It seems there’s always a digital marketing conference going on somewhere, but few were as eagerly anticipated as SearchLove Boston 2014 was. The thoroughly charming folks at Distilled assembled a truly diverse lineup of speakers for the event – a roster of search and digital marketing talent that certainly didn’t disappoint.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since we gathered at Harvard Medical School’s Joseph B. Martin Conference Center for the event, and perhaps even harder to believe that I failed to get this write-up finished sooner. C’est la vie.Although I’ve no doubt many of you were hanging on my every word on Twitter during the conference, here’s a round-up of some of my favorite sessions.Day OneAlthough Distilled’s Founder and Chief Marketing Office... > Read more
Why You Need Amazon Customer ReviewsOnline reviews are the modern media world-of-mouth; they’re immensely powerful and can have a huge affect on how your business is perceived. A study last year found that:79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations85% of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business moreWhen you wish upon five stars, it makes no difference who you are – your business dreams come true! OK, in truth you’ll need a lot more than wishing to obtain a great Amazon star count.
In this post we’ll talk about why Amazon customer reviews are important and the various ways you can earn them (both legitimately and not-so-legitimately).What Amazon Custo... > Read more
Unless you’re fortunate enough to be the only player in your industry (say, the only dedicated supplier of lion-taming equipment in North America), you’ll need to differentiate yourself from your competition through your unique selling proposition, or USP.A strong, instantly recognizable USP can make or break businesses operating in competitive markets, so it’s essential that you leverage your USP and make it the cornerstone of your overall marketing strategy.
Until you know what your USP is, and how to capitalize on it, your business will be just another voice clamoring to be heard.What is a USP?Simply put, your USP is what makes your business different from everyone else in your market. For some ventures, identifying a USP will be easier than others. For example, if your business r... > Read more
Google has been using some pretty effective scare tactics to warn marketers off link building lately. Scalable link building – even tactics that used to be seen as white-hat, like guest blogging – are steadily coming to be seen as black-hat. Instead of focusing on links, Google says, just build your brand by creating great content!The problem is, everyone and their best friend has already jumped on the content marketing bandwagon.
This noisy space is getting even noisier! Over 90% of B2B marketers use content marketing – for obvious reasons:Two-thirds of consumers say they feel better about and are more likely to buy from a company that delivers custom content.Interesting content is a top 3 reason people follow brands on social media.So when everyone is doing it, how do you stand out... > Read more
Today we'll be covering everything there is to know about explainer videos. They're fun to make, will jumpstart conversion rates, and are overall great to have for any startup business. Let's get started!What is an Explainer Video? Types of Explainer Videos5 Best Explainer Video ExamplesHow to Make an Explainer VideoScriptVoice OversVideo ProductionMusic & Sound EffectsMeasuring PerformanceEnjoying the Advantages of an Explainer VideoWhat is an Explainer Video?Explainer videos are short online videos used to explain your company’s product or service.
Explainer videos, often placed on a landing page, your website’s home page, or a prominent product page, have become extremely popular – some sites boast of conversion rates increasing by as much as 144% after including an expla... > Read more
What is the YouTube Keyword Tool?The YouTube keyword research tool, also known as the YouTube keyword suggestion tool, is a barebones tool used to generate and discover new keywords for YouTube videos. It looks like this:How to Use the YouTube Keyword ToolThe YouTube keyword tool is pretty straightforward – simply choose your language and tailored countries, insert a keyword or phrase, and click “Get keyword ideas.
”Some of those keyword suggestions (heck, maybe a lot of them) will make no sense whatsoever. But, buried in that strange, bizarre rubble of YouTube culture, you may find some gold nuggets than can really help you out when it comes to content strategy.While these keyword results aren’t very long-tail in the literal since of having lots of words, they can certainly be cons... > Read more
Content marketing continues to dominate as a core component of a successful B2B marketing strategy – and we’ve got the facts to prove it. Get your flabbergasted face on, it’s time for some seriously surprising stats and facts about B2B content marketing!Note: Most of this data is taken from the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B 2014 Report.
Exceptions to this are marked. Fact #1: 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing. Yep – almost all of them.Fact #2: 42% of B2B marketers say they are effective at content marketing. (Only 36% felt this way last year. Way to go, that’s a big improvement!)Fact #3: 44% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy (the question is – do you?).Fact #4: B2B marketers who have a documented content strategy are much more likely... > Read more
Today we’re talking about multi-channel marketing – what it is, why it matters, and how to use it in order to better your business.Image from Get More Engagement.Multi-Channel Marketing DefinitionMulti-channel marketing is the practice of using multiple channels to reach customers. In addition to allowing businesses to reach customers through different mediums, multi-channel marketing also makes it easy for customers to complete desired conversions on whatever medium they are most comfortable with.
