Category Archives: Marketing Roundup

Why Slogans Matter

As the general election officially began, we set out to review the very basics - campaign slogans.

These short sound bites are designed, to sum up, the candidates’ overall positions and platforms in just a few easily repeatable words. The idea behind a campaign slogan is twofold: 1) convince voters to choose that candidate, and 2) create easy repeatability that can be chanted, repeated to friends, and maybe even go viral.

So how did the two major candidates do with their slogans? Without considering the issues, the candidates’ likeability, their platforms, or any other factor that will sway voters this November, let’s dissect just the actual slogans.

Hillary Clinton: We’re Stronger Together

With a lifetime of politics under her belt, including stints as First Lady, Secretary of State, and United States Senator, Hillary Clinton should be a master of campaign slogans, right? Yet an analysis shows that her slogan is not quite up to par. Here’s why:

1. Evoking Socialism: Hillary Clinton fought a fierce battle in the primaries against Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders. The fact that she beat him indicates that perhaps her party, nevermind America as a whole, rejected that particular ideal. Presumably, Clinton’s team is hoping to draw in Sanders’ fervent supporters, but the vaguely socialist connotation of the slogan’s word choice could be a risk in the national election.

 

2. Copycat Branding: Donald Trump has run his entire campaign on the idea that he is the strong, tough leader that America needs. No matter what you think of him, the bravado some might say is the total of what he is offering. While the Clinton campaign appears to be trying to differentiate its candidate by pointing out that no one person is as strong as an entire community working together, that idea is a bit high-minded for a slogan. Using the word “strong” enhances the appearance that Clinton is responding to Trump rather than defining the narrative herself.

 

3. Possible Alienation of Voters: Studies consistently show that the word “together” evokes the stereotypically feminine ideals of cooperation and empathy. Its use in a campaign slogan also implies that we should all aspire to work cooperatively with others. That message resonates with those who embrace those ideas, but what of those who embody the stereotypically male traits of independence, stoicism – the refusal to ask for directions? It will be a tough sell to convince these voters that they should suddenly reject individualism and embrace cooperation.

 

Donald Trump: Make America Great Again

Donald Trump’s brash, arrogant, dismissive manner has earned him rebukes and outright disdain from large segments of the voting public, and even key members of his own party. No matter what you think of him, the numbers show that he is a highly polarizing figure. Surely his campaign slogan is just as boorish and inflammatory, right? Surprisingly, he seems to have hit the mark with a slogan that will resonate with quite a few voters. Here’s how:

1. Aspirational Wording: Wherever your personal politics fall, and whatever your view of the issues, it is hard to deny that making America great is an excellent goal. The fact that the word “great” is so nebulous and non-specific makes this even stronger, as each person is free to project his or her unique vision of an ideal, ‘great’ America onto it.

 

2. American Identity: The inclusion of the word “America” suggests patriotism and national pride. We might all be wildly different from each other, but we all think of ourselves as Americans and are proud of that identity.

 

3. Loss and Hope: Notice that the slogan doesn’t tell us to make America great. It tells us to make America great *again*, suggesting that we were once great, but lost our way. However, the slogan assures us, we can make it right. Tapping into very primal emotions that acknowledge our individual and collective grief, and gives us hope for the future.

 

4. Nonthreatening and Inarguable Word Choices: While Clinton’s slogan uses a high-minded appeal to the power of collectivism, Trump’s slogan is intentionally so vague as to be all-inclusive. There is no direct way to disagree with the slogan’s content, it does not highlight any particular viewpoint, and it is simplistic enough to make an excellent soundbite.

Of course, elections are not decided by campaign slogans. Debates, press conferences, social media, and many other factors will play into the final results. Still, in a tightly contested race, every element matters. A slogan should provide a simple, tightly focused message in a compact package that is easy to remember and repeat. The power of a well-designed slogan should never be overlooked, as you never know when it might tip an undecided voter into one column or the other.

Disclaimer: Internal polling of First Source Interactive employees shows support for both candidates as well as neither. We will focus our election analysis on the branding and marketing aspects of the campaign and avoid political positions (which don’t matter anyway).

13 Points to Consider When Setting Up a Google AdWords Campaign

As 2015 draws to a close, time to develop your digital marketing plan is quickly running out. Whether you are suffering from writer’s block or you simply cannot focus on drinking a bit too much eggnog, the following 4-step guide should help give you a kick start. However, before we look at the points, it is important to clear up a common misconception many people have about marketing by answering one question:

 Is your marketing plan trying to answer the wrong question?

I can bet that you and your marketing team are smart – probably even much smarter than I am. However, it makes no sense to be smart but uses your skills and knowledge to answer the wrong question! Let me illustrate this point with an example: a couple of years ago, our company carried out a survey of more than 100 business owners, asking them one question:

“What is the #1 thing you would like to know about digital marketing?”

