social-media-videosThis article looks at the phenomenon of viral video marketing and discusses the way in which companies can use the good vibes associated with a heartwarming or funny video to entice clients to engage further with content related to their products and services.

The old adage: "There are many ways to skin a cat," is very pertinent to the world of marketing. As information technology alters our habits and our lifestyles, it also changes the ways in which marketing gurus attempt to reach us. And social media is one area of information technology which is witnessing a particularly vigorous growth. 

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content marketing

One of the biggest challenges facing content marketers is getting prospects to respond to a call to action. Don't forget that your prospects are people first - use primal human motivators like greed, fear, and risk in your call to action to get people to respond.

 

Content marketing is increasingly being used to get market attention, whether you are marketing to consumers or business professionals.

But how do you use content to get consumers to act?

The most effective approach is appealing to everyone’s baser instincts and primary motivators – greed, fear and risk aversion.

The Content Marketing Institute posted an article by founder Joe Pulizzi entitled, “2 Foolproof Methods for Getting Content Marketing Buy-In.” The article is about getting marketing professionals to try content marketing for the first time, and Pulizzi suggests offering a pilot program or appealing to fear as a buying motivator. When you are selling anything, appealing to primal instincts is always a good place to start.

Before everything else, whether you are talking to chief executives, marketers, consumers, your peers, or anyone else you all have something in common – you are human. The same basic human motivators that date back to the Neolithic Age still drive people’s reactions today – fear and greed. And with fear and greed comes risk assessment – determining how much risk is required to assuage fear or satisfy greed. If you understand how to apply these motivators as part of your content marketing strategy, then you will be able to get a greater commitment and more buy-in in from your target market.

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9 Ways to Tag Posts on Facebook

Following in the footsteps of Twitter and Instagram, Facebook jumped on the bandwagon last year and implemented a hash-tagging feature making it possible to tag posts, rather than just reference groups, people, and events.

As social media marketers, we got pretty excited thinking that it would exercise the same popularity on Facebook as it has on other platforms - but after a few months it hasn’t made a huge impact. Creating relevant hashtags is not as simple as it may sound, which is why we are giving you 9 tips on how to tag posts on Facebook.

First things first, let’s talk about social metadata so that we could be on the same page. In the simplest of terms, it’s basically a summary of your content specifically created for search engines. There are usually two forms of metadata: Meta tags and Meta descriptions.

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Lets Talk About the Next Big Social Media Platforms 

We love the challenges of social media marketing, LOVE IT, especially because many of the most popular platforms have become great tools for our company as well as those of our clients.

 

But it’s good to occasionally step away from what we have come to know and became comfortable with to discover something new and potentially game-changing, which is why we are always scanning the web for new social media developments, and especially any up and coming platforms. This year, it seems, will be full of them – so sit back and relax while we give you the breakdown.

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hand-700

When it comes to content marketing in 2015, remember that quality is more important than quantity.

 

Think of it like this - there are over 27 million pieces of content shared on a daily basis according to NewsCred. That’s a whole lot of content. That content, however, does not have to be original to be sharable, although it does need to be factual and verifiable. According to Design & Promotea good 48% of marketers curate attention-grabbing content from various third-party sources on a weekly basis. 

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Hey Marketers Heres What the People Want

As marketers, our job consists of trying to figure out what the people want – what types of messaging, brand positioning, content, and website design will resonate and get them excited about a company, service, or product.

It’s not always easy as trends come and go, and what was popular today isn’t necessarily popular tomorrow. Still, the goal for any marketer is to provide material that will resonate with the people, which is much easier said than done. This is why we’re giving all marketer a comprehensive list of stats about what people are doing and are interested in online.

First and foremost, according to NewsCred, marketers should understand that 46% of internet consumers view website design as the make-or-break criteria for determining the credibility of a brand or company. In other words, you need to bait people with some appealing visuals and well written content to get them to pay attention. This is pretty standard and not at all surprising. But, a nice-looking website is not enough.  

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Year in Review The Biggest Marketing Trends of 2014

 

Today is the last day of 2014, which means it’s time to review some of the biggest marketing trends of the year, OK?

 

According to Mashable’s Todd Wasserman, these marketing trends are still in vogue!

1) TV ads continue to be boss. While we were initially led to believe that no one watches television anymore, the fact is, we still do. Actually, very much so. Some of the newer brands to come out in recent years, such as Wink and BirchBox, have televised their ads and got business from doing so. In other words, this marketing trend is here to stay.

2) When it comes to marketing, yes - using print is a good idea. We’ve spent a lot of time hearing about how print is dead. And, while some publications have decided to eliminate print from their business model altogether, others have done the opposite and incorporated it – in effect leading to its resurgence. As far as marketing trends go, this one is not going out of style anytime soon since we all enjoy seeing our ads in between the pages. 

©Image: RAFAT ALI
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How to Create Relationships with Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is, above all else, about creating relationships.

It’s one of the best ways to retain the audience base you’ve already amassed as you continue to work on building it up. And, there is just so much room for creativity – we just can’t help but love it! Whether you are engaging in social media or content marketing, the internet marketing umbrella is rather vast. So, here is the internet marketing breakdown you’ve been waiting for.

Content Marketing is KEY

You know this, we know this, but yes, content marketing is one of the main internet marketing components out there. For years, the biggest companies have known and implemented specially crafted strategies to establish brand authority and gain consumer trust by producing valuable content across all available and relevant verticals. The value of content is determined by its usefulness, entertainment value, or relevancy to the industry to which it pertains. This builds a loyal following and rapport within a specific audience.

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Dropbox For Business API JustDropped

When Dropbox first became a household name, the service was praised by many; businesses, however, were concerned with its lack of permissions and security features enough to forgo implementing the cloud storage site into their daily operations.

