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Monday, 28 September 2015

Internet Marketing for Beginners: 3 Things You Must Know

If you’re looking for a crash course on Internet Marketing for Beginners, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get down to business and talk about something that can change the bottom line of your business!
I remember about 5 years ago when I was recovering from the failure of my first business and going into venture number two the terms Internet Marketing were becoming two of the most popular buzzwords.
Every social media platform was filled with links to articles about the new craze. There were also tons of events all over town, and of course a new breed of experts were born, the Internet Marketers.
Truthfully, if I had known anything about Internet Marketing in business number one, it would have never failed and I possibly wouldn’t have lost my retirement nest egg.

Internet Marketing for Beginners
If other opportunities in your business have closed the door – open a window with Internet Marketing.
But then again, if that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have discovered my true purpose. I guess that saying is true, “When a door closes, a window opens.”

Internet Marketing for Beginners – The Vital Facts

If you learn anything about Internet Marketing I want it to be these three very important vital facts:
1. It’s not as complicated as you make it out to be. Yes, you can learn about it if you would only stop creating mental obstacles against it.
2. Internet Marketing will fill in revenue gaps and grow your business.
3. If you don’t learn about Internet Marketing, you will at some point in your business fall prey to an Internet marketing snake oil salesman.
Internet Marketing for Beginners
Learning how to leverage Internet Marketing is vital to the growth and survival of your business.
Everything is more complicated when we put up mental obstacles. You’re just assuming Internet Marketing is too difficult for you to leverage for your business.
The mindset to have is not what Internet marketing means – but instead what does it mean to your business model?
Not everything makes sense for your business, so based on knowing your target market what should you be doing?
If you have a consumer driven business chances are you should be at the very least focusing on the following pieces:
Growing Your Facebook Presence – Facebook is a very consumer driven platform and it’s not for kids. The average age of a Facebook user is 33 to 57 years old.
Allocating a paid campaign in your Internet Marketing strategy even if its small to grow your likes is very smart. You don’t want random people to like your Facebook page, which has zero value. Instead you want engaged users. Once they like your page, you have developed a captive audience that you can market to anytime you want. If you’re looking for a great resource to learn more about Facebook, check out Amy Porterfield’s website.
Internet Marketing for Beginners
The largest age demographic of a Facebook user is 33 to 57 years old, this is the audience you should be reaching with your Internet Marketing efforts!
Using Google AdWord Campaigns – Chances are you’re not ranking for your search. What I mean by that is what people type in when they’re looking for what you sell. The searcher will seldom go to page 2 – so if you’re not on page 1 your business is irrelevant. If you take out Google AdWords for your search you can place your business at the top of your search. In other words if you can’t get it organically – then pay for it.
Internet Marketing for Beginners
If you’re not ranking for your search then you should be paying for it! This is a solid Internet Marketing strategy.
Growing Your List and Using Email Marketing – If you grow your list – you grow your business! You should be constantly staying in contact with customers you’ve already sold to.
Use email marketing as an effort for cross selling, reminding them about all you do, and just basically overall staying in touch and top of mind of your customers. In addition, if you’re in a position that you make sales based on pipeline activity, email marketing can assist in reinforcing your business messages and perhaps converting leads to sales.
If you’re using your email marketing efforts as a way to educate and create helpful tips and information for your customers and prospects, it can be an extremely powerful marketing tool. You should be constantly focused on growing your list at all times! It’s absolutely crucial to integrate into your communication asking for an email address. Your list is the most powerful asset of your business and if you’re not using yours – you’re literally walking away from potential profits.
Internet Marketing for Beginners
A part of your Internet Marketing strategy should be staying in front of your existing customers and prospects using email marketing.
So what can you do today? Right this very minute to get your Internet marketing efforts starting off in a very big way?

Internet Marketing for Beginners: Let’s simplify it!