As is to be expected, the responses were varied, but most of them followed a common theme. Many of the business owners polled wanted to know, “Is there one marketing tactic that I can use to give me the best Return on Investment (ROI)?”

I am pretty confident that if we polled business owners again today, we would get the same question coming up because it is one that our clients keep asking us. Chances are you are also looking for the answer to this issue too!

If you have asked yourself this question, then this article should make it clear that no single tactic or strategy gives the best ROI. When developing your marketing plan, you should not look to find a single ‘holy grail’ trick. What your strategy should do instead is to combine multiple channels to come up with a unified way to improve your ROI.

Now that we have got that out of the way, we can now move to the four steps to creating a successful digital marketing plan.

Step 1: Define Your Goals For 2016

The most crucial step of planning your marketing strategy is determining your goals. However, you should not just have any goals; they should be SMART goals. This is a mnemonic which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Each of your strategy’s goals must meet each of those criteria.

Specific

It is common to hear business owners set vague goals like ‘we need more leads’ or ‘we should increase our sales.’ However, these are not real goals. How many more leads does the business need? How much growth is the company aiming for in 2016? If your goals are already set, be prepared to review them and make them as accurate as possible.

Measurable

You must have measurable goals so that you know what progress you are making toward achieving them. When carrying out your digital marketing efforts, Google Analytics can help you to measure how close or far you are from achieving your goals.

Achievable

Although it is a lot of fun to dream big and set your sights high, it is important that you give yourself targets that can be achieved within the next 12 months. The goals you set should not demoralize, but be a source of excitement and motivation.

Relevant

Does your goal matter in the bigger picture of your business’ success? Achieving your goals should have a direct impact on your bottom line. A #1 Google ranking for ‘New York pediatric surgeon’ is a goal that is specific, measurable and could be achievable, but does no good for the business of a doctor who does not deal with children.

Time-Bound

Because you are preparing your goals for 2016, the deadline for the achievement of your goals is December 31, 2016. Because some of your goals can (and should) be possible to achieve by then, set an appropriate completion date. Having deadlines for your goals is a great motivator to reaching them.

Step 2: Work Backwards When Defining Your Monthly Goals and KPIs

By this point, you should have set your goals. For example, your goal could be to generate sales of $1,000,000 in the next 12 months. This would be a reasonable SMART goal if your business generated less than a million dollars in 2013.

Your next step is to figure out the future date you expect to hit this target and then work backwards. This is a major step as it allows you to identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you must track to achieve your goal eventually.

Although it may sound strange, a simple way to do this is to start by assuming it is December 31, 2016. Write down what the performance of your business looked like that month. Picturing what your future would look like is a simple mind game that is, however, a critical part of planning for 2016.

This exercise will help you answer questions like how many sales were necessary for December to hit your 2016 goal? To generate the $1 million mentioned above, is necneeded to generate $83,333 every month over 12 months. Of course, this is an oversimplified figure as you should plan to have growth month over month from January to December.

So, how many sales are necessary to generate $83,333 every month? If you have an average customer value of $500, you will need 167 sales every month. The next question is: To make 167 sales, how many leads do you require? If your lead conversion rate is 10%, you need to attract 1,670 leads. Looking at your website’s historical analytics figures, you may find that your visitor to lead conversion also stands at 10%. This means you need to have 16,700 visitors to your website every month to hit your sales target.

This example shows how working backwards makes it simple to identify KPIs for your business.

 Step 3: Get Real

The third step in developing an effective marketing plan for 2016 is to check your goals against the KPIs in step 2. Given your traffic statistics, is it possible for you to achieve visitor numbers of over 16,000 every month? Are the conversion rates you used attainable when measured against similar businesses or your historical data?

Getting the answers to these questions requires a fair bit of research and probably some expert third-party advice. The key issue is whether you generate enough traffic to help you achieve your goals. For instance, Google’s Keyword Planner may indicate that there are 100,000 searches every month for the product or service you offer; is it possible for your SEO and Google Adwords to deliver 16,000 visitors to your website?

Although 16% of all the searches for your keyword may not look like much, it is important to remember that – for most businesses – a 2% AdWords click through rate can be termed a successful campaign. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) expert to ensure that the goals you have set are achievable and realistic. If you discover that you have set unattainable goals, do not be ashamed to revise them. It is better to do this at the beginning than to spend 12 months chasing shadows.

Step 4: Assign Responsibilities

The last step of developing your strategy should be relatively straightforward. This move involves assigning a member of your team the responsibility for the implementation and measurement of monthly progress. If your plans for growth are big, you may need to hire someone specifically for this task, or outsource it to a different company.

