All marketers dream of one thing and one thing only: that one of their marketing campaigns become viral. But only a few handfuls actually achieve this dream, mostly because successful marketing campaigns take work, creativity, and a certain set of skills that are usually hard to come by. Most importantly, a creative marketing campaign that goes viral needs people who think outside of the box.

The next five creative marketing campaigns have made people cry, laugh, feel, and most importantly, purchase the products or services marketed. Of course, most of these brands are already quite famous, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn a few lessons from them that you can use in your own future marketing efforts.

So, keep on reading to learn more about these campaigns, how they achieved publicity, and the lessons we can all learn from them.

1.   Nike – The #Breaking2 Campaign

2017 has seen the fastest marathon run in history, by Dennis Kimetto in Berlin. The run clocked in at 2 hours and 2 minutes, for a 26.2-mile journey. Noticing this, Nike started a campaign called #Breaking2. The company used the power of its incredible logo (it never hurts to have a friendly marketing logo) and its slogan and worked with three famous runners: Zersenay Tadese, Lelisa Desisa, and Eliud Kipchoge.

 

marketing

Image: campaignlive.co.uk/

 

And then, in May 2017, Nike held its #Breaking2 marathon and broadcasted it live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. The live was watched by 13.1 million people from all around the world, and the hashtag #Breaking2 was mentioned 84,459 times across these platforms in the course of two days. Impressive, right?

What can we learn from this?

Always work on a marketing campaign that’s tailored for you. Nike chose running and challenging oneself, both things the brand is famous for. Another lesson we can learn here is to include your audience in your marketing efforts. Nike invited their fans, normal everyday people, to watch their marathon live and see history being remade. And even though Nike didn’t manage to actually break the record, they still managed to turn this into a viral campaign.

2.   Amazon – The “Alexa Has Lost Her Voice” Campaign

The “Alexa Has Lost Her Voice” campaign was a user experience that ran for weeks, before, during, and after the 2018 Super Bowl. The creative director for this campaign states:

“A week before the game, over a million consumers discovered Alexa was losing her voice, upon interacting with her on their device. People began tweeting, “What’s wrong with Alexa?” Overall, we created over 60 on-device interactions with Alexa, replacing her with world-famous celebrity voices, and created over 200 pieces of social content, as well as two TV spots for the big game.”

marketing

Image: nicolasmejia.com

 

The campaign ended up going viral and earning more than 40 million views across all platforms.

What can we learn from this?

The campaign shows just how important influencer marketing is in today’s world. This, coupled with the perfect video helped boost the brand and raise product awareness because people learned just how important Alexa was. It doesn’t hurt that the ad is also hilarious, and we all know humor speaks to people.

 

3.   American Express – The “Everyday Moments” Campaign

During this ingenious Everyday Moments campaign, American Express focused solely on millennial’s. The brand used social media to release 12 videos starring one of America’s sweethearts, the hilarious and witty Tina Fey.

All videos have the same concept: they start off as greeting cards, then turn into congratulatory videos where both the brand and Fey congratulate millennial’s for some of the “firsts” in their young adult lives.

What can we learn from this?

Using targeted marketing is a good choice when you want to involve your audience. By doing so, American Express created a bond with their market of choice and generated an incredible buzz.

 

4.   The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry – The “A Month at the Museum” Campaign

Yes, museums are probably the least sexy thing you might be able to think about right now (unless you’re a history buff like us, then museums are perfect), and yet, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry’s campaign was one of the most successful in these last few years.

The “A Month at the Museum” campaign was a contest where one applicant could win a one month stay at the museum, while getting paid for it.

People from all around the world applied, which made the museum go viral.

What can we learn from this?

Breaking stereotypes is always a good marketing move, especially if your image needs a face-lift. Advertising to millennial’s and using social media platforms is also the best way to do it, as the results for this campaign have shown.

 

5.   Starbucks – The Unicorn Frappuccino Campaign

Who hasn’t heard about the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino? This heavy, millennial-colored drink went viral on Instagram, even though it was only available for a week. The drink and the hashtag #UnicornFrappuccino, generated over 150,000 Instagram posts in less than 7 days, which makes this campaign one of the most successful ones in these last 3 years.

Image: irisemedia.com

 

What can we learn from this?

Using scarcity and Millennials’ FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) coupled with social media is a great way to go viral. And if your products are extremely instagrammable, then that’s even better!

 

Conclusion

All viral marketing campaigns have one thing in common: creativity. They also all put their audience first, and answered some of their desires, which is a great way to make yourself and your brand known.

 

Are you getting the best return out of your digital marketing? Need an extra pair of eyes to review your online game plan? Let our experts take a look at your current state and do a comprehensive digital marketing analysis at no cost to you. Please call us at (800) 379-2829 or contact us today and we will get to work right away.

 

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Google Searches

 

 

 

 

Google released a core algorithm update in August. Some industries were hit harder than others. Basically, the health and medical industry, and “Your Money Your Life (YMYL)” sites were affected the most. Webmasters were quick to call it the “Medic update”.  In case you don’t know about “Your Money Your Life (YMYL)” sites, Google defines them as sites that can potentially impact the future health, happiness and financial stability or safety of the users.

