After I wrote my post about the less-talked-about aspects of Pinterest, I wanted to do the same thing for another social media site. My pick: Twitter.
Twitter is extremely user-friendly, and it doesn’t take long to get the hang of the site. But there are a few lesser-known features that can be really useful. So here’s a guide to three of those: Twitter lists, the two ways to retweet another Twitter user, and embedded tweets. Read more…
Panda reared its cuddly head over the weekend, according to reports, and you’ve probably pondered if Google’s latest algorithm update will negatively impact your website.
But chances are you’re already aware of what it takes to succeed in a Panda and Penguin world. You understand that high-quality content trumps spammy, useless content. You consistently update your blog with informative, relevant material that your visitors will find useful, and your Web pages are full of unique content.
So Panda hasn’t battered your website for thin, useless or duplicate content. You’ve taken the necessary steps to “Panda-proof your website.” Blogs are a great way to drive traffic and build brand awareness, but there are other types of content you can offer your visitors besides blogs.
Here’s a list of some types of Panda-proof content that you can add to your website that your visitors will love. Read more…
Last week Pinterest announced Pinterest Web Analytics, a free tool that lets businesses track their pinning activity. It’s big news for marketers hesitant to get on board with Pinterest due to lack of measurement tools other than third-party ones like Curalate and Pinfluencer. Pinterest Analytics grounds Pinterest more deeply in data, and it tells businesses what people pin from their websites, how many people pin, what pins get the most repins, and how many impressions Pinterest content generates.
A few days after the analytics announcement, Pinterest made its new site design available to everyone. And yesterday it announced that it acquired Livestar, an app that gives people local recommendations from their friends and others. So in the wake of all these major Pinterest changes, I wanted to talk about Pinterest marketing. I initially wanted to spotlight small and medium-sized businesses that use Pinterest creatively and effectively, but in searching for these types of businesses, I found a lot that don’t use Pinterest to its full potential. So it made more sense to give tips—though not just any. I think it’s safe to say that people know attractive, eye-catching images do well on Pinterest, but what about less-talked-about aspects of the site, like contributor boards, adding links to pins, and verifying websites?
Using Pinterest to its full potential involves going beyond things like “pin great images” and “pin lots of stuff” (not that those tips aren’t important; they definitely are). But what else does Pinterest marketing involve? And, more importantly, what does Pinterest offer businesses?
Pinterest has a lot of surface appeal: the digital corkboard site is filled with gorgeous photos. But I wanted to go beyond the surface and focus on substance and strategies. Read more…
If you’re a new small business owner, freelancer, or entrepreneur, every decision you make is magnified. The time and money you spend on various resources or necessary tasks can ultimately make or break your business.
Keeping a keen eye on your finances and staying up to task on various responsibilities is easier said than done. Whileevery dollar your spend can make a huge difference, there are several useful mobile applications you can use to better your business and flourish in today’s fast-paced, competitive, on-the-go environment. Apple has a page dedicated to iPhone apps specifically made for business.
Below is a compilation of my favorite apps that business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs can benefit from on a day-to-day basis. Read more…
A guy walks into a bar. He designs 20 logos, a website template and a social media presence. The guy employs his creative genius and crafts an entire brand from the ground up. So where’s the punchline?
Well, this guy has no client. That’s right – he spilled blood, sweat and tears in an audacious attempt to reinvent the branding process. Now he’s sitting at the bar with the shell of a brand and a handful of business cards, comfortably lying in wait to pitch his hard work to the highest bidder.
The guy’s name is Ben Pieratt, and what he’s done here is no joke. The graphic designer and co-founder ofSvpply created his make-believe brand Hessian from scratch and has now placed it on the market. For$18,000 you can buy his domain name, social media presence, collection of logo designs, an app interface and 30 hours of creative manpower to tweak the brand to your liking (and more). Read more…
Creating an attractive, compelling call-to-action can oftentimes be the deal-breaker when attempting to entice qualified leads that will eventually convert.
Whether it’s a business homepage, blog or email, failing to deliver that critical message that in turn will spark customer engagement (call, click, download, like, visit, buy!) will, in the end, cost your company money. It’s not simply all about delivering a compelling message, either. Design matters, too.
Nonetheless, the end goal remains the same: to point visitors toward what they were already in search of or steer them in a direction that will directly lead to an action that helps business. Furthermore, according to Hubspot, a “call-to-action is an image or text that prompts the visitor to take action, such as subscribe to a newsletter, view a webinar or request a product demo.”
So it’s important to implement several different calls-to-action and distribute them throughout your online marketing presence, including your web pages and various forms marketing material. Read more…
The fifth film in the Die Hard series was released yesterday. The new flick, A Good Day to Die Hard,not only prompts us to marvel at how many film titles they can come up with from the words “die” and “hard,” but also causes us to wonder how many more action scenes they can squeeze out of an aging Bruce Willis. (My bet: many more. He’s looking really good for his age.)
But jokes aside, when I walk into the theater to see the latest installment, one thing is guaranteed: the film will be loaded with unexpected moments. In all of the Die Hard movies, things often end up being radically different than they initially appear.
