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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What’s Your ‘Desert Island’ Copywriting Technique? Answers from Our Team

You’ve been shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, somewhere with blue skies and dazzling aquamarine waters. But after some time passes, no matter how big a fan of sushi you are, the appeal of your solitary paradise starts to wane. You’ve amassed a fine collection of rocks — suitable for crafting, let’s say, a copywriting message.

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8 major Google algorithm updates, explained

Almost every day, Google introduces changes to its ranking algorithm. Some are tiny tweaks; others seriously shake up the SERPs. This cheat sheet will help you make sense of the most important algo changes and penalties rolled out in the recent years, with a brief overview and SEO advice on each....

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Social Media Marketing Goals

In today’s digital landscape, chances are social media is a vital piece of your marketing mix. After all, people live on social platforms these days and projections show that worldwide social media users will surpass 3 billion by 2021.

But as brands and marketers fight for visibility in crowded, “algorithm-enhanced” news feeds, how many of you are actually reaching your strategic social media marketing objectives? Better yet, how many of you can say you have well-defined, relevant and measurable goals outlined within your social strategy?

As a marketer, you know there can be no strategy without goals. Goals are the foundation of your strategy, guiding every decision and tactic that comes next. But how do you define those goals?

The truth is there’s a lot to consider such as your industry, overall business objectives, budget and resources. With that said, whether you need to start from scratch or it’s time to give your goals a refresh, here are a few questions you should be asking yourself along the way:

#1 – How does social media map to my overall marketing objectives?

Your social media marketing efforts are an integral part of your entire marketing strategy. As such, the goals you set should absolutely support what you’re trying to achieve at a high level. It’s as simple as that.

Your #socialmedia goals should absolutely map to your overall #marketing objectives.
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#2 – Who is my social audience?

You know that the foundation of any marketing initiative is understanding your audience’s pain points, motivations, interests and needs. But those defining characteristics may manifest themselves a bit differently on social media. After all, social media is a personal outlet for many, so their motivations for engaging with a brand may be different than if they received an email from you or found you via search.

As a result, in order to define your social media objectives, you need to understand why your audience is on social media and what they care about most on those platforms.

#3 – How does my audience differ across social channels?

Every social media channel offers something a little unique, which means your audience may differ from channel to channel. As a result, your goals—as well as your strategy to reach those goals—should reflect that.

#4 – What does my audience expect from me?

Let’s face it. The goals you set are going to be rooted in some type of audience action. But to inspire that action, you need to think about what your audience’s expectations are and how you’ll meet them. Is it quick and empathetic customer service? Conversation? Entertainment? Helpful information and resources?

#5 – What do I really want from my social media efforts?

Brand awareness and audience engagement are typically the top goals of any social media marketing strategy. But challenge yourself to go deeper as you define your goals. For example, if community engagement is a top priority, what does that actually look like to you? Is it likes, shares, comments, reviews, website traffic or a combination of them all?

As your define your #socialmedia goals, challenge yourself to go deeper & deeper.
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#6 – Are my goals measurable?

At the end of the day, your goals have to be measurable. How else are you going to know if you’ve actually achieved what you set out to do?

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Marketing Day: AdWords competitive analysis, micro-moments & Facebook ad targeting news

Here's our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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Facebook will block advertisers from changing link previews, but hasn’t yet

Brands had used the option to reposition news articles as promotional content.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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Competitive analysis: Making your auction insights work for you

Columnist Amy Bishop shares tips for identifying actionable takeaways from your AdWords auction insights data.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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Are you ready to evolve beyond marketing automation in the next era of B2B marketing?

Columnist Scott Vaughan says marketing automation's "teenage years" are resulting in some soul-searching for B2B marketers and the leading marketing automation providers.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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Why the C-suite loves loyalty

Contributor Evan Magliocca discusses the benefits of loyalty and why increasingly leadership is pointing to it as a means to know customer health, show stability and keep investors happy.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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What Facebook Watch Will Mean for Marketers

It was only a matter of time.

Just like Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix before it, Facebook has officially entered the video streaming game.