Multi-channel marketing lets the user decide, giving them a choice.In today’s modern marketing era, there are many channels a business can take advantage of in order to reach potential customers. These channels include:Retail storePPCWebsiteDirect mailEmailMail order catalogMobileWhy is Mu... > Read more
It’s every advertiser’s dream to create a viral video that gets plastered over Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (ha, yeah, because people care about G+). As we’ve discussed in previous posts, the chances of getting an ad to go viral are pretty low – you’re much better off creating educational or how-to videos that will gain a steady stream of visitors over time.
What about the 1% though? Those ads that practically promote themselves? One thing seems clear – most of them are utterly hilarious. Not just funny, but odd, quirky, and even downright bizarre. Today we’re looking at some of the weirdest, wackiest ads online, and examining why they are successful.PooPourri: Before-You-Go Toilet SprayThis video was what inspired this post – I was dying to share this ridiculously oddball... > Read more
Recently, I shared some great examples of e-commerce content marketing – three companies that are using content to promote their online product sales. It was a hit, so let’s do it again – but this time, let’s look at some service professionals that are doing great content marketing work.As ever, the goal of content marketing is primarily to build authority, trust, and interest in your brand.
By positioning yourself as an authority on a topic related to your business, you’re greatly increasing the chances that people will turn to you when they need your services. In other words, content marketing is a great method of lead gen for service professionals.Here are three service professionals putting out awesome blogs and other content to inspire you.Brand New: Addictive Concept, Spot-... > Read more
This is Part 3 in a three-part series on the Pareto Principle by Perry Marshall, author of 80/20 Sales & Marketing and The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Read Part 1 and Part 2.The most important 80/20 of all is the 20% of your skills that produce 80% of your results. Yes, 80/20 applies to your time, and your customers, and your product lines.
But the greatest source of satisfaction of all is working in your gifted zones. When you apply 80/20 to your own giftedness, you force multiply everything else in your career. It’s the fastest path to an income spike. It also reduces your stress, big-time.Looking back on the two grueling years I spent as a manufacturer’s rep, pounding the phone and trying to go see people who didn’t want to see me, I now realize one o... > Read more
As a content marketer here at WordStream, I see great examples of content marketing almost every week – but most of them are coming from lead gen and B2B companies. It makes sense – if you offer a service or some kind of software that helps people do something, content marketing helps you position yourself in the customer’s eyes as an expert in that area.
When people step up and show interest in your educational content, they’re letting you know that they might need other stuff you offer.But what about e-commerce marketing?The same principle works for e-commerce companies, but the tactics need to be a little different. I think attention is even scarcer in the B2C e-commerce space, so content marketing in those verticals needs to be truly awesome – beautiful, exceptional, and all ... > Read more
This is Part 2 in a three-part series on the Pareto Principle by Perry Marshall, author of 80/20 Sales & Marketing and The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.The 80/20 rule is powerful because it’s a law of nature – much like the Golden Ratio, the Butterfly Effect and chaos theory are laws of nature.
In fact it’s driven by the same underlying causes.Last time we talked about how 80/20 applies to almost everything you can measure, and how you can also apply 80/202: 4% of your effort produces 64% of your results, and 80/203: 1% of your effort produces 50% of your results.But it doesn’t stop there!Psychology of War150 years ago, the military genius from Prussia, Carl Von Clausewitz, attained legendary status for his command ... > Read more
We’re on a bit of a mobile kick lately – my last post was about mobile marketing basics, and today we’re diving head first into mobile websites.Image borrowed from MashableWe will be covering different approaches to mobile website design, mobile site best practices, and what you can do to easily make your site mobile-optimized! Get ready to touch, tap, and swipe your way into the world of mobile web design!We'll be delving into:Mobile Website StatisticsMobile Website Design's Biggest Rule: Keep it SimpleApproach #1 to Mobile Site Design: Creating a .
Mobi DomainApproach #2 to Mobile Site Design: Responsive DesignChoosing Between .Mobi vs. Responsive DesignMobile Websites vs. AppsMobile Website Examples: Learn From the Top Mobile SitesMobile Website AdsMobile Website Tips & Best Pr... > Read more
This is Part 1 in a three-part series on the Pareto Principle by Perry Marshall, author of 80/20 Sales & Marketing and The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Read Part 2 and Part 3.Many people have at least a passing familiarity with Vilfredo Pareto’s famous 80/20 discovery: Regardless of city or country, 20% of the people earned 80% of the income.