Take the first Die Hard. John McClane (played by Bruce Willis) manages to contact the LAPD after Hans Gruber seizes the tower. While violence consumes the building’s interior, everything seems normal to the dispatched LAPD officer. The officer is unwittingly met by one of Gruber’s armed men, who masquerades as a security guard.
And later in the movie, John McClane surrenders his machine gun, causing Hans Gruber to believe McClane is defenseless when in reality McClane has a pistol taped to his back. (And let’s not forget in the third movie when one of the bombs ends up being a decoy.) Read more…
What does everyone love on Valentine’s day (or any day of the year, for that matter)?
Chocolate, of course! The ancient delicacy is desired by people across the world, regardless of culture, age and gender. If you don’t thoroughly enjoy chocolate, then you could be suffering a severe medical condition or simply lack a soul. Unfortunate but mostly true.
Combine cocoa derived treats with another high-ranking indulgence – craft beer – and you have one of the most delicious beverages known to man. Below are five of the tastiest chocolate beers to consider this Valentine’s Day, each accompanied by a food pairing and rundown of the bottle’s design appeal (because we may not always acknowledge it, but looks do matter – especially on Valentine’s Day). Read more…
A few years ago, Cisco’s VP of Marketing and Emerging Technologies, David Hesh, forecasted that by 2013, 90 percent of all internet traffic would be consumed by video. It’s no wonder why online video has garnered its fair share of recent conversation—and deservedly so.
Today’s technology affords businesses small and large an instant means of recording, editing and uploading their own marketing videos. According to video expert Steve Garfield, the same devices we use on a daily basis will suffice (smartphones, tablets and webcams are all equipped with HD-quality video cameras).
In other words, online video doesn’t need to be an incredibly puzzling or expensive endeavor, at least at the beginning. Though, adding professional video to your marketing is a wise investment, too. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how adding video to your blog works wonders. This week I wanted to highlight the benefits of including video in your overall marketing strategy. Adding video can effectively boost engagement, click-through rates, and ultimately, conversions. Read more…
Playing a middle-aged man in a loveless marriage, I think Bill Murray is incredible in ‘Lost in Translation.’
If you think nothing is wrong with this sentence, keep reading. (And if you know what’s wrong with this sentence, keep reading; there’s something in here for you too.)
The above sentence is a classic example of a misplaced modifier.
If you don’t know what a modifier is, don’t fret. A modifier is pretty self-explanatory: it’s a word, phrase, or clause that modifies something else in a sentence. Modifiers add detail and provide descriptions to sentences. If I say, “I ate a sugar cookie,” the adjective “sugar” modifies the word “cookie.” It describes the cookie in greater detail, and it tells people exactly which type of cookie I ate.
Modifiers are sneaky little fellows though. They’re easy to misplace. A misplaced modifier occurs when the modifying word/phrase/clause is placed too far away from the word it modifies. We can’t toss a modifier any old place in a sentence and assume readers will know what we mean. Modifiers are a little persnickety; they have to be placed in exactly the right spot. Read more…
And then there were two. Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games trimmed the 2013 NFL season down to the remaining teams.
Following a spirited and drama-filled season, the Baltimore Ravens will take on the San Francisco 49ers for the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
But enough about the game. Last season, more than 111 million people tuned in to watch the Super Bowl, a number that is almost certain to be rivaled this year. While a great deal of those viewers will watch the game with rooting interest, millions will simply tune in for one thing: the commercials.
In fact, according to a Nielsen survey, 51 percent of people said they watched the Super Bowl for the commercials.
From the usual suspects (Pepsi, Budweiser, Coca-Cola) to some smaller brands vying for a spot on the mainstream radar (Mio, Wonderful Pistachios), sponsors have already lined up to fill the slots during this year’s game. CBS, which has the broadcasting rights this year, announced in early January that it sold out nearly all of its ad time for the Super Bowl, with pricing averaging upward of $3.8 million per ad—the highest ever for the Super Bowl.
AdAge has a brand-by-brand breakdown of the lineup so far, which it has updated over the course of weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
Those wishing to get their yearly dose of Bud Light’s adored Clydesdales, fret not. As for those looking to see Coca-Cola’s cuddly polar bears, well, they will not be making an appearance this year. Instead, though, brands like Coke have utilized crowdsourcing and social media to market their brands during the big game. Read more…
It’s about that time of year when everyone bellows out the words: “Christmas music already?”
OK, maybe not. Nevertheless, it’s still annoying (both Christmas music and the sheer fact that it starts playing at the same time every year). But the holiday season is well underway, with Thanksgiving a mere week away—meaning retailers both large and small have put the finishing touches on their preparations for Black Friday (the unofficial start of the frenzied shopping season, although some retailers will open doors on Thanksgiving). Read more…
Last year we wrote our first Veterans Day blog post and we’re excited for this year’s post, paying tribute to one of our fellow employees and Army veteran, Patrick Allen. Pat is an SEO consultant with Mainstreethost and prior to joining our team, he served over five years in The United States Army as a member of the Army’s Military Police. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions and share photos and videos with us. Read more…