Some of the biggest players in tech—such as Google, Facebook and Samsung—are investing heavily in virtual reality. As an increasing amount of people have access to VR headsets and technology, brands are finding space in the virtual realm.
(Reuters) - Facebook Inc is testing a new "buy" button on its website that will let consumers purchase products that are advertised on its social network.
The new service, which Facebook described on Thursday as a test with a "few small and medium-sized businesses" in the United States, represents the Internet social networking company's latest effort to play a bigger role in the e-commerce business.
Facebook said its new Buy button will be available on the mobile and desktop PC version of its website and will allow consumers to purchase goods directly from participating businesses.
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Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging.
It's vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals. From maximizing quality to increasing your online entry points, abiding by these 10 laws will help build a foundation that will serve your customers, your brand and -- perhaps most importantly -- your bottom line.
So you're a Marketer. There's a lot of information out there. Take a look at these programs that provide beneficial industry education.
"Backlinks," meaning sites that link to your site, are, for most search engines, the supreme ranking factor. So is getting more organic traffic
Because that traffic is directly related to the qualityof the backlinks your website has, the more authoritative websites that link to you, the better rankings and traffic you’ll get.
What a great blog post that was, if you do say so yourself.
Trouble is, a few weeks after you shared the URL on LinkedIn, it vanished beneath the stream of your newer posts.
If you're seeking to establish yourself as a thought leader—and who isn't inspired by your thoughts?—try blogging from LinkedIn, rather than just dropping in status updates, Jill Jones says in the Ragan Training session, "Use LinkedIn to showcase your thought leadership and become a brand ambassador for your company."
When you study the successful apps and their history of how they got their first million customers, you can see many common threads between them.
In this article, I touch upon three such channels that will help you get your marketing started and help you scale user growth. Two factors play a key role here. One is focus. Working on these channels alone will ensure focus in your activities. Secondly, these channels bring in predictability in growth and user acquisition.
There’s a saying in the digital marketing world, and in my experience, it stands true. “The money is in the list”.
I know it sounds cheesy. Perhaps it also evokes a reaction in you as you read it. Because a lot of entrepreneurs aren’t in it for the money.
Let’s be honest: Marketing has become kind of a beast. With so much data, so many new channels and so much competition out there, it can be tough for today’s marketers to determine which marketing strategies are worth trying out and which aren’t.
Visual marketing has become a critical component of reaching target customers in today's competitive business landscape. In fact, 20 percent of marketers report that their visual content has been twice as effective than their text content. The reason is the power of visual marketing. To boost that power even more, consider using image tagging to give your images enhanced context while also making them easier to locate.
Today’s gift guides include printed pages and online formats to include more products than ever.
A great product can generate a lot of talk on social media by being presented attractively for digital consumption. Editors such as The Kit’s Michelle Bilodeau are looking to fill their corporate Instagram feeds as well as publication pages.
With the proliferation of social channels, it’s getting more complicated to manage your online reputation. That’s why it pays to watch what the experts in the field are doing.
In a recent interview, Michael Fertik, the founder and CEO of Reputation.com, shared his insights on trends in online reputation management, as well as his own strategies for communicating via social media.
Stop me if this sounds familiar: You hear everybody talking about how great an opportunity YouTube advertising is. After all, this video-sharing website claims that more than 4 billion videos are viewed each day. That actually bigger than Facebook's reach (and growing).
Podcasting is something of an odd man out in the marketing world. Despite the fact that it’s been around for many years, only 3 percent of marketers currently use podcasting in their social-media-marketing campaigns, according to Jeff Bullas. When you consider that Apple has reported more than 1 billion podcast subscriptions via iTunes, and that 62 percent of podcast listeners don’t mind sponsorship messages (compared to 6 percent of TV and traditional radio ad listeners), the magnitude of that oversight seems even bigger.
Automated emails can help your business save time, but that doesn’t mean you need to abuse them.
There is nothing more dangerous than automated-email-marketing software in the hands of an overly aggressive company. It should be used to help build your list, not deplete it. If you are constantly hammering your list with emails, you will witness your unsubscribe rate shoot through the roof. This is very counterproductive.