 

These concerns did not fall on deaf ears. Roughly two years ago, Dropbox embarked on a mission to rebuild its product so that its users could access their personal files as well as enterprise documents securely from one account.

The Dropbox For Business API is dropping today, and it’s kind of a big deal. The new software is designed to provide in demand features businesses can pick based on their needs. For one, clients can hook up their existing third-party security and compliance tools to their cloud storage. Alternatively, clients can create their own Dropbox For Business Apps.

©Image via Dropbox.com
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Are You on Wikipedia

 

Did you know that there are currently over 25,000,000 million articles on Wikipedia?

And those are independent of the thousands of queuing pieces still waiting for approval! The content giant has come a long way since launching on January 15th, 2001, and is one of the most popular reference tools on the web today. It’s no wonder then, that up and coming influencers as well as start-ups and established businesses desperately want to have their own Wikipedia page.

Having a presence on the immensely popular platform is more far-reaching and ultimately impactful than setting up a site, either personal or business related. Wikipedia, however, has an intimidatingly elaborate set of fluctuating rules pertaining to the type of content any one person can post. This makes creating or editing articles that adhere to its guidelines very difficult for anyone, especially so for novice users. Furthermore, because the fundamental difference between Wikipedia and other reference engines is “crowd writing”, numerous editors and contributors can alter information on any Wikipedia page at any given time.

©Image via Wiki Commons
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SEO Strategy 101

Knowing how to create and implement successful SEO strategy is a pretty big deal.

With thousands upon thousands of startups launching every day, it’s hard for any one specific company to attract and retain the attention of the masses. Because of this, an increasing number of marketing and consulting firms are advertising their SEO services, including our own. While it’s always good to get SEO help from seasoned professionals, there are a few steps startups and established firms can apply on their own and put themselves on the right track.

©image via Wiki Commons, statistics via searchmetrics.com
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Barack Obama pledges help for small businesses

 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) refers to small businesses as “the heart of the American economy”.

 

It also lists the top 10 legitimate reasons as to why. For one, small businesses make up more than 99.7% of all employers, providing jobs for 50% of all private sector workers in America. This is a pretty big deal, considering that recent graduates are looking for employment and small businesses make up 75% of the net jobs in our economy.  In other words, this is a very good thing for everyone.

©Image via Huffington Post
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Research Confirms Women Rock at Crowdfunding

In a recent study conducted by New York University and the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that females are more successful at crowdfunding than their male counterparts.

 

This is great news considering the fact that “female founders seek and receive less startup capital than male entrepreneurs” when they appeal to venture capitalists. Furthermore, in an article for the Huffington Post, Jillian Berman observes that, “The men handling out the vast majority of VC cash tend to stick to their networks of buddies, who are also mostly male.”

©Image via Wiki Commons
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 Get Your Consumers to Love Your Website

SimplyMint is a full-service digital media agency, but website design remains our most in demand consumer service to date.

This isn’t surprising since quality websites are some of the best and influential consumer facing marketing tools businesses have at their disposal, therefore, it is our job to make them as appealing and informative as possible. Because trends, personal preferences, and practicality, all play a part in how each website is developed, it is an ever evolving discipline.

The first step to creating a website that visitors will connect with is to make it as clean and simple as you can. In our previous blog posts, we discuss the importance of having a crisp and attention grabbing site. Yes, we realize that simplicity may seem counter-intuitive when you are trying to make a big impression, but the goal is to get the visitor to focus on the products or services of the company, in which case great content is more important the elaborate visual elements.

©Image via Wiki Commons
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Big American Brands Permeate Social Fabric

The interesting thing about big American brands is the fact that they have permeated every aspect of our culture. 

 

When you think of Michigan, do you immediately associate it with the rustle and bustle of the auto industry? Or when you imagine Florida, do you visualize Mickey and Goofy riding rollercoasters in the Magic Kingdom? If so, you’re not alone. Most of us tend to associate certain locations with particular companies and/or brands. And the reason we do this is because of what brands actually are.

©Image DirectCapital.com
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iLife

Few companies have mastered the art of marketing quite like Apple, Inc.

 

The tech and media giant has grown from a relatively average company to a huge standard-setting brand. That’s because, according to Christine Moorman via Forbes Magazine, it has been following the same three-point marketing philosophy for over 35 years. Created by Mike Markkula, one of Apple’s original investors/advisors, it went something like this:

©Image article.wn.com
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Top 10 Web Design Trends of 2014

We are passionate about stunning web design, so naturally we pay attention to what is currently popular and what might be the next big thing.

 

Based on our research, we’ve found that minimalist layouts, focused content, and improved responsiveness are the top web design trends on 2014! But there are also a few others, which we’ll break down for your right here.

Flat UI

You’ve probably heard the expression, “simplicity is best”. That’s because complexity is often too daunting, especially when it comes to web design. Minimizing clutter and incorporating bold colors with cool and flat design elements allows engaging content, important apps, and visually stimulating components grab our attention.

©image BigStockPhoto
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Social Media and the Success of the Ice Bucket Challenge

The power of social media never ceases to amaze us - not because everyone can instantly see the awesomeness of someone’s cats or dinner choices, but because of how fast important causes can gain momentum thanks to public engagement. Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as the most recent example.

 

The excellent marketing scheme has become a viral sensation that raised millions of dollars for ALS research in almost no time at all.

As of today, September 3rd, 2014, donations resulting from the Ice Bucket Challenge have amounted to a staggering $107.4 million, with social media campaigns brining in over 732,275 new donors to The ALS Association. It is currently being regarded as a fundraising game changer because of its unprecedented and unexpected success.  But why exactly is it that out of all the marketing schemes various charities have come up with over the years, this particular one is as effective as it is?