Creating A Digital Marketing Plan For 2016

As 2015 draws to a close, time to develop your digital marketing plan is quickly running out. Whether you are suffering from writer’s block or you simply cannot focus from drinking a bit too much eggnog, the following 4-step guide should help give you a kick start. However, before we look at the points, it is important to clear up a common misconception many people have about marketing by answering one question:

 Is your marketing plan trying to answer the wrong question?

I can bet that you and your marketing team are smart – probably even much smarter than I am. However, it makes no sense to be smart but use your skills and knowledge to answer the wrong question! Let me illustrate this point with an example: a couple of years ago, our company carried out a survey of more than 100 business owners, asking them one question:

“What is the #1 thing you would like to know about digital marketing?”

As is to be expected, the responses were varied, but most of them followed a common theme. Many of the business owners polled wanted to know, “Is there one marketing tactic that I can use to give me the best Return on Investment (ROI)?”

I am pretty confident that if we polled business owners again today, we would get the same question coming up because it is one that our clients keep asking us. Chances are you are also looking for the answer to this question too!

If you have asked yourself this question, then this article should make it clear that there is no single tactic or strategy that gives the best ROI. When developing your marketing plan, you should not look to find a single ‘holy grail’ trick. What your strategy should do instead is to combine multiple channels in order to come up with a unified way to improve your ROI.

Now that we have got that out of the way, we can now move to the 4 steps to creating a successful digital marketing plan.

Step 1: Define Your Goals For 2016

The most crucial step of planning your marketing strategy is defining your goals. However, you should not just have any goals; they should be SMART goals. This is a mnemonic which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Each of your strategy’s goals must meet each of those criteria.

Specific

It is common to hear business owners set vague goals like ‘we need more leads’ or ‘we should increase our sales.’ However, these are not real goals. How many more leads does the business need? How much growth is the business aiming for in 2016? If your goals are already set, be prepared to review them and make them as specific as possible.

Measurable

You must have measurable goals so that you know what progress you are making toward achieving them. When carrying out your digital marketing efforts, Google analytics can help you to measure how close or far you are from achieving your goals.

Achievable

Although it is a lot of fun to dream big and set your sights high, it is important that you give yourself targets that can be achieved within the next 12 months. The goals you set should not demoralize, but be a source of excitement and motivation.

Relevant

Does your goal matter in the bigger picture of your business’ success? Achieving your goal should have a direct impact on your bottom line. A #1 Google ranking for ‘New York pediatric surgeon’ is a goal that is specific, measurable and could be achievable, but does no good for the business of a doctor who does not deal with children.

Time-Bound

Because you are preparing your goals for 2016, the deadline for the achievement of your goals is December 31, 2016. Because some of your goals can (and should) be possible to achieve by then, set an appropriate completion date. Having deadlines for your goals is a great motivator to achieving them.

Step 2: Work Backwards When Defining Your Monthly Goals and KPIs

By this point, you should have set your goals. For example, your goal could be to generate sales of $1,000,000 in the next 12 months. This is a possible SMART goal if your business generated less than a million dollars in 2013.

Your next step is to figure out the future date you expect to hit this target and then work backwards. This is an important step as it allows you to identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you must track to eventually achieve your goal.

Although it may sound strange, a simple way to do this is to start by assuming it is December 31, 2016. Write down what the performance of your business looked like that month. Picturing what your future would look like is a simple mind game that is, however a critical part of planning for 2016.

This exercise will help you answer questions like: how many sales were necessary in December to hit your 2016 goal? To generate the $1 million mentioned above, it is necessary to generate $83,333 every month over 12 months. Of course, this is an oversimplified figure as you should plan to have growth month over month from January to December.

So, how many sales are necessary to generate $83,333 every month? If you have an average customer value of $500, you will need 167 sales every month. The next question is: To make 167 sales, how many leads do you require? If your lead conversion rate is 10%, you need to attract 1,670 leads. Looking at your website’s historical analytics figures, you may find that your visitor to lead conversion also stands at 10%. This means you need to have 16,700 visitors to your website every month in order to hit your sales target.

This example shows how working backwards makes it simple to identify KPIs for your business.

 Step 3: Get Real

The third step in developing an effective marketing plan for 2016 is to check your goals against the KPIs in step 2. Given your traffic statistics, is it possible for you to achieve visitor numbers of over 16,000 every month? Are the conversion rates you used attainable when measured against similar businesses or your own historical data?

Getting the answers to these questions requires a fair bit of research and probably some expert third-party advice. The key question is whether you generate enough traffic to help you achieve your goals. For instance, Google’s Keyword Planner may indicate that there are 100,000 searches every month for the product or service you offer; is it possible for your SEO and Google Adwords to deliver 16,000 visitors to your website?

