{headboard Blog & News|Internet Marketing Tips, Tricks, & News|1}

Bill Gates’ Corbis Acquires Plaid Social Labs

Cobis, a company founded in 1989 and owned by Bill Gates, will acquire Plaid Social Labs, an online video and social media platform that focuses on product integration, founded by brand integrator Ricky Ray Butler, for an undisclosed amount.

Content has quickly become a strong marketing vehicle for advertising agencies, and with this acquisition from Bill Gates’ company, Corbis is looking to connect brands effortlessly with social and digital influences.

By acquiring Plaid Social Labs, Corbis’s Branded Entertainment Network (BEN) will offer clients more branding opportunities along with a more targeted product placement on YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Twitch, and other social platforms. This will also allow Corbis to create and launch other digital channels under their Branded Entertainment Network.

The viewing habits of consumers have drastically changed. Products endorsed by YouTube and Facebook stars are at a higher percentage rate to be purchased than from traditional Hollywood celebrity branding campaigns. Corbis believes that by acquiring Plaid, they will position themselves to generate millions in revenue for their clients, and currently place multiple brands into television shows every night‒ not to mention Netflix and other highly rated social platforms that they work with.

The challenge now days is getting brands to connect with their audience. That is why this acquisition will become a powerhouse and bring new technology, embedding, and analytics to product integration. Butler commented about the acquisition and said, “For an entrepreneur like me and the others on our team who took a risk in building this business, we are thrilled to be acquired by a Bill Gates company. We look forward to the next phase in our development together.”

Digital media is the wave of the future on how people will create, consume and share their entertainment and information. The utilization of brand integration within these parameters only increases awareness and establishes a deeper credibility for brands and their products. It is projected that this purchase will definitely open up unlimited opportunities to push content and target audiences on a whole new level.

Decoding the QR Code

Several years ago the QR Code was the hottest thing to hit mobile phones because it was easy to use and also a fast way to get information about a certain product. QR Codes could now hold up to 7,000 numbers where the old barcode only held 30. So this additional storage capacity opened up numerous possibilities for consumers and trades alike.

Over the years, QR Codes have seemed to decrease in use… or have they? In truth, brands were sporting QR Codes on every item they stocked. But, at that time, there weren’t as many mobile phone users as there are now, or there wasn’t the information about the product for the user to view. In fact, there are over millions of scans done with QR Codes and each year it increases.

Now the question – How useful is a QR Code? As most of the business are through the web, you can couple their offline advertising programs with the QR Codes. For example, eBay can generate a QR Code for the landing page of a new product it is promoting offline and put this QR Code in all of its advertisements. It hardly takes any space and therefore does not translate into consumption of the expensive advertising space. Any reader who is interested in the advertised products and has a scanner-enabled phone can go to the site just by scanning the printed code on the advertisement. QR Codes, therefore, becomes a great tool to make your offline campaigns drive instant traffic to your site. What’s more is that these visits can be recorded which enables you to measure the success of the campaign. Efficiency measurement is a big problem when it comes with the offline campaigns, so by using QR Codes, that is another way to use your analytics and see who is engaging.

It is easy to say that QR Codes are not a dying breed. In fact, they are the simplicity that marketers love to have for their customers. There is so much potential and power with QR Codes that it would be a valuable investment to get users to engage with your business, products, or services.

Video Marketing Will Boost Your Business

One of the greatest rewards of creating and having YouTube videos for your business is that you don’t have to pay for your air time. Video marketing is one of those benefits that can boost your business while also creating a brand name for your trade. It stands out in many other areas that some of you may not be aware of. Some other benefits are:

  • If optimized fully, Google Places lists your business to connect you directly with customers
  • Search engines like to display video in their results for higher engagement
  • Videos stand out on the results page
  • Ability to have people find your videos on YouTube and other social platforms
  • Share videos on your website, blog posts, social media posts, or email
  • Less expensive to produce than a TV commercial
  • Lives online forever
  • Has the potential to go viral

Videos and advertising literally go hand in hand as a marketing strategy in today’s world. This powerful medium can be used to convert viewers into loyal customers. It is a powerful approach in attracting, engaging, and converting audiences on a global scale.

