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Should Your Website Have Infinite Scrolling?

Infinite scrolling is a hot trend for web design and can be often seen on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The further you scroll down the page, more content populates without having to use a scroll bar.

Content creation will always be critical for digital marketing, and now the display of that content is equally important. But how do you know if infinite scrolling is right for your website? Here are a couple of things to consider before instituting infinite scrolling.

Content and Images

Companies that have lots of content and images on their websites are perfect for infinite scrolling. Websites that display this type of content are typically used for entertainment or are browsing particular subject matter. The user is given lots of information in the form of graphics and bold headlines, it makes for quick browsing. Mashable is a great example of heavy graphics and bold headlines.

Mashable Homepage

 

In contrast, an ecommerce website needs to have a footer that contains contact and account information or company policies and privacy notices. In a non-ecommerce site, a menu button containing pertinent information can be tucked up at the top of page, making the layout work well.

Searching For Products and Services

If your company relies on the website for searching, then an infinite scroll design is probably not the best option. Hubspot recommends, “if your company relies on navigation or sending readers through a funnel (to buy, to learn more, and so on), infinite scrolling could make it harder for the user to navigate.”

When Etsy attempted to use infinite scrolling, it didn’t pan out the way company had hoped. When a user receives 16 options to choose from, the need for additional products becomes redundant. Dan McKinley admitted that they should have put idea through A/B Testing and gotten to know the users who use Etsy better. The bottom line: for folks who are searching rather than browsing on a website, infinite scrolling does not work well.

Still not sure if infinite scrolling is right for your website?  Here are a few pros and cons of infinite scrolling:

 Pros:

  1. It doesn’t slow down your website
  2. Easier to display large amounts of content
  3. Great for updating real time information

Cons:

  1. There isn’t a search option
  2. Readers can’t skip around easily
  3. Heavy JavaScript

In conclusion, there are many pros and cons, so it’s best you get to know your users before bringing on a new interface. If you do decide to make the switch, try to test it out before making it a permanent change.

4 Tips and Tools To Attract Bloggers

Popular blogs can be a great resource for your brand and can help you build a community. The more popular the blogger, the higher the value their endorsement is worth to you and your company.  Bloggers with larger followings are contacted frequently by marketers asking them to endorse their brands. The trouble is, because they are inundated by so many offers, how do you get yours to stand out?

Here are a few tips and tools to attract bloggers to your product or company.

1 – Customize Your Offer

If you’ve been using the bulk-email technique, you’re likely not getting any responses from your emails. Remember, the most read bloggers are getting offers all the time, make your offer look the most attractive.  Personalizing your offer to a blogger makes your proposal stand out among all the others; it shows that you’ve done some research on who they are and what their followers want to read about. Find out what types of blog posts they are publishing and play to those interests. It also proves that there is a human behind the curtain, not some machine pulling the ropes.

2 – Be Clear and Concise

This tip seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people are not using their brain when they are contacting bloggers. Proofread what you have written, and make sure that it makes sense. Explain clearly what you are offering to the blogger, and why working together would be beneficial to both of you.

Here is an example of what NOT to do.

Blogger Outreach Tip

3 – Don’t Use the Interns For Outreach

Leave the outreach task to the more experienced professionals so that you aren’t having to apologize for any unprofessional emails or other correspondence. Ann Smarty of HubSpot Blogs says, “Interns are wonderful – but they likely don’t have much of a feel for your industry and how to navigate the politics of reaching out to other professionals.”

4 – Use Blogger Outreach Tools

Blogger outreach tools are used to identify which blogs you want to target. When you identify those with significant influence you will get much better results. There are lots of different types of blogger outreach tools out there, and they all have their own unique attributes of accomplishing outreach.  Here are a few options that HubSpot recommends:

  • BuzzSumo finds key influencers to promote your content
  • Circloscope is a Google Plus Circle tool that will find niche influencers
  • Traackr is an enterprise level influencer research tool that makes it easy to prioritize your outreach efforts
  • LittleBird can help you filter through the noise and cut through to the real influencers that fit with your target audience

We’d love to hear your blogger outreach tips, please share any success stories in the comments section.

 

How to Keep Your Social Media Info Private

With social media an ever present fixture in most people’s lives, the need to share feelings, pictures, and opinions has become the norm.  The phrase, “pics or it didn’t happen!” has almost made it feel necessary to share pictures of life events, just to prove to others that you in fact have a life.

The fact that social media sites are, well, social creates an environment that encourages sharing as well.

But where do you draw the line of who your pictures and information are shared with?  You probably don’t mind if your friends see pictures from your 21st birthday party, but do you want your parents to see?  What about your boss? Or a random stranger who you’ve never even met?

