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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!

6 Tips to Simplify Your Writing

Simplified writing is more enjoyable to read, but actually writing in a simple way can be challenging.  Writing simply doesn’t mean “dumbing it down” for your audience, which can inadvertantly come across patronizing. Simple words can be used to discuss complicated topics. Your writing should be easy to understand, otherwise, it could distract the reader from the topic at hand.

In this post we’ll cover some tips that HubSpot blogs  offers on how to clean up your writing to make it clear, concise, and comprehensible.   Articles that contain lots of technical jargon can really jam up the reader. Different audiences require different levels of simplicity. What a doctor considers simple, a lawyer wouldn’t and vice versa.

Here are 6 tips to simplify your writing:

  1. Write like you speak – when you write like you speak by including personal stories or common phrases, your reader becomes immediately engaged. It’s relatable, and people like to relate to each other!  Hubspot provides this screenshot as an example of writing like you speak.Hubspot example
  2. Tell the reader when you change the subject – when you’re telling a story out loud, you typically say when you are bringing on a new topic. The same applies to your writing. The reader could very well be skimming what is written, so it’s a good idea to explain the transition using a header or even a new paragraph.
  3. Use graphics and visuals – Graphics and visuals that accompany your writing can help clear up complicated information. Plus, many people are visual learners and absorb information easier with visuals than words alone.  Here is an example of a few different types of visuals.  form-label-alignment
  4. Short paragraphs – Paragraphs are visible breaks for your brain. Breaking up an article into smaller segments helps the reader to digest what they have just read. Think of it as taking a deep breath before you start speaking again. The recommended maximum number of sentences per paragraph is six.
  5. Get a proofreader – Have another set of eyes look at your work. Ask them to see if there are any areas that could be simplified or rearranged for simplification.
  6. Remove unnecessary words and shorten sentences – If you don’t need to say it, get rid of it!  This will also help to shorten sentences, which makes the content is easier to digest.

At the end of the day, if you are able to convey your message using clear, concise language, you’re probably winning at writing. Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough.” If he can sum up the equation below with e=mc2, then we have no doubt that with some practice, you can simplify a blog post.

einstein-equations

Top Tips on Optimizing Your Web Pages

If you’re in the marketing biz, you’ve heard of optimizing your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).  Optimizing your website is the same idea, but in a broader sense.  The user is the main focus of website optimization, they should be able to easily find the home page, the purpose of the website, the blog, and the contact information. This sounds basic, but giving the user the information in a more obvious way will yield better results.

SEO Image

Here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself to get to know your users better:

  1. What is the User searching for?  
    How did they get to your website? Did they Google or get your web address from an email? By considering where they are coming from, you can deliver applicable content.  What are they trying to find out? By keeping the webpage simple and clean, the user won’t be inundated with tons of information that they have to trudge through.
  2. What is the end game for the user?
    This is a critical piece of the puzzle and often many pages overlook it. The CTA (call-to-action) is the most critical piece on your web page. Why is this so important?  Neil Patel of Hubspot says, “Because every shred of knowledge demands some response: A web page imparts knowledge, and that knowledge requires a response.  So, what is it that you want the user to do? This your goal for the user, and it must be clearly and starkly defined as you face the big optimization question.”

Here are some tips on optimizing your web pages:

  • Home Page
    Big headlines – keep the most important information front and center.
    Provide continuity – make the information accessible and easy to understand.
    Have the CTA as large and obvious as possible and make the navigation menu as clear as possible.
  • About Page
    Keep the information you know the user needs before the page break, that way they won’t need to scroll. Also include a CTA so a user feels a deeper engagement.
  • Blog
    Keep your blog organized so that the most popular or most recent  blog posts are the most prominent.
    Include CTA subscription to the blog fields, incorporate them into each individual blog post so that the user can’t miss them.
  • Contact Us Page
    Have the contact information, email addresses, phone numbers, mailing address or directions to the building before the fold on the web page.
    Include obvious CTA items on this page as well, “Call us, we’d love to hear from you!” It makes your business more friendly and accessible.