What is Facebook Watch, and what does it mean for you your marketing strategy?

What is Facebook Watch?

Launched in August 2017 to select users in the U.S. via mobile, desktop and TV apps, Facebook Watch is the company’s entrée into episodic streaming video. Videos range from mini documentaries to live sporting events, courtesy of partnerships with Major League Baseball. There is a set group of publishers at launch, but the company plans to open it up to more creators soon.

How will Facebook Watch make money?

Facebook Watch is monetized through ad breaks. The producing partners earn 55% of ad break revenue while Facebook keeps 45%.

Facebook Watch is the company’s entrée into episodic streaming video. (Image Source)

What makes Facebook Watch different from other streaming services?

The streaming video space is undeniably crowded, so Facebook had to find a way to make Facebook Watch stand out. There are three main ways Facebook Watch is different, all of which bode well for its staying power.

  1. Original video content, which can be viewed through a new tab called “Watch,” is exclusive to Facebook Watch and can’t be seen anywhere else (with the exception of the live content available through deals like the one with Major League Baseball).
  2. Because it’s monetized through ad breaks, Facebook Watch is totally free for the viewing audience. All they have to do is be logged in to their Facebook account.
  3. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Facebook Watch is hyper-personalized in a way no streaming platform has been before.

The New “Social Viewing” Trend

Facebook Watch’s personalization takes advantage of everything users already love about the platform – it’s personal, and it’s social. People love getting recommendations for the things they love, and they love sharing those things with friends.

  • Facebook Watch provides personalized recommendations in its Discover tab, using fun, Facebook-esque categories like “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh,” and “Shows Your Friends Are Watching.”
  • Subscribing to a show instantly connects Facebook users with fellow fans through show-linked Groups.
  • During a show, Facebook users get access to a live comment section where they can chat with other viewers and friends in real-time.

All these features indicate a strong focus on social viewing. While the social viewing trend is new, we have seen it before.

For example, in April of this year, Tumblr launched its video chat service Cabana. The app functions like a Tumblr/FaceTime hybrid, where users can watch their friends’ reactions in real time as they all watch a video together.

cabana video app

Tumblr’s Cabana app brings friends together to watch and react to videos in real time. (Image Source)

Social viewing veteran YouTube has been making some changes, too. Also in August, YouTube added in-app chat to its Android and iOS apps. Previously, users could only share videos out to other apps, such as Twitter or text message, but now conversations can also happen natively within YouTube. The interface is similar to Google Hangouts and appears to be YouTube’s answer to the messaging functionality offered by Instagram and Snapchat.

Tumblr’s Cabana app brings friends together to watch and react to videos in real time. (Image Source)

When multiple social media platforms follow suit, it’s a sure sign a new trend is here to stay. Social viewing is not going away, so how can marketers take advantage of it?

What Facebook Watch means for marketers

Facebook has 1.32 billion users who check in on a daily basis. For anyone who’s wondering, their monthly active users just hit 2 billion.

Either number means Watch is a major initiative at Facebook that marketers should not ignore. Facebook plans to integrate Watch episodes into the News Feed, and the company has a track record of using the News Feed to drive new features to success.

Here are four ways Facebook Watch will change the game for marketers.

1. Ad break ads will likely become more important for Facebook advertisers

In an increasingly internet-marketing-savvy world, people are getting better at tuning ads out. Just last year, Google gave up on its right sidebar ads and removed them.

Fortunately for advertisers, Facebook Watch promises great things. There’s a lot of noise in a Facebook user’s News Feed, so it’s not always easy for your ad to grab attention. But with video, you have a captive audience who is stuck watching your ad. They can’t simply scroll down their feed to get away from it.

Longer videos will only increase the effectiveness of ad break mid roll ads. And if Facebook adds social engagement functionality within the ads themselves, such as reactions and sharing, they’ll perform even better.

Traditional television has been on a downward trend for years. Facebook Watch will only accelerate the ongoing shift of ad dollars from TV to digital and mobile.