Mobile Check – First, take out your mobile and type your website into the browser. How does your website look on your handheld? If you say great, that’s awesome! That’s one very important thing checked off the list. Remember most visitors will interact with your website via mobileand not only that but Google is delivering serious sucker-punches to websites that aren’t mobile friendly.
If yours looks like crap remember this is what your visitor experiences, get something done about it. This should be first on your To-Do list.
Internet Marketing for Beginners
A valuable piece of the Internet Marketing pie is not just knowing where you rank – but where your competitor ranks. You may say, they’re not my competitor. That’s BS. If they are taking up space in the search you don’t have – they are competition.
Conduct a Search Audit – Okay next step is to see who comes up on page one for your search query. What do you think someone would type to Google if they were looking for your type of business? Make sure you’re logged out of your Gmail or Google account and conduct this search. Are you in it? Page 1 is really all that matters in this search, the searcher will rarely go past it. So if you’re on page 1 excellent!!! If you’re not then you’ll need to add a search engine strategy to your To-Do list.
Internet Marketing for Beginners
A valuable piece of the Internet Marketing pie is not just knowing where you rank – but where your competitor ranks. You may say, they’re not my competitor. That’s BS. If they are taking up space in the search you don’t have – they are competition.
Competitor Analysis – So if you’re not in the search, who is? You should make a list of the competitors that come up in the search query. Even if you are on the first page of the search you should still know this information. It’s also a great idea to take a look at the websites of the competitors that rank in this search.
The reality is, they’re getting business you aren’t! Take a look at how they’re articulating their business. What do they have up on you besides ranking? Do you see any areas whereas you have something over them? What is it? Additionally, look at the paid Google ads. Are any of your competitors paying for advertising? You should also list this information out.
If your competitors are this search and even paying for ads you have to come up with a plan to be there too! Add this to your To-Do list.
Internet Marketing for Beginners
If you’re NOT in your search who is? A piece of Internet Marketing is KNOWING who is on page 1 and what their marketing looks like.
If you’re unable to handle doing the things you have on your To-Do list then by all means be smart enough to hire someone to do it for you. However, a word of caution, most people out there that sell Internet services aren’t very honest. They can and WILL take advantage of your lack of education. They LOVE it because most business owners are uneducated and at their mercy.
So even if you are going to hire someone to get your Internet marketing strategy going – it’s still a great idea to be somewhat educated.
If you’re educated you’ll get ripped off a whole lot less!
Get started with your Internet marketing efforts and watch your profit margins expand!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The 35 Most Notorious Napoleon Hill Quotes

The 35 Most Notorious Napoleon Hill Quotes

Napoleon Hill was an american author, who was one of the first authors to get involved in the personal success genre.
Napoleon spoke on personal success, personal beliefs, and the principles you need in order to achieve success.
His ideas were absolutely brilliant, and I think that when it comes to self development, Napoleon’s book “Think and Grow Rich” is regarded as an excellent read.
This article outlines 35 of the most notorious Napoleon Hill quotes, many of which you’ve heard before and taken in. There’s no denying that the insights behind these quotes are genius.
Take a look below.

35 Notorious Napoleon Hill Quotes

1. “The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill
2. “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill
3. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill
4. “Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.” – Napoleon Hill
5. “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” – Napoleon Hill
6. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill
7. “Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” – Napoleon Hill
8. “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napoleon Hill
9. “Before success comes in any man’s life, he’s sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps some failures. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and the most logical thing to do is to quit. That’s exactly what the majority of men do.” – Napoleon Hill
10. “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” – Napoleon Hill
11. “Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.” – Napoleon Hill
12. “Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” – Napoleon Hill
13. “Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.” – Napoleon Hill
14. “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting of until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” – Napoleon Hill
15. “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” – Napoleon Hill
16. “The ladder of success is never crowded at the top.” – Napoleon Hill
17. “All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.” – Napoleon Hill
18. “There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” – Napoleon Hill
19. “Money without brains is always dangerous.” – Napoleon Hill
20. “You can start right where you stand and apply the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more service and better service than you are now being paid for.” – Napoleon Hill
21. “There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.” – Napoleon Hill
22. “If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” – Napoleon Hill
23. “Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.” – Napoleon Hill
24. “Happiness is found in doing, not merely possessing.” – Napoleon Hill
25. “Success in its highest and noblest form calls for peace of mind and enjoyment and happiness which come only to the man who has found the work that he likes best.” – Napoleon Hill
26. “Until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in others, you will be neither successful nor happy.” – Napoleon Hill
27. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
28. “The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does.” – Napoleon Hill
29. “The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.” – Napoleon Hill
30. “Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive.” – Napoleon Hill
31. “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” – Napoleon Hill
32. “Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the benefit of the doubt, and remain silent.” – Napoleon Hill
33. “Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.” – Napoleon Hill
34. “Think and grow rich.” – Napoleon Hill
35. “You give before you get.” – Napoleon Hill