Each social site has different privacy settings and different user interfaces, so it can be very tricky figuring out how to secure your personal information and photos.  This infographic, posted by Hubspot, will help answer all your questions!  Each section will walk you through step by step, with images, how to update your privacy settings on various social media platforms.

HubSpot Infographic

3 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Lead Generation

Does your LinkedIn profile read like a resume and cover letter? Does your profile have a call-to-action in it? Are the majority of your contacts currently in your field?

Here are 3 tips for the best ways to optimize your LinkedIn leads generation.

#1:  Show Me What You Can Do For Me

Including your resume and cover letter on your LinkedIn profile is a good place to start when building your profile, but is that all you are including? Brynne Tillman from Social Sales Link shares, “prospects don’t care about what you’ve done- they want to know how you can help them.” By showing prospects your potential value, they will be more apt to find you through searches. Be like the “Show Me” state of Missouri, and show your prospects what makes you stand out from the rest.  Fill out your profile completely and include why your solutions to possible problems are the best; this will make your profile a powerful marketing tool.

LinkedIn Summary Example

 

#2:  Marketing Your Content

A great way to engage LinkedIn users is to include content marketing as call-to-action posts.  Not only does this give your prospects something to click on to learn more about you, it creates more leads and opportunities for you. The content could range anywhere from a giveaway, employment opportunities, or a white paper, the goal is to get people curious to who you are and what you can offer them. The stronger the content you post, the better results.

#3:  Cull Your Contacts

It’s tempting to add every Tom, Dick and Harry as a contact, the more the merrier, right? But are they relevant to your business? It’s imperative that your contacts are actually related to your business, industry, and field. With the understanding that these folks you have as contacts will be viewing and hopefully clicking your posts to learn more about you or your business and vice versa.

LinkedIn Connections

When you are searching for contacts, pursue the decision makers and strong influencers. Social Media Examiner’s Kristina Jaramillo says, “Define who your primary and secondary prospects and influencers are, and then use hot-button topics to connect and engage with them.”

Remember, the most important thing to remember on LinkedIn is: “sell your value, not your accomplishments.” Tell prospects how you can help them. Use your entire profile and all of LinkedIn’s tools to show how your value contributes to their success.

 

Top 4 Tips to Connect with Your Audience on Social Media

If you are only focusing on business in your social media posts, you’re doing it wrong. The reason it’s called social media is to socialize. If you are at a dinner party, you wouldn’t talk only about work, you share funny stories, jokes, and personal experiences. You might talk to someone about how you know the host, about the food that is being served, or learn something about the people you are talking to. Social media content is not much different than this.

Here are 4 ways to make better connections with your audience on social media:

1)  Cultivate Relationships

Instead of giving a hard sell to your followers all the time, it is essential to create goodwill with them.  Posting things that people can relate to or find humorous is a good way to cultivate these relationships. This creates a sense of personality and makes your online presence appear less robotic.  For example, Miller Lite posted this funny internet meme on their Facebook page.  It’s culturally relevant, funny, and mostly likely would appeal to their target demographic.

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2)  Integrate Relevant Events

Find ways to integrate relevant events into your brand posts. For example, Tide used The Dress Debate to tie in their product to this wildly popular controversy. It’s current, lighthearted, and easy to relate to, which also helps cultivate relationships with your followers. This post ended up having almost 2000 shares, 16,800 likes and almost 800 comments. I’d say they nailed it.

Tide Facebook Image

3)  Create Calls-To-Action

Creating a call-to-action allows your followers to interact with your brand, for example liking a post or sharing a photo. This in turn will enhance your business goals of either purchase or lead generation. Pampers campaign of #PampersFirsts encourages their followers to post photos of their baby’s firsts, from the first time they smiled or had solid food or spoke their first word.

Pampers Tweets

4)  Curated Content

Social Media Examiner proposes that sharing curated content that is relevant to your product or brand will also create goodwill. It shows that the business is not all about them all the time.

Chobani’s Pinterest account is an excellent example of this. Kierra Stein says, “A yogurt brand associated with health living, Chobani caters to its audience with tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They use their Pinterest account to share recipes, workouts, inspirational quotes, ideas for setting up your kitchen and more; and most of these are repins or pins from other sites.”

Chobani Pinterest

 

 

The business side of your work is important, but so is cultivating relationships within your online presence. Applying these tips to your social media posts will give your content the best online personality.

3 Myths About Inbound Marketing

All businesses use their own jargon when discussing internal projects, and it can sometimes be a little confusing. Marketing is definitely not an exception to this rule, and inbound marketing is one of those often confused terms.

Inbound marketing is the creation of quality content that attracts people toward your business or product. “By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic.”  Even with this defined, there are still many people confused about what it means and there are many misconceptions surrounding inbound marketing.  Here are 3 common myths that surround inbound marketing:

Myth 1:  Inbound marketing is a fancy way of saying SEO.