2. Facebook Watch gives influencers and social creators a powerful new channel

As promising as the ad breaks are, it’s notable that Facebook Watch publishers can opt out of them entirely. Instead, they can make money through product placement, as long as they tag the sponsor for transparency. One can imagine the implications this has for budding videographers, actors, singers, and documentarians who hope to fund their growth via influencer partnerships.

The rise of the influencer owes much of its success in large part to YouTube. But Facebook Watch could prove to be even more fruitful for influencers.

For instance, Facebook Watch will open up new viewing patterns which are less search-oriented than YouTube. Users who watch or subscribe to programs will see those appear in their News Feed along with the other daily updates from friends, rather than having to go to YouTube to check for the latest uploads. This gives influencers a huge opportunity to increase engagement through video, as fan affinity with influencers will become even more important.

3. Facebook Live may become even more important for brands.

Facebook Live, along with Instagram Live, has been gaining popularity with brands ever since it came out two years ago.

Facebook Live allows brands to humanize themselves and connect with fans in real-time. The live shows and events on Facebook Watch will do the same.

It’s inevitable that one day Facebook will let brands join in on the fun as Facebook opens up Facebook Watch to more publishers. (Those who are interested can apply via this page on Facebook help.) Brands can start practicing now by focusing on Facebook Live.

What resonates with your fans? Do they prefer a structured video format, or something more casual? How often do they want to watch? Daily shows in particular could be a goldmine for brands. The frequency keeps users coming back, ensuring a lucrative return for product placement or ad breaks. That consistent association with their favorite show could make consumers fall in love with your brand.

4. Ultimately, Facebook Watch changes the game for video content marketers

Facebook heavily emphasized the community aspect of Facebook Watch in their official announcement:

“Watching video on Facebook has the incredible power to connect people, spark conversation and foster community,” said Daniel Danker, Facebook’s product director. “On Facebook, videos are discovered through friends and bring communities together.”

Three of the four bullet points in the release mentioned connection and bringing people together. Even the few seed shows Facebook funded are touted as “community-oriented” video series.

It makes sense: The sense of community is what led people to fall in love with the platform in the first place.

Because of this, Facebook Watch will likely see much higher sharing and social engagement than other platforms.

The current list of Facebook Watch programming focuses on reality shows, mini-documentaries, and sports coverage – aligning it more with YouTube than the heavy dramas and comedies of other streaming networks. But while YouTube optimized for how-to and short-form content, Facebook Watch will likely expand opportunities to longer-form videos as well as pure entertainment and more passively consumed content.

Video content marketers should start planning now for how they can create content that fits into those categories and fosters real-time community discussion. Perhaps for the first time, content should be created with the platform in mind first and foremost. Successful videos on Facebook Watch will encourage and facilitate real-time conversations.

Facebook Watch: An Exciting Moment for Marketers

So far, everything about Facebook Watch looks good for marketers. The people on the paid team will enjoy seeing more eyeballs on their ads, and the organic folks will get more “authentic” opportunities to align themselves with influencers. More and more, brands are trying to be seen as friends, not corporations. Facebook Watch will let them do just that.

About the Author: Michael Quoc is the founder and CEO of Dealspotr, an open social platform connecting emerging brands, lifestyle influencers, and trend-seeking shoppers in exciting new ways. He was previously the Director of Product Management for Yahoo’s media lab, where he spearheaded the launch of several innovative services in the live video and mobile social networking areas. Michael has been awarded nine patents relating to mobile and social network applications and technology. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelquoc.

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To mobile consumers, impatience is a virtue: How the on-demand economy is reshaping micro-moments

Today's highly connected consumers expect instant gratification. Contributor Brian Solis explains how brands can gain a competitive advantage by optimizing mobile experiences to deliver real-time value to these customers.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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For Staples, it’s no longer just about office supplies

These days, even the place where you get printer ink and paper clips -- or smartphones -- wants more. It wants a relationship.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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Thunder boosts personalization and performance following Adacus acquisition

The creative production platform now offers what it says are unique capabilities in creative multitouch attribution, post-bid contextual personalization and cross-device identification.