Although 16% of all the searches for your keyword may not look like much, it is important to remember that – for most businesses – a 2% AdWords click through rate can be termed a successful campaign. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) expert to ensure that the goals you have set are achievable and realistic. If you discover that you have set unattainable goals, do not be ashamed to revise them. It is better to do this at the beginning than to spend 12 months chasing shadows.

Step 4: Assign Responsibilities

The last step of developing your strategy should be fairly straightforward. This step involves assigning a member of your team the responsibility for the implementation and measurement of monthly progress. If your plans for growth are big, you may need to hire someone specifically for this task, or outsource it to a different company.

Understanding Search Intent

Search intent’ is what lies behind every keyword used in internet search. In order to get a clearer picture of this concept, it is essential for you to look at the search process from the point of view of the person who is searching for the term you are considering for SEO. This will help you to better understand what the person is really looking for.

By carrying out this exercise, you will discover that most keywords can be put under one of two main search intent categories, namely:

  1. Research intent

  2. Buying intent

It goes without saying that the keywords categorized under research intent are those that people type into a search engine when their sole aim is looking to gain more knowledge on the particular keyword. For example, due to spending long hours seated at my desk, I started to experience episodes of back pain. I therefore searched Google for ‘back pain.’ The search resulted in several articles that outlined the causes and possible cures for back pain.

On the other hand, the keywords classified under buying intent are phrases that people type into search engines when they are looking to buy a product or service. In my case, it only took me a short while to realize that there are several products that have proven to be effective remedies for back pain such as anti-inflammatory drugs. I did not require any drugs, but if I did, I would likely have searched for a term like ‘anti-inflammatory chemists NYC.’ It is easy to see that this example keyword has much more buying intent than the initial search for ‘back pain.’

Now that you have a grasp of the concept of search intent, we will investigate how you can tailor your SEO strategy to take advantage of this knowledge.

Focus Your Efforts on Buying Intent Keywords

It can be easy to lose sight of the fact that SEO should aim to ultimately drive sales, not just help gain a higher Google ranking. Keeping this in mind, SEO efforts should be concentrated on buying intent keywords and phrases instead of research intent keywords.

If you fail to do this, you will end up wasting a lot of your time and investing a lot of money on keywords that boost your search rankings but do not drive any sales.

To be clear, focusing on buying intent does not mean completely ignoring research intent keywords; there is a lot of value to be found by ranking high for these types of keywords, but buying intent keywords should be your initial focus. In order for this to happen, your on-page optimization for the product or service should be relevant to buying intent.

Once your product or service pages have been fully optimized for buying intent keywords, you need to expand your focus to research intent keywords. However, this will need you to take a slightly different approach.

Using Research Intent Keywords to Widen Your Marketing Funnel

As I mentioned above, it is easy for you to target buying intent keywords because it is a matter of simply optimizing the relevant product pages on your website. In order to target keywords for research intent, it is likely that you will have to create new pages on your website. Often, the best way to do this is to create a completely new section of your website (for example, a Resource Center) which would contain pages that have information relevant to your industry and are optimized for the necessary research intent keywords. A blog also works as well as a Resource Center in this aspect.

Widening your marketing funnel in this way – through targeting of research intent keywords – ensures that you are able to capture prospective buyers much earlier within the sales cycle. For instance, I did not know anything about the various pain medications available when I was researching back pain.

After I had completed researching back pain, guess the product I would have bought if I felt I needed treatment for my back pain? You guessed right – I would be more inclined to purchase the product sold by the business that offered me the most useful information on the causes, symptoms and remedies for back pain. Put simply, publishing useful information that is optimized for people searching for research intent keywords helps you reach your prospective customers even before they know they require your product or service.

Of course, for this to be effective there is a catch…

A Lead Magnet Is Necessary

For effective conversion of traffic from research intent SEO to sales, it is vital to find a way to capture your visitors’ contact information and use it to follow up and pitch your product or service. Failing to do this will mean that you offer visitors to your website plenty of useful educational information, but they leave your website to purchase from a competitor.

A Lead Magnet is the most effective method of capturing visitor contact information. A lead magnet is valuable content that you offer to your website visitors for free, such as a checklist, guide, informational eBook or coupon in exchange for completing a form. Upon collecting the email address of your prospect, you will be able to do a follow-up message with more information regarding your product or service.

Your approach to SEO will mainly depend on the search intent of the phrases and keywords that you would like to rank for. The first step you should take is to optimize the pages that have details of your product or service for buying intent search phrases, and then optimize your general information pages for research intent keywords. You may then use a lead magnet, which is a tool to help convert researchers into buyers.