SEO is actually a fundamental part of inbound marketing, but it’s just one part of it. Inbound marketing brings traffic, that traffic turns into leads, which eventually and hopefully, turns into sales.

Inbound-Marketing Graphic

Myth 2:  One person can handle doing all the inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing needs all hands on deck. It really shouldn’t be one person’s responsibility, there are many skill sets needed. It’s SEO, social media, content writing, design, development, strategy, project management, data analysis, business thinking, and audio/video production.

Myth 3:  Inbound marketing is formula driven.

Inbound marketing isn’t a to do list of things to check off:  writing blog posts, tweeting, publishing white papers and Facebook posts, and done! While these things are important, they don’t necessarily need to be done each day or week. Personalizing the content to your audience is the key to successful inbound marketing.

HubSpot agrees that “it’s a commitment to focusing on your customer/client, not you. It’s a focus on creating a business that matters. It’s a decision to be a human business that shows personality.”

At the end of the day, creating a big online presence for your business takes more than just a few clicks of the mouse. Inbound is a mindset. Specific strategies should be developed for this online presence.  Learn more about your consumer first and serve them what they want, and in turn it will help you build up your business’s personality.

 

The Importance of Data Accuracy in Marketing

Data accuracy is a fundamental piece of your marketing strategy. If you don’t have the resources to back up your claims, you might as well be quoting internet memes to your audience.  Here’s a perfect example of this…

“The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy.” Abraham Lincoln, 1864

Abraham Lincoln Internet Quote

Finding information that you’ve accumulated bit by bit from the internet and not sourcing it makes the material appear flimsy, and let’s face it, it probably is. Give your consumer the facts and reference it in your marketing pieces.

There are several key parts to having a good data source:

1. Keep Current:  Because data changes frequently, like everything else in our world, it is suggested that using data from the past 1-2 years is best. Some larger data sources such as the Department of Labor update their information annually and sometimes monthly. If you aren’t sure your data is current, be open about it. The graphic below has its source listed in the left-hand corner.

Data Set Graphic

2. Use Reliable Sources:  Hubspot’s Ross Crooks recommends, “Verify that the source you choose is relevant, legitimate, and as unbiased as possible.” Sources from government agencies are solid choices when looking for data. Also, ask yourself a few questions, such as, is the source affiliated with a credible organization? When was the web page last updated? And what is the purpose of the organization providing this data? That last question is a big one. Some sources could have a hidden agenda if you are not careful in checking what their purpose is.

3. Be Original:  Finding data on the internet is pretty easy, but tracking down the original source may not be. However, it’s an important step to take. Why? The secondary source may not have given the whole picture of the data or they didn’t use correct methods to gather the data. Analyzing your data sources will only make your information more trustworthy and consistent.

Here is a short list of reputable data resources:

  • Pew Research: Nonpartisan public opinion polling.
  • Google Finance: Real-time stock market data.
  • Census Bureau: Demographics, geographic information, and education for the U.S. population.
  • Topsy: Social Media trends and Tweet history

Remember, including supportive documentation will not only make your content more valid, it will also give your message a higher impact.

How to Use Color Effectively in Marketing

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. There is a reason why this cliche is true, and this theory is true in life as well as in online marketing.

When your visitors land on your website, they will immediately be greeted with color, large headlines and graphics or photographs. All of these components are important and serve their purposes for one reason or another. What we want to go highlight in this post are the colors you choose for your website. Color gives your audience the first impression of your online business brand.

Without getting too far into color theory, we’ll try to keep it simple.  In short, your website’s color palette can affect how people perceive you and your business. Different emotions are tied to different colors, which can create a different user experience.

The Warm Colors

The colors red, orange and yellow are next to each other on the color wheel and are all considered warm colors.  Warm colors typically evoke feelings of happiness, optimism and energy.

Pinterest uses red as the primary color on it’s website. When users land on Pinterest.com, they are likely looking for some creative inspiration, whether it’s to plan their child’s birthday party, the coming week’s dinner menu, or their next home improvement project. The red logo pops stands out against the white background, and is energetic and happy.

Pinterest Log In Screen

The Cool Colors

Cool colors include green, blue and purple. Cool colors are soothing, but they can also express sadness. Purple is known to spark creativity since it’s a mixture of blue (calm) and red (intense).

Tiny Buddha’s logo is a great example of a brand creating a calm and soothing experience. Take notice that the blue is not a dark blue, which is typically used for corporate logos and websites. The lighter blue that Tiny Buddha uses, softens the sense for the user. It conveys good, calm feelings for the simple wisdom it provides.

Tiny Buddha Logo

The Neutral Colors

Black, gray, white, tan, and brown are known as neutrals. These colors are best used as background colors in design and on websites.  In both of the above examples, white and gray are used as secondary colors throughout the website, allowing the bold logo color to stand out. Neutrals provide an “easy on the eye” space for stories, text, and photographs.