Thanks for checking out this awesome list of notorious Napoleon Hill quotes. Don’t forget to share on social media as always.
What’s your favorite Napoleon Hill quote? Leave a comment below.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Search vs. Display: Which AdWords Network Should You Use?

Here at WordStream, our team of consultants analyzes thousands of PPC accounts. While our customers’ pain points tend to vary, many of their issues can be tracked back to one major misstep—their campaigns are set to run on both the Search and Display Networks simultaneously.
99% of the time, this practice will wreak havoc on a PPC account. The main problem is, these networks target users in two completely different scenarios. Not to mention, since metrics across each network are combined, it is challenging to assess how each is performing, and it eliminates the option to segment one’s budget by network.
Quite frankly, applying the same strategy to both networks is like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole…it just doesn’t work. If you have any campaigns opted into both networks, save yourself from future pain and agony and start separating them. In today’s post, we’ll do a deep dive outlining the components of each of these networks and examine what types of advertisers should be utilizing them.
round peg square hole

A Quick Note on Search Network with Display Select (SNDS)

Before we delve into the intricacies of each network, I want to address one caveat to this rule, which is Google’s recent innovation, Search Network with Display Select (SNDS). If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you may remember a post from a few weeks ago, complete with a Google video broadcast (featuring our in-house celebrity, Rich Griffin!), touting the benefits of this new, hybrid campaign model. SNDS allows advertisers to opt their search campaigns into the GDN in a limited fashion. Essentially, AdWords claims that it will use “improved signals and methods of predicting where your ads are likely to perform best” to ensure that display ads are only shown in locations that are highly relevant to the advertisers’ “ideal” user.
As Rich mentions in his Google hangout video, this setting is reminiscent of Enhanced Campaigns, whereby AdWords pushes advertisers to expand their reach and appeal to a broader range of customers. For less-than-savvy PPCers, or advertisers who have limited time to dedicate to account management, this low-effort option may feel like a godsend. That said, it comes at a price. In shifting to this model, you are sacrificing significant control over GDN performance and putting a great deal of faith in Google. For advertisers who have the time to do so, we highly recommend sticking with the traditional best practice of managing the Search and Display Networks through separate campaigns.

When to Use the Google Search Network

Running ads on the Search Network is the most common, well-known form of PPC advertising. With this network selection, your ads will be eligible to appear on Google SERPs. If you want to expand your reach, you can extend your targeting to include “search partners,” a group comprised of smaller search engines, such as AOL.
google search vs google display
This advertising format is incredibly effective because it targets an active searcher, who is on a mission to find something. As you can see in the example above, the searcher is looking for a plumber in Virginia. Upon submitting the query, both paid ads (highlighted in the red boxes) and organic listings appear. Sure, the plumbers could rely on their organic (read: free) listings, but chance are, they will be more successful if they run ads on the Search Network. Not only are paid ads more robust, but they allow the plumbers to include extensions with additional links, phone numbers and addresses. Since the Search Network connects advertisers to people actively looking for their products, search campaigns typically drive more conversions than display campaigns.
You should be running a Search Network campaign if:
  • You’re working with a limited budget: In general, when clients are restricted to a small budget, we recommend starting with the Search Network. This format is more likely to drive direct conversions, making it easier to measure and justify your PPC efforts. Once you’ve mastered Search, it may be advisable to expand to the Display Network, which can boost visibility, leading to an uptick in search volume for your business.
  • You sell an “emergency” product: If your product or service offering is something that users look for on a when-needed basis (plumbers, locksmiths, electricians, etc.), you should be advertising on the Search Network. For these industries, it is imperative that your ad appears when the searcher is in need of your services.