©Image Global News
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nathan_fielder.jpg

 

Working in a digital media agency involves always being on the lookout for new and interesting business ideas pertaining to Marketing, Branding, Online Reputation Management, and Public Relations.

 

We’re curious about anything that makes a big impression. So, when we saw a clip of Conan featuring Nathan Fielder, the charismatic but super dorky host of Comedy Central’s immensely successful show Nathan for You, we simply had to tell you about it. Let’s just say that after appearing on the late night program, his Twitter following exploded. 

©Image Splitsider
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HowToKillYourBusinessInOneTweet.jpg

 

Many businesses turn to social media for exposure, and it is in fact an effective marketing tool if used wisely, but here is a great example of how one New York based company used Twitter for all the wrong reasons and got crushed.

 

CupCakeCrew, a Brooklyn food truck business specializing in cupcakes, turned to Twitter on Wednesday, July 23, to post the following remark:

©examiner.com
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7 Best Apps for Business Ninjas

Because sharing is caring, we are letting you in on our picks of the 7 Best Apps for Business Ninjas! 

 

With how much we have going on at SimplyMint, we're always looking for ways to stay super productive. But the endless memos, meetings, and brainstorms make it kind of hard to keep organized and on top our game, so we rely on cool business apps to help us along. We sincerely hope you check them out. And yes, we actually do use these.

©Image Evernote
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2014 marketing conference

 

Here, at SimplyMint, we understand that you live and breathe marketing, so we took it upon ourselves to compile a list of the best Marketing Conferences taking place throughout the summer. In other words, you’re welcome.

©image BigStockPhoto
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How to avoid negative reviews : 5 tips on pro-active brand reputation management

by CEO Alex Shvarts, as featured on Examiner.com

More and more brands are becoming aware of how negative reviews or bad press can damage their online persona, but few seem to realize that this negative press can be easily avoided with preparation and diligence.

A typical call from a client in crisis starts with "I don't know how this happened, how do we get rid of this?" The simple answer is that there is no real way to get rid of negative press, despite what many online companies make you want to believe. However, with a little foresight and good customer service, you can stop these reviews before they happen.

©examiner.com
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facebook user engagement

 

A mainstay of any digital marketing campaign, Social Media marketing is multi-purpose. One of its primary functions, as with any form of marking digitial or otherwise, is to lead customers to action, to purchase your goods or services. And like all forms of marketing, Social Media provides an opportunity to solidify your brand voice and story, to further develop the personality of your company or brand. However the third function of Social Media marketing is unique, and that’s to promote user engagement. Social media allows brands to start conversations with their audience and allows that audience to participate in the creation of the brands’ story.

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bigstock-Young-Woman-s-Hands-Holding-Re-30262637

In 2014 a mobile-responsive website should just be the first step in a brand's mobile marketing plan-- there will be more opportunities than ever to capitalize on the growth of Mobile usage through innovative Mobile Advertising strategies.

It should come as no surprise that some of the biggest trends in digital marketing right now center on mobile marketing. According to AdAge's Mobile Fact Pack, Mobile advertising grew 75% in 2013, and it shows no signs of stopping. In fact, in 2014 internet traffic from mobile phones is expected to exceed the traffic from traditional computers.

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responsive navigation One of the biggest hurdles when creating a responsive website is implementing the navigation – hands down. Not just from a design standpoint, but from a content and development standpoint as well. Debatably the most important element on the page, a user should have no issues as they try to navigate around your website no matter what device they are on.

So what are the latest design patterns? And what are the best plugins? Before browsing Dribbble for inspiration and GitHub for resources, step back and determine what your specific challenges are, and what type of solution would be most effective for the project at hand.

©teamtreehouse.com
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social media roiAttribution problems are likely the greatest barrier to social media ROI in the market today. The reality is that social media does a tremendous job of starting the conversation, but many times it isn't the "last" place someone looks before making a purchase. Therefore, there are a lot of sales that social media influenced that go unreported.


Remarketing advertising offers an opportunity to segment social media users and show them targeted ads through the Google Ad Network or through Facebook using tools like AdRoll.

©socialmediaexplorer.com
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search engine optimizationOne approach to search marketing is to treat the search traffic as a side-effect of a digital marketing strategy. I'm sure Google would love SEOs to think this way, although possibly not when it comes to PPC! Even if you're taking a more direct, rankings-driven approach, the engagement and relevancy scores that come from delivering what the customer values should serve you well, too.


In this article, we'll look at a content strategy based on value based marketing. Many of these concepts may be familiar, but bundled together, they provide an alternative search provider model to one based on technical quick fixes and rank. If you want to broaden the value of your SEO offering beyond that first click, and get a few ideas on talking about value, then this post is for you.

©seobook.com
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facebookI have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I have always enjoyed Facebook, but their recent changes have made it even more difficult for marketers to be seen or heard. Thus the love/hate feelings. With the recent changes in organic reach, what can a marketer do other than pay for reach?

I have always been an advocate of playing by the rules, but Facebook keeps changing them and at this point I say throw the rules out. They want us to pay to play, but not all of us have money to spend on content posts. Most of us wait to pay to promote sales and offers. At this point, you can try a few different measures in an attempt to be seen by more of your fans.

©socialsolutionscollective.com
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social media advertising

The advertising industry is going crazy over social media advertising and there is a very good reason for it. The benefits of using social media advertising has made it one of the most sought after advertising technique used in online advertising. People are getting more social and they are taking to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc, to enhance their social life. The popularity of smart phones has also had a part to play in increasing the popularity of social media sites, as it is now possible for people to be connected to their social friends from anywhere. If you are seriously considering the option to use social media advertising for your business, here are a few facts that should help you to make your decision.

