Monthly Archives: December 2016

Introduction of Live Audio on Facebook

By | Marketing, Social Media Marketing | No Comments

After the recent introduction of Live 360 videos, Facebook decided to take it one step further with live audio, where users will be able to share verbal information in real time.  The upside to this is being able to launch in poor connectivity areas and weak wireless connections.

We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video. We’ve even seen some Pages find creative ways to go live and reach audiences with audio only by using the Facebook Live API or by adding a still image to accompany their audio broadcast. Our new Live Audio option makes it easy to go live with audio only when that’s the broadcaster’s preferred format.- Facebook

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How does it work?

Live audio works very similar to Live 360 videos.  As soon as someone starts recording a live audio, it will be pushed to the top of the newsfeed.  Any Facebook user who subscribes to Live or actively follows that individual will get a notification pop up.  When a user clicks on a Live audio, they will be able to immediately hear it and see their cover photo displayed on the main image.  A Live audio broadcast can last for up to four hours, and users can post comments and reactions while it’s happening. Android users specifically will be able to lock their phones during a Live audio as well as minimize it and use other apps during it. iOS users will be able to continue looking at Facebook.

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What potential does Live give to digital marketing?

Live audio opens an entirely new platform to the world of online marketing.  Companies can utilize it to stream podcasts where they share information about products and services as well as intriguing stories and interviews with people of influence.  Radio programs can broadcast information via Facebook Live audio, authors can be interviewed as well as have book readings, bands and musicians can have live sets and live recording sessions, and news companies will be able to broadcast during natural disasters and in conflict areas.

When can I use Facebook Live Audio?

Live audio will be introduced within the next few weeks.  Facebook recently partnered up with BBC World Service, Harper Collins, and authors Adam Grant and Brit Bennett to make this introduction.  Facebook Live audio will be available to the rest of the general public sometime in early 2017.

Why Influencers are not Programmatic

By | Marketing | No Comments

Influencer marketing is currently a buzzword in the marketing industry.  However, long before this came to be, people were reacting positively to content promoted and spread by people of influence. With the rise of social media, it became even easier to promote content from key opinion leaders; even celebrities. As this increased, tools were created in order to manage the organic and sponsored content. Because this has become larger and larger, there is an extreme demand for standardization. Several programmatic buying platforms have teamed up with ROI Influencer Media to standardize influencer marketing in order to offer bundles of signed influencers.

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What does this mean?

With this standardization, marketers will be able to incorporate influencers into their media mix far easier than before. Digital ad buyers will be able to actually purchase different influencer’s social content, just like other forms of digital media. ROI Influencer Media has a network of 10,000 influencers that buyers will have programmatic access to. The influencers will be in control of their ads, and the inventory will be on a CPM basis. If the influencers aren’t keen on a particular ad, they have the full ability to negotiate or turn it down completely.

What are the cons?

Strategy must come first.  If this fails to happen, much time and money can be lost. This often happens when marketers treat influencers programmatically and jump in head first by pitching influencers at scale. An effective strategy involves a clear alignment between the brand, influencer, and end user.

In addition to this, influencer marketing is as widespread and popular as it is because it is authentic, quality, and built up around engaging stories that attract and retain consumers.  With programmatic ad buying, it takes influencer marketing and makes it a little more cut and dry as it is focused around algorithms and bidding. Programmatic also chips away at consumer trust.  People do not want to be treated like a commodity. If they do, they will block ads and give advertisers an even harder time at reaching this hard to reach audience.

Why aren’t influencers programmatic?

While these new ways of scaling marketing programs are good for marketers themselves, treating the marketing in a programmatic fashion will only turn consumers away from the influencers they used to look up to and value. While there do need to be standardization processes in place in order to effectively manage influencer marketing on a mass level, programmatic buys are not the way to do it.

Dominating SEO in the Mobile-First Index

By | Marketing, SEO | No Comments

The game has been changed for websites after Google announced that it would become a mobile-first index within the coming months. Kelsey Jones, editor of Search Engine Journal stated that 75% of search in 2017 will be mobile and it is time for everyone to embrace it.  Due to these growing changes, website owners have no choice but to adapt to these changes. In order to truly attain mobile-first success, websites must achieve high levels of fast load time, responsive web design, and optimized schema data.

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So, how can you make sure your website is dominating SEO in the mobile-first index?