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Give Your Content Marketing a Boost With Social Keywords

Description: C:\Users\matthew.esaena\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\shutterstock_369008021.jpgKeywords have long been the foundation of every content marketing strategy. Knowing the words and phrases that your audience is using to search for information helps guide your content creation efforts, and land a position at the top of search results.

What many marketers don’t realize, is that the keywords that work for SEO and PPC advertising aren’t always as effective for social media marketing. Not only does user behavior on social platforms differ from that on search engines, but the intent of searches is usually different as well. Social media queries tend to be more specific than others — and they also tend to be focused on engaging in a conversation and connecting with others (and brands) than with finding specific answers and information.

Although using the same keywords for all of your content marketing isn’t necessarily going to hurt your efforts, it does mean that you probably aren’t getting all of the value out of your social media marketing that you could be. By focusing on social search, you can not only increase the number of followers to your brand, but also their engagement.

Finding Social Keywords

The first thing to remember when conducting social keyword research is that each social platform — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. — is different, and thus you will need to tailor your social keyword research to each site. If you are just getting started, choose one or two sites to focus your efforts.

Most sites offer some iteration of a keyword research tool that you can use to identify the top performing keywords in your industry and find the terms people are using for search on that site. To get the most from your social marketing efforts, dig deeper and be creative to discover effective keywords.

1. Use Associated Terms

What do you want your brand associated with? Think about the terms users will search to find a business like yours. Are you a pizza joint? Then make sure that “pizza restaurant in (your city)” appears in your social content.

2. Use General Descriptions

If a user forgets the actual name of your business, but knows what you do, what would they search? Brainstorm some possible search terms. For instance, if you have a specific type of unique pizza that’s popular with your customers and has great word of mouth, that could be a keyword.

Description: C:\Users\matthew.esaena\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\shutterstock_588458603.jpg

3. Consider the Competition

Test your keywords to see what else comes up when they are searched. If your competition is already using them, then look for ways to tweak your choices or make them more specific to improve your position.

4. Monitor Hashtags

Hashtags can provide plenty of ideas for keywords based on what people are talking about.

5. Use Alternatives

Pay attention to slang and alternative terms that people might use to search for something. A prime example of this are the terms “H1N1” and “swine flu.” While the scientific term for this particular strain of flu was H1N1, more people refer to it on social media as swine flu. Do your homework to determine which terms people are using and where.

Make the Most of Your Keywords

Once you have identified the keywords for social media, you need to make use of them. Obviously, you can incorporate them into your social posts — following the same rules as apply to other types of content about keeping it natural and relevant — but there are other places uses that you should not overlook. Be sure to include your social keywords in the following content as well.

1. The About Us Section

Social media platforms give you space to describe your company; use your keywords there. On some sites, like Instagram and Twitter, prioritize your most relevant keyword(s) because there are limited characters.

2. Photos

Photos are a vital form of content on social media. Use your keywords in photo captions. If you tie these keywords into your promotions, they can help drive more traffic and engagement.

3. Your engagement

It may be tricky — and not always appropriate — but when possible, incorporate your keywords into your responses and engagement with social followers. You don’t want to come across as inauthentic, but when you can naturally work your keywords into a response, do so.

Using keywords in your social media marketing helps you better leverage your presence and build more engagement with your followers, while also attracting new ones. It requires some extra effort — as does building a social media strategy — but the results of both will undoubtedly be worth your while. 

For assistance with building your social media strategy, download the Guide to Social Media Marketing and get started today!

The Guide to Social Media Marketing

Featured image credit: pexels

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One Ridiculously Easy Way to Enhance the Power of Your Blog Posts

The overall aim of your blog is to help your audience with the issues they struggle with while also educating them on what they need to know to do business with you. That’s too much responsibility for just one article, so each blog post you publish can be thought of as a piece of your

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Coffee with Coke Here are the notes from the Chris Brogan Media broadcast for 09/18/17. (You can watch this on my Facebook account).

This live video was all shot using Ecamm Live (client), the best way to do Facebook Live for Mac.

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