Inbound marketing strategies have proved immensely successful. The first search engines didn’t launch until the 90s with 'Archie' (1990), followed rapidly by a host of others, including Yahoo (1994), Google (1995), Ask (1997) and MSN (1998). It was soon after that Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot, coined the phrase “inbound marketing” in 1999.
In the less-than 20 years since the advent of inbound marketing, the practice has experienced rapid growth, and is now widely recognized as an important tool to have in any marketing tool box.
The marketing world is in the midst of a major transition. Mobile dominates every aspect of our lives, creating new forms of expression, creativity, communication, and opportunities; providing brands an unprecedented opportunity to put content directly into their users' hands.
There are marketing campaigns and then there are clever marketing campaigns. The former may resonate with you, but they’ll rarely stick with you. The latter are memorable and unique. How would you grade your marketing campaigns? Are they clever, or merely average? If you need a little inspiration, check out the following case studies involving five clever marketing campaigns that dared to be different.
If you’re only utilizing email marketing to simply send out your corporate newsletter, you’re missing out on a potential revenue stream.
There are emails that everyone dreads and others that customers get excited about seeing in their inboxes. What’s the difference and how to you get your brand to be the one that builds anticipation? Spend the time to build a plan for your email marketing with these five helpful tips, tools and strategies that can help you grow your brand and build up your bottom line.
Today, your business can either fail or succeed based off of how well you do on the Internet. You may have an online business, or a component of your business is online, but either way, your sales online dramatically affect your growth. When companies release their quarterly reports, the growth of the business online affects whether investors buy or sell shares in that company.
Do you know the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle)? Essentially, it states that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your inputs -- or, in practice, that 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of your blog readers. While that’s great in theory, it doesn’t always apply if you’re an entrepreneur that’s just started a blog.
Rather than just tell you the top six mistakes that can lead to failure in marketing, which would be like Paula Deen telling you why you shouldn't cook with margarine, I'm going to instead give you the questions every marketer should ask themselves to avoid future failure. Often, marketers forget the most fundamental questions, yet these are questions that every great brand has nailed.
If you’re like 65 percent of Americans, you’re a fan of pro football. Which means you already have your fantasy team drafted and your jersey ready for when your team takes the field this season.
How has the National Football League managed to make football America’s favorite sport? One major reason is the League's ability to keep fans engaged -- a strength businesses should pay attention to. In fact, businesses can strengthen their own "fan engagement" by taking the following six lessons from the NFL playbook.
So you want to send paid traffic to your website? That’s great! Given the amount of digital noise online today, expanding your digital marketing campaigns by putting your message directly in front of your target audience with paid ads is a powerful technique, and you’ll find that Google AdWords makes it easy to get up and running with this approach.
Unfortunately, though, just because it’s easy to open up an Adwords account doesn’t mean that it’s easy to generate a positive return on investment using this service.
As an entrepreneur, you wear many hats. Your responsibilities encompass all aspects of your business, from its finances to its sales and everything in between.
By default, most good entrepreneurs understand marketing. This doesn’t mean that you love executing daily and weekly marketing activities. But it does mean that you respect and appreciate the need for strong marketing efforts.
With the growing prominence of digital marketing, customers are coming to expect a more personalized experience, and today’s savvy brands are doing everything they can to measure up.
If you don’t connect with your customers in a personal way, you’ll fall behind competitors that do. That’s just the way business works these day. So whether you’re a startup or an enterprise corporation, you’ll find that personalization is more important than ever before.
Keeping up with the ever-evolving SEO industry can seem like a pain, but it’s a requirement for anyone that wants to stay relevant in this digital age.
If you ignore these concepts, you risk finding yourself plagued with penalties and poor rankings. And when your business relies on search traffic, these negative effects can have catastrophic consequences.
Most of us dream of writing a novel at some time or another. Who wouldn’t love the thought of sipping a latte, crafting a few words in a chapter of their novel, telling stories, and soaking up a healthy combination of royalty checks and public praise for the effort?
But, as a marketer you'll need to put those daydreams aside for a moment. Chances are, you’re going to have to put together a tweet, blog article, or email campaign on your own this week.
If you’re like most small-business owners, you spend your day providing a great customer experience that sets you apart from your competition. The quality of your service is key now that digital word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising. This doesn’t leave much time to stay current with the latest online-marketing developments.