Google also released a statement after the update launch and gave a generic answer which was along the lines of — “There’s no specific fix for this update or any update. If you notice that your site has been affected, just work on providing the best possible user experience and you will start seeing improvements, because ultimately, our every update is for the same purpose.”

Google did take the time to announce the algorithm update via Twitter:

Google has also updated the Search Quality Rater Guidelines, and has put a lot of emphasis on Reputation. The guideline is rather comprehensive, and it’s worth the read. It tells you about how Google views the websites, pages, and content, so you can use this valuable information to your advantage. Here are some highlights:

  • Build strong links with the influencers & experts of your industry. And then persuade them to write content for your site or write content promoting your business on a reputed website.
  • Find out how your brand looks like on the search engine result pages and is this how you want your business to appear? If not, then you can make changes.
  • It’s important that you have a well drawn out plan to promote your business.
  • Reputation is everything when it comes to business, be it online or offline. Getting positive reviews for your business is vital to manage your online reputation. Our dashboard helps you manage your reputation as well as get more positive reviews in Google and Yelp.
  • When it comes to content, quality beat quantity by a large margin. Don’t post content just for the sake of it. You are not fooling anyone.
  • Have you put efforts to define your brand? What your brands stand for?
  • Interview the business owners for ideas and insights into what makes their business unique over other businesses. We do this as a part of our SEO deliverables.
  • Your About Us page is very important. Use it to show your achievements, what makes you stand out and why people should consider your business over others. However, make sure that you don’t exaggerate, because Google double checks it with reliable independent sources. And if what you have to say about your company doesn’t match with independent sources, then Google will take words of the independent sources for obvious reasons.

Google is soon going to roll out three new types of Google Searches: Q&A, FAQ & How To content. It will be pulled directly from the pages & will appear on the search engine result page for enquires that falls under the above mentioned three categories.

Here’s a snapshot of Google’s developer manager, Stacey Chan unveiling the new search types at Google Dance in Singapore.

The sites that are using structured data properly can expect to benefit from it. The three categories are as follows:

  1. Q&A Schema — Use this to markup a page with Q&A or FAQs
  2. Questions Schema — It works in conjunction with the above schema
  3. How To Schema — Use this to markup step by step instructions (How to)

As of now, the above schema types are not included in their featured schema guides.  In order to locate it, go to Google Developer’s page, click on the Left menu > Structured data > Feature guides.

If you want to see the Q&A structured data in action then head straight to StackOverflow.com. They are appearing on the top of the Google search results for the Q&A from quite some time. The best answers are displayed first, which is really convenient for the users.

Some people might argue that this is good for the users and Google but bad for the site, since users will get the entire answer in the SERP itself and they will not bother to enter the website. Most of the Q&A, FAQS & How To answers are short. So displaying the entire answer will not do any good. But, it will give you exposure and will also send visitors to the site since most of them would like to know more about it, but before entering into the website, they would want to confirm that the site is worth their time and actually offers genuine answers.

To stay on top of latest structured data, one can not rely on plugins since they are not up to date and often take time to catch up to the latest version. But there are some plugins that can help you leverage structured data. If you are using WordPress, the SOGO & Kansas City SEO’s plugin will come in handy.

Google has shifted some popular reports to new search console with upgrades. Here’s a look:

  1. Links Report

The new links report combines the functionality of “Links to your site” & “Internal link” reports & now provides the following information:

  • Top linking domains (Which sites link to me the most?)
  • Top linked pages (Which are my top linked pages from other sites?)
  • Which are my top linked pages from a specific site?
  • Top linking text (What link text points to my site?)
  • What are the links from a specific site to my page?
  • What are the top sites linking to my page?
  • Top linked pages (Which of my pages is linked the most from within my own site?)
  • Which of my pages links to my page?
  1. Mobile Usability Report

Now you can not only see the issues but can also fix it by submitting a reindexing request. Google said that they know how important mobile usability is for the site owners and allowing them to request a fix directly from the report will be super convenient.Be informed that the features are the same, the upgrade is that you can now select the error and click “Validate Fix button” & Google will promptly Re-crawl the error.

  1. Site and User Management

You can now add & verify new sites, and manage your property’s users & permissions using the newly added settings page. Although we encountered some bugs while using it, we are sure that Google will fix it very soon.

Takeaway: All the new features and upgrades provide invaluable data. Take your time to explore the new search console and you will be able to figure out what feature and tools are most useful for you and how to use them to your benefit.

 

 

The main aim of having and maintaining your Google My Business listing is to spread awareness about your business. But in case you forget to fill the Service area then you will face something that’s rather strange.

Many users have reported that, when they forgot to fill the service area, a third party lead generation company’s link called “singleplatform.com” appeared in front of the service section.

Upon clicking on the link, it takes you to a page that is dedicated to the business. And the weirdest part is, it doesn’t open in a new window, but rather navigate you out of Google.

Sometimes it shows “Get a Quote” option, not from the business that you have searched for, but from the businesses that have paid on singleplatform.com to get listed.