Google AdWords: Search vs. Display Networks

A major gripe for me and many other advertisers online is the way Google pushes advertisers to target both their Search results and Display networks whenever they set up their AdWords campaigns. According to Google, when an advertiser first sets up their AdWords campaign, targeting both networks provides an opportunity for them to reach more customers.

While, technically, this is true, it is not a very good idea. In this article, we will examine why targeting both networks in the same way is a bad idea so that you can avoid the trap of targeting these two very different networks with the same AdWords campaign.

Understanding the Search and Display Networks and Their Differences

When most people think of Google AdWords, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the ads that are displayed alongside search results on Google.com. These ads are run on the Search network. The beauty of the Search network is that it offers advertisers the chance to show prospects highly targeted advertising when they are looking for a particular product or service.

The Google Search network is very similar to the old Yellow Pages. This is because prospects would ‘search’ for a particular item in the Yellow Pages when they were ready to buy, which meant that businesses could advertise whatever products or services they were offering alongside the regular listings. Today, most people use Google.com to search for the products or services they need, with the Search network acting as the new Yellow Pages.

On the other hand, Google’s Display network works completely independently of the Google.com search. The Display network is powered by a service known as AdSense, which places ads on a variety of independent websites whose owners are looking to earn money when people view or click on the ads. Any website owner can sign up to AdSense and place the Display network ads on their website. Advertisers can then target these web pages. Google’s statistics indicate that there are more than 2 million websites which use AdSense today, giving you an idea of just how large the network is.

To understand the difference between the two networks, it is essential to understand that when you advertise on the Display network, your campaign is not targeting people who may be looking for your products or services. Instead, you are advertising to the people who are visiting any one of the websites on the Display network. This fact leads us to the first point you need to understand when advertising with Google:

#1. Your Ad Message Should Match the Relevant Network

Whenever someone visits Google.com and searches for a particular product or service, you are almost guaranteed that they have an immediate need. For example, if a prospect searches for a ‘locksmith in Denver,’ it is fairly obvious what the person wants. This person clearly has an immediate need for someone who fixes or repairs locks in Denver, or else they wouldn’t have taken the time to enter that particular search phrase in Google.

With this in mind, you can then tailor your Search network ad copy so that it is a precise match for the keywords the person searched for. This will ensure that you offer them the best option. Because your prospect typed the search phrase ‘locksmith in Denver,’ the ad you place on the Search network should make it clear that you are a locksmith who operates out of Denver and have a call-to-action to encourage the person to get in touch with you.

On the other hand, let us consider a person who is surfing the internet and reading an article that explains how a deadbolt lock is installed. While it is clear that this person would like to know how locks are installed, you cannot be certain that they actually want or need a locksmith. Unlike the prospect who visits Google.com and types in a search phrase, there is no way to know if this individual has an immediate need – therein lies the difference! In this particular case, the ad campaign you place on the display network should be aimed at convincing the person that getting a locksmith is their best option if they would like to install a deadbolt correctly.

It is fairly obvious from the two examples above that the ad copy you choose for the Search network has to be different from that which you use to advertise on the Display network. It would therefore be impossible for you to effectively match your ad message to the network. As a result, it is therefore a bad idea to use a single campaign to target both advertising networks.

After we understand the importance of matching the ad copy to the relevant network, we can then move the concept to the next level:

#2. Ensure That Ads Match Contextually and Behaviorally

When we looked at the example of the Display network ad above, we were working on the assumption that the ad campaign had been targeted at a contextually relevant webpage that talked about how to install a deadbolt lock. This is the simplest form of targeting available when using Google’s Display network to match the keywords within your ad to relevant web pages on the more than 2 million websites that use AdSense.

Another option available to advertisers who use Google ads is behavioral targeting. This works by showing your ads to individuals whose internet browsing history indicates that they may be interested in purchasing your product or service. For example, if I visit many home décor and home improvement websites, with time, the Google search engine figures that I am interested in this particular area and will put me within an audience group that may be called ‘home improvement.’ Behavioral targeting allows advertisers like interior decorators, painters, plumbers or locksmiths to easily select an audience of people that will be more likely to be interested in the products or services they have to offer.

Now that you are suitably armed with knowledge of how contextual and behavioral targeting works, all you need to do to ensure that your campaigns are more effective is to ensure that your ad copy matches your targeting options. The better you get at matching your copy to your targeting options, the higher the number of clicks your ads will generate.

Interactive Monthly Marketing Roundup: December 2014

It’s that time of the month where we compile the best web marketing articles on email, copywriting, mobile advertising, and more! November was a significant month for the marketing industry, especially with the holiday season right around the corner.

We really hope you guys had an awesome year reading our content and taking a look at our roundups for the best information on the web.

Here’s to an amazing and prosperous 2015!

Email Marketing

Looking to grow your email list? Here are 50 proven ways to do that from Jayson DeMers.