©seosoftwareshop.com
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content marketingContent marketing.  Now here is a trending thing.  Of course, from the earliest of days, content has been one of the primary areas of focus within the social media space, but it feels as though this thing ‘content marketing’ is now reaching some sort of critical attention mass.

A few years back everyone needed something which could be called a social media strategy – mostly just so they could say they had one.  You didn’t really need to understand it, you didn’t really even need to implement it, far less measure the value it created – still don’t one might say – you just needed to have one (preferably with a Twitter account and Facebook page tacked onto it) for when you got asked the question.  So it is now with a content marketing strategy.  I suspect that few marketing folk will be able to make it through 2014 with their credibility intact, if they are unable to hold aloft a content marketing strategy.

©socialmediatoday.com
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local internet marketingOnce a training ground for novice SEOs, local search has evolved into a complex, unpredictable ecosystem dominated by Google. Corporations and mom-and-pops shops alike are fighting for their place under the Sun. It's everybody's job to make best out of local Internet marketing because its importance will continue to grow.

This guide is geared towards helping you deepen your understanding of the local search ecosystem, as well as local Internet marketing in general.

I hope that, after you finish reading this guide, you will be able to make sense of local Internet marketing, use it to grow your business or help your clients do the same.

Objectives, Goals & Measurements Are Crucial

Websites exist to accomplish objectives. Regardless of company size, business models and market, your website needs to bring you closer to accomplishing one or more business objectives. These could be:

Customer AcquisitionLead GenerationBrandingLowering sales resistanceetc.

Although not exciting, this is a crucial step in building a local Internet strategy. It will determine the way you set your goals, largely shape the functionality of your website, guide you in deciding what your budget should be and so on.

©seobook.com
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social mediaWhat’s New This Week?

Facebook Redesigns Follow Button and Like Box: “Similar to the Like and Share buttons, the Follow button and the Like Box plugin will also be updated with” Facebook’s new design.

The newly designed Follow button and Like Box.

Vine Releases in More Languages: “Now, it’s even easier for people around the world to watch and share posts that make us laugh, teach us something new or help us find out what’s happening in the world.”

Vine is “also beginning to explore ways to surface Vine videos that are popular in a particular country. “
©socialmediaexaminer.com
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Link Building

 

Link building can be a difficult task, requiring knowledge, patience and trust. Going after good links is a project, not an overnight success.

Despite this, link building is something anyone can do, especially if they have a valuable website and confidence interacting with their peers. Starting with a few basic strategies that can help build confidence and understanding, increasing the success of a campaign.

©searchenginewatch.com
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Google image mismatch

Google has introduced a new spam filter that can lead to a manual action penalty of your website. If the images that visitors see on your website are not the same images that Google sees, Google might take manual action against your website.

©free-seo-news.com
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content marketing

You're a designer and not a writer. But you still need to market content in order to position yourself as an expert in your field. Rather than overload you with information on the subject, we have quickly streamlined just what you need to know to get started! Here's how to do this simply and effectively.

What is Content Marketing?

Let's start off by talking about what content marketing is. In a nutshell, it is the creation and distribution of content that is either interesting or useful. That content can be videos, blogs, or just about anything that you have created (or friends or colleagues that helped you out), as long as it is engaging, useful, and attractive to your targeted audience. It is the hope then that this targeted audience will go one step further and either become solid leads or sales-boosting consumers.

©andysowards.com
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calls to action

You want to know what the best calls to action (CTAs) have in common and how you can take advantage of those strategies for your own CTAs? You’ve come to the right place: this guide outlines the components of effective calls to action and provides many examples.

©poweredbysearch.com
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thanksgiving social mediaReal Time Marketing ideas for your brand during Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us. In addition to long car rides and overeating, consumers will be searching for cranberry sauce deals on Twitter, browsing Pintrest for green bean recipes, and using Facebook to watch viral videos of cats dressed as turkeys. It’s an important time of the year for brand marketers to be engaging with their advocates and audiences on every social media platform, wherever the trends are driving their attention. As we discovered last year in our analysis of social discussions surrounding Black Friday, these social platforms have become the primary online medium for brand-to-consumer, and consumer-to-consumer conversations, especially during high seasons of consumer activity. During the most hectic retail period of the year, consumers turn to social media to learn, engage, and share.

©dachisgroup.com
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marketing campaigns 2013

We all have friends. One thing that makes us friends is that we have things in common, and what we have in common are our personalities and our interests. We interact with others based on those things—and with the social atmosphere so crucial to a brand's persona, they want to be our "friends" too.

2013 has been a great year for content marketing. Savvy marketers have come up with new, unique ways to create bonds with their audiences, encouraging interaction and ultimately intent to purchase. Viral has become a buzzword that many strive for, yet few achieve. But regardless of how frequently online marketing changes, one thing will remain the same: brands will continue to use stories, interaction, and creativity to attract customers.

©toprankblog.com
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title tagThe HTML TITLE element is arguably one of the most important tags on your page. It is one of the two elements that are required to have a valid page. It is used by both browsers and search engines to describe the page. It provides meta data about the page.

And yet, thousands of websites go live with the completely useless title "Untitled Document" or something similar.

If You Do Nothing Else for SEO, Give Your Pages a Title

©webdesign.about.com
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social media post length

How long should my post be? Social media presents many choices and decisions that need to be considered prior to posting. Each platform (Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn for our purposes) has a sweet spot for maximum sharing and impact. Let's take a look at the allowable limit per post for each platform.

©pegfitzpatrick.com
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social network users worldwideGrowth in the number of social network users around the world may be slowing, but it shows little sign of stopping, based on eMarketer's latest forecast of internet, broadband and social network users worldwide.