Finally, here is Patel’s Pro Tip, “Look at your most visited pages, figure out why users are there, give them what they want, and ask them for action in return. Regardless of your most-visited pages or even the nature of your website, you can create more engaged users.”

6 Tips to Make Your Twitter Profile Stand Out

Twitter profiles are a great way to show your audience who you are and what you’re about in a creative way. Do you have a catchy yet captivating profile? Here are some tips to create a relevant profile that will get you noticed.

  • Go Against the Grain – Resist the urge to copy current Twitter profile trends. Check out what your followers have written in their profile and then do the opposite. Reading the same wording that everyone uses is not only boring, but it also may not convey the message you want to give to your followers.
  • Recognize Your Audience – Using the word ‘You’ in your profile makes the reader feel involved in your business. It creates personalization, which in turn makes your followers or potential followers feel welcome. It’s similar to saying hello or goodbye.
  • A Single Word – Less it more, a single word in your profile can show your creative edge while still getting your point across. Twitter Example #1
  • Update Often – Most Twitter users know that an occasional refresh of your profile will keep your followers interested. Renew your Twitter profile with relevant things that are happening in your marketing endeavors or your career.
  • Exaggerate, Playfully – Using an amusing sentiment in your profile attracts readers to want to read more of your tweets. Ellen’s whimsical profile includes, “Comedian, Talk-Show host, and ice road trucker. My tweets are real and they are spectacular.”  The obvious fib is fun and inoffensive to her audience, and it shows her spunky personality.Twitter Example #3
  • Keep It Brief and Use Links – Keeping your profile brief but to the point is a good technique to tell your reader who you are, what you are known for, and also an opportunity to link your website. Hashtags are a unique way to make your profile stand out too. SocialMedia Examiner advises you to, “Choose the most important thing you do; state them in a clear, compelling way.” Twitter Example #2

Being a creative writer can take some finesse. But it’s not all about the wit and the one-liners, it’s about gaining more followers that in turn will be more leads for sales or connections. Don’t let your creativity get you in over your head, use it smartly and often.

 

Reorganizing Your Marketing Strategy for 2015

In years past, the thing to do was to get on as many social media platforms as possible. Or write more blog posts, more twitter posts, more status updates on Facebook. While this technique may seem like a good idea, the quality of your work might be suffering and you’re losing traffic and/or potential traffic. This year, think about what you can trim off your marketing strategy in order to make your business more efficient and effective.

Take a look at your current marketing plan and make some honest decisions on what is actually working for your business and what is not. Then cull out the pieces that aren’t getting your analytics to rise.

Ginny Soskey from Hubspot Blogs writes about 6 things that should be cut from your marketing in order for it to be more effective. I’ve highlighted 4 that will make the most of your marketing.

  1. Real-time marketing – this was cute until it wasn’t. Remember the Oreo cookie ad that was tweeted during the 2013 Superbowl when the power went out?  “It was relevant, it was quick, it was witty, and the general public loved it.  So many marketers thought that real-time marketing was the next big thing,” explains Soskey.  Oreo Superbowl TweetA popular pizza company attempted this technique with the #WhyIStayed (a hashtag that supported domestic violence victims), and ended up insulting a large part of their audience. It was downright insensitive and got a lot of kickback.

    Real-time marketing can be effective, if it is used for pure purposes, and not that of viral ones.

  2. Using Social Networks that aren’t working for you – Did you know that the average B2B marketer promotes their content on six social platforms? Your strategy should reflect that of your consumers. Look at your metrics and see where they are coming from. Spend more quality time on the posts written for those social networks. This could be Facebook or even a niche social platform.