When to Use the Google Display Network (GDN)

In addition to traditional search advertising, Google also gives advertisers the opportunity to place their ads on a variety of sites across the internet. This collection of websites, which ranges from blogs to news sites and even YouTube, is referred to as the Google Display Network (GDN). According to Google, the GDN includes over 2 million sites that reach over 90% of global internet users. Given the expansiveness of this network, it is incredibly appealing to advertisers who are looking to expand their online presence.
When users are on the GDN, they may not necessarily be in “shopping mode.” Instead, they are going about their daily internet activities—catching up on news, reading blog posts, watching video clips, etc. In order to gain traction on the GDN, your ads must attract the users’ attention and entice them enough to click through to your site, leaving the content that they were originally engaged with. Accomplishing this is no easy feat—even with top-notch ad creative, it’s tough to draw users to click on ads while they are perusing the Display Network.
But don’t write the GDN off yet—while clicks may be scarce, ad space on the network is plentiful. It is the ideal space to promote brand awareness and its vast reach is appealing to advertisers who are looking to broaden their fan bases. By increasing your brand’s visibility, you may reap more clicks on organic listings or see an uptick in brand-specific searches. These clicks are also less costly than clicks on the search network.
You should be running a Display Network campaign if:
  • You want to familiarize people with your brand: Many advertisers leverage the Display Network to promote brand awareness. Since the GDN is so expansive, it offers many opportunities for advertisers to connect with their audiences. Don’t worry—this doesn’t mean you’ll be “shooting in the dark” with your display ads. AdWords provides a variety of targeting options, ranging from managed placements (specific sites selected by the advertiser) to website groupings based on audience characteristics and more. By appearing on reputable sites that are popular amongst your target audience, you can quickly familiarize these people with your brand.
  • You have a lengthy sales process: If you sell a product or service that consumers are not likely to purchase immediately, you need to ensure that your brand stays top-of-mind for prospects as they consider making a purchase. To do this, we recommend utilizing remarketing, through the GDN. This strategy allows you to show ads to anyone who has visited your site in the past, encouraging them to return and convert. For example, a friend of mine spent some time on the Tiffany’s website a few months ago, as he was considering proposing to his girlfriend and wanted to price out ring options. After visiting the site, he was added to Tiffany’s remarketing list and was inundated with their engagement ring ads as he perused the internet. The jeweler did such a good job of re-engaging with him that he took the plunge and bought a ring much sooner than originally planned!
  • You have a sexy product: Since the GDN allows advertisers to display image ads, it is ideal for advertisers who sell luxury products whose ads are enticing to the eye. Since display advertising relies largely on distraction, it’s helpful to have an appealing product to promote. Take the ad down below, for example. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t give that a second glance!
search ads vs. display ads
  • You have compelling video collateral: If you’ve already invested significant time and energy on bad-ass video collateral, why not put it to good use? YouTube attracts hoards of traffic (upwards of 1 billion views per day), meaning the advertising potential is huge. Plus, given the popularity of YouTube advertising, Google has made it increasingly easy for advertisers to establish video campaigns (especially for those who can leverage existing creative). This can be an incredibly powerful way to connect with your target audience. People are more likely to engage with video content than text or image ads and, with Google’s TrueView option, you only pay for users who demonstrate a true interest in your video (by watching it for 30 seconds or more).

Utilizing a Dual-Network Strategy

In reading the descriptions above, you may have noted that your company would benefit from boththe Search and the Display Networks. We advise many advertisers to run campaigns for both, when budget permits.
However, to truly reap the benefits of each network, do your due diligence and break them into separate, network-specific campaigns. From a strategic standpoint, this will allow you to craft your messaging based on the scenario in which your audience is viewing your ad. From a more logistical standpoint, this segmentation is critical. Not only does it allow you to set specific budgets and bids per network, but it will keep your data “clean” and help you to make more impactful optimizations.
Let’s take click-through rate, for example. Ads on the Display Network typically garner lower CTRs than their Search Network counterparts (which comes as no surprise, given the context in which they are shown). If the campaigns are not segmented, the CTR data can be severely skewed, making it challenging to analyze performance.