With video marketing, it’s time to think out of the box. Get out there and find a way to do something creative while ensuring that your story speaks loud and clear to your target audience. Don’t overlook opportunities to market your brand, but keep it simple at the same time so your viewers don’t get overloaded with junky information.

Always… always remember to have your call to action included in your video. The biggest impact from a video can be left undone if there is nowhere for your audience to go. Always ask what your people want from you. And then, to create an impact with video, know your audience from top to bottom and inside out. If you know what they want, and you give them what they want, you have definitely hit your mark for success.

Another element that if often overlooked by businesses regarding video marketing is setting goals. Identifying goals is the most important part of having a marketing strategy. Without goals, what are you drawing your attention to? How do you increase brand awareness? And how do you find your audience?

Social media has revolutionized how we communicate with others. It is a continual stream of content that can conform people’s opinions about the products and services your business is offering. Video marketing is the leading edge of communicating with your customers, and should definitely be a vital part of every businesses marketing strategy.

10 Effective Ways of Getting the Most from Your Marketing Budget

It’s time to make the most out of your marketing budget. Here are the 10 best ways to stretch your financial plan and make it work:

Use Ads in Everything

A great way to capitalize on advertising and spending the least possible amount goes to using ads. Ads can be in many forms such as a brochure, flyer, or a leaflet. Oftentimes, ads will promote the customers interest as they make inquiries about the ad. Informative ads can be used as an educational material by other companies. This will increase the exposure of the product without much cost. In other cases, cool graphical ads can be distributed for framing purposes. Reinforcing the ad with the product specifications and other information on the product will expose the readers deeply about the product. This will not only save the advertising cost but also gives the reader a sense of sincerity from the company. Don’t settle for one time ads. By using ads repeatedly, you will save money while reaching intended targets.

Stick to Workable Concepts

If you find a promotional concept that has high selling power, run with it for as long as possible. Advertising and promotional concepts should focus on the wants and needs that the consumer is searching for. Needs, wants and demands must be satisfied, so find workable concepts that provide this.

Avoid Excessive Presentations

A common mistake for businesses with small budgets is losing sight of their marketing objective. At times companies believe that they have to get more colorful brochures or imitate their competitors to gain interest from consumers. This only causes confusion for customers by making it harder for them to clearly identify your brand. Keep it simple yet informative so it is easy to understand.

Use Modular Product Ad Printouts

By using modular literature on your brochures, you can cater to different customers as well as their needs. This entails having the same basic layout and graphic design on the brochure while providing sections to accommodate each market’s needs.

Use Article Reprints as Supplementary Sales Literature

Specialized markets differ in interest, background and purpose of purchasing a single product. Therefore it is necessary for the reps and sales agents to be backed with a sale literature that coincide with their specifications. However, for a low budget marketing department, it is impossible to come up with specialized sales literature. One solution to this is by creating articles of different specialization and submitting them on journals. The journals will be the one to provide the layout and print the article. The journal containing the article will then be used as a supplementary sales literature. Since it is written by a respectable journal, the article will gain credibility as a sales literature.

Find Less Expensive Options in Generating Leads

Business owners know the importance of generating leads. Some may never convert into sales, but having key leads and generating them on a more consistent basis is vital to the survival of small businesses. Here are smart ways to generate leads with practically no expense:

  • Use local SEO and get found online. Using keywords and key phrases will build your search results and allow people to find your product or service. Social media is a platform that is widespread. Driving traffic to your website is just another way to capture more visibility.
  • Have a referral strategy in place that generates referrals. This can be done as an incentive at the time of a purchase or from a customer satisfaction survey.
  • Remember that consumers will buy local if it is convenient for them. There are many organizations in city and state organizations that will support your business if you support theirs.
  • Monitor your website and be adamant about using analysis information and data. This is the only way to know who is looking at your website. Target your message to the right people at the right time by finding out this crucial information and get in front of more consumers.
  • Collaborations build relationships with other businesses with the same services or products. This adds value to your business as well as the customers.