To help navigate today’s brave new world of digital marketing for small business, as well as outline principles that are critical for your success, I’ve outlined eight terms that should be in every small-business owner’s vocabulary. Understanding the “why” and “what” will improve your marketing efforts and ability to attract and retain valuable customers.
We know that using personalization in marketing works, and we are fast heading toward a future where hyper-personalization will become the norm.
But those who wish to reach the utopia of “one-to-one marketing” have a number of hurdles to leap, one of which is a key finding in my latest State of Marketing Technology report, released today on VB Insight.
Visual marketing is a primary source for customer engagement in the modern age. A necessary component for competing online, visual content is the best way to distinguish yourself from the crowd. The question is, how do you make your content the best when so many others are pushing to do the same thing?
It’s not easy to drive dramatic inbound-lead growth. In fact, many entrepreneurs seem to think it’s an impossible task. But what if I told you it was a lot simpler than you think?
Seeing a huge increase in inbound-lead growth -- essentially attracting new customers -- is possible, regardless of your industry. It’s just a matter of making the investment of time, hard work and dedication.
A picture is worth a thousand words -- but in business, entrepreneurs don’t like to leave much to interpretation.
It is for this reason that graphic interchange format files, or "GIFs," have proliferated our digital landscape over the last few years. And while you may not know of them, there is a very high likelihood that you have seen them.
Back-to-school shopping season is one of the most important periods of the year for retailers, and there's a wide range of opportunities, which can be maximized if marketers understand the characteristics of back-to-school shoppers.
For example, did you know people are more likely to use mobile in their web searches during the summer because they're spending more time outdoors or traveling?
“Content marketing” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in the business world these days. The idea is deceptively simple: You use your voice of authority in your industry in order to serve up useful, relevant content that provides some value and insight and keeps customers engaged with your brand. Write a few good blog posts, and the engaged customer we all dream about will loyally patronize your business and evangelize to his or her social network, right?
Facebook users who consistently engage with content related to the holiday shopping season may soon see that reflected in the ads they are served by the social network.
Facebook said the segment will run from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, giving brands a way "to reach the most engaged and scaled audience related to the season, such as holiday planning and retail-related activity."
Advertisers: Do you believe this new ad-targeting segment will be useful?
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We all know that Social Media has become the indispensable marketing tactic for companies of all sizes. Due to the fast paced, ever changing technology landscape Social Media marketing is a challenge for marketers to stay on top. Here is a great free resource to help you hone your skills and stay current:
While many companies have recognized the importance of Social Media marketing, there is still huge gaps into way social conversations are translated into marketing intelligence. Attend this free webinar and learn how to leverage social conversations and turn them into marketing intelligence.
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We live in the era of content marketing.
This new age of inbound marketing has created a flood of posts from businesses on the web. With more and more businesses getting involved every day, the online world is becoming an incredibly noisy place. According to some estimates, 86 percent of business-to-business companies use content marketing.
Q: What's your number-one tip to boost your social-media following?
A: First of all, I’m going to state right there’s no one single way to boost your social-media following. It takes a matrix of methods and a continuous commitment to create, establish, build and maintain a social media presence and following.
On Jan. 9, Liam Neeson resumes his role as former government operative and current badass Bryan Mills in Taken 3.
To promote the movie, the folks at 20th Century Fox have cooked up a somewhat unconventional marketing strategy: while hitting all the usual social media bases (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), Taken 3 is also being promoted on LinkedIn.
An unfortunate reality for page administrators on Facebook is the need to deal with negative comments, but deleting those comments or disabling them altogether is a mistake.
“On Facebook we’ve seen that people are coming to our platform not only to connect with friends and family but also with products and brands. In fact, a survey suggested that nearly half of people come to Facebook to actively look for products, with a majority of them discovering new products in News Feed, Pages, and Groups.”
The war for eyeballs online has gotten pretty grotesque. There is seemingly nothing that is off limits. And yet, as an entrepreneur, if you are trying to grow your business, it can feel as though you need to play the game, or risk losing customers -- and revenue.