  1. Utilize Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. You will want to see if your web pages, one by one, past Google’s mobile-friendly test. Plug them each in, beginning with the key navigation pages. Although this might be initially time consuming, it will be highly worth it in the long run.
  2. Confirm That Your Mobile Pages are Being Indexed. To test this in order to confirm this is happening, go to Google on your smartphone and enter: “site:mywebsite.com”. After you do this, if nothing shows up, this is an indication that Googlebot may not be able to access your mobile pages.  Create a mobile site map if needed.
  3. Use Google’s Search Console to Review Smartphone Errors. When you find which errors are occurring, you will be able to determine an effective strategy. Go to: Google Search Console > Crawl Errors > Smartphone Errors.
  4. Make Sure Your Mobile Content Reflects Your Desktop Content. Many people make the mistake of having lighter content on the mobile site versus the desktop site, however that can cause some traffic jams and keyword loss. With the mobile-first index you want to make sure that your mobile content truly reflects your desktop content.
  5. Remove Hidden Content. Make sure that your content listed in tabs and accordions is visible to users both on desktop and mobile. Do not hide content just to make it cleaner.
  6. Add Structured Data. It is common for web marketers to skip adding structured data on mobile sites, and limit it to the desktop version only. However, it is wise to add structured data to your mobile sites as well, using Google’s Structured Testing Tool to fix it.
  7. Keep Desktop Site Optimized for Other Search Engines. Keep in mind, despite all of the importance mentioned above, that Google is not the only search engine around.  Make sure you maintain a desktop strategy that is optimized for other search engines in order to maintain your rankings.

Keyword Strategies to Dominate Your Niche

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In each niche, there are specific keywords that everyone wants to rank for.  But why is that so?  After all, each company is fighting over the same few keywords.  What if a different approach was taken?

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If you want to dominate your niche, consider taking an unconventional approach and implement the following keyword strategies:

  • Interview Industry Leaders. Most of the leaders in your industry are not going to turn down an opportunity for exposure. They are able to show off their expertise, trust, and authority on specific topics.  Interviewing them can help your company produce amazing content while simultaneously earning the ability to rank for words specific to that leader, such as: their role models, books they wrote, events they speak at, events they attend, podcasts they speak at or host, or products and services they use.
  • Piggyback Competitors’ Brand Terms. This can be easily done by comparing and contrasting your products and services with the competition. Make sure what you have to offer is truly superior, however, or else you are just going to give them exposure. Be honest in your comparisons by demonstrating how your services or products are better without trashing the other company.

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  • Review Related Products and Services. There isn’t a rule anywhere in a rule book stating that you only have to focus on your own goods and services. It is okay to produce content on other topics. By writing about related products and services, you are opening yourself up to a totally different audience that will improve your rankings.
  • Incorporate Local Themed Content. If this is executed properly, incorporating local-themed content can be extremely beneficial in improving your ranking. Your local information should not just be on one page of your website, rather look for any opportunity to use it on blog posts and pages. This can include state, city, and county name, local street names, local events, local attractions, local radio shows, local prominent figures, and so forth.
  • Share Client Success Stories. This is one way that will be unique to your company, no matter what. Your stories are your stories, and no competitors can take that from you. Some added beneficial keywords you will gain from doing this are client’s names and companies.  If you post case studies, you can also earn links from industry publications.  Make sure when doing any of this, however, that you receive the client’s permission.

The Future of Local SEO with Digital Assistants and Conversational Search

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Digital Assistants and Conversational search are paving the way for the future of technology.  Most of us are used to traditional search, where we grunt two words at a time in a choppy manner. However, conversational search gives us the expectation that digital assistants will carry a conversation with us, talking as we do.  With this change, however, there will be inevitable impacts on search queries.

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For example, when you utilize a digital assistant to ask a question, you are going to get an audible response.  A screen may or may not be used, as it will be optional to the user.  You can receive answers without having to look at a website.  Because of this, as an SEO, your opportunities of luring people back to your site are far fewer.  Once a question is asked, the answer is derived from a single source.  Any follow up questions will start over as a new search, and will be derived from whatever source the search engine deems appropriate.

When it comes to local search, however, digital assistants will not disrupt it much.  When people ask for a local restaurant they will likely end up going there, without any follow up questions needed.  If they do have follow up questions, it will likely be about that particular restaurant and the answers will be derived from the same source.  There is a catch, however, because in order to have the digital assistant pull information from your site, you must rank high enough.