Implementing custom messages in your emails as a result of user behavior is incredibly important to increasing email conversions. Jimmy Daly goes over several shining examples from top companies’ emailing practices.

Copywriting

How does a copywriter practice his craft? Here are some special tips for writing with Daniel Pink by Kelton Reid of Copyblogger.

Creating top notch landing page copy requires research on your market and relentless testing. Here is the complete eight-step process to writing converting copy with Henneke Duistermaat.

Mobile Advertising

2015 is here and is a year for greatness to begin! It’s the perfect time to get your mobile app up and running. Rahul Varshneya has the top 10 articles for learning to build your app.

Mobile is no longer the “second” screen. Here are 10 ways to optimize your mobile content marketing strategy by Jeff Bullas.

PPC Management | Paid Ads

PPC can be an incredible investment for any business owner, especially when you consider the amount of time you spend in order to get tangible results. Pauline Jakober lists five practical reasons why you should start off 2015 with a PPC plan in hand.

Take your PPC marketing to the next level with specific ecommerce strategies by Dejeesh of Techwyse.

Social Media

It’s been another incredible year for social media in 2014! Mike Allton does us the pleasure of doing his list of his top 10 Social Media Hat blog posts from that year.

Can social media ROI be measured? Look at the results several companies have had since implementing social media and see for yourself in Christian Arno’s article.

Web Development and Branding

Christmas may have past, but these lessons on planning out your web development remain as true as ever. Sudeep Banerjee offers a holistic approach to improving your website plan in this post.

The best web design companies offer more than just design. They also offer top-of-the-line customer service to make communication as easy as possible. Rick Whittington puts down a list of specifics you can read.

Search Engine Optimization

If you’re an avid reader of SEO news and tips, this blog post is for you! John Rampton shares his top 10 SEO blogs to read this year.

Here’s another refresher on learning the basics of on and off-page SEO by Joseph Cruz of Ahrefs.

*BONUS*

Technology and innovation are vastly improving the digital social experience for both customers and business owners. Cindy King presents 28 social media predictions for the year of 2015!

Let us know what you think of the roundup! List any of your favorite stories from last month down below in the comments section.

Interactive Marketing Monthly Roundup: September 2014

We’ve nearly come to the end of September here on First Source Interactive! You know what that means; it’s time for our monthly roundup of marketing articles that we’ve gathered from across the web!

We hope you enjoy the list of our favorites.

Email Marketing

We sometimes forget that the other person on the end of our email is a human being who values their time. Alex Ivanovs posts five tips for your cold emailing practices.

To grow a following, you’ll certainly need to know how to build a simple email list (even if it doesn’t quite yet have the potential to reach thousands on a daily basis!). George Teiosanu presents more than 68 email marketing tactics for you to test out.

Copywriting

When you pitch your copy to a client, it doesn’t always goes as planned. Aaron Orendorff shares five lessons he learned from a failed copywriting pitch.

This is the ‘how-to’ book you need to read to learn how to craft compelling copy. The folks at Copyblogger release this free ebook for your education.

Mobile Advertising

Remember Twitter’s Tailored Audiences? The folks over at Twitter have added some interesting new features for advertisers to play around in today’s post presented by Kelton Lynn!

Mobile apps and advertising face many of the same obstacles. For example, not only are you competing for customers, but ad networks are competing for YOU. The CodeFuel Staff show us the top five obstacles developers face in this regard.

PPC Management | Paid Ads

Every PPC campaign needs a good structure in order to accurately read the results. Sam Owen talks about ad campaign structure and segmentation in a post.

Want to learn how to make the best PPC campaigns for your business? Dennis van der Heijden goes into detail on how to create them in a smart post.

Social Media

Your social media brand has the potential to stand out amongst your competitors. Be proactive by employing four key strategies to boost your brand by Katie Leimkuehler.

Don’t use each social network in exactly the same way. Think of your engagements as network-specific and you should see massive improvements. Michael Nelson shares a useful infographic for us to learn from.

Web Development and Branding

You have a brand; congratulations! Now how do you convey to your audience in the right way? Donna Merrill offers sound suggestions on marketing your company’s brand through blogging.

Here are 15 awesome web development tools for developers brought to you by MangoMedia.com!

Search Engine Optimization

Manual link penalties have increased in frequency in the past few years. If you’ve been on the unfortunate end of a penalty, you’ll want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Nick Fettiplace shares his best practice to removing a penalty.

In a coming world of increasingly visual content, SEO still applies. Images and videos must be optimized for search in the future. Apu Gupta teaches us how to combine visual content and search in this post.

*BONUS*

Conducting email outreach is not only a matter of skill, but also persistence. Even if your prospect’s email address isn’t right the first time, that doesn’t mean it won’t be right the tenth! Ross Hudgens gives us 10 outreach best practices that separate success from failure.