©emarketer.com
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responsive web designConsidering the rate at which the mobile web is growing, it's becoming crucial that your website be ready to accept visitors who are coming in from a widely assorted array of different devices and screen sizes.

This is where responsive design can come into the picture and save your day nicely. However, with responsive design, as with anything in website design, you need to make sure that you follow along with some crucial best practices if you want your responsive site to actually work well and provide the flexibility it's supposed to.

©webdesignledger.com
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website design

While every designer may have a different plan when it comes to building a website, they do have a common checklist. No matter how you try to avoid it, there are a few elements every website should (and usually does!) include.

From plenty of whitespace and great images, to search functionality and clear calls-to-action, these common elements are the things that users expect when it comes to using a site with ease. Today we're taking a look at ten elements you should prioritize on your website, perfectly designed examples of each, and tips on how to use each in your next website design project. As the saying goes, "the devil is in the details."

©designshack.net
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pinterest tipsIs Pinterest important to your business?

Do you want to get your pins in front of more people?

In this article, I’ll show you 5 ways to get your pins noticed on Pinterest.

©www.socialmediaexaminer.com
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facebook page

Are you looking for creative ways to bring people to your Facebook page?

Does your business use Facebook to connect with people?

Used the right way, Facebook apps can help you boost engagement and visibility by repeatedly drawing fans to your page.

©socialmediaexaminer.com
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starbucks social mediaSocial media coffee addicts rejoice! You can now really experience coffee through Twitter!

Last week, Starbucks announced a new program that allows you and me to give a Starbucks coffee as a gift. Not a big deal you say? Well, consider this: you can do it via a tweet. Yup, Starbuck's new tweet-a-coffee program lets U.S. customers sync their Starbucks accounts to their Twitter accounts so that by simply tweeting @tweetacoffee and the Twitter handle of a gift recipient, the recipient instantly receives a $5 digital eGift.

©senseimarketing.com
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mobile marketing For the growing number of consumers who rely on their mobile devices to search for local business information, their focus is on making a purchase — and fast.

The latest Google/Nielsen “Mobile Path to Purchase” study, released last week, shows that consumers who use their mobile devices to find and research local products and services do so when they are ready to buy.

©searchengineland.com
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pinterest advertising

For most consumers, two of their most popular social media destinations, Pinterest and Instagram, have announced the addition of paid advertisements to user's feeds. Users are used to ads in news feeds on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but paid ads entering Pinterest and Instagram may cause some (or a lot) annoyance to consumers.

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online conversation

No matter where you look, brands are all trying to crack the code of having a two-way conversation with their customers wherever they are – be it in-store, online, on a smartphone, on a tablet or on social media. It's a constant struggle for brands to make themselves be seen and heard above all the noise that's out there, especially when their "prime" consumers have minimal attention spans and are far less forgiving of faulty, uninspired experiences with brands.

©pauldunay.com
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content

We all take in massive amounts of content on a daily basis. Even if you're not a technology junkie and still believe in putting away your smart phone during movies and meals, you can't avoid it.

©12most.com
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branding

Every company needs to find their personality and determine the story they want to show to the world. That's called branding. At SimplyMint, we have years of experience postitioning company's brand identities and helping them through the branding process. Here's my advice for any business looking to start the branding process. 

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website trafficHaving a challenge getting quality traffic and sales to your website?

Join the club...the fact is that of the billions of websites out there only a tiny fraction get the kind of quality traffic that makes significant profit for their owners.

The good news is that we have been among those "tiny fraction" ourselves and have worked with hundreds of others like us that have figured out the way to draw both volume of traffic while making sure that traffic is well targeted and ready to take action on your offer.

©highertrustmarketing.com
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facebook contest ROI

Measuring the ROI of a PPC ad campaign is a relatively easy skill to learn. You can see the real revenue outcome from each each ad and each click.

Measuring the ROI of a Facebook Contest is perhaps a little less obvious, but just as easy. You just need to know which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track.

You're not usually going to see direct sales from a Facebook Contest. But, they are one of the most cost-effective ways to use social media to generate leads for your business. And by targeting your contest effectively, you'll be able to make sure that every lead is actually interested in your business.

And the wide variety ofs Facebook contest promotion options also makes it a very attractive structure for your next social marketing campaign.

©socialfresh,com
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small business seo

 

The purpose of having a website, and perhaps a blog, is to get found online. You want to be there when people are looking for you or someone like you. No matter what your business sector, it's incredibly important to have a website at the core of your online presence and marketing strategy.


But having a website isn't enough. You can't just "set it and forget it." You need to maintain and update it. You need to make sure it's built well and has the proper structure. If you own a small business, odds are you've gotten a phone call from someone telling you that "the first spot on Google is open" and they can get you there. Tempting, eh?

©inklingmedia.net
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social tacticsThe concept of winning comes down to one of two things; being smart, or being lucky. Call me pessimistic, but I just don't believe that people 'get lucky'. Despite what Daft Punk might think. If I ever win the euro millions, I may have a different opinion. But until that day, I'll go with the fact that I strongly believe you make your own luck in life.

Like it or not, we're all in a battleground of competition, and there is an on-going fight to be the top dog. Whether you're fighting to get there, or fighting to stay there, it's still a battle, and let's face it; luck isn't going to play any part in placing your company ahead of the competition – strategy and tactics are.