Using certain color schemes will set the tone of your website and can even help site visitors navigate your website. Because color is so critical, it is important that the marketer and designer know their target audience and choose those colors in accordance to these findings.  What colors do you use in your marketing and on your website?

 

Pinterest Interests Explained

If one of your marketing goals is to  improve your visibility and engagement on Pinterest, you should be using the Pinterest interests feature. This feature will help you find niche interests that otherwise wouldn’t be showing up in your feed. Interests are just like other boards that you follow, once you find your desired topic, just click to follow.

How does using interests work for your marketing strategy? Social Media Examiner explains that you’ll gain increased visibility by many interest groups by using the right types of keywords in your pin descriptions, which make your pins repinnable.

You’ll also find new people to follow that are relevant to your business. Profile images are shown on an interest page, and by clicking and researching them, you could find potential new clients who follow an interest related to your business.  Engaging with other pinners has now become a no-brainer. By commenting, repinning and liking pins of relevant content you’ll engage with other people you don’t already follow on Pinterest.

Finding the interests option takes a few steps. Previously, it could be found in the drop down menu in the search bar, but has since been removed.  Currently, the only way to find interests is to find someone who is already following them. Start by clicking on any Pinterest account that is pertinent to your business and locate their following number.

Social Media Examiner Screen Shot

 

Click on that number and a new page will appear. If the pinner has interests, the page will load with the boards it follows. If the account does not have any interest boards, the page will be empty. Once you find a user that has interests, click on the topic that is relevant to your business and a new page will populate with hundreds of pins related to the interest board. You’ll also see the number of followers and additional recommended interests.

Pinterest Interests

 

Increase your pinning power and get more visibility and engagment by using this hidden but extremely useful feature.  Will you utilize this feature in your marketing strategy?  If not, would you say that’s because this feature is difficult to find?  We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section.

 

Learn How to Create Facebook Video Ads

Facebook video ads can create great opportunities for your business. Video ads give the user a quick overview of what you are marketing through visually and audibly.

Creating a Facebook video ad may sound intimidating, but with Facebook’s easy to use Power Editor and Live Advertising Interface, you’ll be creating audio visual content in no time flat!

Social Media Examiner gives a great tutorial of how to create video advertisements with both Live Advertising Interface and Power Editor.

Creating Video Ads With the Live Interface

The live interface is direct and takes almost no time at all to get your campaign up and running.

  1. Log into your advertising manager and click on Create Ad on the top right hand side of the screen. rab-create-ad
  2. Then, select Get Video Views.rab-get-video-views-ad-option
  3. Facebook prompts you to choose which page you want to use to promote the video.
  4. Next, Set Up the Campaign. Place the campaign name and then select your target audience demographics (location, age, gender), interests and behaviors. Finally, pick your bidding strategy and budget.rab-ad-targeting
  5. Once the campaign is set up, upload your video. The format needs to be .MOV files. Upload file up to 1 GB with a resolution of 720p and the aspect ratio of at least 16:9.
  6. After the video has been successfully uploaded, setup the text and the call to action. This is very important step, you only will be able to set up a landing page if you pick one of the eligible calls to action. The CTA will show up while the video is playing, you won’t see it in the preview.rab-call-to-action

Power Editor How-To

The power editor may seem complicated, but it’s the the most efficient option to create variations of your video for testing purposes.

  1. To begin, go into Facebook Ad Manager and click on Power Editor.rab-power-editor
  2. Download your advertising account in Power Editor before you begin the campaign creation procedure.
  3. First, sort your data by campaign, then, create a new one.
  4. Insert the name of the campaign, the ad buying type and objective. To increase traffic, select Video Views as the objective.rab-create-video-view-campaign
  5. Switch to the ad set view within the Campaign tab and make a new ad set for your video ads.  Ad sets are groups of ad that target a specific group of people. Each target group needs its own ad set. Segment your ad sets, compare the results of the campaigns at the target group level.  Setup the targeting method, budgets, placements and the bidding model at the ad set level, as is now required by Facebook.
  6. Switch from the campaign view to the ad set view in the vertical menu. Select the ad set you just made and then click the Ads tab. Now you can create a new ad.
  7. Name your ad and then customize it.  Select the page you will use to promote it, insert the text, upload the video you want to use and select a CTA to insert your landing page URL.  Here’s how to set up the ideal viewer profile for your video ad.rab-select-facebook-page

The advantage to using the Power Editor is that ad can be created and then duplicated quickly so you can run split tests. You can also duplicate ad sets to target other groups.

If you’re new to videos, this is a great way to do some testing.  The set up is user friendly and video ads can take your marketing to the next level!