When you click on the “Claim this Menu”, it will show you a service cost that ranges from $99 to $149 a month. Although we didn’t investigate further, Google forcing business owners to opt for a paid option is a wakeup call for those who think that they “OWN” their Google My Business listing.

Although the above encounters were mostly from the home service industry & were limited to the cities which have Google local services active.

The only way we can see to protect yourself from this is to fill our your services menu within Google My Business. We recommend you do this regardless of your industry. Just because Google is focused on the home services industry doesn’t mean they won’t turn to your industry next.

 

 

  • Here’s how you can improve your Google Display Network campaigns.
  • Somewhat similar to the relevance score in Facebook ads, Google has released “ad strength indicator” for responsive ads.
  • Give your prospected customers a solid reason to click on your ads & increase the CTR. Here’s how.
  • GoogleAds impression share data are now available in real time. Earlier, you would have to wait for 2 days to have them.
  • Google Ads Automatically Updating Eligible Campaigns to Enhanced CPC Bidding.
  • Google has yet again expanded the search ads. Here’s what you need to know.
  • Bing Ads has released two new automated bidding options which you may be familiar with if you are using Google Ads: Target CPA and Maximize Conversions.
  • Find out how Google automated ad suggestions are performing and if is it really helpful?
  • Here’s a great article on landing pages. It’s sheds light on the importance of having a good landing page. Give it a read.
  • Google Ads MCC Gets An Updated Look. It’s really a bliss for the agencies since they have to switch between multiple accounts. The new look has a drop down menu and other minor changes. But overall it sports a clean interface and is really easy to navigate.

 

  • Google Text ads get Bigger.
  • Starting October 31st, 2018, Bing Ads will no longer be supporting the ability to edit or create destination URLs at the keyword level.
  • Starting from September adsenseformobileapps.com exclusion will not prevent Google Ads from appearing on mobile apps. But there are other ways.

GDPR

 

 

 

 

Google has recently updated the Google My Business API, making it easier for agencies and partners to manage multiple local business listings.

Google says:

“In the last couple of years, we’ve invested in the Google My Business API, introducing features like Reviews, Menus, Insights, and Posts to make it possible for agencies and platform partners to easily maintain and update Google listings for their end customers. With our latest API update, we’re adding more features like offer posts and merchant description so partners can continue to offer Google My Business’ latest features to their customers efficiently and at scale”.

Agencies will soon be able to get exclusive access to the new Agency Dashboard. The main highlights of the new dashboard will be:

  • Manage an unlimited (well, Google says ‘thousands’) number of locations from within one account.
  • New ‘Location Groups’ can be set up to collect organizations. Access to the Location Group can by sought by or given by both client and agency.
  • Quick search function allows for easier access to locations within your entire account or Location Group.
  • User Groups help management of teams and access control, with permission levels available for different user types.
  • Invite others to manage listings and view invite status.

Google is also launching support for platform partners. The selected partners will be getting early access to new GMB features, a Partner Manager and a chance to get featured on the main GMB site.

If you want to be among those selected few or want to learn more about it, fill out this form.

 

 

 

In an effort to expand the privacy rights of EU individuals, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) places new obligations on any organization, no matter where it is based, that markets to, tracks or handles EU personal data. As you can imagine, the GDPR is the compliance talk-of-the-town for any company doing business in the European Union (EU) or, in fact, any organization that might have EU personal data within its databases.

Although GDPR is applicable to the European Union as of now, its a good practice to follow and inform users how their information is being used on your website.

To start with, here are couple of changes you need to implement on your website.

All forms should have a message – [✓] By checking here, you are indicating that you have read and agree to our Privacy Policy. Make sure to link to your Privacy Policy page on the website.

All pages should have this message – “Our site uses cookies – We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Privacy Policy.” [link privacy policy]. Example – https://getsitecontrol.com/usecase/promo-widget/add-cookie-consent-message-your-website/

Need any help with your website? You can talk with our GDPR experts for quick assistance.

 

Google announced that they will be making speed a ranking factor within mobile search results starting July 2018. However, this speed update will affect only the worst pages since the intent of the query is still one of the strongest signal. So slow pages can still enjoy higher ranking if they offer relevant content.

BUT, it’s not just about Google. Speed is a huge factor when it comes to user experience as well. A 2017 Google study revealed that 53% of the visitors abandoned sites that took longer than three seconds to load. It might be a mark that’s hard to achieve, especially if you have high quality images and videos on your site but you can still work on the aspects that can be improved.

You can use Google’s Test My Site to check your page load time, approximate percentage of visitors you are losing and other aspects of your site that need improvement.  It’s quick, comprehensive and FREE.

 

It’s worth mentioning that AMP will not enjoy any additional benefits, although it’s very nature allows it to fly high on the page load time and naturally gives it an advantage. But other than that, there will be no special “rewards”.

Need help with improving page speed? We can help. Just reach out to our reps and let us do the rest.

