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The Marketing Edge (270)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015 23:04

#Mobilegeddon

Written by Cintia Miranda

Google released a mobile friendly update on April 21. In short, the newest algorithm update will potentially give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google's mobile search results and push outdated pages to the back of the line. If you haven't updated your website in a while, here's what you need to know before you jump on it:

  1. 1) Depth of impact The update doesn't impact desktop searches, just tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. However, most of us own a smartphone and use it for search, which makes being mobile-friendly a top priority for all businesses who haven't moved their websites to a responsive platform. Google tells us that it will be more significant than both the Panda and Penguin algorithms updates and both of those were updates of consequence.
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 10:27

You need a mobile site now!

Written by Cintia Miranda

According to Global Index, 80 percent of internet users worldwide own a smartphone. Now, take a moment to digest that. We still have massive amounts of people living in poverty in the world, in areas with no clean water or accessible healthcare, and yet the number of mobile connections globally has surpassed the world's population. Technology is changing at an unprecedented speed, which makes the lives of small business owners feel like an endless rollercoaster ride right when you think you're on top of things, it becomes yesterday's news and you're right back at the beginning of the learning curve again!

Smartphones have been around since 1992, but only became widely adopted in the early 2000s. From the original IBM Simon to Palm and Blackberry to iPhones and many others available in the market today, nobody could precisely predict when mobile devices would take over desktops and ultimately rule the marketing world.

The year was 1997. I had just landed my first marketing job in Boston and I was super excited. It was a pretty sweet gig and I could not wait to learn everything I could from 'the experts.'

My first task was pretty straightforward I was asked to call the mail list broker and get a lease on a mailing list of 15,000 people in Massachusetts based on a somewhat broad demographic criteria. Done, check. My second task, talk to the design guy and get him to change the date on the previous year's save-the-date card, and maybe change the color. But wait! I had just come across tons of boxes of said postcards in the storage room and had an amazing, brilliant idea we should just put a sticker on the date and save on print costs.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 17:19

How do you measure business success?

Written by Cintia Miranda

As an entrepreneur and a certified business mentor, I'm often asked this question. How do we know if we're on the right path? How do we measure our daily accomplishments? How do we create a business blueprint that will lead us to a pot of gold?

In my opinion, measuring the success of a business is somewhat personal. Sure, your financial statements will always tell you if you're stable and sustainable, but is money the only measurement of success?

Spring is coming and with it comes trade show season! Exhibiting at trade shows can be a very effective marketing activity. It also can be a black hole where your dump your money, time, and energy for little or no return. Savvy marketers know that trade shows can be very successful if strategically planned in advance. There's a lot more work involved in trade show marketing than setting up a booth and giving away branded chachkies in return for a business card in a fishbowl. Follow these five steps to marketing your next trade show and you'll see a much better return on your investment I promise!

  1. 1) Research. Take your time to research and select trade shows where your target market will be. It's OK to exhibit at a trade show where the industry focus is different than yours, as long as your potential customers will be attending the show. Take a close look at the cost to exhibit and expected foot traffic, then set up a goal for conversion after all, this is a marketing investment. If the numbers are not working right, attend the event first before committing to it. You can still network and do business as an attendee.
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 16:41

Ten traits of a great marketer

Written by Cintia Miranda

I've been a marketer for almost 18 years now and have had the pleasure to work with some amazing professionals throughout my career. I love when I meet someone and feel inspired by their demeanor and business acumen it is so refreshing. It turns out I've noticed that successful marketers have some common traits. Let's see if you agree with me:

  1. 1. They are remarkable observers. Great marketers love to observe people's behaviors - what makes them tick, what makes them feel special, what makes them feel calm, what makes them fall in love with a product and so on. In fact, successful marketers are obsessed with market behaviors.
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 20:02

Snapchat-Where It's at for Millennials

Written by Sarah Bailey

Snapchat may not seem like a likely social network for brands to include in their social media marketing strategy, but if your target audience includes Millennials (18-34) you're missing a significant opportunity to connect with the consumers you want. Snapchat now has over 100 million monthly active users (Mashable), and ranks as the third most highly used smartphone app, behind Facebook and Instagram. (comScore) Users share an average of 700 million snaps per day (Snapchat), and according to Bloomberg, Snapchat's valuation could rise to $19 billion in 2015.

Snapchat's short-lived images can be tricky for less product-centered businesses to use, and just as ambiguous to measure. Those same challenges, however, can also open up new marketing opportunities not found on other social media channels. 69% of college students surveyed by Sumpto stated they would be inclined to open snaps from brands, and 67% want discounts and promotions snapped to them by brands. (Business Insider)

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 16:16

YouTube for small businesses - are you missing out?

Written by Sarah Bailey

If you're not making use of YouTube in your marketing, it's time to embrace it. With over a billion (that's not a typo, I promise) monthly users watching over 600 billion hours of video every month, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, with up to 30 million visitors each day. According to HubSpot, the majority of audiences expect companies to be on social media. While Facebook and Twitter are the top two channels people expect your business to be active on, it may come as a surprise that YouTube came in third, beating out Google, Instagram and Pinterest.

By creating an active YouTube channel, you reach an eager - and younger audience, and your business also stands to gain more influence on Google (bonus!). Comments on YouTube are tied to Google+, which means that creating and posting content on YouTube increases your visibility and credibility with Google's search engine, if you can engage your audience.

Three hundred million users are uploading over 70 million photos each day on Instagram. With more than 200 million monthly active accounts (65 percent are based outside the U.S.), Instagram's global audience combines visual imagery with likes, comments and hashtags to fuel powerful conversations. Have you dismissed Instagram as a teenager's trend, not worthy of your time or attention? I hope the above stats cause you to think again.

Instagram has been slow in adopting paid advertising for business accounts, despite its parent company being Facebook. Instead of jumping in and fixing kinks as they occur, Instagram decided to work with current ad partners and the Instagram community to trial paid advertising. Instagram isn't accepting new ad partners right now, but they are starting to roll out tools for businesses to measure data. Their Business Tools Suite, listed below, will be available only for marketers who purchase ads.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 18:35

Gaining greater engagement on Twitter

Written by Sarah Bailey (AP)

With over 284 million monthly active users, Twitter provides a great way to engage with customers and prospects in real time, anytime. However, with a 140-character limit for each post, it's also one of the most challenging social media platforms to use effectively. Twitter reports there are currently 500 million Tweets sent per day and it thrives on this fast pace of hot topics. So, how do you ensure your brand grabs attention in this lightning-quick network? You make sure your Tweets are creative, compelling and concise.

  • Showcase your brand. Make sure your Twitter profile compliments your brand representation on other social networks, and your handle is easily recognizable as belonging to your business or personal brand. Take full advantage of your account profile to present your elevator pitch
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