Friday, 18 September 2015

What Is A Good Click Through Rate (CTR)?

What is a good click through rate?

It’s the age-old question asked by PPC managers and clients alike. Though we can agree that higher is better, much debate remains as to what constitutes a good vs. subpar account CTR. Below, I’ll give a definitive answer, though I acknowledge that many factors are at play. Additionally, I’ll be answering this question only in regards to Google AdWords and Bing Ads.

What Are These Factors?

Network – Search Network text and Google Shopping campaigns will, for the most part, have significantly higher CTRs than Display campaigns, although remarketing campaigns do have the potential for better CTRs than other types of Display campaigns.

Relevance – This factor combines the complete search experience from query to landing page.

Image of PPC relevance priority

Instead of listing them individually, I include bid, keyword match type, negative keywords/audiences, quality score, and ad copy as part of the overall relevance factor. All of these items need to work together in order to yield a higher CTR.

Ad Rank – Even with high relevance throughout, ad position will sometimes be low. Take into consideration both Google Shopping ad units and ad extensions and the prominence of a standard text ad diminishes greatly. Finally, if your ad is below the fold on searcher browsers, you’ll potentially accrue many impressions without the ad ever being seen!

Device – Dovetailing off ad rank, CTR will vary by device. I generally find mobile CTR to be higher than desktop and tablet. However, volume tends to be much lower. Mobile ads will also take up much of the screen, often giving users only paid options before having to scroll.

Image of mobile ads

Data – My general rule of thumb is to have at least 100 impressions on any given campaign, ad group, keyword, or piece of ad copy before optimizing. There are always exceptions, but this threshold is a good baseline, as it gives the specific item a fair chance to succeed.

Vertical – CTRs will vary by vertical, especially when considering competition. For example, “lawyer” related terms are often extremely expensive and have vast search volume. Any of the above factors may be influenced, causing fluctuations in CTR.

So What’s The Verdict?

Based upon these factors, a good account CTR is 2%.

Others would argue that 2% is too low. I’m not advocating that once you hit 2% CTR, you’re in the clear. You should constantly strive to improve CTR in conjunction with your cost per conversion and conversion rate goals. My stance is that with all factors considered in today’s PPC world, a 2% account CTR should be deemed good.


When I say a 2% account CTR, there will most likely be individual campaigns with better CTRs and those with worse. For example, your branded and Shopping campaigns may have CTRs much higher than 2%, while others may be below this percentage. In addition, Display Network campaigns will accrue many more impressions at lower CTRs, weighing down the overall account CTR more than search campaigns. With these considerations, my stance remains that a good account CTR is 2%.

Clients will inevitably ask how their CTR compares to others in their vertical. My answer tends to be cautious, as there are no definitive studies comparing CTR across verticals. There are studies, but none with conclusive data that I would be comfortable standing behind.

Using Google’s native tools, we are able to glean competitive data, but these figures are only estimates. The Auction Insights report provides interesting data comparing metrics such as impression share, average position, and overlap rate to your competitors.

Final Thoughts

Both clients and managers will also constantly question how to improve CTR. At the basic level it all comes down to one of the factors outlined above, relevance. Create a well-structured account that easily gives searchers answers to their questions (queries).

You should always be striving to achieve a higher CTR. A 2% CTR is good, but continually improving this metric will make your account great.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Facebook and Twitter User Behavior Changes: New Research

Is your business on Facebook and Twitter?
Have you considered sharing news with your audience?
Research indicates that people are using Facebook and Twitter for more than connecting with friends and brands. They’re now looking to these platforms for updates on current events.
In this article you’ll discover how the way people use Facebook and Twitter is shifting, and how brands can respond.
twitter and facebook user behavior research
Discover how changes in user behavior on Facebook and Twitter affect marketers.