Here are a few tips on how you can up the chances of digital sources selecting your site as a source for conversational queries:

  1. Optimize Location Data. Make sure your data is updated and consistent across the entire web.
  2. Speak the Language of Digital Assistants. Use schema.org vocabulary, or structured data markup in order for the digital assistants to be able to best understand and gather your website content.
  3. Google My Business. Make sure all relevant categories for your Google My Business profile are fully filled out.
  4. Cultivate Reviews. Just like users rely on reviews when making decisions, so do search engines. Make sure you are monitoring all reviews that come in for your site and addressing any negative ones or complaints immediately. Help increase your positive reviews by asking satisfied customers to provide them.
  5. Write in Conversational Tone. Write in a way that is geared first toward humans, not search engines. Make sure it sounds natural by reading it aloud first.

Better SEO This Holiday Season to Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment

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Holiday shopping is officially in full-swing, especially after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Many people use online shopping as their main method of purchasing Christmas gifts.  It is easy, efficient, and can be quickly done, unlike traipsing around the mall and fighting through the crowds.  Despite the popularity of online shopping, 75% of online purchases get abandoned.  People will find products they like, add them to the cart, but fail to complete the purchase.  This is the last thing you want, especially during the Holidays when your sales could be sky high.

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Below are some tips on how by improving your SEO you can avoid falling into the shopping cart abandonment statistics.

Do Not Forget About Calls-to-Action and Urgency

Because people have added things to their shopping cart does not mean they will go all the way through to purchase.  These customers still need to be targeted with strong calls-to-action.  What better place to do this than on the checkout page?  Having strong calls-to-action will only reinforce the customer’s want to purchase a product, and may even push them over the fence if they are unsure.  These calls-to-action should be clear as well as consistent with the rest of your website.  This can be done by creating a sense of urgency: “get $25 off your purchase if you check out within the next .

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Use Search Engine Re-Marketing

Re-marketing is when a cookie is placed on someone’s computer when they put something in their cart, but doesn’t make a purchase.  That customer will get advertising on that specific product via a banner, pop-up, etc. even on other retailer’s websites.  This will put a bug in their ear and remind them about that product they decided not to purchase.  The odds of them returning to your site to make a purchase will be much higher.

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Include Product Image Thumbnails

It is important to keep the customer engaged throughout the entire buying process.  If the customer places something in their cart, but does not get to visually see it again until it arrives at their doorstep, the chance of them abandoning their cart is much higher.

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Including a visual through a product image thumbnail will give the customer a connection to the product throughout the entire purchasing experience.

How to have Competitive Intelligence in Content Marketing

By | Content Marketing, Marketing | No Comments

It is important for any marketer to be aware of their competition.  Doing so broadens your scope of knowledge: reveals gaps in what others are doing, gives you an idea on what you can be doing better, and shows you how you may match up to the competition.

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A marketer well-versed in the competition will be able to identify significant differences between their brands: difference in goods and services, sales techniques used to close leads, techniques for gaining leads, and the total reach of the competition. Conducting a total competitive content analysis will provide a clear idea of the main objectives of other content campaigns.  It is extremely wise to gather this information prior to unleashing a new content strategy, or to modify an existing one.

So, how does a marketer go about conducting a total competitive content analysis?

  1. Discover Their Content. The first step should always include unearthing what your competitors have. Where does the content live? This can usually be found on their websites under resource tabs, support tab, website blogs, case studies published, as well as any press or media involvement.  Check the most obvious places first, and then finish by making sure no stone is left unturned.
  2. Don’t Stop at the Website. Although plenty of content can be found there, a lot of it can be found in the resources they are using.  If your competitors own content channels and accounts, they most likely have content being published elsewhere.
  3. Run an Audit. Now that you know where the content is, it is time to analyze it.  Look for the four key factors: how much content is being published, how often, which content is giving off the biggest impact, and how is it being promoted?
  4. Evaluate the Quality. The next series of questions will give you an idea of the quality of your competitor’s content: is it long-form, is it high-level, can it be recycled and presented in a new format with a greater lasting impact, is it well-written, and is it helpful?
  5. Discover the Motives. A great way to find out your competition’s best strategies is to discover how their content plays a part in their funnel.  Look for the calls-to-action, landing pages, links, and how the content is being promoted on social media as well as the traditional internet.
  6. How does your content strategy stack up against the competition?  Are their gaps in their approach?  Is there a method of yours that needs tweaked?  Paying close attention to the competition is a great way to improve your overall content strategy.