All sales people should know 20% of their customers write 80% of the purchase orders; software people know the final 20% of the software features consume 80% of the programming time.The Pareto Principle is true of almost everything in business that you can count: Which products sell and how well, which customers are buying, which employees steal pens and pencils, how many customers open support tickets. Number of emails, ... > Read more
What is Mobile Marketing? I would tell you that mobile is the future of marketing, but really the era of mobile has already arrived. If you're not implementing some kind of mobile marketing strategy, you're already trailing behind! As you can see from the graph below, more users are spending larger amounts of time engaged with mobile devices than ever before.
We can expect this trend to continue even further in the future, so get ready!How Does Mobile Marketing Work?Mobile marketing consists of ads that appear on mobile smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. Mobile marketing ad formats, customization, and styles can vary, as many social media platforms, websites, and mobile apps offer their own unique and tailored mobile ad options.Why You Need a Mobile Marketing StrategyYour busin... > Read more
I know y’all are sick of hearing that “content is king.”“Content is king” is one of the major web marketing clichés of our time, right up there with “SEO is dead.”Following close behind, I think, is the recommendation to “create great content.” Want tons of Google traffic, hot leads, record sales? Don’t worry about SEO, conversion rate optimization, any of that, just create great content!But what does that really mean? What makes content great, and what exactly is “content” anyway?Here’s my definition: “Content” is really just information – really, simple as that! When you create content, you’re putting information on your site.
Some of it is intended to teach, some of it is intended to persuade, some of it is intended to entertain. And great content is i... > Read more
Recently, we did our best to put the lie to the myth that PPC is outbound marketing. There’s a persistent idea that cost is the determining factor that separates inbound and outbound marketing. But we believe that all marketing has costs – since no channel is free, what matters is ROI. So inbound marketing isn't free marketing, but rather is defined by context and intention.
Like organic content marketing, PPC ads are driven by context and user intent – in other words, the ads are only triggered when they’re relevant to what people are already searching for. And with increasingly more effective and blinged out ad types, PPC is more and more likely to meet a searcher’s needs just as well, if not better, than an organic result. (We believe that for commercial searches, PPC is better... > Read more
No search marketing campaign can guarantee a 100% purchase rate. Simply put, many visitors just aren't ready to buy... yet. Marketing automation technology and best practices close that gap, turning every website visitor into a lead to be loved and nurtured. As marketing best practices have evolved over the years, so has modern marketing automation.
Today, consumers make decisions on their own terms and expect marketing messages to be relevant both to their interests and where they are in the buying process. Delivering the wrong message at the wrong time is both annoying and a waste of $$.The marketing climate has been moving in this direction for many years. From the dawn of radio and television, consumer choice has increased and marketers have been forced to continually refine their... > Read more
Dear companies that market to women: Stop trying to sell me stuff that has nothing to do with fashion by fashion-washing your ads. I hate this marketing trend! Much in the way that toy companies think little girls will only be interested if it’s pink, brands that sell everything from house paint to yogurt have decided that the only way to market products to women is via association with makeup and clothes.
It’s sexist, it’s cynical, and it just doesn’t make sense.Here are a few of the more egregious examples of this marketing trend I’ve seen in the past year.The Fage Lipstick AdMmm, creamy luxury! What a great ad for lipstick!Wait, what? This is an ad for yogurt?We don’t even need to get into the irrationality of yogurt being marketed solely to women – my husband eats 10 time... > Read more
There aren’t too many benefits to being an English major type – extra zeroes on your paycheck sure ain’t one of them – but we take our kicks where we can get them, and being self-congratulating and superior when someone misinterprets something literary is one of them. So in this post, I’m going to shame some companies that totally missed the point when it came to using a book, poem or song in their advertising campaigns.
And as long as we’re clearing up misconceptions? “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” doesn’t mean “Where are you, Romeo,” it means “Why are you named Romeo?” Now you know.Brooks Brothers & The Great Gatsby: So MoneyWith Baz Luhrmann’s 3-D adaptation of The Great Gatsby opening this weekend, various Gatsby-themed advertising tie-ins are all over the p... > Read more
Back in April 2012 I wrote about how Google Alerts had pretty much stopped working for me. Recently, they clearly tweaked something, because Google Alerts are working better, as Danny Sullivan noted at Search Engine Land recently. However, they’re definitely not back up to the level they were at when I first signed up for a Google Alert years ago.