Pay the Minimum Amount for Outside Marketing Experts

Thinking about hiring someone to finish a task? Make sure to take in consideration the amount of budget the company can afford. There are lots of freelance creative talents. Find talents whose expertise and price fit the planned project.

Do It Yourself

It is always less expensive to complete tasks yourself instead of hiring out other agencies to get it done. Find ways to get things done by asking coworkers, friends, and even family members if they would trade or charge you an extremely lower price to get the job done.

Capitalize on Existing Marketing Materials and Concepts as much as Possible

By spreading out your marketing campaigns on other sales material, flyers, and brochures, you can save money. Take your website for example‒ you may have content from an article on there that can also be printed on brochures and flyers, etc. which utilizes other company campaigns.

Pay the Business Partners on Time

When the company acquires services from freelancers and other marketing agencies, paying those services at the agreed arrangements means good business. This act will lead to better services from them.

Improving a Small Business Following 10 Effective Marketing Tips

If you think about it, all large companies grow from small ones. There are different factors that make their success vary such as the area they cover, the number of customers they attain, or what kind of products they produce along with the quantity. But the truth is that all companies start out small and has the potential to grow larger as they develop their marketing skills.

Marketing tips come a dime a dozen. But effective marketing tip are the ones that have been tried and proven true. Here are some very effective marketing tips you can use to grow your small business.

  1. Use Direct Mail: Postcards are great for ad campaigns. With the ad printed on the postcard, it is easy to send it to targeted prospects. Because this technique also appeals to people, a concise message will easily generate traffic to your website. This is a low cost method that leads to sales.
  2. Restructure Marketing Tactics: Customers tend to get bored with the same marketing approach. To ignite interest for your consumers, be more involved with planning and implementing new and intriguing sales pitches.
  3. Joint Promotion: Joint promotions with other small businesses can save money and be beneficial for both companies. This method gives businesses twice the reach at a low cost.
  4. Add Unique Offers on Phone Calls: By greeting your customer with a special offer, customers feel that their time spent talking with them was more of a personal endeavor. Personally greeting customers on phone calls gives consumers a sense of importance as it builds a strong connection to the company for them. Announcing a special offer that is close to expiration will promote the caller’s urgency to inquire about the offer.
  5. Stickers, Stamps, and Notes: One way to promote your business is by using stickers, stamps, and handwritten notes in mail subscriptions. This is fun information for consumers especially when the message can be read in 10 seconds or less.
  6. Newsletters: Another cost effective way to invest in your clients and generate sales is by using newsletters. A newsletter is a great way to keep up with your clients on a regular basis. Always include your brand and logo to gain recognition and interest from new and loyal customers.
  7. Follow-ups: Being an effective marketer is important especially right after your customer purchases a product from you. Sending them a handwritten note of thanks and gratitude will offer them a strong connection as it lets them know they mean something to the company from where they made the purchase.
  8. Hold a Special Event: Seminars, open houses, special promotions, and other events are key methods and techniques to gain interaction with customers while acquiring media coverage. Always find time to thoroughly prepare so your event is a proper display of class and elegance to maintain a high image of the company. For seminars, limiting the attendance and charging fees projects value of the event.
  9. Bartering: One way of promoting a business at a very low cost is by using the products and services in acquiring other products and services. This is called bartering. One common example of bartering is by sponsoring an event which offers other companies the benefit of donating a certain amount of goods in order to gain an advertising space for the event. This is very economical and a smart way of offering effective promotion for a business.
  10. Mail-outs and Flyers: One way to distribute printed ad material is through brochures, flyers, and mail-outs. Businesses can impress customers without saying a word. Spending your marketing dollars wisely is why mail-outs and flyers can yield a great return on these promotion pieces.

