic at their brick-and-mortar locations.Location categoriesOf the two new location-based ad features, the first is a location category filter. Advertisers can use it to target an audience based on location type — like a beach, a movie theater or a university.“For example, a swimsuit brand can reach Snapchatters currently at beaches nationwide, or a movie studio can reach them at the theater,” says Snapchat. “Advertisers can also get more specific by narrowing down their location categories by state, city, DMA, and more.”According to Snapchat, advertisers have more than 150 location categories to choose from in the US.The company says its location-type ad filter is unique — offering an ad-targeting option that would be difficult to achieve on any other …

4 concrete ways to use images to build links

“Create visual content and the links will follow” is a nice sentiment, but in reality, it’s a prerequisite, not a guarantee of the fulfillment of a promise.If you want to use images to earn inbound links, you need a concrete plan with some specific actionable goals.Here are four ways you can use images and visual content to build links and drive traffic. Use the following tactics to get the ideas and inbound links flowing and build a smart strategy for your brand.1. Become your industry’s stock photo siteIt’s become more or less a standard in this industry to ensure that every blog post needs to feature at least one image to keep people engaged and be taken seriously, with a few exceptions.In many cases, those images are stock photos with some thematic connection to the topic of the post, rather than original image content.There’s nothing inherently wrong with using stock images, but you can take advantage of it by becoming a go-to resource in your industry for visual content.Here are…

Marketing Day: YouTube policy updates, B2B emails & IBM’s Watson Assistant

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:Report: Product discovery, not payments, the real m-commerce bottleneck
Mar 22, 2018 by Greg Sterling
Product discovery and browsing cited by consumers as the main barriers to buying on smartphones.All new for 2018 — MarTech Today’s Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) report
Mar 22, 2018 by Digital Marketing Depot
Enterprise demand for a more effective way to integrate martech applications is fueling the growth of integration platform as a service (iPaaS) solutions. These cloud-based tools act as integration “hubs” that connect software applications deployed in different environments (e.g., cloud vs. SaaS vs. on premise).YouTube updates gun content policies to ban videos promoting sale or manufacture of firearms, accessories
Mar 22, 2018 by Amy Gesenhues
The new guidelines around gun-related content go into effect next month.B2B emails: T…