Kristy Bernales provides six web design tips to help your small business! Enjoy incorporating them into your site.

Let us know what you think of our marketing roundup! If you want to suggest any other notable stories from this past month, please share them in the comments section below.

Interactive Marketing Monthly Roundup: August 2014

We’ve nearly come to the end of August here on First Source Interactive! You know what that means; it’s time for our monthly roundup of marketing articles that we’ve gathered from across the web!

We hope you enjoy the list of our favorites.

Email Marketing

You can’t keep a good outreach message down! Learn from Tadeusz Szewczyk as he takes us through the proper way to reach out to bloggers.

Do your AB testing with the frequency of marketers on Barack Obama’s political campaign! Marcus Taylor demonstrates the proper way to test your emails.

Copywriting

If you’ve never heard of growth hacker copywriting, you certainly have now! Jasmine Henry gives us a brief overview on how hackers are writing copy with growth in mind.

Make your interface copy operable and helpful for your application users. John Zeratsky offers five principles for smart interface copywriting.

Mobile Advertising

The mobile world is coming to a head — this is the new landscape for the web, and it’s here to stay. Mike Paynton presents six reasons why your site needs mobile optimization.

What does the Facebook Audience Network mean for mobile advertising? Jennifer Wise looks into how Facebook can provide better for mobile advertisers and publishers in a post.

PPC Management | Paid Ads

Before you launch your paid advertising campaigns, you need to know how to optimize them. Tom Andrews shows us a step-by-step guide to create the best PPC advertising for your website.

Jennifer Johnston puts together a terrific beginner’s guide to overcoming the challenges of paid-per-click advertising. Have a look to see for yourself!

Social Media

If you think you know everything about social media, think again! Kevin Allen share’s Mainstreethost’s infographic on 10 things you didn’t know about social media.

Looking for a top social media strategy to model yours after? Rob Petersen shows how 10 lessons from Walmart’s social strategy can impact your marketing.

Web Development and Branding

Design is about more than what you can fit on a page; it’s also about how you can make a site visitor feel through presentation. Ronny Shukla expounds upon minimalist web design in his article.

Are you looking to spread your business’s influence far and wide? Try your hand at personal branding with advice from Amy Hagerup.

Search Engine Optimization

Here’s everything you need to know about Google’s Rich Snippets algorithm from AJ Kohn with smart examples to compliment each point!

There are many ways to drive results to improve your SEO. Daniel Faggella lists three simple ways to utilize email to rank better.

*BONUS*

In order to create the best content, you have to understand why that content works. Understand the psychology of content with insights by Ed Owen.

One of the most important goals of any company is to bring in new clients. Pavel Grabowski shows us 25 lead generation strategies for SEO companies to use.

Let us know what you think of our marketing roundup! If you want to suggest any other notable stories from this past month, please share them in the comments section below.

Interactive Marketing Monthly Roundup: April 2014

We’ve nearly come to the end of April! You know what that means; it’s time for our monthly roundup of marketing articles that we’ve gathered from across the web!

We hope you enjoy the list of our favorites.

Email Marketing

The first quarter is finally behind us! Where does your email marketing stand in terms of key performance indicators? Karen Talavera challenges you to aim for three benchmarks that will accelerate your email campaign.

We seem to be steadily improving in our email marketing practices, but what does the near future hold? Bola Awoniyi presents four email practice improvements that will shape the future of marketing.

Copywriting

How effective is your business’s copy? Do you have your copy configuration down to a science? Here are Gregory Ciotti’s scientifically-backed copywriting tips to aid your marketing efforts.

This is for those copywriters who are in a plateau and might benefit from a return to the basics. If you’re in need of a jumpstart, make use of Nikhil Ganotra’s six essential tips for successful copy.

Mobile Advertising

Switching to the mobile platform for the familiar desktop web landscape, might seem a bit jarring, but it is simpler than you think. Allan Bennetto shares eight tips for integrating mobile ads into your marketing campaign.

Beware, webmasters! Just because you incorporate mobile marketing into your strategy, doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. Mark Walsh provides a proper assessment on marketers in the mobile landscape.

PPC Management | Paid Ads

Let’s just say paid search is doing quite well on nearly all fronts. Jessica Lee provides useful insights from paid search Q1 reports in a interesting post.

PPC matters a great deal when it comes to search relevance and traffic. What happens when you combine paid search with organic search? Eminent SEO provides a neat breakdown on both, in a post.

Search Engine Optimization

Backlinks continue to be top currency of organic search results. How do you craft content well enough to attract links? Kev Massey teaches us some useful tips we can practice.