20 SEO Terms Businesses Must Know

Becoming familiar with search engine optimization terms can help you with your blog or website tremendously. Having a glossary of words that can help you build a successful business is a huge part of becoming business savvy. Optimization is one of the most powerful marketing tools available and marketers should learn to understand the importance and depth to maximize their websites potential.

  1. Search Engine Marketing (SEM): As the name implies, it involves marketing services or products via search engines. SEM is divided into two main pillars: SEO and PPC. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is the practice of optimizing websites to make their pages appear in the organic search results. PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, and it is the practice of purchasing clicks from search engines. The clicks come from sponsored listings in the search results.
  2. Back Link: Also called inlink or simply link, it is a hyperlink on another website pointing back to your own website. Backlinks are important for SEO because they affect directly the PageRank of any web page, influencing its search rankings.
  3. PageRank: It is an algorithm that Google uses to estimate the relative important of pages around the web. The basic idea of PageRank is that a link from page A to page B can be seen as a vote of trust from page A to page B. The higher the number of links (weighted to their value) to a page, means, the higher the probability that such page is important.
  4. Linkbait: It is a piece of web content published on a website or blog with the goal of attracting as many backlinks as possible (in order to improve one’s search rankings). Usually it’s a written piece, but it can also be a video, a picture, a quiz or anything else. A classic example of Linkbait is the “Top 10” lists that tend to become popular on social bookmarking sites.
  5. Link farm: A group of websites where every website links to every other website, with the purpose of artificially increasing the PageRank of all the sites in the farm. This practice was effective in the early days of search engines, but today they are seeing as a spamming technique (and thus can get you penalized).
  6. Anchor text: The anchor text of a backlink is the text that is clickable on the web page. Having keyword rich anchor texts help with SEO because Google will associate these keywords with the content of your website. If you have a weight loss blog, for instance, it would help your search rankings if some of your backlinks had “weight loss” as their anchor texts.
  7. NoFollow: It is a link attribute used by website owners to signal to Google that they don’t endorse the website they are linking to. This can happen either when the link is created by the users themselves (e.g., blog comments), or when the link was paid for (e.g., sponsors and advertisers). When Google sees the NoFollow attribute, it will basically not count that link for the PageRank and search algorithms.
  8. Link Sculpting: By using the NoFollow attribute strategically webmasters were able to channel the flow of PageRank within their websites, thus increasing the search rankings of desired pages. This practice is no longer effective as Google recently change how it handles the nofollow attribute.
  9. Title Tag: Ideally your title tag should be unique and contain the main keywords of your page. You can see the title tag of any web page on top of the browser while navigating it.
  10. Meta Tags: Like the title tag, Meta tags are used to give search engines more information regarding the content of your pages. The Meta tags are placed inside the HEAD section of your HTML code, and thus are not visible to human visitors.
  11. Search Algorithm: Google’s search algorithm is used to find the most relevant web pages for any search query. The algorithm considers over 200 factors (according to Google itself), including the PageRank value, the title tag, the meta tags, the content of the website, the age of the domain and so on.
  12. Search Engine Results Page SERP: It is the page you’ll get when you search for a specific keyword on Google or on other search engines. The amount of search traffic your website will receive depends on the rankings it will have inside the SERPs.
  13. Sandbox: Google has a separate index, the Sandbox, where it places all newly discovered websites. When websites are on the sandbox, they won’t appear in the search results for normal search queries. Once Google verifies that the website is legitimate, it will move it out of the sandbox and into the main index.
  14. Keyword Density: To find the keyword density of any particular page, you just need to divide the number of times that keyword is used by the total number of words in the page. Keyword density used to be an important SEO factor, as the early algorithms placed a heavy emphasis on it. This is not the case anymore.
  15. Keyword Stuffing: Since keyword density was an important factor on the early search algorithms, webmasters started to game the system by artificially inflating the keyword density inside their websites. This is called keyword stuffing. These days this practice won’t help you, and it can also get you penalized.
  16. Cloaking. This technique involves making the same web page show different content to search engines and to human visitors. The purpose is to get the page ranked for specific keywords, and then use the incoming traffic to promote unrelated products or services. This practice is considering spamming and can get you penalized (if not banned) on most search engines.
  17. Web Crawler: Also called search bot or spider, it’s a computer program that browses the web on behalf of search engines, trying to discover new links and new pages. This is the first step on the indexation process.
  18. Duplicate Content: This generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. You should avoid having duplicate content on your website because it can get you penalized.
  19. Canonical URL: It is a process for converting data that has more than one possible representation into a “standard” canonical representation. A canonical URL, therefore, is the standard URL for accessing a specific page within your website. For instance, the canonical version of your domain might be http://www.domain.com instead of http://domain.com.
  20. Robots.txt: This is nothing more than a file, placed in the root of the domain, which is used to inform search bots about the structure of the website. For instance, via the robots.txt file it’s possible to block specific search robots and to restrict the access to specific folders of section inside the website.

