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.

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.

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.

Age Domains Give Top SEO Rankings

Even though there are a couple hundred ranking factors in Google’s algorithms, SEO is still considered a dominating factor to ranking along with the quality, quantity, and age of a website. This simply means the age of a website in which the website started its online presence.

Interestingly enough, the age of a website is one of the things that can’t be controlled. So, if you’re aching to get out there and utilize Google algorithms and rank in the top of search engines, it might be wise to buy one of these old domains. This has proven to be a unique opportunity where it can give first page rankings in organic search results.

Since it is absolute that older websites receive higher rankings than newer sites, it looks to be wise to buy an aged domain. There are lots of websites that are selling domains such as Ebay.com, sitepoint.com and digitalpoint.com. The domains being sold have website, PR ranks and links with them. However, the age of the domain are not shown on these sites. It is better to use some websites which are offering domain age search services.

It’s true that Google knows that domain age means you’re probably trustworthy and they like that small detail about you. If you are ready to set up a new website, considering an aged domain could become a very handy option to help you stand out above the others.

How to Make a Website an Effective Marketing Tool

An effective website will become an asset to your business as it provides information, gives visibility to your viewers, and becomes a way for interaction between a business and its customers.

Websites can come in many shapes and sizes. Before developing your website, you must understand what you want to achieve and who you are trying to reach. These characteristics are the key elements to having an effective website. There are other important aspects such as:

  • Give your website a professional look. A polished website will always attract potential customers. By generating a positive first impression, you will keep your visitors’ attention through the use of a clean color scheme, text that is easy to read, and graphics or photos that have visual appeal. It’s vital to get your visitors past your homepage, so, you never want to clutter your design. Instead, make it simple, but just enough to impress your audience.
  • A polished website is always full of content that is relevant and informative, and it should have the ability to be shared easily on your web pages. Sharable content will increase your traffic flow. Content must also be published regularly, with clear details about the products or services, and encourage conversation between viewers. Keep your content updated and organized. A good rule of thumb is to remember that you have just a few seconds to make a great first impression.
  • Create a website that is easy to use. If people are unable to navigate on your website, they will give up and go somewhere else. Choose strategic areas to place your content throughout the web page to keep it consistent and structured. Your design and layout should reflect your brands identity.
  • Be active on your website, and continually optimize your pages. The world is in constant change… and so are websites. That is why it is necessary to undergo alterations here and there to create a website that can evolve with trends and new developments. By doing this, your website can grow and expand as you optimize for maximum exposure.
  • Invest in Search Engine Optimization to ensure more web traffic. Generating web traffic through searches can build your brands success. Keywords and tags are just some of the basics that increase rankings with SEO. When you properly optimize and leverage your website’s effectiveness, you will build credibility on your site.

Effective Tips to Improve Your Online Presence

Attaining success with Internet Marketing is having a strong online presence.  Every online marketing company knows the importance of this and recognizes that they must continually find ways to improve and have an effective online presence.

  1. Have an updated news section on your website. Since people love to frequently visit websites that are updated and full of information, a news section is highly desired.
  1. By sending your website information to a specific target market, this will emphasize the importance of your company. By sending wordings to a target group with the highest relevance to the business rather than overdoing things and claiming to offer everything to everyone, focusing on one desired target group can be more effective in the long run. It is recommended to practice this exclusively in business to gain dominance over those you are pursuing.
  1. Comments are the big influencer for websites. It is important to aim some focus in this area as it helps to nurture your power of association with your viewers and visitors alike. This is a vital step in growing an online presence, and returning the favor by replying to comments will nurture your relationship with your viewers.
  1. Always know where your website is linked to. If a website is linked to an unethical or untidy website, this will inevitably associate you with that and may tarnish your reputation. It’s always important to choose others that are highly respectable to increase your reach and give you a great report card by doing so.
  1. Consistent branding is often forgotten when building an online presence. But the significance of having your branding the same no matter where it is seen can be a major factor for success. Keep it consistent and implement your brand across all places.
  1. Social Media Marketing is really a great way to promote any business. These days, everyone has some type of association with social media. It promotes your visibility, gives you recognition, and can create brand loyalty because you get recognized faster than other brands. This can be a great advantage as it enables your brand to reach a global audience.

Business-to-Business SEO Management

Millions of people use the Internet every day, yet not ever business understands the importance of search engine optimization when they strategize their marketing plan. This is a significant component of developing ones business, influencing customer markets, and gaining authority while growing brand presence.

Business-to-Business is the exchange of products, information, or services between businesses. Since there are more people involved with Business-to-Business or B2B management, there may be different organizational skills or simply a diverse way of looking at brands. This can make the process more technical where Business-to-Business marketers are mainly relying on their contents to provide guidance to their prospects throughout the lengthy sale cycle. Although their marketing efforts are already effective, they have yet to reach the maximum potential of the marketing strategies regarding their content.

One of the best ways to optimize marketing efforts is by search engine optimization that directs massive amounts of traffic to websites, generate leads, build a solid brand message, and find opportunities that increase sales.

This type of marketing is well-known with businesses that have substantial amounts of high quality content but have not been optimized for search yet. Another thing that B2B marketers fail to take full advantage of is to use core SEO which involves optimization of keywords, key phrases, technical links like backlinks and internal links, images with Meta data, and alt tags. This makes it impossible for B2B marketers to optimize their whole website or to enhance search visibility and exposure.

In order to be successful and bring visibility and traffic to one’s brand, B2B’s need to generate a considerable amount of traffic by distributing their content on multiple social media sites as well as developing quality content.

It is essential that they integrate SEO as soon as possible for them to be able to compete with other B2B marketers. If they do not have the budget to hire SEO professionals, they can also start learning how to optimize their website on their own. Other options are to use widgets from social media networks to extend the reach of their online contents as far as possible. These widgets will allow the audience to follow B2B marketers on their social network accounts to engage in dynamic interaction with other users.

Since Business-to-Business marketers already have the best content, the most important thing they can do is to make their content visible for the taking. Great content plus effective search engine optimization equals successful marketing efforts by B2B marketers.