#1: More People Get Their News From Facebook and Twitter

July 2015 study from Pew Research Center reveals that increasing numbers of Twitter and Facebook users visit the platforms to get news. Of the over 2,000 study participants, 63% now depend on both channels for updates on national events and political issues, big leaps from 2013 numbers.
Twitter, which was more news-oriented from the beginning, didn’t have as dramatic a leap: 52% to 63% during the two-year period. Those reporting they use Facebook for news, on the other hand, grew from 47% in 2013 to 63% in 2015, or a hefty 34%. While the opportunity to stay abreast of friends and family events gets users on Facebook initially, it’s news (sports, science, technology, business and entertainment) that keeps them there.
pew news stats
As recently as 2013, approximately half of Americans used Facebook and Twitter to get their news. In just two years, that figure grew to close to two-thirds.
As the chart below shows, Facebook’s user numbers didn’t budge from 2013 to 2014. Despite the inevitable slowdown, today 71% of Internet users have a Facebook account, and 70% of those go to the site daily. Forty-five percent go there several times a day. By following friends, brands, organizations and news outlets, Facebook (and Twitter) users have created their own customized newspapers. They seem to like their new handiwork.
pew social site growth stats
Facebook’s growth has leveled off. Twitter’s leap in audience doesn’t make up for its smaller size and disappointing ROI.
While Twitter’s audience numbers made an impressive 28% leap from 2013 to 2014, the platform’s failure to gain the ubiquity of Facebook has disappointed many. Twitter remains hard at work creating a niche for live-tweeting events, television shows and sports, but it hasn’t shown much promise for the retailers who pay for ads.
Key takeaway: As Facebook and Twitter mature, their audience growth rates are leveling off. Younger audiences abandoned Facebook for Instagram, but baby boomers, Gen Xers and mature holdouts finally claimed their profiles. Brands should align their marketing content with current events to engage users.

#2: Twitter Is the Go-to Platform for Breaking News

The Pew Research Center image at the beginning of this article reveals another interesting fact: Even though most Twitter users tweet just once or a few times a week (far less often than Facebook users engage), if there is a nationwide crisis, exciting sports game, gaffe by a politician or a celebrity scandal, they flock to Twitter.
Numbers for those who report they follow breaking news on Twitter (59%) are nearly double those who say they do so on Facebook (31%). Twitter is the go-to destination for up-to-the-minute news and comments on that news.
Twitter is also the channel where sports fans and news junkies engage by sharing their opinions.
pew news tweet stats
Not only do Twitter users read news on the channel, 54% also comment on it.
Users do more than just read the headlines, they engage. As the graphic above shows, more than half of users tweet at least once about news each week. Also, while the majority of accounts that Twitter users follow are friends and family, the majority of tweets in their news feeds come from news outlets and journalists.
In the image below, you can see that while just 14% of the accounts Twitter users follow are news outlets, 33% of the tweets in their Twitter feed are from these outlets. Breaking it down further, the most popular news outlets are sports (with 35% of Twitter news followers receiving sports tweets), business/science/technology (14% getting news on these topics) and civic and political (12%).
pew account use stats
Thirty-three percent of most Twitter users’ feeds are news updates.
Keep in mind with this study that even the vaunted Pew Research could only get 176 respondents to return its survey. The sample is small and Pew authors bend over backwards apologizing for it.
Key takeaway: Smart marketers will have to determine whether the opportunity for promoting their products and services lies with the news junkies and sports fans on Twitter. The erratic nature of breaking news makes this tougher for sure, but constantly monitoring what’s trending on Twitter and even Google Trends helps.
In June 2015, tech writer Frank Manjoo weighed in on Twitter in The New York Times. He concluded, “Among the many uses that Twitter fulfills as a social network, there is one it is uniquely suited for: as a global gathering space for live events.” Big games and earthquakes aside, Twitter serves well for industry conferences, speeches and more. People sharing their feelings as things happen live may prove as addictive as the Facebook selfie.