©www.b2bsocialmediaguide.com
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social media marketing trends

Halloween is behind us, American Thanksgiving is upon us and the mad dash towards the end-of-year Holidays has begun. I will leave it to others to ponder on how 2013 was meaningful for businesses, small and large, as I would much rather take a look at what to expect in 2014 in terms of social media marketing. For one thing, I believe most brands now understand the impact social media can have on their business, yet many are still dealing with the challenges that come with its reality. Among some of the key concerns:

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on sight SEOWhatever you want to achieve in life, you usually get the best results if you find the perfect balance of all the factors that are involved. Search engine optimization is no different.

To get the best possible rankings for your website on Google, Yahoo/Bing and other search engines, you have to find the perfect balance of on-site ranking factors and off-site ranking factors.

SEO ranking factor balance

Easy to do: on-site ranking factors

©www.free-seo-news.com
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photo backgrounds

Treehouse recently received a massive redesign and part of that included a new homepage. Our design team hired a photographer to shoot beautiful background photographs that span from edge-to-edge.

Treehouse uses large photographs in the latest update to the homepage.

Why Photography?

The use of photo backgrounds on webpages has been gaining popularity and there are plenty of reasons why. From a technical perspective, higher resolution screens and increased bandwidth have removed a few technical hurdles. In the past, this type of thing wouldn't have been very practical. However, we shouldn't do things just because we can, so then why use them in our designs?

©blog.teamtreehouse.com
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Social Media Sweepstakes

Are you planning to run a social media sweepstakes to make your business stand out this holiday season?

Do you need a guide to ensure that you don’t miss the crucial elements of a successful sweepstakes promotion?

Sweepstakes, contests and giveaways are increasingly popular among marketers who are vying for the attention of their social media audiences. Choosing a prize is the easy part.

©www.socialmediaexaminer.com
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repeat tweets

Periodically a discussion arises about whether or not to repeat tweets with links to one's own posts or information. Some people repeat information multiple times daily. Others do so mainly when posting something new. Some people don't do so very much at all. It varies. Why might you repeat tweets? It's a way to try and get your message and content shared with more people. Depending on the frequency, though, I think that if you routinely repeat tweets too often, there's some risk. It's a fine line. Repeat too often, and do so regularly as part of your overall strategy, and you may eventually be seen as a spammer.

©socialmediatoday.com
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digital presence

This weekend, most of us here in the U.S. will be moving our clocks back an hour as we revert to Standard Time from Daylight Saving Time. Yes, it's that one day of the year when we get all giddy about an extra hour of sleep. That is, if we can find a way to fake out my dog Shadow's internal clock. And, of course, it won't be so dark when we get up.

©inklingmedia.net
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google hangouts

Google has recently updated their Google Hangouts to be more user-friendly and much more effective. It is easier than ever to connect with your audience, giving you more opportunities to convert them into customers. In this article, we will cover a few ways you can enhance your business by using Google Hangouts.

©socialmediarevolver.com
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facebook metricsAre you tracking your Facebook metrics?

Are you wondering what works best on your Facebook page?

In this article, you'll discover how to find and interpret five valuable Facebook metrics that help measure the results of your Facebook marketing.

Why Facebook Metrics?
The typical Facebook marketer keeps close tabs on two main stats: Post Reach and Page Likes. While you should be conscious of these stats, they should not be central to measuring your marketing goals on Facebook.

It's more important to understand the number of fans your posts reach, how many of those fans you engage and what types of clicks your posts receive.

While Facebook's new and improved web Insights does share some great new information with page admins, you need to dig within the export files to find these useful stats.

©www.socialmediaexaminer.com
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writing content

 

There was a time when web copy written primarily for users or for search engines was quite a bit different. Skilled copywriters could get their point across to both in an unobtrusive fashion. The less skilled stood out like sore thumbs.

As Google's approach to search and spam control evolved, a great many things changed. Meta keywords were deprecated, the notion that it was necessary to embed keywords repeatedly slowly faded (a comment here and there about keyword stuffing may have helped). And of course, Google spokespeople repeatedly voiced terms like quality and naturalin an effort to break us of the habit of wooing their algorithms instead of our users.

©searchenginewatch.com
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photoshop bad habits

Photoshop is an extremely versatile application and offers and endless number of ways to accomplish the same task. With so many ways of producing the same effect, it can be difficult for users to understand which technique is the best for the task at hand. In this tutorial, we will explain 10 bad habits that you can break in Photoshop to help you work a bit more efficiently.

©psd.tutsplus.com
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chrome experiments

 

If you are ever looking to come across the latest innovative creations through the web or admire the talent that the Internet has produced, take a look at Chrome Experiments during your coffee break. Programmers are meshing real life and the virtual world into the computer screen.

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viral content

 

When content goes viral, it can get upwards of a million views. That's a lot of people looking at one piece of media. You might believe that nothing is done out of the ordinary, and that it's random what content goes viral. However, that isn't the case.

Some strategies are employed to create a piece of work that's designed to go viral. If you want to bring more attention to work you've published on the internet, here are some strategies you can use to help your content go viral.

©http://justcreative.com/
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facebook appsDo you want to add more function and flair to your Facebook page?

Would you like to add storefront, generate leads or promote something special on a Facebook tab within your page?

In this article I'll reveal Facebook applications that can help you easily add functionality to your Facebook page.

©www.socialmediaexaminer.com/
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benefits of infographics

As someone who is constantly surfing the web, either for work or just because I'm an addict, I've become a big fan of infographics. And, I'm far from the only person who's found infographics to be an educational, entertaining, and useful tool. Within the last decade infographics have become an increasing trend. In fact, from 2010 to 2012, infographic search volumes have increased over 800%. Suffice it to say, that's an outstanding trend. But, what exactly are infographics and should you use them?

For the uninitiated, infographics "are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly". In other words, an infographic collects data, organizes it, and turns this information into an easy to understand visual, such as a chart or map. So, why and how can these graphs be beneficial?