 

 

GMB Posts have the immense power to boost the bottom line of your business. Those who know how to utilize it to the fullest have seen a huge boost in sales. The latest addition to the Google post is VIDEO. Now you can upload videos of your business or any topic that revolves around it. It’s already proven that Video marketing is EXTREMELY beneficial for your business, and now with the ability to upload videos to Google posts it further enhances the benefits.

For those new to it, follow the steps below:

  • Access Google Posts by logging into your Google My Business account.
  • Now you will see the “Posts” option right below the Home.
  • Click on it and upload the type of content you want to share.

  • After uploading, you will have the option to preview it and once you are satisfied, hit the Publish button.
  • After publishing, actively monitor the conversions and see how your targeted audience is responding.

The best way to find out which type of videos work best for you is to TEST. Analyse your audience reaction to different videos to figure out what type of audiovisual content really clicks with your audience.

Here are some facts that will encourage you to create and upload more videos:

  • 63% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
  • 76% of businesses said that video has helped them increase traffic to their website.
  • 84% of consumers have been convinced to make a purchase after watching a brand’s video.

 

 

For Q1 2018, we’ve analyzed over 3 billion Facebook ad impressions and more than 80 million clicks across 3,000+ unique accounts. Compared to Q4 ’17, we found the median CPM for Facebook placement ads decreased by 12.5%, the median CPC for Facebook ads decreased by 12.7%, and the median CTR for Facebook ads decreased by less than 1%.

 

 

Facebook is about to roll out a new feature that will help you understand how your videos are performing.

Here’s a screen-shot of the new metrics.

This new metric lets you track the reach, retention rate, page insights view and ads reporting view. The best part is that it will be available for both paid and organic videos.

Facebook is also launching New live tools for publishers. These tools will redefine Live video making and watching experience.

  1. Persistent Stream Keys: This key will simplify the broadcast experience for those who often use Live API. Since the key can be sent in advance, it can prove to be a boon for production teams who have to collaborate while shooting on different locations.
  2. Crossposting: Crossposting allows you to post a single video on multiple pages as an original post. You will not have to share it and reduce the charm. This cross-posting feature boosts the reach & provide you results that are beyond expectations. A Facebook user who was broadcasting his surfing show live on 3 different pages got a whopping 1.5 million views.
  3. Live Rewind: Although it’s still in testing mode, but will soon be available & will change the entire live Video experience. This feature will allow you to rewind a live video & re-watch your favorite parts.

the power of marketing

Photo Credits: http://www.tridentdesign.co.uk/targeted-marketing-vs-mass-marketing

“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” – David Packard

 

There is a hit TV series on AMC called Mad Men that focuses in the advertising world. The title is a term coined by a group of men in advertising/marketing several decades in New York City who did not want to call themselves ‘Ad Men’ for fear it would be misconstrued or misheard.  Thousands called the term genius.

Decades ago, people began to realize the value of marketing, and in the past 20 years, various industries have changed the way they market to current and potential clients.  Continue reading to see how the marketing industry has dramatically changed.

Marketing 101

If you are not yet on the level of ‘marketing expert’, here is a YouTube video by Steven Van Hook, Ph.D., that can help you understand the basic terms and concepts in the power of marketing.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkBvzS_fJ2g

 

People are actually more familiar with the term advertising, which they think is interchangeable with marketing. But, there is a difference.

Marketing vs. Advertising: What’s the Difference?

You will often find that many people confuse marketing with advertising or vice versa. While both components are important, they are very different. Knowing the difference and doing your market research can put your company on the path to substantial growth.

Let’s start off by reviewing the formal definitions of each and then we’ll go into the explanation of how marketing and advertising differ from one another:

Advertising: The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.

For the complete article: http://marketing.about.com/cs/advertising/a/marketvsad.htm

 Make it Simple But Relevant

So basically, marketing is like a general-main topic while advertising is the specific subtopic.

The Impact of Marketing

Howard Schultz, the Chief Executive Officer and chairman of worldwide-popular Starbucks said that “Starbucks is not an advertiser; people think we are a great marketing company, but in fact we spend very little money on marketing and more money on training our people than advertising.”  If you think about it, spending more to train your employees is effectively still promoting your company, and in turn a marketing strategy.

The Importance of Marketing for the Success of a Business

The heart of your business success lies in its marketing. Most aspects of your business depend on successful a successful marketing campaign. The overall marketing umbrella covers advertising, public relations, promotions and sales. Marketing is a process by which a product or service is introduced and promoted to potential customers. Without marketing, your business may offer the best products or services in your industry, but none of your potential customers would know about it. Without marketing, sales may crash and companies may have to close.

Spreading the Word

For a business to succeed, the product or service it provides must be known to potential buyers. Unless your business is known in the community and have communication with your customers readily available, you have to use marketing strategies to create product or service awareness. Without marketing, your potential customers may never be aware of your business offerings and your business may not be given the opportunity to progress and succeed. Using marketing to promote your product, service and company provides your business with a chance of being discovered by prospective customers.

Higher Sales

Once your product, service or company gets on the radar of your prospects, it increases your chances that consumers will make a purchase. As awareness becomes a reality, it is also the point where new customers start to spread the word, referring friends and family about this amazing new product they discovered. Your sales will steadily increase as the word spreads. Without employing marketing strategies, these sales may not have ever happened.  Without sales, a company cannot succeed.