    Soskey offers this pro tip: “If your ultimate goal on social is to generate sales, be sure to investigate the entire funnel before cutting a platform. You may find one network doesn’t generate a ton of traffic but does convert that traffic into leads really well, for example. In cases like that, you probably wouldn’t want to cut the platform — instead, cut time from another platform that isn’t driving many bottom-line results.”

  3. Bad Stock Imagery – No one wants to look at a generic piece of stock imagery that barely even relates to your business. Instagram, Canva and other photography solutions should be put into practice. They are relevant, interesting and usually much more creative than the cliche man in a suit on a street with a pigeon sitting close by on a park bench.
  4. Not Optimizing Conversion Paths for Mobile – Making your call-to-action noticeable and user-friendly is key for mobile marketing. A hard to find or click link for a contest or a giveaway is an automatic out for someone who is using their mobile device.

This new year, trim the fat and start looking at your social strategies and make some positive changes in your techniques.

 

5 Steps to Optimizing Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns

You’ve probably already been doing these steps with search engine optimization (SEO):  checking your analytics, being sure your content sharability is easy to access, and knowing what your audience appreciates.  Social media optimization (SMO) has one focus:  increasing visibility of your business or products using social media. By using best industry practices and past performances, it will make your content the best it can be.

Jaysen DeMers, a contributor from Forbes,  provides 5 optimization techniques that will have your social media marketing’s closet bursting at the seams.

  1. Headlines:  An attention-grabbing headline is key to engaging your social media audience.  DeMers suggests using numbers within the headline, a clear, tangible benefit and a timely hook to gain the most interest in your blog posts or twitter posts.
  2. Strong Call To Action Social Media Posts:  If you want people to click onto your website, be sure to include ‘click below to download now’ or ‘click to read more’ or even a simple, ‘to learn more, click here’. Make it easy on your readers and have the URL embedded. Web-Buttons-free
  3. Make The Most Of Your Social Media Profile
  • Keep your URL in an obvious space
  • Complete every field on your profile for greater presence on social media sites
  • Use consistent images, format and voice throughout your profile
  • Link to a network-specific landing page.

4. Images, Images, Images:  According to the recently released Social Media Content Optimization Study, a survey done by Adobe and social CRM resource Software Advice, 82% of marketers said images were important or very important to their social media marketing.

5. Hashtags:  Hashtags allow users who may not be familiar with your business to find you. Using relevant words in your hashtags, a new reader may discover your business. Hashtags are the best way we have of making your posts and tweets as ‘findable’ as possible.Get-Your-Hashtag-On-684x260

Test out a variety of these strategies with your audience and see what works best for your brand and within your demographic. Not all of them may work with your already established audience, but they could draw in new users. So get started or continue optimizing your social media marketing campaign using these steps as a guide.

 

3 Examples of Successful Marketing Campaigns

You’ve probably heard the saying, “no need to reinvent the wheel”, and that can definitely apply to marketing.  When it comes to successful marketing campaigns, there’s no need to start from scratch.  Learn from what others are doing and figure out how you could do something similar using your brand and target audience.

Social Media Examiner came up with a list of 10 examples of successful marketing, here are the top 3 that we think really stand out.  We hope that these campaigns will inspire you to come up with your own amazing and unique marketing ideas!

  1. Dove.  Time and time again, Dove has created moving videos that are highly sharable and truly touch people’s hearts.  In these videos, they rarely mention their brand because they aren’t selling your their product, they’re telling an honest and beautiful story.  And that, my friends, is how you create a viral video.  (well, that or having your cat do something hilarious)  Dove also knows how to create engagement by encouraging their followers to tell a story about someone and then tag them in their post, as seen in the screenshot below.  Dove Facebook Post
  2. Humans of New York.  What started out as a lone photographer sharing his candid and startlingly honest photos of strangers on the streets of New York City has become a recognizable brand with a cult following.  How did he do it?  The photographer isn’t just sharing his photos, he’s sharing people’s stories.  Real people, raw life experiences, beautiful love stories, everyday struggles.  The snippets are short but impactful, and the fact that they’re all shared on Facebook makes it easy to create a following.Humans of New York Facebook Screenshot
  3. Starbucks.  Being one of the most recognizable brands in the world doesn’t mean that you can phone it in with your marketing efforts.  One of the reasons Starbucks has been so successful on social media is that they don’t just promote their products, they teach you how to use them.  In the example below, they show followers how long to brew various teas and what color it should be when properly brewed.  In addition to the helpful information, they included a beautiful visual image of the brewed teas as well. Starbucks Facebook Post