But at least one company says it has come to the edge of acceptable and it is backing away from the line. Or, in this case, perhaps it is more apt to say, it has come to the edge of the cliff and is erring towards caution.
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Networking isn’t just vital to career success. It is also crucial for getting things accomplished. It's making change in relationships, organizations and the world.
I have spent much of my career honing the skills of networking and connecting with influential people who are well respected in their industry or discipline. In the beginning, there were a lot of things I didn’t understand. I studied, read and got advice from everyone I came in contact with. I learned everything I could about how to run a successful business (based on selling products via webinars), and worked my tail off to connect with anyone who I could help build their business.
When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of the climbing wall; we had no idea how to get there.
I’d imagine that a social media marketing plan could feel the same way.
Nearly all content marketing advice is broken out into one of two trains of thought.
First there is the tactical advice. These are things like best practices, optimization and anything else that deals with improvements at the micro-level.
done experimenting and is ready to ramp up ad revenue. It’s making three big changes today to attract marketing dollars from around the world and other ad mediums. Finally, Instagram will make back the money Facebook spent buying it.
For anyone who pays attention to the stock market (which I don’t) or the news (which I do), it’s clear that Twitter hasn’t been looking so hot these days. Last month, the social platform fell short of its projected revenue for the first time as a public company. Somewhat embarrassing, right? Twitter’s much younger cousin Instagram even surpassed its monthly active user count when it hit 300 million monthly active users back in January.
A monthly content-marketing check-in gives you the opportunity to measure the success of your campaigns. Without a regular review, you won’t be able to take a strategic approach to your efforts, and if you don’t understand where you’re at, you can’t create a clear path for where you’re going.
Not every trick to boost visibility and engagement can stay in favor forever. We asked some of Entrepreneur’s favorite experts in marketing and social media which trends folks can finally put to rest.
Rethink real-time marketing
Brian Honigman, BrianHonigman.com
"Yes, many people are active online during the SuperBowl, but that doesn't mean every brand and business needs to be chatting about the event as it happens. For many businesses, chatting about the SuperBowl makes no sense for their audience.
Our friends at HubSpot have grouped all their best inbound marketing resources in one, easy kit: http://bit.ly/1HAU3Rr
This kit contains:
- An introductory guide to internet marketing
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- A social media publishing calendar template
- A landing page optimization guide
- Hubspot's "Science of Email' report
Nike’s #NoMaybes campaign has caught lots of attention during the Women’s World Cup. What can other brands learn from the Nike's success?
The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team had a 5-2 victory over Japan yesterday, while the team's sponsor, Nike, had a big win on social during the game.
The prospect of marketing your business can be overwhelming, especially when you are a small business with an even smaller budget. The good news is that marketing doesn’t have to cost thousands or even hundreds of dollars.
Here are 20 ways you can market your small business on a shoestring budget -- or even on no budget at all.
Unified is announcing that it has raised $30 million in Series B funding, plus a $10 million credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank.
That sounds like a nice chunk of change, but equally noteworthy is the fact that the equity funding was led by iHeartMedia (the radio and digital media company formerly known as Clear Channel). The two companies previously announced a strategic partnership to develop custom products for advertisers, as well as an investment of undisclosed size.
To start off the year, our friends at Marketo want to share some predictions from internal thought leaders to help you embrace exciting, new changes to come in the marketing world!
Download brand new Marketo's eBook and learn about:
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• The growing separation between publishing and editorial – how to maximize both
• How content will change for B2B and B2C for better engagement
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The crowdfunding effort has now achieved the highest number of backers ever for that platform.
The grassroots campaign that has made headlines and that spread wildly through social media marketing and sharing, with support from some of the biggest names from Kickstarter and celebrities across the entire spectrum in order to bring back Reading Rainbow in a mobile app format that will be free to classrooms in need across the United States, has now reached well beyond even its highest goals.
LinkedIn, the former dark horse of social media, has not only grown past Twitter, but is a serious publishing platform in its own right. Let’s see what LinkedIn reported for its Q3 earnings.
Websites can be a tricky business. You have to stay current with the latest design trends, ensure that your site is easily navigable and usable, improve your conversion rates through A/B testing, prioritize your call to actions, stay current with trends in your traffic reports, make sure your site works on mobile devices and sometimes even deal with spammers, hackers and bots that insert malicious code into your site or cause other issues.