5 Proven Internet Strategies That Increase Local Sales

Video Marketing Campaign

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine with 3 billion searches a month. Since it is the fastest growing video sharing website in the world, it proves worthy to set your sites on having some type of video marketing campaign that will bring more traffic to your website.

With the right Lead Capture and Follow-up Campaign, this invites visitors to look at your page where 5% will make a purchase. Those numbers become much higher if businesses offer their consumers free information in exchange for their contact information, with about a 35 to 40% increase just from these campaign conversions.

This is the time to become very serious about who you are marketing for. Once you have established goals to obtain more exposure, slowly grow a relationship that builds upon that landing page to turn traffic into conversions.

Local Search Visibility

There are at least 30% of searches that include a local term or city. This means that every search with these terms can give local companies an advantage over their competitors. Businesses must get listed in all of the local directories. For this type of visibility, you must make your listing matter.

Another important key to maintaining the highest local visibility is knowing how well a local listing matches what customers are searching for. These search ranking factors are valuable and should include titles, keywords, and key phrases that make them easy to search.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing fundamentals allow businesses to maximize their online presence. This is the process of gaining website traffic through social media sites. Creating content that resonates well with target audiences is a vital step to growing a strong presence in social media. This type of platform can be a very ingenious way to build relationships and communicate with consumers when leveraged correctly. By doing this, it is also a great opportunity to build trust, respect, and credibility than ever before. With the ease of having feedback through likes, comments, and shares, businesses can improve and sell more on a daily basis. What a great way to initiate free advertising on your behalf.

Blog Marketing

Many businesses don’t feel that blogs are an important part of their marketing strategy. But it is one of the most popular marketing techniques out there today, especially if you strategize your marketing plan on social media.

By having a blog, you are able to manage information when it comes available. This gives your customers an edge to know and expect what it happening with your business. Blogs stand out because customers love how they trend. They will respond to them more quickly compared to other articles that may be posted on a website.

Blogs are personal. They help businesses engage with their customers while improving your visibility. By using a blog, customers find that your information is more consistent and draws a substantial amount of traffic because of the continual posts and comments.

Full Video Marketing

This is the year for video marketing. Video marketing has grown more and more popular because of the simplicity of how easy it is to tell a story through a video. As content creators spend more time sharpening their storytelling skills, this platform has become the perfect format to gain the attention from audiences globally.

Using video marketing as a strategic tool can lead to a successful business. With the right focus and determination, businesses can create a strong brand identity. The video marketing statistics don’t lie. Consumers now rely on video to help them make important decisions on what products or services they will purchase. The value of a short video can impact a global audience.