I think the common thread between all 3 of these examples is that the brands are not forceful in promoting their brands or products.   They tell a story or help you learn something new.  In today’s world of marketing, people are done being marketed at, they expect something more than that.

Do you have any successful marketing campaigns you’d like to share?  Please leave your ideas/experiences in the comments section, we’d love to hear them!

 

Should You Take a Social Media Vacation?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, a season of celebration for many, and for those who do not have holidays to celebrate this month it can serve as a welcome break while the business world slows to a crawl.  Depending on what type of field you work in, most people take at least a day or two off around this time, but what about social media marketers?  Can they take a social media vacation?

Social Media Break

This interesting article from Lance Ulanoff asks and dissects the very question, “Can I really take a social media vacation?”  Ulanoff’s case is slightly unique in that he himself is his brand, and all his tweets, vines, and other social posts are amusing quips that come straight from him.  Because he is his brand and the only person in charge of maintaining his sites, it does make it difficult for him to take a break.

There is also another thing that makes it difficult for Ulanoff to take a break.  He says, “there are times when I’m tired and I don’t want to Tweet, Vine or Instagram. I do so at those times because I fear my silence will lead to a wave of unfollows. I mean, I get this feeling if I haven’t tweeted for two hours. It’s a wonder I can sleep six or seven hours a night. I should be waking up at 1, 2 and 3 a.m. to post something, right?”  This is a common fear of social media marketers, that even a moment of silence will cause a mass exodus of your followers.

So, we’ve seen that for a solo entrepreneur, it can be difficult to detach from the ever present social media, but what about for a larger company?  Can they, and more importantly should they, take a social media vacation?

Chances are, your office is going to be quiet around the holidays because many people will be on vacation, which could make it difficult to push any work projects forward.  This might lead you to believe that by this logic, you could stop posting to your social media sites, but you would be wrong!

In my opinion, most brands should continue to regularly post around the holidays.  Here’s why:  With so many people on vacation what do you think they’re doing?  They’re at home on their computers!  They’re checking Facebook on their iPhones!  If you have a recognizable brand with a large audience or sell a tangible product, this could be an ideal time for you to post to a captive audience.

However, I will contradict myself and say that if you do not have a large social audience it may not be worth your time and efforts.  In this case, I’ll sign off on your social media time off request and say it’s fine to take a little vacation.

So, will you be taking a social media break this holiday season?

Facebook Introduces a New App: Facebook Groups

If you’re on Facebook you may have noticed that back in August they introduced, and then forced all Facebook users to download, a standalone app for Facebook messaging.  Well, they’ve gone and done it again, this time with Facebook Groups.

Facebook Groups App

Facebook Groups is a feature that already exists within the main Facebook app, and per this article from Mashable, their reasoning for breaking it out into a separate app is to “make it easier for power users to engage with their groups.”  Facebook also says that creating a separate Facebook Groups app will make the service faster on mobile devices.

The app also offers a new “discovery” feature which will recommend groups for you to join based on your interests.  This could become an interesting feature for business owners and marketers to promote their brand and discover new target audiences.  For example, if you’re a food blogger, you could create an open group like the one in the image below, “Cooking Diaries” and share new recipes with your group members.  It’s a new way to engage with Facebook users and we’re excited to see the creative marketing strategies businesses and individuals come up with.

Facebook Groups 2