Source article: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-marketing-success-business-589.html

Sales are the chief goal of businesses. This is a fact. Otherwise why go in business at all? And one of the keys to higher sales is marketing. People have been using this key for the past decades and in the past 20 years, it has changed industries, it has changed the world.

It Began in 1995

Marketing changed the Computer Industry

1995 – It’s only a retooled operating system, but Microsoft Corp. turned the introduction of Windows 95 into a global event. The company backed the product with a TV ad blitz (from Wieden & Kennedy) rocking with the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up.”

Microsoft staffers around the world hyped the product with publicity stunts — bathing the Empire State Building in Windows 95 colors, painting the logo on fields in the U.K., floating a four-story-high Windows 95 box in Sydney’s harbor.

The world was primed when Windows 95 appeared, with media covering the debut at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 24, 1995, in stores around the globe. “This is a historical moment,” Microsoft executive Brad Chase told Ad Age minutes before a store opened at midnight near Microsoft’s suburban Seattle headquarters. “I don’t want to be too melodramatic, because it is only software. But it is pretty amazing.”       

All timeline excerpts will be from this site: http://adage.com/article/ad-age-graphics/ad-age-a-history-marketing/142967/#1990
 Twitter link: https://twitter.com/SOTI_Inc/status/631835142235918336

Marketing Too Effective in the Tobacco Industry

1998 – The nation’s top four cigarette marketers and 46 of the 50 United States signed the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, settling lawsuits states had brought against the industry to recover tobacco-related health-care expenses.

The four companies — Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson, Lorillard — agreed to pay an estimated $206 billion and to put limits on marketing. (Reynolds and B&W have since merged into Reynolds American.) As part of the settlement, participating tobacco makers agreed to many ad curbs.

Marketing Killed the “Walk-Man” Industry

2003 – Apple was named marketer of the year by Ad Age based largely on the success of its iconic iPod. Apple introduced iPod just weeks after 9/11 while the nation was still slumped in its 2001 recession.

And it was Steve Jobs’ marketing genius that made it happen. Here is a transcript of Job’s marketing strategy:

“To me, marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world. It’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is! And so, we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.

Apple has been one of half-a-dozen best brands in the world; right up there with Nike, Disney, Coke, Sony.  But even a great brand needs investment and caring if it’s going to retain its relevance and vitality.  The way to do that is NOT to talk about speeds and fees. It’s NOT to talk about bits and mega-hertz. It’s NOT to talk about why we are better than Windows.

The dairy industry tried for 20 years to convince you that milk was good for you. It’s a lie, but they tried anyway. Sales had been slumping for years.  Do you remember the “Got milk” campaign?  Sales rose after the campaign launched. “Got milk” wasn’t even talking about the product. In fact, it focuses on the absence of the product.

But the best example of all, and one of the greatest jobs of marketing that the universe has ever seen, is Nike. Remember, Nike sells a commodity. They sell shoes!!!

And yet, when you think of Nike you feel something different than a shoe company. In their ads, as you know, they don’t ever talk about the product. They don’t ever tell you about their air soles and why they are better than Reebok’s air soles.

What does Nike do in their advertising? They honor great athletes. And they honor great athletics. That’s who they are, that’s what they are about!

Apple spends a fortune on advertising – you’d never know it.  You’d never know it!

So…when I got here, Apple just fired their agency and there was a competition with 23 agencies that…you know…four years from now we would pick one. And we blew that up and we hired ChiatDay, the ad agency that I was fortunate enough to work with years ago and created some award winning work including the commercial voted the best ad ever made, 1984 (by Advertising Professionals).”

For the video and for the complete transcript, go to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kshIWIc15yg

When Google started Marketing

2004 – Google (founded in 1998) held its initial public offering. They wanted to be the premier search engine ahead of Yahoo!, Bing, and a dozen others you’ve never heard of.  Today, if Google changes an algorithm in their code or offers updates on their products, the world takes note.  (Also in 2004: Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook as a place for his fellow students to connect.)

Google market cap today – $177 billion – is more than the combined value of Disney, News Corp., Time Warner and Yahoo. Facebook is still private.

2004 is also the year that marks the start of a revolution for Marketing. 2004 has changed Marketing forever, for it is the year when social media (specifically Facebook) was born.

Social Media Marketing Phenomenon

 A Guide to the New Power of Facebook advertising

There have been some great posts on the Econsultancy blog discussing the changing state of Facebook and the reach of organic and promoted content, as well as the options available to advertisers.

Edwyn Raine recently wrote ‘the combination of a variety of advert formats and a highly affordable media network make it gold dust to reach new customers.’ Essentially it’s a good way to educate potential customers as to your offering.

Pricing is a particular bonus of Facebook advertising as Facebook’s model is to promote good content that customers are interested in. That means, the better your ads perform, the higher click-through rate, and the lower the CPC.

Add to this increasing costs in AdWords and Facebook is tempting lots of people in to play. First quarter results saw Facebook’s profits at $642m. As you can see from the chart below, ads are on Facebook.