Why not? Apparently, Google only sends you new alerts under these circumstances:Google Alerts only sends you email if new articles, webpages or blog posts make it into the top ten Google News results, the top twenty Google Web Search results or top ten Google Blog Search results for your query. If the top results remain the same for a while, you won't receive email on your topic.Perhaps this reduces the processing power they have to devote to G... > Read more
I recently spoke with an analyst who had asked me how content marketing is different from traditional PR (public relations). I think this is a question that all marketers and SEOs are having to grapple with as SEO evolves. On the one hand, it’s getting harder and harder to rank in the SERPs with low-quality content and spammy links, making real content marketing much more important; on the other hand, the value of the link as we know it is slowly being devalued relative to social currency and co-citation, which owe a lot to word of mouth and good PR.
So what’s the difference between PR and content marketing? Is there any? The short answer is yes. Here are some thoughts on how these marketing strategies differ.Content Marketing & PR Evolved from Different TacticsI see content m... > Read more
Recently I came across a creative and smart marketing strategy that I thought I'd share with you, the wonderful WordStream community. Preventing newsletter followers from unsubscribing is a goal of many marketers. The Fab marketing team has taken an innovative approach to combating unsubscribers, and today we'll be taking a look at their unique technique.
Fab is a company that specializes in design-oriented retail. The Fab website exists as a marketplace for finding unique art, jewelry, cookware, furniture, etc. They sell some pretty awesome items, and their descriptions are fun as well. Take the product below as an example: "Being human is way overrated. We’re all soft and squishy, we don’t have enough feathers or horns, and we definitely don’t roar as loud as we should. But all... > Read more
The announcement of Google’s new Enhanced Campaigns – coming to an AdWords account near you very soon – made a pretty big splash in the PPC community last week. We think the new campaigns present an exciting opportunity for marketers, especially when it comes to mobile advertising, because the previous system was too time-consuming and complicated.
Enhanced Campaigns should make mobile advertising much easier – but a lot of advertisers voiced concern that the shift will reduce control.Recently, I had the chance to chat with Surojit Chatterjee, the head of global mobile search ads product at Google. Surojit was one of the key product leaders behind the recently released Enhanced Campaigns. In this interview, we discuss the upcoming changes in detail, including what trends and behavi... > Read more
Herpes Simplex is a beautiful thingIt’s flu season, folks! Viral activity is high. And even if you got your flu shot and have Tamiflu stockpiled in your hall closet, I wouldn’t be surprised if you or someone on your marketing team is secretly dreaming of the infographic or Gangnam Style parody vid that’s going to take off faster than H1N1.
Seriously though. I’d like to think that the obsession with viral marketing campaigns is going the way of small pox. It’s not a practical goal for most marketers, and if it happens once, you can go crazy trying to make it happen again.I may not be an advocate of viral content marketing, but I am an advocate of content marketing, the good old-fashioned non-viral kind. And I recently saw a great slide deck from Upworthy about how they ... > Read more
Best practices are best practices for a reason – right?You’ve probably heard people say the same thing about stereotypes. There may be a grain of truth behind some stereotypes, but mostly they’re just an excuse for lazy thinking.Marketing best practices – supposedly tried and true guidelines – are the same way.
Some of them are at least partly true; others are based on pure assumption or are so hypothetical as to be basically meaningless to your particular company.Take, for example, the “best practice” that content for the internet should be brief. Many people assume that web readers don’t want to deal with long-form content, so web writers should always favor brevity over depth.Recently, we’ve found the opposite to be true: Our longer blog posts tend to get better metric... > Read more
Content strategy is a relatively new niche discipline in the digital space. It shares common ground with user experience (UX), interface design, web development, SEO, content marketing, public relations and traditional “offline” marketing.This article highlights some of the leading concepts of web content strategy, how it fits in with its neighbouring disciplines, and shares some practical guidelines that anyone in the digital space – especially those new to content strategy – should consider before embarking on their own content strategy.
These findings were inspired by industry experts who presented at the Content Strategy Forum 2012 in Cape Town.Below are 10 things you need to know to meet a content strategy’s ultimate goal of (1) fulfilling users’ expectations and (2) meetin... > Read more
It’s almost here—the holiday shopping season that so many businesses rely on to profitably round out the year. And once again, there’s a movement afoot to ensure that small businesses get their fair share of the action. Nestled in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday (SBS)—which this year falls on Saturday, November 24.
The U.S. Small Business Administration describes it as “a day to celebrate and support small business and all that they do for their communities.” It's particularly meaningful to me as I myself founded a start-up, and we work with so many small and medium sized businesses every day!Small Business Saturday may be less than one week away, but there’s still time to make sure your business is primed for what will hopefully be a bi... > Read more