If you need a quick brush up on SEO, learn from the top experts in the field. David McSweeney highlights 11 SEO all stars in a terrific post.

Social Media

If you have a following on Instagram or any other social network, chances are you want it to continue to grow. Brandignity posts tips that can apply across the spectrum of social media for us to learn from.

Facebook is taking a stand against the spam that clutters its news feed. Here is how Facebook is reducing it for its users in this post by Eric Owens and Chris Turitzin.

Web Development & Branding

If you’re in web development, we know you love interesting finds in the web development community. Here are 10+ interesting web development finds from Sam Deering!

When you reach a certain threshold in human memory, an individual tends to only remember what a brand makes them feel. If your branding isn’t emotional, your aren’t getting bookmarked. Rick Sloboda tells us why businesses should get excited about emotional branding.

*BONUS*

It’s time to take your ecommerce revenue to brand new levels! If you don’t think you can improve your web transactions, you’re not thinking outside the box. Osanda Cooray fills us in on the profitable adjustments we can make to our web strategy.

There are always a handful of tools that give us the best return on investment, in terms of marketing. What tools do you recommend using? Justine Voyer shows us the nine tools every marketer should have in their toolbox!

Let us know what you think of our marketing roundup! If you want to suggest any other notable stories from this past month, please share them in the comments section below.

Interactive Marketing Monthly Roundup: March 2014

We hope you enjoyed March! We’re glad everyone could make it to our monthly marketing roundup! Every month, we collect the top marketing posts in the industry and present them here for your viewing pleasure. There have been some excellent new stories this month including Twitter turning eight years old, Facebook pushing its Paper app, and Instagram hitting 200 million users.

Email Marketing

When most people think about email lists, they imagine having to build up a huge storage of content before creating one. In many cases, however, you can still accrue subscribers without having to invest a majority of your time in content creation. Sumitha Bhandarkar discusses the launch plan she used to get 1,357 blog readers before publishing her first post.

Do you have a burning question on email marketing? Chances are it’s been answered somewhere before. Kevan Lee answers 10 of email marketing’s most important questions in an knowledgeable post.

Copywriting

As a copywriter, you want to learn from the best. Modern-day copywriters should be taking lessons not only from the current successful copywriters, but ones who have long since made names for themselves. Demian Farnworth presents 13 ideas from copywriting legends.

Is your copywriting strategy not working out for you? Maybe you need some outside advice to put your copy into perspective. Tracy Mallette shares tips from eight content experts on copy that converts.

Mobile Advertising

There are plenty of ways you can use mobile for your business. Your local marketing and reputation management are significantly increased when you employ mobile access. Read this article by Customer Service Guru for full tips.

How useful is mobile PPC to your business goals? If you aren’t entirely sure, you’ll need to know how mobile PPC operates with your customers behind the scenes. Dan Shewan breaks down mobile PPC interactions in a well-written post.

PPC Management | Paid Ads

Do you want to make your Adword report useful to your PPC marketing strategy? Make your reports the way a marketer would. Jeff Allen shares tips on report formatting in this smart post.

If you’re using PPC to get leads, rethink some of your basics before you start running your ads. Overlook these essentials, and you’re bound to get a much lower conversion rate. Sonakshi Babbar highlights nine ways to optimize your PPC landing page.

Search Engine Optimization

Keyword data is out the window, so we’re going to have to make due with other metrics. Luckily, Google Analytics provides a robust variety of reports that can bring insight to our traffic data with the need for keywords. Chuck Price gives us the top eight Google Analytics reports for managing organic SEO.

Optimize your local listings to get organic local traffic. Seems like a no-brainer, right? James Gemmell outlines the steps to get your business on the right track in search in this terrific local post.

Social Media

If your visitors aren’t sharing your content, you have a serious problem on your hands. The first thing is to ask yourself, what type of emotion am I making my audience feel? Courtney Seiter publishes a powerful article on how our brains decide what to share.

What are you doing with your LinkedIn company page? It’s easy to see LinkedIn is useless in a content marketing sense, but the social tool has within itself tons of potential. Albert Costill reveals eight easy steps to optimizing your company page.

Web Development & Branding

When is the right time to start thinking about branding? The best answer is “right now.” Jeremiah Smith posts a full walkthrough of creating and building a brand for your company in a thorough article.

Web designers, it’s your lucky day! There are tons of free tools for designers to take advantage of, but our friends have compiled the very best for you to use. Juan Pablo Sarmiento unveils 50 freebies for web designers this month.

*Bonus*

You know the saying; keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. In the competitive world of marketing, analyze your competition for to take advantage of where they falter. Kalie Moore teaches us how to create a competitive analysis of your rival’s blog.

Let us know what you think of our marketing roundup! If you want to suggest any other notable stories from this past month, please share them in the comments section below.