#3: Facebook Is the #1 News Source for Millennials

The eMarketer study Facebook Helps Millennials Keep Up with the Headlines found that 57% of U.S. Millennials check Facebook at least once each day for news and information, and 30% check it several times each day. Believe it or not, 14% of Millennials in the study self-identified as checking Facebook “almost constantly.”
Aside from instances of breaking news (where Twitter dominates), no other social channel has this many users visiting this often for news. Also, 60% engaged with news items while on Facebook by either commenting (34%) or sharing (40%).
emarketer facebook activity stats
Millennials get their news on Facebook.
Key takeaway: Where once the sheer size of the baby boomer audience made it a target for marketers and brands, the children of that group have stolen this attention. Millennials (the 18 to 34 age group) outnumber their parents by about 20 million (90 million+ versus 72 million+).
Because this age group gets its news from Facebook, the platform will likely remain relevant for decades to come. Brands who build a Millennial audience on Facebook can capitalize on that relationship as they head into the house-buying, child-rearing, spending years.

#4: Reporters Rely on Facebook and Twitter for Visibility

Early on, journalists recognized the opportunity to reach local audiences through social media. Now, most have been on social channels for five years or more. A 2015 Cision poll of 200 journalists found that 75% used Facebook and 80% used Twitter for marketing and promotion.
Building relationships with potential sources, local businesses and political leaders also proved important. While news outlets post select stories, journalists often post everything they write or video on their own channels as well.
cision media report stats stats
Journalists use Facebook and Twitter for many reasons.
Key takeaway: Journalists most likely keep their Facebook and Twitter pages constantly updated with their stories as a career move. They have a strong intrinsic motivation to keep these channels full of news stories. With an army of journalists constantly posting news, lots of content lives there for people with all kinds of interests to consume. Facebook and Twitter will be a robust content generator for years to come.
Businesses who use Twitter or Facebook to network with these journalists are better placed to offer insight on industry related news stories.

#5: Facebook and Twitter Are Working on News-related Projects

While new features like Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook’s Instant Articles baffle some consumers, there’s a method to their madness. Most industry insiders see Periscope and Instant Articles as moves to pull the nightly news–watching audience’s attention away from television screens to smartphones, tablets and desktops, preferably via their channels. Both platforms are working hard to make news consumption both easier and more enriching.
Facebook’s Instant Articles (discussed in this podcast with Mari Smith) attract eyeballs with fast-loading audio and video updates. While Facebook had to convince big players like The New York Times and BuzzFeed to host some content on Facebook rather than their own platforms, the faster load times seem to please everyone. On Facebook, most articles load in under a second, while articles on the NYT website could take up to 8 seconds to load.
In late June 2015, Facebook also started rolling out the addition of icons to the Trending sidebar to allow users to filter topics. Clicking the appropriate icon allows users to see trending news about politics, science and technology, sports and entertainment. Facebook’s news-related moves reveal the platform’s goal of being indispensible.
facebook trending sidebar icons
Facebook is updating the trending sidebar with icons to filter news.
In February of this year, Twitter acquired startup Periscope before it even launched. The app, which lets you share and watch live video from your mobile phone, is a gift to citizen journalists, solopreneurs and many more. But Twitter’s news angle doesn’t stop there.
In the coming months, the platform will announce Project Lightning, a curated feed of images, tweets and videos organized around a live event as it happens. To make this work, Twitter will hire former newsroom employees like videographers, journalists and editors to create content on the spot.
If there is a crisis or breaking news event, Twitter will create a secondary experience around first-person journalism. If the next natural disaster occurs in a hard-to-reach area, Twitter will put it together from the best videostweets and photos landing on their server. Most likely this content will come from residents using their smartphones.
Key takeaway: With these new, as-it-happens tools, people all over the world will be able to document what’s happening and share it on Facebook and Twitter. Brands should familiarize themselves with these tools to remain a relevant source of information within their industries.
What do you think? Does the idea of Facebook and Twitter as news sources give you more confidence to advertise there? Do you think your customers use these platforms to get news? Leave your comments and questions below.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Making SEO Work (And Selling A Tonne) As An Affiliate In 2015

Affiliate marketing with content “mini sites” looks very different today than it did 5 years ago… even 2 years ago. Understanding what’s changed and how affiliates are positioned to add value today is the difference between building an empire and wishing you could. 