For the details, go to this page: https://econsultancy.com/blog/64924-a-guide-to-the-new-power-of-facebook-advertising/

Starting in 2004 onward, the presence of marketing keeps changing the internet industry each year. But it was around 2011 that marketers started to realize the power of social media. At that time, 1 in 2 Americans owned a smartphone. It was also around that year that internet usage of teenagers surpassed the time they spent in watching television.

Photo credit: http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/53/blog/images/the-history-of-marketing-HUBSPOT-resized-600.jpg

As you can see, marketing online has been very effective. To get 46% of your channel users to be your customer is not bad.  Social media has rapidly integrated itself into our everyday lives, both personal and professional, and it’s perhaps had no greater impact than on the world of marketing, with consumers and brands seeing enormous benefits and changes.

But how does social media compare to traditional marketing? What are the pros and cons of each?

The advantages of social media marketing are numerous…

-It’s cheaper. A lot cheaper. You can reach 1,000 people for a fraction of the cost using social media than you can through television, billboards or even email
-Social media is the only marketing platform that allows you to engage and interact with your consumers – it’s a two-way relationship, which can be hugely lucrative for brands

The results are measurable, and marketers can take immediate action to spot trends and re-align campaigns

It’s not all gravy, though. Social media campaigns can be time consuming and the impact can disseminate very quickly, whereas traditional marketing campaigns, certainly in television, can produce short term results that have greater tangibility.

For the complete article, see the source: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-vs-traditional-media-marketing/466873

We mentioned earlier that in 2011, the number of people who prefer the internet than watching television increased.

new3

Photo credit: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31278/The-History-of-Marketing-An-Exhaustive-Timeline-INFOGRAPHIC.aspx

When Marketing Became Part of History

In October 2012, Felix Baumgartner took a leap back to Earth from 24 miles off the surface as part of a Red Bull promotion.

In one fell swoop, Baumgartner became the first person to break the sound barrier without any vehicular help — and Red Bull took over the internet, with a full eight million people watching live and blowing up the social networks.

The stunt marked a new era in advertising history: the commercial didn’t interrupt the event, it was the event.

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For further reading, visit this site: http://www.businessinsider.com/ads-that-changed-the-world-2014-8#ixzz3iioeM5Su

As Marketing continues to change industries,
marketing itself will continue to EVOLVE.

 

Social Media: A Review

Ten years ago, if you would have mentioned the term “social media” to an Internet friend, they would have had no idea what you meant. But in the year 2014, nearly everyone with an Internet connection has heard of sites like Facebook, adding momentum and force to the social media advertising trend.

Social media is big business, and financial figures state that social media is scheduled to generate 11 billion dollars in total revenue by the year 2017! In 2013, social media made a total of 6.1 billion.

So, you can see how social media is poised to become an incredible force in online advertising in the very near years to come, and why you should seriously consider incorporating a social media marketing strategy for your business.

Social media keywords on pieces of paper all cut up on a table.

A Brief History Of The Most Popular Social Media Sites

StumbleUpon – Founded in November 2002 by Garrett Camp and a few other associates, as of April 2012, StumbleUpon now has more than 25 million registered users.

Facebook – Founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is the undisputed king of social media. As of March 2013, Facebook has a total of 1.11 billion active users, globally.

LinkedIn – Founded in December of 2002, LinkedIn boasts a total of 259 million users across more than 200 countries as of June 2013.

YouTube – Launched by three former Paypal employees in the year 2005, YouTube is now one of the most popular video sharing / social media comment sites ever. YouTube was purchased by Google for 1.65 billion dollars in 2006.

Tumblr – Founded by David Karp in the year 2007, this social media site is home to 205.9 million blogs.

Foursquare – This local search and discovery network site was launched in 2009 by Naveen Selvadurai and Dennis Crowley. As of 2014, it has 45 million registered users.

Twitter – Founded in 2006 by Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, and Biz Stone, as of 2014 Twitter now has over 500 million users. 271 million of these are “active” users.

Google+ – Launched in 2011 by Google and open to everyone, as of 2013 there are 540 million active, registered users.

Some Interesting Facts About Social Media You Might Not Know

  • 60% of Google+ users log in at least once a day to check on their accounts.
  • 23% of Facebook users check their accounts multiple times, 5+ times per day.
  • 2 new members join the LinkedIn network every second!
  • A total of 58 million tweets are sent every day!
  • The Google +1 button is used 5 billion times daily!

How The Future Of Social Media Is Shaping The Face Of Modern Business

Individuals connected throughout the world via social media.

Sharing information and what you like is what social media sites are all about. Google allows us to +1 a site, and show the world how much we appreciate a specific page. Facebook allows us to “Like” a page, and thusly increase Internet awareness of a specific page or site.

Additionally, we can leave comments on social media pages that contain helpful insight, allowing social media business owners to improve the quality of the products and services they offer.

Social media pages are also highly capable of going “viral”, which happens because of a chain reaction of events.

First, a social media page will post an original and unique piece of content.

Second, it becomes popular because of the valuable, unique, funny, or otherwise noteworthy characteristic of the content.