Finding Customers with Effective Web Design

Why is it that some sites get more hits than others while others seem to be totally ignored? Online marketing is a process that usually involves something trending, or just having really great content that grabs people’s attention. It must be something so extraordinary that it becomes a real eye catcher that will draw your viewers’ attention in for a closer look. But there is more than just throwing some text and pictures onto a website. This endeavor also involves layout, design, and usability.

A user will know instantly if your website is worth visiting the moment they look at it. There are certain points on a page that will pull in the viewers’ attention which tells them that the content they are looking at is quality or not. And with that, let’s talk about effective web design. Here are three to think about:

Who Are They?

Brands and companies must describe who they are within the first few seconds that a visitor looks at them or they won’t make it. If someone ever has to ask questions about what your company does or what your brand is about, then the front page of your website needs more work. The skill of creating an image so strongly that it stands out among the others will put emphasis on the brand itself, and no one will mistake it for any other.

Presentation

A website with a good presentation will allow viewers to never think too seriously about what they are looking at. The reasons is obvious; if the content flows throughout the page and the information is readily available, those navigating the page will feel that they recognize consistent data that make them feel more at home, and more willing to spend their time searching your content. The simpler the design, the easier it will be to navigate. A good presentation also involves a strong layout, a color theme, typefaces, flat design, patterns, and a story that will convince them that they are looking at the right website. Website functionality must be a first when you create your site.

Backgrounds

As technology changes, so do the backgrounds of web pages. Trends have come and gone, but lately there has been more effort put into having a huge background or using a single color theme. This seems to allow content creators the ability to portray emotions better than with a single picture. Another advantage to large backgrounds is the ability to have your content stand out. Hitting all the important key elements of your content can be done easily and with simplicity if you have a strategy to follow.

Content

Having a solid approach of what you are presenting will be the most important element to creating great content through your story. Even though the basic structure and design of your website is important, you can never spend too much time making certain that your content has balance and poise. Coming up with a story that has value will add to the significance of the website. Since you only have a few seconds to capture the interest of your viewer, you must be determined to make it so great that they can’t take their eyes off of it. If your content is engaging, you will stand out from your competition.

Most of what was trending last year is still dominating in web designs. Although websites no longer look like they did a decade ago, it is important to realize all of the vast possibilities that are present when designing one.

Social Media Marketing – Awareness and Evaluation

There are numerous benefits when integrating key aspects of social media marketing into one’s business plan. This can be a huge innovation for some, as some marketing strategists are unprepared for the task or simply don’t have the resources they need to get the type of results they are looking for.

Fortunately, determining the level of social media awareness for any company is an essential component to finding success with social media networks. Media sharing sites and online applications have equal importance for companies to determine their level of awareness.

So how do you know if you are doing it right? And how can you understand the metrics of social media?

Create Awareness via Social Media

  • This includes knowing how may followers you have, what your potential reach is, and developing a relationship and connection with your followers. Once you have made your presence known, this is the time to harness all of the benefits that social media offers. Using the right platform should be considered in the beginning of your online campaign.
  • This is also a great time to ask; Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. By answering these questions, you can quickly pinpoint the reasons you’re using social media, and use this information to help you become more effective.

Evaluate Your Standing

  • If you know and understand the objective of using social media as part of your marketing plan, this will help you set appropriate goals to find potential customers and continually influence the ones you have already established.
  • This is the time to dig deep. Find out everything that your business is currently using to analyze your social media standing and change what is not working. Using these online tools will create a strong awareness for your company, and for what your target audience desires of you.

The importance of having an ample understanding of our “Internet Society” is crucial for businesses that use social media as a marketing tool. If there is a conversation taking place on Facebook, Twitter, or a popular blog, then this is the time to solidify your connection with your fans. This is also a great way to generate leads, manage your brand’s reputation, and engage to form a strong connection to your followers.