Once it was easy to interrupt someone in the middle of their buying process, insert your affiliate link and take a commission. The money was good and it was done to excess. But it’s no wonder people started to hate us.
Adwords, then other paid traffic forms, then the search engines all complained. They wouldn’t let us run ads, and they wouldn’t rank us (easily). They complained that we weren’t adding any value because… for the most part we weren’t.
We were taking advantage of loopholes. And while it was fun, it was always going to end.
Today, very few affiliates (that don’t live in holes surrounded by monitors running black hat software 24/7) do well without operating real businesses. What does a “real business” mean to an affiliate marketer?
It means you have to add real value.


A couple of people have complained recently about the difficulty of ranking for ecommerce product name keywords these days. And it’s true. It’s much harder than it once was. We’re not going to trick Google into ranking us above the merchant selling our product anymore (at least almost never). Google understands what an ecommerce search is now and they are reluctant to rank something other than the product being searched for.
But that’s fine for us. And below you’re going to hear why.
If we affiliates are going to add value (and make money) today, we have to have something that our merchant’s don’t have. We have to give a buyer some information that they can’t get anywhere else. Or we need to present the information in a more convenient fashion than they can get it anywhere else. And we need to enter their markets in places that the merchant’s don’t know about yet.
We can write reviews. Yes, that’s great. But the chances are you won’t have the best review. You won’t write a review better than ALL the reviews on an Amazon product page. You need to be even better than that.
You need to be more. How?


I’ve talked about this at length elsewhere but your first opportunity to stand out above your merchant, and above other affiliates is to answer more questions.
Everyone about to make a purchase has a question. They might not know the right words to use to search for the answer, but they are searching.
The merchant doesn’t answer these. They can’t because the number of questions for most popular products are too many. And even if they provide the answer, the buyer might not recognize that it IS the answer because it’s not worded how the buyer asked it.
If you can answer more questions than other affiliates, you can make more sales than other affiliates. Including affiliates with better than reviews than you.
That reminds me:


Many products for sale now have hundreds or thousands of reviews. There’s a saturation point where it’s too much for the buyer. Past a certain point, reviews might not be helpful.
What good are reviews if you have to sit for hours sifting through them, looking at all the ways they vary? You’ve probably had the experience of reading a bunch of reviews for a product and ending up feeling no more certain about your purchase than before you started.
Enter the affiliate.
A smart affiliate can make a summary of 1000 reviews with 2 or three paragraphs. The affiliate can do the work so a buyer doesn’t have to.
You can literally slot into your content, things like:
- “The most common reasons for negative reviews of  [product]“ so your buyers don’t panic when they see the inevitable few one star ratings of your product on Amazon.
- The most common positives raised by reviewers
- The most common frustrations about the product that people who still loved the product had (and how they can be overcome)
and so much more.


If it’s cheaper on some other site than Amazon, tell your readers.
If a sale is coming up or if it’s usually cheaper at some other time of year, tell your readers.
If one model is almost the same but slightly cheaper, tell your readers.
There are a host of things that aren’t convenient for a merchant (or a low level affiliate) to reveal about your product that you can win points with your readers by revealing.
But what I’m really getting at here, is that as an affiliate in 2015, you’re trying to…


That’s why you bother doing any of this above. That’s how you win.
If you can’t rank for [product name] it doesn’t matter. You can still make great money.
Even if you can’t rank for [product name review] it doesn’t matter.
If you answer enough questions, and summarize enough reviews, and reveal enough secrets, you’ll rank for more keywords than your competitors… which will make you more profitable than your competitors more quickly… which will give you more ammunition to target the bigger terms in your market anyway.
Remember that.
As a general rule, the more long tail a buyer keyword gets, the more “hot” the searcher is. They’re juuust about to purchase but they’ve spent minutes refining their search to find the specific answer to one, final, niggling question.
And there YOU are to help. And there’s your commission.
A new affiliate site of ours just had it’s first sale recently after generating only TWO affiliate link clicks. Why? Targeted long tail keywords.


The ways of adding value I’ve only begun to describe here. And new ones will be available to you in your niche, depending on what it is; They only require a little creative thinking to uncover.
You will win as long as you remember that. You want to be in this game today?
Be better. Simple as that.