Third, the popularity of the unique content is shared with friends and acquaintances until many thousands of people visit and agree that the content is noteworthy enough to share. And it’s at that point, that a social media page has officially gone, “viral”.

With sites like Facebook having over a billion registered users, there’s no stopping social media and how it’s scheduled to play a part in fostering business. Social media sites are wonderful for allowing any Internet user to share pages they find valuable and to spread the word about content they find beneficial.

search engine optimizationSEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website for search engines, so you can get traffic by free, natural, organic and editorial search results from different search engines. All search engines rank web pages and other content such as local listings and videos on the basis of what will be most relevant to the user’s search.

They then display website pages which are more relevant and authoritative towards the top of the results, with the relevance being decided by analyzing page content in relation to the users’ search query. Search engines also analyze and assess authority on the basis of quality and the number of quality links that a page has.

How has SEO has evolved over the years?

The SEO industry has evolved immensely over the past few years. A few years ago, SEO was very different to how we see it today. In the mid-90s and mid-20s there were no web analytics available for websites unless you had a major website and a big budget. There were not that many good options, and the few good options that were available were not cheap!

seoIn 2006, SEO started to become a profitable business when little or almost no analytical data was available, and SEOs wanted to find a metric which they could track and which they could easily influence without analytics. During this time, search engines used the same format to rank websites, and because of that the result is almost the same. It was easy to track where a site ranks and then to relate the data of a ranked site with traffic, transformation and other data was being measured. Due to the consistency of SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), there was no clear relation between the rankings.

Then there was a time when search engines used rank tracking. Now search engine results have changed and that’s why search engines no longer use rank tracking.

Google has around 85 different SERP features, and 85% of all searches usually show one or more of these features. These features work so efficiently, and due to the effect they have on CTR’s (Click-Through Rates), the #1 organic ranking position appears right below the fold of the pages and also reduces your CTR for that position.

As years go by, SEO is becoming more efficient and SEO’s are continually looking for new metrics for rank tracking.

Some of the metrics through which Google analyzes the data on internet are given below:

  • Organic Volume Traffic

  • Keywords which drive organic traffic

  • Percentage of organic traffic (non-branded) keywords compared with branded keywords

  • Highest transforming organic keywords

  • Ranking for top keywords

  • Domain authority or Google page rank

  • Quantity, Quality, Relevancy and Diversity of External Links

  • Quantity, Quality, Relevancy and Diversity of Linking root domains

  • Cost of per conversion from organic visit

The above mentioned list was once perfectly accurate, but since search behavior is constantly changing, so is this list.

Today, search engines use keywords. If you want a good rank for your page, you have to choose good keywords and keywordsmention them naturally within your page content. Try to spend time brainstorming and researching keywords using tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner. The other thing that is important for SEO today is page authority. We should move our focus to get traffic from keywords to getting traffic to pages. Driving traffic to a good quality content is easy irrespective to how keywords are targeted. SEO’s also consider brand power to increase traffic. Use link-building efforts through guest blogging or by sharing your content to make your brand stand out. In addition to these points, your website should be well-designed, and should load quickly, since page load speed is another of Google’s ranking factors.

Conclusion

So to conclude, over the last few years, SEO’s have had to adapt quickly to the regular changes in the industry, which are still progressing. From the above article we come to know how SEO was then and how they are now. They have changed greatly as compared to the past years. The SEO’s are now ranking the web content more efficiently and has evolved so much over the years.

social media marketing, social media

We all watched as the Facebook IPO flopped with a resounding thud and for some that outcome left the idea that social media may finally have hit it’s peak and it on the downturn. However, big name companies such as Google and Oracle don’t feel that way at all and are taking startling measures to get even more entrenched in the long term viability of social media as a profitable and effective avenue of advertising and marketing.

In a recent article by Forbes, writer Robert Hof goes into detail about the highlight of the MediaPost’s Social Media Insider Summit at Lake Tahoe where the general consensus was that social media is on its second upswing and is burgeoning on another boom of Facebook book proportions.

To read the article in full visit Forbes’ article “What Startup Buyout Frenzy Says About Social Media’s Future.”

SEO, social media, search engine optimization

SEO or search engine optimization and social media are like two sides of a coin; they need the other side to truly stand up and be complete. They can work apart, but in the modern age of social networking, online brand awareness and the social drive of the customer, SEO and social media marketing together are vital to the overall success of the advertising campaign bringing in profits and web traffic.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are constantly in a state of renewal, bringing in thousands of new users every day because social networking is king at the moment. That constant state of new potential customers and heavy regular use of current customers, allows a greater chance of brand awareness and return on investment for good SEO business practices. By incorporating search engine optimization with social marketing, a business is able to reach greater quantities of customers by offering up-to-date information that is carefully planned with SEO parameters in mind such as keyword tagging, meta title tagging, linking and more. Adding search engine optimization to social media platforms increases the chances of the information being seen by the right people and bringing ROI back to the business.

