Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What's New with Twitter?

twitter updates 2015
The folks over at Clix Marketing alerted me to the fact that Twitter has made some important targeting and advertising updates this summer. For marketers, these changes are actually quite helpful!

They Renamed The Publisher Network

Most recently, Twitter renamed their Publisher Network to the "Twitter Audience Platform". Along with that came two additional objectives: Tweet engagements and video views. Twitter users can now retweet and favorite directly from an ad, giving much more opportunity for engagement. For those of you who like interstitials (I'm still on the fence) they have added creative features to the media type as well. You can learn more about it on the Twitter blog.

Live Event Targeting

Viva la live moments! Now marketers can track and deliver messages to just the right users as an event unfolds in real time. This is made possible via an event calendar on Twitter. Great for planning months in advance, for meetings, events, conferences of note etc. in your industry.

Brand Spankin' New Ads Editor

For large scale campaigns, you can take your planning and edits offline in excel now.  Bonus, you can create new campaigns by entering campaign information into excel too via the Twitter ads editor.

New Ways to Buy Mobile App Install Ads

Via Twitter: "Optimized action bidding and cost per install bidding are now available to all advertisers running Twitter mobile app promotion campaigns with conversion tracking enabled." Get more details via the Twitter blog.

Monday, August 17, 2015

8 Marketing Blogs You Should Be Reading

Tactics and tools help make a marketer grow their business as well as their skills. I don't always have all the answers and I love going through and getting recommendations from some of the best. The top industry blogs I get my information and education from help me fine tune my campaigns and/or introduce me to tools that can aid in lead gen.

I like to stay on top of the trends for SEO, SEM and good content creation. I feel like the tide is always turning and it's best to capitalize on what is out there NOW.

There are so many blogs out there with information overload, but I find myself going to these 8 on the regular. I find that most marketers want to learn what makes people "tick", but these blogs talk about what makes people "click" -- and frankly, that's what we're all after in online marketing, isn't it?

Here's my top marketing blog list!

Hubspot Blog 

With separate sections for Marketing, Sales and Agencies, this blog is my go to. I may be cheating since I've used them as our CMS though.

Marketo Blog

An all encompassing site on best practices for all channels of marketing.


More strategy driven, with a variety of content ranging from infographics to analytics, I like this blog for analytical insights as well as the free guides they offer.

Marketing Profs 

Insights from both seasoned and new marketing professionals. Great email newsletter and resources for professional development.


Content writing and copyrighting articles. Great insights into SEO friendly copy and trends.

Moz Blog  

SEO tips and tricks. Content optimization for social media, various channels and strategies for link building, blogging and more.

Search Engine Land

Industry news and trends in SEO and SEM. Tips about Google Ads, content optimization and marketing platforms to use, as well as a myriad of other topics all web-related.

Simply Measured 

Focused on social media, resources and results-based analytics on how to perform better across social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
8 great marketing  blogs to read

Monday, August 10, 2015

5 Affordable Resources for Graphic Creation

In addition to creating fresh content, a marketer also struggles with finding the right graphics to compliment their copy. Graphs, charts, infographics etc. are all a major component in digital marketing. Interactive media that allures consumers to your brand and services or increases sales is quite valuable. An image that falls flat or lacks quality can be seen a mile away -- sometimes more so than a quality one. To me, it's like putting together the world's greatest salad, only to top it with a horrible dressing.

Unfortunately, all of us are not graphic designers or have an unlimited budget for freelancers and software to do the work for us. I've taken quite a shine to these low cost (some are even FREE!) services online below that help create images or posts for social media and ads at a fraction of the cost and time it would take me to do so otherwise.

1) Canva - I love Canva for social media posts. With a wide array of post templates designed for various platforms and free graphics to choose from, you can create a plethora of posts in a matter of minutes. Premium images are only $1 each, and your photos can be edited right within the program. You can also upload your own photos or graphics to modify.

2) Piktochart - If I'm stuck formatting a report, or in need of an infographic that doesn't bore a visitor to tears, piktochart is my pick. In a basic, standard account there are a series of free pre-programmed themes you can choose from. If you subscribe to a professional account ($29 a month, or $290 a year), you have access to hundreds more, no watermarks and enhanced quality (high res exports). For some projects, $29 a month is surely worth it. Also, if you're a non-profit, they'll show you some love and give you special pricing.

3) Free Vector Download - Are you more comfortable with creating templates on your own and just need access to some icons, vectors or photos to manipulate? Then this site can be of help. I've found quite a few basic vectors or images to use in general infographics or put in place where an icon was needed for a report or graph.

4) Wordle - Ever wonder how people create those "word clouds" or  on sites? Perhaps you're looking for a fun way display search words, topics, or names. Choose your font, color and words and save your image. It can be useful for highlighting text frequency or importance in your content.

5)  FreePik - This site offers free graphic elements and templates to download such as vectors, .psd files, stock photos and more all under the Creative Commons license. They work with designers and create quality content all within protected copyright agreements. One thing to remember with stock photos or images used is attribution. For those with particular copyright rules, be sure to place the attribution next to the image that has been used...or face a hefty fine for not having license to do so!

Free resources for graphics

Friday, July 24, 2015

5 Easy Ways to Use Google Plus to Improve Search Rank

5 Tips to use Google Plus for SEO

Increasing search rankings is at the forefront of every marketer’s mind. If not, it should be.  An easy, free way for a business to do that is through Google+. Now before you start throwing tomatoes at me, note that I’m not pushing it as a high priority social platform (though for some it really works), but as a means to build your brand awareness and gain authority in search results.

The value of a link from Google+ depends on its page authority. What is page authority you ask? Page authority is a term used to estimate the probability that a page from your website will be found on a search engine organically. By maximizing your presence online, creating unique content and optimizing your profile, you can increase this rank. The higher it is, the more value you have and the more likely you’ll be popping up in searches!

Google Plus offers opportunities for someone to build an identity, base and a strategy for strategically placed content.

5 Easy Ways to Use Google Plus to Improve Search Rank

1. Claim and Verify Your Business Page

Using your personal profile to build your personal brand is key, but your business brand is necessary to strengthen your reputation. Associate your business page with your personal page and share valuable content.  Google+ benefits businesses in terms of SEO. Business accounts work directly with Google Search, which helps them rank higher in local search results- which is important. Google also helps you out with instructions on business verification.

2. Optimize Your Page!

•    Be strategic about the name of your company page. This is your SEO Title. Set your tagline – you only get 160 characters so make it memorable, make it short and clear. Fill out your About section (or Introduction) with key content and robust links about your or your business.
•    Customize your URL
•    Optimize your site links

3. Post Useful and Unique Content

Think of your shares as mini blog posts. Did you know the posts you share on your Google Plus page can be found as standalone search results in Google? The headline you use is typically what displays in Google search results. Also, use tags to your benefit . Google uses hashtags to pair up topics or categorize posts by searchable topics.

4. Connect with Influencers in Your Industry

See what other people are talking about, searching for. Add people to your circles strategically. You can get your content in front of the right people – this is what using Google+ socially is all about.

5. Be Visually Stimulating!

Grab your audience’s attention. Infographics are quite popular. Everyone loves pictures and a majority of the top posts on Google Plus are images of some sort. Visually stimulating content is always a winner and leads to more clicks, which could lead to more site visits and shareability.

Stay tuned…in my next post, I’ll talk about great, mostly FREE resources to create stunning visuals or social media templates and infographics you can use to your benefit.