If you’re a small- to midsize-sized business (SMB) and in the business-to-business (B2B) space, you know how messy the digital revolution has been for marketing and sales.
Not long ago, a sale needed some sort of human interaction -- even with the web. Now, from fact-finding to brand-relationship building, your customers rely on the Internet to do it all.
How can a small B2B-focused company get back into the discussion in this age of digital selling? Here’s a guide to help your SMB be found, seen and heard online.
A whopping 76 percent of marketers plan to increase their content-marketing budgets in 2016, according to Curata. Really, though, this growth isn’t that surprising, given that most companies realize content marketing is a key strategy for building relationships and creating customers.
Content creation can get a bit out of hand, especially if you’ve made the brave decision to outsource some of the work. I’ve dealt with plenty of outsourcers, and it’s a massive task. Trying to keep quality high, content on time and projects organized feels like a full-time job.
Building a business before it actually “takes off” means filling many different roles: founder, accountant, storekeeper, salesperson, product developer, marketer.
One thing I’ve learned after going into business for myself as an adaptability coach is the value of web marketing and just how many efforts it takes to succeed, with success being conversion. There are as many strategies to improving website performance as there are best practices for doing so -- just ask the Good Idea Fairy.
Your blog is out there in the world, awaiting the masses to read and share it. It’s an exciting time for any marketer. After all, you’ve spent hours crafting this post, pouring your knowledge and personality into its paragraphs. But, as you quickly learn, people won’t flock to your post just because you hit “Publish.”
Creating valuable content takes a lot of time and effort. Sure, anyone can throw together a string of sentences and call it content, but the stuff that gets shared is the content that really adds value to your business.
Great content will help solidify not only your business, but also establish your credibility in your space. To make a real splash out of the work that goes into creating content, you’ll want to also make sure it’s viral and sharable.
Many small business owners still equate “better sales” with gaining more customers and revenue. At the face of it, it seems like an easy equation, right? However, when it comes to marketing, they find it difficult to attach a significant ROI to their marketing efforts. Result? They ask, “Did we spend those marketing dollars wisely?
If you can get all of your regular customers to come into your restaurant just one more time a year, and spend a little more for just one more meal, it will make a big difference in your business. That’s why getting your regular customers involved in your social media strategy is the key to success, according to Katrina Padron, CEO of Padron Social Marketing.
Padron offered tips on how to strengthen your fan base and attract new guests via social channels during a webinar Wednesday sponsored by the National Restaurant Association.
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Remember, sharing is caring! Share this with your friends and colleagues and enjoy the holiday spirit. Also, you're probably tired of hearing this but some anti-virus programs like McAfee send a false "malicious link" warning when clicking on Bitly shortened links. There is nothing malicious in these links, the shortener is simply used to make the link easier to click / read for your convenience.
Having the right tools can mean the difference between success and failure. But with so many different tools available for small-business marketing, it can be challenging to know which ones to choose.
While there are plenty of well known, and often, expensive options out there, these eight lesser-known tools can be a great help when it comes to marketing success.
If you are building a company that depends on making people feel sexy and sophisticated, it’s probably going to confuse your consumers if you your logo is bright green.
That’s because different colors are associated with different feelings. Green conveys organic growth, the earth, nature, or feelings of caring. Meanwhile, black communicates feelings of sophistication, authority or seduction. Not convinced? Consider the green logo for Starbucks or Greenpeace and the black logos of Chanel or Sony.
On April 21, Google unleashed its mobile-friendly update on the online world. However, most businesses and entrepreneurs were in the loop and had sufficient time to react and take appropriate measures.
More recently, there have been rumors flying about a new "phantom" algorithm update, which was presumably applied towards the end of April or the beginning of May. As it turns out, if you've been noticing changes to your -- or anyone else's -- search rankings as of late, you aren't out to lunch.
The Internet is complicated. If you think about the innumerable calculations that go into every Google search just to bring you the perfect information for your request, it can almost be overwhelming. Trying to appeal to every line of code in Google’s core algorithm to rank higher would be virtually impossible, even for the most advanced programmer.