SEO and social media at times can seem like two entirely different options for a business to get ahead in the business world. However, they both play their part in creating a clear web presence for a business and, if done right, they do it in such as way as to play off of each other and create a whole new level of customer participation, profits and brand awareness. Search engine marketing and social media marketing are two things that a business must invest in today and in a way that allows them to work hand in hand. Without utilizing the two complimentary business marketing options of SEO and social media, a company isn’t using every avenue they have available to become a leading company in their section of the business world.

USING FACEBOOK TIMELINE FOR BRAND AND BUISNESS PAGES

With the announcement of Timeline for Brands from Facebook this month, there will be a big change coming for your brand. Before brands were able to set a custom default landing page, this was to make sure the consumers would see what you wanted them to see and forcing them to “LIKE” your page to get past the landing page. This is now all out the window. Time to start thinking outside of the box with Timeline for Brands.

Cover Photo

 

With the new format you will be getting huge real-estate on the very top of your page. This image is 850×315 pixels. This will be the first thing a new/returning customer will see. This sets the basis for what the customer can expect from your company and decide whether you have put in the time and effort to make their experience enjoyable. Now remember that the new Cover Photo does have some guidelines. The Cover Photo itself cannot include the following:

Price & Purchase Information
Contact Information or anything that should be placed in the “About” section of your Facebook Page
Calls to Action (i.e. “Like Us Today” & “Like Us to Join”)
References to Facebook Terms & Actions (i.e. Cannot contain “Like” or “Share”)

These are very important for your brand to remember so make sure you read the guidelines.

 

 

Above the Fold

About Section for companies will include space for you to input 150 characters to explain what your company is and what you do. For Local Businesses this will be the spot for your address, category and phone number. Your “About” Bio will be limited to the “About” page that you can click on from your main Facebook Page.

 

Photos Tab will be next to the About Section. This will be a native application from Facebook and is in a fixed position. You cannot move this application. The most important thing to remember is that it will show a thumbnail of the most recent photo uploaded. You can use this in one of two ways. The first way is use it as a “Call to Action” photo. With the other applications on your Facebook page next to this, you can use it to point and tell your customers what to do. The second way is to keep it updated with “Fresh” new photos that are going to show what you want it to show.

Maps is an application that has exclusive use, which means it is only available to Places Pages. Local businesses can take advantage of this as they can put it in their 3 main applications that show up on their page without even have to click anything. It is a Native Application that Facebook automatically puts on Local Business Facebook Pages.

Custom Applications are still going to be an important part of your Facebook page still. You will not be able to set it as a default landing page, but you can make the Applications more visible to your visitors. With the option of setting up 3 Applications after the Photos Application with bigger Application Tabs you will be able to promote them more. The Custom Applications tabs are 110×74 pixels. Now you just don’t want to put a picture on these with no text. You want to put a picture that has to do with what you want the visitor to do. This will be very important to realize that you can update these as much as you want. Change the custom applications tab with pictures that you will be able to re-brand what your current promotions are. Use these for Special Offers and Deals if you want to do that, or something that is interactive to gain repeat visitors and followers.

Visitor Experience

The biggest thing is that there are no landing pages for the visitor to be ‘forced’ to like your page. This will distinguish which brands are going to survive in the Timeline for Brands changeover. You will need to stay active on Facebook, engage your visitors and make your new page desirable and updated using all the above features.

Running a Facebook Contest/Ad Campaign with the new custom applications/tabs you will be able to link a potential visitor directly to that application. With the Custom Applications you are still able to “fan gate” the content. Fan Gate means that you will be able to have 2 different things of content for the same Application. One will be for fans (already Like your page) and the other will be for non-fans (they do not already Like your page). This is very key to you and your brand. You want to keep the “Special Offer” only available to fans of your page. No sense in making it for everyone to see and to not Like your Page.

The Visitor experience is also going to change for the Custom Applications. The old Facebook pages would only let you have a 520 pixel width. The new timeline layout will be 810 pixel width. This means you will be able to have more space for your custom content and your visitor will have a more overall experience with the new added space, if you utilize it correctly. Don’t worry if you already spent money on old custom applications, they will all work on the new Timeline for Brands layout. They will be just centered in the middle of the new 810 pixel wide viewing area.

Likes have also changed for the visitor and admins alike. Competitive Analysis will be for EVERYONE. You do not need to be an Admin and you do not need to be a Fan. These statistics will be able to be viewed by EVERYONE. With the timeline you will be able to see what your competitors are doing. You can click through their “Likes” statistics and see which week was very engaging for them. Then on the timeline itself you will be able to see what they were doing to be so engaging with their fans.

Pin & Sticky is also a new feature on the visitor experience. If you are familiar with online forums you will know what I’m talking about. If not, what you will be able to do is “Pin” or “Sticky” an important post that will always be at the very top of your page. The “Pin” or “Sticky” only lasts 7 days. So this is Facebook’s way of governing that brands are keeping their pages up-to-date. You can go back and “Re-Pin” or “Re-Sticky” that same post. But you will have to go back in the Timeline and find it again. This will stay at the very top no matter how much you post for those 7 days.

That ends our blog post, I hope you have a better understanding of the new Timeline for Brands format. We look forward to giving you more blogs in the future!

– Ian Olson