In the late summer of 2016 Amazon.com, Inc. rolled out their new self-service PPC tool, Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), available to all Amazon vendors. AMS allows vendors to build and manage targeted PPC ads that help drive customers to specific product pages on Amazon. The tool includes three products, or types of ads that can be created, which all uniquely target customers in different areas of the Amazon platform. AMS, although in its early stages of development, has already changed the game for advertising on Amazon.com. It eliminates the need for businesses to have large marketing budgets to place their product ads on Amazon. Instead, sellers can create ad campaigns based on their budgets, objectives, needs, and only pay when shoppers click on their ads. …Read entire entry »

Mobile technology has boomed in recent years, and now more people than ever prefer using a smartphone or other mobile device instead of their computers for a variety of things – work, email, social media communication, shopping, and countless other tasks. Google created the term “micro-moments” to describe the quick interactions people have with their mobile devices, such as quickly pulling out a smartphone to look up something, find an address, answer a question, or interact with others. Essentially, a micro-moment in Google’s eyes is any time someone uses a smartphone because they want to know something, do something, buy something, or go somewhere. The Shift to a Mobile-First Mentality There a…Read entire entry »

Google's keynote this year centered around the importance of the customer being at the heart of our all of our marketing efforts. It is our job as the marketer and as the brand, to deliver to our consumers: “relevant, frictionless, and useful experiences whenever, wherever they ask for them and sometimes even before they ask,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president at Google, and that is exactly what Google is helping us to achieve this year. The Google Marketing Next 2017 keynote presented the exciting new innovations, tools and technologies that will be available to all Adwords, Analytics, and DoubleClick users by December 2017. Here are just some of the highlights: Did you know that 87% of smartphone owners turn to search first in their moment of need? Also, 20% of searches are now done by voice. Search is our go-to path for assistance. With that being said, less than 1/3rd of brand experiences are described as “helpful” by consumers. Pretty sobering …Read entire entry »

Ah, the gif. It’s not a photo. It’s not a video. It’s a category in its own right – a file format that speaks loudly to consumers across a variety of social media platforms. The gif has become more popular as a branding tool in the last year, cropping up in the content of companies across virtually every industry. Gifs, or graphics interchange formats (GIF), aren’t new – software writer Steve Wilhite invented the handy graphic back in 1987. However, the widespread usage of gifs in recent years has earned it a position at the top of the pyramid when it comes to social media marketing. Here’s how companies are using gifs to their fullest potential on social platforms today. Capture Attention Gifs grab attention better than photographs, as they move around and draw the eye toward them. Yet they are m…Read entire entry »

Recently, the two heaviest hitters in the search engine world – Google and Bing – jointly announced that they would increase the file size limit for sitemaps from 10MB to 50MB. A sitemap file contains all the URLs that belong to a particular site, and the maximum number of URLs a sitemap file may contain remains capped at 50,000. While the jump from 10MB to 50MB may seem insignificant at first glance, it is actually a big change for the search engine world. A sitemap helps search engines read, label, and index the content of your website’s pages, resulting in much better search result rankings. For example, imagine two websites that sell similar products, earn equivalent annual profits, and employ roughly the…Read entire entry »

Your click-through rate (CTR) is the number that assesses how many times visitors to your page successfully click through a piece of marketing to a specific goal or end state. Your CTR is a good metric to use to judge the effectiveness of your marketing campaign and the overall appeal of your website. You need to be able to entice the customers and visitors to your site to take the next step after they’ve encountered your brand. Although marketing is a multifaceted and constantly evolving practice, one tried-and-true technique for the digital age is email marketing. Many marketers may consider email marketing a bit outdated in light of the plethora of communication platforms in existence today, but it still provides one of the highest return on investment (ROI) rates of any marketing method. When done correctly, yo…Read entire entry »

When people think of a meme it’s usually an image with text overlay. Remember “I Can Has Cheezburger?” That was most users first exposure to memes. Since then it’s expanded to anything that goes viral, that can also be replicated by other users. Think of planking, the cinnamon challenge and even the ice bucket challenge. A meme doesn’t necessarily have to go viral to be effective, but it does need to be relatable, quirky and, of course, relevant to its intended audience. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re involved in, as long as the content is relatable to others and makes sense – then it’s good to go. If you’re going to target a meme that’s readily used by others, make sure you understand how to use it. Thankfully, there’s Knowyourmeme.com that helps explain memes, their origin and even provides a few examples. Memes are God’s gift to the Internet. Okay, not re…Read entire entry »

There is a lot of talk about how video will perform in 2017 and in the coming years. Video has taken enormous strides in the last few years, with dozens of impressive statistics that prove its massive influence on content across virtually every platform. Data shows that including video on a landing page increases conversion rates by about 80%. A whopping 90% of users say that product videos help the decision-making process. These are just two examples of the incredible success of video content for marketing. As companies begin a brand new year, it’s important that they keep up with how video is shaping the future. Live Video Will Become King If there’s one word that defines the Digital Era,…Read entire entry »

One of the largest digital marketing trends for 2017 is voice search. Voice search is a form of digital personal assistance, and many people find it more efficient than text searching. Companies like Microsoft are responding to voice search’s popularity, building more “conversational canvases” for their applications. How Voice Search Works Without realizing it, people alter their search behavior whether they are speaking or typing. When typing, you probably use a short search phrase like “Secretary of Education.” When speaking to an app like Siri or Cortana, though, you most likely say, “Who is the Secretary of Education?” You use natural language instead of forming a “correct” search phrase to get the results you want. Increasing numbers of devices, from laptops to smartphones, are …Read entire entry »

In today’s fast-paced business environment, you’ll most likely run into impatient digital marketers more often than patient ones. In the race to be the best, it can be difficult to take your time with a content marketing strategy or campaign. The most effective digital marketers are those who can meet the pace of a demanding workplace and spend time on the details. Impatient marketers can run themselves into the ground, yet still see poor returns on investment (ROI). Understanding the pitfalls of an impatient marketer can help you avoid becoming one. Poor Time Management Impatient digital marketers don’t prioritize time management. Digital marketers must split their time among projects and campaigns and answer to many people on a team. In the marketing industry, time is money – wasted time ca…Read entire entry »