©www.searchenginejournal.com
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Vine

 

Vine, Twitter's six-second video recording app, introduced a few new additions to its popular app on Thursday, allowing users to finally edit and save posts before sharing.

©mashable.com
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Mobile Optimization In this electronic age, more and more people are using smartphones and other mobile gadgets in their day to day life. Most of them use internet in their mobile devices like smart phone and tablets. Mobile browsing as well as mobile usage is on the rise, these days. This is the message to all the website owners there to make their website mobile optimized. It is the time for the designers and developers to pull up their socks and start working on mobile websites.

©www.plaveb.com
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twitter marketingTwitter is sending business accounts emails with the 5 suggestions below.

The suggestions are "holiday marketing" suggestions that promote some simple content ideas, promotes Vine, AMEX's Small Business Saturday, and Twitter-exclusive sales.

©socialfresh.com
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Brand-Strategy-Brand-Story.jpg.pagespeed.ce.6Ch7ul7Uzt

Bill Taylor has said that if your customers can live without you, eventually they will. Conversely, I'm fascinated by how so many industries will stick to business-as-usual for as long as they can before they have to change. In each case, the rules of supply and demand will at some point over-ride the sentiment of legacy. The more people who do what you do, the more easily you can be replaced, and the less noticed your absence will be.

©www.brandingstrategyinsider.com
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SEO

]The independent webmaster has taken a beating over the last couple of years. Risk has become harder to spread, labor costs have gone up, outreach has become more difficult and more expensive as Google's webspam team and the growing ranks of the Search Police spread the FUD far and wide.

The web is still a great place to be and still offers incredible opportunity that is largely unavailable, without much more capital intensive risk, in the offline world.

©www.seobook.com
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content publishing

Brands publishing news content isn't a question anymore, it's a way of life in the digital marketing world. Whether it's a weekly post on a corporate blog, a news release published in the company newsroom or a series of daily news articles as part of a brand's online publication.

©searchenginewatch.com
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300x2047

A decade after the advent of social media, Chief Marketing Officers still can't figure out if it's doing them any good. That's the startling finding of The CMO Survey, a recently-released survey of 410 CMOs by Christine Moorman, my colleague at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and a fellow Forbes contributor. Almost half (49%) said they aren't able to quantify whether social media has made a difference for their companies, while 36% said they had a good sense of qualitative – though not quantitative – results.

©www.forbes.com
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Digital Marketing Trends

Are you looking for the latest marketing trends?

Wondering how the wide choice of devices and platforms are impacting marketers and consumers?

According to the 2013 Infinite Dial Report by Edison Research, media usage is not a zero-sum game.

Consumers want to use all channels simultaneously, and as a marketer, you have to keep up by tracking them down wherever they go.

To do that, you'll need to understand these 6 emerging trends that will have a significant impact on your marketing strategies.

©www.socialmediaexaminer.com
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Patterns in photoshop

 

Most of the time, default Adobe Photoshop’s patterns just could not satisfied designers needs. Minutes later you will be creating your own custom pattern for buttons, interfaces, photo scan-lines, etc.

©www.hongkiat.com
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see itOn Wednesday Twitter announced a partnership with Comcast which will allow users to tune into a TV show directly from a Tweet they see online. This feature, called See It, will give Comcast Xfinity TV customers in the US the ability to do several things in response to viewing a tweet, such as change the channel, set the DVR and play a show On Demand or add it to the On Demand queue. They could also use the feature to tune in and watch the show online or on their mobile devices.

©socialmediatoday.com
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webdesign graphics

 

 

Inspiration can come in many different forms and a bright idea may strike you from a mundane, everyday object or image. Some might say that a characteristic that describes our 'post-modern' era is the realization that everything has already been done. So where else should we look to for breadth and inspiration? How does one remain hip and "avant-garde" when all frontiers have already been discovered?

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ROI of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most essential digital marketing tactics for both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) companies.

Ascend2 and Research Underwriters in June 2013 surveyed businesses worldwide, comparing them based on their self-rated SEO performance as either "very successful" or "not successful." The study found that companies with superior SEO strategies were more likely than those with poor SEO strategies to focus on increasing their traffic conversion rate. By contrast, companies with inferior SEO strategies were more likely to worry about increasing website traffic in general. Companies with stronger SEO performance were also more likely to emphasize increased content development, compared with poorer performing companies.

©www.emarketer.com
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Website Inspiration

 

432 Park Avenue is a brand shiny new super tower in construction near Central Park, and 432ParkAvenue.com is our favorite website this week. We came across the 432 Park Avenue website while working for a client who's a luxury real estate agent, and we were blown away. The site is innovative and hauntingly beautiful, filled with photos of the New York skyline from a variety of angles and in different lights, that serve to perfectly sell to the viewer the most important aspect of the tower itself: the views.

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vine logo

 

 

Vine, a mobile app owned by Twitter allows users to create six second videos and share them amongst the Vine, Twitter, and Facebook community. Companies immediately adopted this new way of telling a story in a six second short video.

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SimplyMintThe air is crisper, the leaves are starting to change, and it's time to re-vamp your wardrobe with some new contemporary pieces. But your closet isn't the only thing that's getting an update-- our website has a whole new look too! Take a minute to explore the new SimplyMint site, and get a feel for our re-defined mission statement, excerpted below. 

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branded content

One of the takeaways from Advertising Week in New York last week is the rise of "branded content". Brands are embracing the potential of branded content to blur the lines between advertising and entertainment. It seems like every week, I hear the expression, "Content is King".

It's true that content marketing holds great promise, as marketers start to create communication that is genuinely worth sharing. Yet, in creating content, we should remember that consumers don't necessarily want "content". They want stories. "Branded content" and "content marketing" is insider terminology used by marketers. It's up to marketers to make the content into something more meaningful.

©tomfishburne.com
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SEO for Mobile SearchMobile devices have had a profound impact on the way people search. Voice-recognition technology, such as Siri, has encouraged users to start asking more conversational questions rather than typing a series of keywords into a search box. And it's not just voice search that has been a total game changer. Mobile has also brought rise to hyper-localization and personalization opportunities for search engines. People searching on mobile are typically asking questions via more natural language and are expecting very precise results catered to their personal preferences and current location.

©thesearchagents.com
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Boost Your Linkedin VisibilityLiving in the age of social media means you aren't somebody until you can be found on professional sites such as LinkedIn. However, with more professionals and businesses creating an account on this social networking site, it's becoming more difficult to get found by potential employers or customers.

So, what can you do to increase your chances of getting found on the most powerful and popular professional network? You can start by optimizing your account correctly which will give you a leg up in using LinkedIn to find jobs, customers and more. In fact, optimizing your account needs to be a priority as it's what can take your profile views to go from 0 to 1,000.

©socialweb.com
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Develop Meaningful GoalsOne of the biggest challenges that have faced marketers for the last few years is the idea of measuring digital results. Marketers around the globe have thrown up the white flag claiming that you cannot measure the ROI of social media, but I'm here to call those marketers' bluff.

In the last few years, I've worked with brands that range from Fortune 500 companies to startups that are just getting started. In each of these situations, I've identified and addressed this question and identified the importance of goals. From there, I've monitored, tracked, and analyzed these results to ensure that they actually had something to call ROI.

©http://socialmediatoday.com/
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Loyalty Programs

Marketers often confuse loyalty with getting consumers to carry one more plastic card in a wallet already filled with plastic loyalty cards.

I experienced this cartoon a few weeks ago at an Office Depot in Colorado. The one and only cashier leisurely chatted up every customer with the same up-sell pitch (loyalty points, extended warranties, impulse items at the till), even as a line of customers grumbled about how long it was taking and thinking it would have been easier to shop online.

©tomfishburne.com
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How to Use Google+ for Social Media ContestsIs Google+ part of your marketing strategy?

Are you looking for creative ways to run contests and giveaways on Google+?

Although there are restrictions on using Google+ for contests, there are ways for you to promote your contests successfully on Google+.

Interestingly, most brands and businesses on Google+ aren't taking advantage of this opportunity, and they're missing out.

In this article, you'll discover how three brands leverage Google+ as a core component of their social contest strategy and the keys to their success.

Google+ Contest Rules
Running contests, giveaways, promotional offers, etc., has become a staple part of online strategy for business owners and marketers.

They're used to stimulate engagement, build community, encourage user-generated content, create a unique experience and increase brand awareness.

©socialmediaexaminer.com
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Do you focus enough on EXISTING customers

New profit streams, new customers, new followers, new likes...business goals are awash with newness that is all desirable BUT at what cost? I wonder how most brands would answer this simple question

Existing
Now of course it is a balancing act but here are 3 reasons that business often forget

©theengagingbrand.com
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ROI of LinkedInIf lead generation and conversion are important to your business, you should know LinkedIn has the highest rate of any social network – 3X higher than Facebook and Twitter.

Did you also know?

©barnraisersllc.com
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How to optimize your web pagesHigh rankings on Google and other search engines are influenced by on-page factors and off-page factors. Before you focus on off-page factors such as backlinks and social mentions, you should make sure that the on-page factors of your web pages are correct.
On-page SEO checklist

©www.free-seo-news.com
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compass

Social media can be a powerful, integral pillar for marketing. Marketers have more routes to deliver a greater volume of information to a larger audience than ever before. As the possibilities continue to change, however, tracking marketing activities against business value is also becoming more complex.

Measurement isn't a new conversation for marketers, yet many still struggle to quantify the value of social programs for their business stakeholders.

©blog.bazaarvoice.com
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social media to drive trafficSocial media is an ever-increasing facet of everyday business. Companies large (Starbucks) and small (your local car shop) are using social media to expand their exposure and reach a broad base of prospective consumers.

©www.drewsmarketingminute.com
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Improve Your Facebook EngagementAre you looking for fun ways to get your Facebook fans engaged?

Wondering how other pages are developing their posts to increase likes, shares and comments?

In this article I'll show you eight examples of how to create Facebook posts that drive more engagement on your Facebook page.

 

#1: Solve Problems With Photos

Posts with a simple image and a caption that shows fans the solution to a problem or a way to improve their daily lives receive marked engagement.

Whole Foods uses this post tactic to encourage fan discussions about product-related solutions to common problems.

©socialmediaexaminer.com
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web ContentOne question I receive quite often is this: "You create a lot of content. How do you know where to put each piece of content and why?" Up until fairly recently when I launched my brand new business magazine, my answer was a lot more cut and dry. But now that I've got several outlets for my content, the question definitely deserves revisiting. Plus, it gives me a chance to showcase ways you can use your various tools of the digital channel to build your own business out even more.

©www.xcellimark.com
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Ways to Sell With Social MediaDo you want to convert your fans and followers into paying customers?

Are your social activities working?

In this article I'll show you 5 simple ways to tweak your social media updates for better sales conversion.

Some social media updates can go further toward bringing in sales than others. And they can do this without detracting from the spirit of social media.

©socialmediaexaminer.com
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web design fonts

Fonts and typography are an important part of any web design, and in recent years the possibilities have increased dramatically for web designers. There are a number of great tools and resources out there that can help you in various ways related to web design and typography. In this post we'll showcase 10 resources that can prove to be useful in your own work. Some of them are free and others are commercial.

©http://vandelaydesign.com/
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